Resources

Platform and purpose – an interview with Aravind Srinivasan of Aravind Eyecare System

“How will you use your platform in life?” It’s a question that Dr Aravind Srinivasan, Chief Medical Officer & Director – Projects, of the Indian-based Aravind Eyecare System, frequently asks himself and other leaders like him. And he believes that platform goes hand in hand with finding your purpose as a leader and as a human being.

Leadership development and the Brexit challenge, thoughts from Adrian Simpson, Co-Founder of Wavelength

Planning for leadership development in a time of uncertainty is undeniably difficult but fundamentally necessary. And it’s not new news that the UK economy has rarely faced such uncertain times as it does today. As we prepare for our Wavelength USA 2020 programme visiting, amongst others, Amazon and Netflix, Adrian reflects what leaders in the age of Brexit-uncertainty can learn from those who survived the implosion of the dot com bubble.

Lessons in Leadership – An interview with Sir Martin Narey

Martin Narey, former Director General of the Prison Service and first Chief Executive of the National Offender Management Service and CEO of Barnardo’s has spoken at every Wavelength Connect programme since it started over 10 years ago. He is one of the most remarked upon, most highly rated and respected presenters and one of Wavelength SpeakersHub most booked speakers.

Why Communication is Fundamental for Businesses – 4th in a series of distillations from Wavelength’s Behind the Brand Modules

A unique part of Wavelength’s Connect programme takes participants inside a range of organisations Behind the Brand to learn first-hand, warts n’ all, from those that have been there and done it. We have been looking at what they learnt and showing some examples of who shines within Wavelength’s nine fundamental characteristics of high performing organisations. In the fourth part of our Behind the Brand blog series, we are looking at the subject of Communication.

Why Businesses Need to be Uncompromising on Cultural Fit and Alignment – 3rd in a series of distillations from Wavelength Connect’s Behind The Brand Modules

A unique part of Wavelength’s Connect programme takes participants inside a range of organisations Behind the Brand to learn first-hand, warts n’ all, from those that have been there and done it. We have been looking at what they learnt and showing some examples of who shines within Wavelength’s nine fundamental characteristics of high performing organisations. In the third part of our Behind the Brand blog series, we are looking at the subject of Culture.

Why it’s Essential to Have Leaders as True Role Models – 2nd in a series of distillations from Wavelength Connect’s Behind The Brand Modules

A unique part of Wavelength’s Connect programme takes participants inside a range of organisations Behind the Brand to learn first-hand, warts n’ all, from those that have been there and done it. Over the next few weeks, we will be looking at what they learnt and showing some examples of who shines within Wavelength’s nine fundamental characteristics of high performing organisations. In the second part of our Behind the Brand blog series, we are looking at the subject of Leadership.

Why Businesses Need Purpose – 1st in a series of distillations from Wavelength Connect’s Behind the Brand modules.

A unique part of Wavelength’s Connect programme takes participants inside a range of organisations Behind the Brand to learn first-hand, warts n’ all, from those that have been there and done it. Over the next few weeks, we will be looking at what they learnt and showing some examples of who shines within Wavelength’s nine fundamental characteristics of high performing organisations. The first characteristic we are going to look at is Purpose.

The Power of the Spoken Word! Sarah Dryden from Wavelength SpeakersHub shares why storytelling is more important than ever

We are currently living in a world of information overload. With the internet providing easy access to hundreds (if not thousands) of articles, sources, comment, opinions, ephemera etc. And with generations now growing up digital natives, learning and development cannot not somehow follow suit.

Inside the World’s Finest Organisation, Aravind Eyecare System

In January 2019, we took 18 business leaders, entrepreneurs and change agents from a range of companies including BBC, Jaguar Land Rover, The Prince’s Trust, HSBC and Novartis inside India-based Aravind. The profound impact it had on our participants impressed us so much we are returning in 2019 with Inside Aravind, to inspire and provoke a new group of leaders about what a highly successful, purpose-driven business looks like.

The Ultimate Recipe for The Perfect Christmas Work Culture – an Interview with Helen Hyde, John Lewis Partnership

‘Tis the season to be merry and nowhere is this truer than the John Lewis Partnership (owners of high street stalwarts John Lewis and Partners and Waitrose and Partners). This is a business that is simply synonymous with the festive spirit, from iconic advertising to in store experiences. The company is on everyone’s Christmas list!

How to Thrive in the Experience Economy by Antonia Hock, VP at The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center

By 2028, the experience economy will be worth an incredible 8.2 trillion dollars globally, according to the latest study from Euromonitor (Euromonitor, 2018). The trend is fuelled by ever-evolving consumer desire for deeper connection to the brands they love, going way beyond just buying ‘things’ and receiving good service. Consumers of today want an immersive and personalised experience that allows them to connect with brands in a new way.

How to Remain Relevant In a Disrupted World – Innovation Insights from Silicon Valley

Adrian Simpson, Wavelength’s Co-founder and Chief Connector, distils the pertinent themes from their recent immersion into Silicon Valley, sharing insights from some of the world’s most forward-thinking businesses including Airbnb, W.L. Gore Associates, GE and The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.

Time for Truth – Why Trust and Transparency are Accelerators of Business Success

In a ‘post-truth’ era, what separates the trusted from the tarnished? I’ve been researching speed in business over the last two years, talking to senior leaders of organisations about how they deal with the rapid pace of a changing world. In this context, themes of truth, trust and transparency were revealed as the accelerators of business success, with three approaches leading the resistance to the ‘war on truth’.

“We must travel to learn.” What we experienced on Behind the Brand 2018

Wavelength Connect provides participants with the inspiration, knowledge, and resourcefulness to find their own solutions to the leadership and organisational challenges they are facing, and to own and action them.

A core part of Connect, Behind the Brand offers participants the opportunity to get inside a broad array of organisations with compelling narratives around culture, engagement, innovation, social impact, and leading change. It’s a chance for them to hold a critical mirror to their own organisations to see where they could be doing much better as well as where they could be doing much worse.

Welcome to Wavelength USA 2018

Silicon Valley’s leading companies, VCs, thought leaders and organisations in the midst of business model transformation will be part of Wavelength USA 2018. They will share how to thrive in a digitally disrupted world, lead through disruption and create thriving cultures to create amazing service.

Is Aravind Eyecare the world’s finest organisation?

Over the last eight years, we have invited the leaders from this remarkable organisation to join us on Wavelength USA and to share the Aravind story at Wavelength Connect, so in February 2018 Wavelength Co-Founder Jessica Stack and I decided to visit Aravind in Chennai and Madurai, India, to see it for ourselves. What we found impressed us so much we are returning in January 2019 with Inside Aravind, taking a group of 20 clients to inspire and provoke them about what a highly successful, purpose-driven business looks like.

From doom and gloom to new possibilities. Reframing the narrative around a changing workplace. An interview with Wavelength’s Speakershub Steve Cadigan

With his extensive experience and connections in Silicon Valley, Steve Cadigan, former VP of Talent at LinkedIn, is witnessing a huge paradigm shift in the workplace, as technology and changing employee demands turn traditional talent management practices on their head.

Inhale Oxygen and breathe… An interview with coach and social entrepreneur Lily Lapenna-Huda

After two days digitally marooned in the beautiful Berkshire countryside, surrounded by 90 leaders keen to discuss the challenges faced by those who want to change the world for the better through business, coach and social entrepreneur Lily Lapenna-Huda reflects on Oxygen and on her own leadership.

“Transforming the worst school in Britain” An Interview with Wavelength SpeakersHub’s Drew Povey

In 2003 the school’s inspector, Ofsted, branded Harrop Fold School in Salford “the worst school in the country” putting it into special measures, the lowest rating a school could have.

Behaviour was so bad that two local bus companies refused to transport pupils attending the school and a quarter of school-leavers went on to be classed as NEET (not in education, employment or training). Worse still, the school had inherited a financial deficit which was the largest of any school in the country.

“My headteacher told me I was an existentialist!” An interview with Jude Kelly

”At fourteen years old I was creatively destructive,” says SpeakersHub speaker Jude Kelly “I got in with a bad crowd and things were spiralling out of control in my life until my head teacher told me to go and set up a drama group in the school.”

“He told me that he thought I was an existentialist and I needed a creative outlet to channel my search for purpose in life.”

Adrian’s Silicon Valley Insights

The world’s first voice activated hotel room, the consumerisation of everything and the advent of the brain machine interface.

These were just a few of the trends emerging as I talk to the leaders and thinkers in the heart of Silicon Valley to plan our Wavelength USA programme.

To be human after all

“Organisations are non-entities, people are organisations”.
Dr Aravind Srinivasan, Aravind Eye Care System

However much we like to imagine we’re in control of Connect, we know what happens in the room (garden, tent, field, amphitheatre) and what plays out in each of our minds as we walk away cannot be planned.

Everything you always wanted to know about storytelling and leadership but were too afraid to ask

“I didn’t make things worse.”

This is how Sir Martin Narey described his time as Director General of the Prison Service of England and Wales during one of our Leadership Masterclasses. Not what one ordinarily hears from a leader but then Sir Martin is no ordinary leader. He’s an inspiring individual and an accomplished storyteller, and the core narrative he uses to describe this chapter of his leadership story – the last-choice-for-the-job, unheroic, lonely leader failing to make the difference he so passionately aspires to – is compelling but it’s also a fiction. A fiction in the way that all stories purporting to be about reality are fiction. Because creating coherence from the raw mess of lived life involves choosing what to include, what to exclude and what framing will best martial the chaos.

We share what Wavelength observed & learnt on Best in Class 2017

Stepping into other organisations is a powerful way to sharpen focus on your own culture, organisational effectiveness and leadership. Not because the organisations visited on Best In Class are perfect but because they help illuminate what’s strong, precious and worth building on in your own organisation alongside those flaws, deficits and areas of underperformance that must be addressed. Moreover, the visits provide invaluable inspiration and ideas for how to tackle them.

So what of this year’s cohort of BIC organisations?

On Your Marks, Get Set… Go Raise the Bar

As I pulled in to Sheepdrove this week, I was instantly reminded of my time as a Connect member in 2014. The sense of excitement, anxiety and the re-emergence of that pesky imposter syndrome were instantly with me. It also recalled the friendships and connections that I had made at my On Your Marks and indeed the personal transition I have been through since; from Connect member to being part of the Wavelength team.

Change: Where to start?

After two discussion-filled days on Leading Change at Sheepdrove we reflect on where leaders choose to begin in the face of big, difficult or complex change and what these start points tell us about the longer journey

“Get the start right, the right point of entry, that’s how you get a conversation going, that’s how you walk toward people.”
Rob Burnet, CEO & Founder, Well Told Story

Being Best in Class, not just OK in Class

“If OK is the outcome of what you’re doing, scrap what you’re doing.”
V
oxpop, Rackspace.

Imagine that 24 senior leaders, your peers, were coming to where you work to understand what you do and how you do it. What would you tell them? How would you bring the essence of your organisation to life? What would you share (and not share!) to ensure they left feeling inspired to improve?