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resources

//useful stuff, well... I think so

If you have found your way here, it is probably via the book. As I say there, I have #NoSilverBullet to offer. What you will find here is a selection of people, resources, interventions and 'stuff' that may be useful. No guarantees. Some of them I know personally, others not. Do I like everything here? No. Another myth is that we need to agree 100% with others, or even like them. Life isn't like that.

 

All, if you talk to them, will hopefully get you to think more deeply.

The below is a taster. I will be populating it more in the coming weeks after launch (29-03-2024).

Learn about human relations - at depth: system psychodynamics

There are many places you could go to deepen your understanding of people and organisations. The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations offers a range of programmes, talks, resources and more that get beyond the rhetoric of change to the reality of how we need to be in relationship to function in organisations.

It is arguably the place to learn about system psychodynamics, and that page has details of an excellent introduction to the field.

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Making sense of the mush in organisations

One of the most well-known names in the field of Dialogic Organisation Development, Gervase has won awards for his work and, more importantly, has published many books and articles that you may find helpful - have a rummage on his website. One of the books and programmes I frequently recommend to clients is Clear Leadership. It helps you to inquire into the mess and mush that gets in the way of collaboration, and offers a practical approach to unpacking how we make meaning. 

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Learn through dialogues and meeting diverse people and thinking.

The EQ Lab was set up by Dr. Richard Claydon and others as a space for learning through dialogue that is "grounded in cognitive science and behavioural design". It offers regular sessions hosted by interesting people and participants from across the globe. Or as one participant put it: "the virtual version of the Renaissance era gatherings, where ideas collide and innovation/nuanced thinking emerges."

It is a space antithetical to Silver Bullets.

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Get help with the mess of organisational life

So disclosure time: I work with the people at Mayvin a lot. Why? Aside from the fact they are thoroughly decent and lovely people, they have a grounded approach to organisational complexity, change and leadership. It is through working with them that my own thinking around leadership practice evolved further, and they run a Masters in People & Organisation Development at the University of Chichester, which I also teach on. 

One thing I particularly like is how they have created a genuine community, with regular events where not only people from the consulting side show up, so too do clients and friends of Mayvin. 

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Learn how to work with intractable problems

You often hear talk of the challenges of working with/in the chaos, complexity and uncertainty of organisations. Less common are approaches that embrace the reality of the mess of human systems and offer techniques to help you navigate it. HSD is an inquiry-based problem-solving process, so sits well here. Glenda Eoyang's work in creating the field of Human Systems Dynamics is a useful place to start.

 

The HSD Institute website has lots of stuff, with lots of free resources

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cultureQs: questions-based culture work​

 

One of the things I did not want to do was populate this section solely  with organisations. There are a myriad of useful and non-Silver Bullet-y approaches out there, which have been devised by individual practitioners. One such is Eric Lynn's cultureQs, which I have played with and love. It uses well-crafted questions within a game format to encourage participants to reflect on the foundations of their beliefs, attitudes and behaviours.

 

More here.

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Play-based approaches to change

 

Play is an under utilised approach to change, and The LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® methodology, when delivered well, offers a way to engage people in deep inquiry and dialogue in surprising ways. Whether for culture work, strategy or innovation, it can be powerful. Richard Gold (whom I have known for over thirty years, and is both an LSP practitioner and experienced strategy and digital transformation consultant) is a good person to talk to, to get a grounded and human understanding of the approach.

 

More here.

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Great ideas from people you may never have heard of

 

The obsession with 'thought leaders' means we place a primacy on those with the loudest voices and platforms to shout from. I love it when I stumble across people who I have not heard of who have useful thinking that deserves a wider audience. One such is Martijn Sjoorda, and his paper on the Efficiency Fallacy is worth a look. It is free too. Good eh?

More here, where you can download it for free. 

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The Cynefin Framework: another approach to exploring how we think, interpret and act

 

"Cynefin, pronounced kuh-nev-in, is a Welsh word that signifies the multiple, intertwined factors in our environment and our experience that influence us (how we think, interpret and act) in ways we can never fully understand." Dave Snowden's work offers (another) way to inquire into the mess of organisational life, with an emphasis on helping leaders ensure their actions match reality. 

 

More here.

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MirrorMirror Team Alignment

 

I am generally wary, nay cynical, about many psychometrics and 'tools' that purport to offer clients a quick fix to understanding their people. Mirror Mirror is a team alignment instrument. What I like, and why (disclosure) I have been an advisor/thought partner to the founder for a while, is that it does not shy away from revealing the dynamics within teams, in particular the stories and relational dynamics, that get in the way of collaboration and delivering on a strategy. As they say on their website, it is a way of "clearing the fog", or at least starting that process. Fog has a habit of returning...

 

More here.

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Friday Pulse

 

There are a lot of 'tools' and 'instruments' out there that 'measure' engagement and happiness to give a snapshot of culture and what it feels like to work somewhere. Friday Pulse I Iike, and not just because it's founder, Nic Marks, has stunning shirt collection. He talks intelligently about the research that underpins the approach, and how it translates data into actions at a team level that catalyse change. I have seen it dial up accountability and make transparent what would otherwise remain hidden. 

 

More here.

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