Tag Archives: business development

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].

Podcast Episode 088: Great Leaders & Great Managers

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2What qualities do we look for in our great leaders and great managers? Can one person embody both functions? The great leader connects people to a vision of a better future, and a great manager instils quality performance in other people to achieve the steps towards the ultimate goals.

In this episode I use a series of quotes from the business literature to examine the roles of a great leader and a great manager. It is for you the individual to reflect on how these quotes resonate with your own experiences of being led and managed, and of leading and managing. I also briefly reflect on some of my experiences across the last 30 years of being led and managed.

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/088-great-leaders-great-managers/id867043694?i=358117306&mt=2

“The manager asks how and when, the leader asks what and why.” [Warren Bennis].

Podcast Episode 087: Leadership or Management?

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2What is the distinction between leadership and management? Do we need to have more of one and less of the other? Ideally we need the good experiences of both.

In this episode I explore the future focus of leadership alongside the present focus of management. Using a series of quotes from the literature the contrast and the complimentary nature of both can emerge, and it is for each of us to reflect on how our own experiences resonate with the messages offered.

Leadership can not be learned from academic theory, it needs to be experienced, and for the experience to be refined through constructive feedback. Management should be about people more than it is about systems and processes. The primary functions of management have a place, but they should not be enabled to become the mainframe of the picture that people have to fit into. It is the strengths and creativity of people that contributes most to achievement, not the managerial tools and targets.

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/087-leadership-or-management/id867043694?i=358117275&mt=2

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” [Peter Drucker].

” Most of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to get their jobs done.” [Peter Drucker].

Risk and Leadership

Updated Risk Resource (2013)
Updated Risk Resource (2013)

What role does leadership play in good practice regarding how we work with risk? Leadership is often lacking, and management is all too often to the fore where considerations of risk are concerned in health and social care agencies. In this scenario fear and back-covering hold the attention, while good practice is presented as an unconvincing façade. Managers strangely play down any questions about excessive bureaucracy while still demanding all the paperwork is completed as the primary target. If something goes wrong it is the paperwork that gets sole attention, and real practice considerations are relegated to a place somewhere to the right of obscurity.

‘Good paperwork is a sign of good practice’ becomes the convenient smokescreen. This would be true if there was less management and more supportive leadership, as the need for paperwork would be put into perspective: as the essential minimum to support good practice not to hinder it. Good tools are a range of checklists and formats that have been shaped by good practice, and thus they are able to guide and prompt firstly, and capture good practice as a secondary function.

The Risk Decision-Making publication is the update of 17 years of working with individual practitioners and teams across countless organisations, both from within the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health initially and through the Practice Based Evidence consultancy since 2001. The tools and guidance are informed by what we know from the national and international research, but more significantly through the practice based evidence of hundreds of practitioners across all disciplines and service sectors. Most importantly, this publication refocuses the attention on risk as everyone’s business; so it is structured throughout to address issues from the perspective of individual’s, teams and the leadership & management of organisations. Whatever systems your leaders have bought or put into place there is still a role for guidance on best practice, so look no further.

Podcast Episode 086: The 12 Questions

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2Are we really developing the strengths of our staff in the workplace? I previously outlined my own Team Strengths Assessment, but in this episode I focus on the messages emerging from the Gallup organisation strengths research.

Buckingham & Coffman published First, Break All The Rules in 1999, which included 12 questions we should continually be asking ourselves to identify if we and our employers are really focused on identifying and exploiting what we do best. The questions focus on personal strengths and support and supervision in the workplace. Do you do what you do best every day? This is the key question to focus on, but whether we do or whether we don’t depends so much on having the right conditions within the workplace geared to developing us.

Too access the full content from 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/086-the-12-questions/id867043694?i=357225170&mt=2

“Teamwork makes a dream work, but a vision becomes a nightmare when the leader has a big dream and a bad team.” [John C. Maxwell].

Podcast Episode 085: Evidence from the business world

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2Do we only draw on the evidence that supports our original beliefs? The strengths approach is supported by a relatively small evidence base in the healthcare world, but if we look to the business world the quantity greatly amplifies. However, quantity should never be allowed to overshadow the quality of an evidence base.

In this episode I review the critical questions that Pfeffer & Sutton present so we do not accept evidence without analysis. They also question a fundamental tenet of the strengths approach by asking just how important ‘talent’ really is to effective outcomes.

The Gallup organisation have developed an extensive database over several decades to support the efficacy of strengths-based thinking across most industries across the world. The research identifies that successful businesses share common strengths-based approaches. The Gallup literature has also identified the key messages about what the great managers know and do. Talent is a key ingredient, but how it is managed and nurtured contributes to the difference that enables greater success.

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/085-evidence-from-business/id867043694?i=357225171&mt=2

“Copy from one, it’s plagiarism; copy from two, it’s research.” [Wilson Mizner].

Podcast Episode 078: Making sense of recovery

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2Having explored the concept of recovery in the previous episode I concluded that I fully support the original service users’ intentions but despair at the corporate take-over of manifestly good ideas in order to decorate their own complex and confused way of going about things.

As a realist I have to accept that recovery has become a leading mantra headlining the development of 21st century mental health services, but I struggle with the degree of confusion expressed by so many practitioners who would rather not be asked to describe what it actually means. What does the Strengths Approach lend to this set of circumstances?

In this episode I compare the language of the principles of recovery with the practical ‘doing it’ approach offered by the strengths movement. We can sit around and talk about conceptualisations as long as we like, but at some point someone has to do something, and that is where the strengths approach comes into its own.

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

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

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/078-making-sense-of-recovery/id867043694?i=353576161&mt=2

“I know now that we never get over great losses; we absorb them, and they carve us into different, often kinder, creatures.” [Gail Caldwell].

Podcast Episode 077: What is recovery?

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2‘Recovery’ can simply be described as to regain, get back or restore something which has been lost, but in health and social care services we don’t tend to go for the simple and straight forward, particularly when confused and complicated are on offer.

I fully support the concept of recovery, as it was originally identified by service users, but I despair at how easily those in power feel able to misappropriate good ideas to dress up their otherwise complex demands. Now I tend to see recovery as something designed by service users, hijacked by commissioners, managers and politicians, and crashed by practitioners.

In this episode I explore how a uniquely personal and individual concept of great merit and purpose has become subsumed into the corporate world of strategic direction, and subsequently lost in translation. The original pioneers foretold in warnings of how the concept will lose its power when it becomes systematised, but the world of bureaucracy is not known for heeding warnings, particularly if they don’t appeal to the perpetual need to homogenise the individual experience.

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/077-what-is-recovery/id867043694?i=353576160&mt=2

“You can get the monkey off your back, but the circus never leaves town.” [Anne Lamott].

Podcast Episode 073: What is appreciative inquiry?

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2AI is more frequently known as Artificial intelligence, but in the context of organisational change I am focusing this episode on Appreciative Inquiry. But, apart from the simple assumption of showing some appreciation to another person, what is it?

David Cooperrider and colleagues have claimed this to be a uniquely strengths-based approach to the leadership and management of organisational change; and also that strengths-based management may just be the management innovation of our time!

However, the concept of change does not sit easily with everyone; for one thing, it can give the impression that there is never enough time to implement some seriously good ideas before the next management initiative is passed down.

In this episode I outline the strengths credentials of Appreciative Inquiry, its 4-dimensional cycle, as well as the 5 principles and 6 essential conditions for it to occur. It may require skilled facilitation by a trained practitioner, but it also offers all of us a positive language to adopt and apply to our own thinking about the organisations we presently inhabit.

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/073-what-is-appreciative-inquiry/id867043694?i=351497308&mt=2

“A well designed system filled with ordinary but well-trained people can still achieve consistently high performance; whereas a badly designed system can make a genius look like an idiot.” [Pfeffer and Sutton].