Category Archives: Podcast Episodes

Podcast Episode 095: A Funky Case Study

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2So, what does funky and creative working look like when you have to implement things through a team? It is one thing for a creative individual to plough their own furrow, but as soon as you get two or more people together the opportunity arises for three or more opinions on how to go about things!

In this episode I outline my consultancy work across 2000-2010 with an assertive outreach team that was based in Kettering, Northamptonshire. The vision was largely developed by the team manager, Sue Jugon, with reference to the training I undertook as part of the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health. It requires careful recruitment, and the type of training and practice development support established at the time as the Practice Based Evidence consultancy.

What it looks like is a commitment to good clear communication, flexible working, and on-going reflection and developmental support. The outcomes were best reflected in the changes seen in what were deemed to be very challenging clients when you devote sufficient respectful time, and deliver client-centred working rather than overblown service rhetoric.

For the full content of this episode click the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/095-a-funky-case-study/id867043694?i=361448998&mt=2

“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” [Phil Jackson]

Podcast Episode 094: Making it funky

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2We spend so many hours, and restless nights, focused on work, so don’t we deserve to get enjoyment, fun and creative challenge in our work? Managerial structures, systems, procedures and processes are designed to achieve consistency and homogeneity of output. Monitoring and auditing of standards and targets keeps a watchful eye how we work. So, are we in danger of losing the pursuit of genuine creative endeavour? Where will positive risk-taking fit into this controlled picture?

In this episode I reflect on a review of a previous book I co-authored that identified our approach as ‘Funky Mental Health’. Funky ways of working are about working with and around the rules; breaking the rules in a creative rather than illegal way. It is about pushing the boundaries, but needs a few conditions to support it to happen. I outline how it needs a vision, a guide of what exceptional people do naturally, a flexible environment, and team-working. I also reference a classic example of putting all of this into practice from my Practice Based Evidence consultancy work.

For the full content of this episode click the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/094-making-it-funky/id867043694?i=360203262&mt=2

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” [Scott Adams].

Podcast Episode 093: A Strengths Leadership Programme

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2How serious are we about truly developing the talent of our key people? The world is over-populated with academic pursuit of leadership initiatives, all competing to produce people with accredited qualifications. But what about developing people with the confidence to deliver on the practical day-to-day challenges that our businesses through at people?

In this episode I outline my specifically created Strengths Leadership Programme for the key staff members… our team leaders & team managers. Based in the Gallup research and literature it focuses on identifying talent, developing strengths, and applying this knowledge to personal and team development in the practices that team leaders work in every day. It offers a 4-day workshop introduction, but is focused more on local impact of knowledge through supervised and supported practice over a year, and the nurturing of specific peer group support. If you’re looking for another certificate to hang on the wall go somewhere else.

For the full content of this episode click the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/093-strengths-leadership-programme/id867043694?i=360203263&mt=2

“If you spend your life trying to be good at everything, you will never be great at anything.” [Tom Rath].

“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” [Ralph Waldo Emerson].

Podcast Episode 092: Using StrengthsFinder

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2How do you go about identifying your natural talents? Most of us stroll through life largely oblivious to what we may excel at. Either we are subject to the constant focus on our weaknesses, and attempting to get them fixed, in the flawed assumption that this helps us to massively improve our performance. Or, we are simply just not aware of resources that can focus attention more on the task of identifying the talents and developing our true strengths.

The Gallup organisation has not just researched this area for several decades, but also mined the massive database to inform and develop the tools for strengths development. In this episode I reflect on this process of identifying talents and developing strengths. I use my own results from taking the StrengthsFinder test (on two separate occasions) to illustrate the process and themes of talent that have emerged out of the Gallup work.

For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/092-using-strengthsfinder/id867043694?i=360203264&mt=2

“The key to human development is building on who you already are.” [Tom Rath]

Podcast Episode 091: Positive Risk-Taking in practice

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2It’s one thing to have a great idea but another entirely to put it successfully into practice, particularly if it is about delivering on difficult and challenging decisions. What does it take to put positive risk-taking into practice with clarity and confidence?

This was a concept I developed in 1994 and have been refining and implementing with so many people in the intervening years. Everyone wants to feel like they do good risk-taking practice, but when examined closely there are a plethora of obstacles to be overcome in the process.

In this episode I outline a list of 14 essential ingredients for putting positive risk-taking into practice. A combination of shared understanding by individuals, teams and organisation management is a good starting point; but that is often difficult enough to achieve. I outline the value of strengths-based practice for underpinning good risk-taking decisions, as well as consensus in teams, adequate training, supervision and support, and the application of checklists and tools I designed specifically for the purpose.

For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/091-positive-risk-taking-in/id867043694?i=359052989&mt=2

“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” [Tony Robbins].

“Life is inherently risky. There is only one big risk you should avoid at all costs, and that is the risk of doing nothing.” [Denis Waitley].

Podcast Episode 090: Implementing great work

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2A good idea is about 10 percent of the effort, it’s the implementation and hard work that makes up the bulk of the effort. But how do we go about identifying and implementing good ideas? What can we use to help us deliver great work?

In the case of a Strengths Approach and Positive Risk-Taking, two of my signature ways of working, I have developed specific practice development tools to help not just identify the ideas but just as importantly put them into practice.

In this episode I outline the Practice Based Evidence evaluation and implementation tools I use in my team development work to put these two particular concepts into practice. These are practice-based tools to be owned and used by frontline staff and teams; these are definitely not managerial tools with a top-down need to audit. There comes a moment when you need to stop revving up the car and shove it into gear (David Maloney), and these tools are part of the gear mechanism not the braking system!

For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/090-implementing-great-work/id867043694?i=359052990&mt=2

“When you translate a dream into reality, it’s never a full implementation. It is easier to dream than to do.” [Shai Agassi].

“Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.” [Conrad Hilton].

Podcast Episode 089: Leading or Managing Change

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2Why do we need to be constantly changing things? Is there too much change going on in the world? It is tempting to look back with rose-tinted glasses for the better times, and to bemoan the worst of what is going on at present.

But change has undeniably contributed more positive than negative outcomes for most people. However, in business how can we best manage the process of change in order to achieve the forward momentum that brings positive gains? Prefer & Sutton remind us that a google search elicits much more interest in strategy than in implementation; so we are far more likely to want to engage in talking about change than actually doing it.

In this episode I recount the 8 key ingredients that Pfeffer & Sutton identify for increasing the odds of making the right kind of change. Listening to people is the most significant factor. I also outline the four forces they suggest are needed to create the environment for change to take place. Change is a fact, it is happening all of the time, so lets get it right.

For the full content of this episode click the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/089-leading-or-managing-change/id867043694?i=358569524&mt=2

“Hearing true things is more important than saying smart things… you need to ask good questions before you can come up with smart answers.” [Pfeffer & Sutton].