Teams are the new unit of currency in business. Harnessing the wisdom and brilliance of teams is not easy. It can be messy, confusing, non linear and complicated. Learn from your peers and thought leaders about what it takes. Listen to their stories, pains, and pride when it works. This show is about the magic of mining work and relations for high performance, satisfaction and fulfilment on teams
Purposeful Curiosity How asking the right questions can change your life with Costas Andriopoulos
Introduction: Costas Andriopoulos is Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Bayes Business School (City University of London) He is founder of Bayes X, the Cnentre for Innovation and Disruption. He is also the Director of Avyssos Advisors Ltd. an Innovation management consultancy.
Costas was born in Athens, Greece. He was educated in Greece and the UK & prior to joining Bayes Business School, City University of London in 2014, he held posts at Cardiff, Strathclyde, Aberdeen and Brunel universities.
Costas researched New Product Design Consultancies and tech companies in Silicon Valley and was a visiting professor at Said Business School (University of Oxford)
Costas is also an author and his book, Purposeful Curiosity is the subject of this podcast.
Costas now lives in West London with his wife and daughter.
Podcast episode Summary: In this episode Costas shares his Curiosity Journey and the work he undertook to understand what it takes to employ Curiosity in a meaningful fashion. We discuss what it takes to be purposeful, the distractions we must refuse, and the permission needed to nurture the “Itch” within us all to follow our passions and execute our dreams. As Adam Grant, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Think again shares, Costas’s book “Nails the difference between idle curiosity and a productive drive to discover”.
Points made throughout the Episode:
o What more can you say about you the person? Costas shares that since we was a child he was a very curious person. He took things apart and his friend was his screw driver. He is very grateful that his parents encouraged this fascination with how things worked, with his curiosity as a child. This same curiosity has taken him to different parts of the world to study and work and by way of it he has met incredibly interesting people.
o When you show interest in what others do it leads you to some very interesting answers.
o Costas wanted to become an Architect. Whilst his parents at that time discouraged that path it is not surprising to Costas that his PhD and research focuses on Creative & Innovative organisations, some of whom were design studios and others of whom where Architectural firms. There is something we are passionate about, sometimes we are steered away from pursuing these passions but if you like something so much it will always come back.
o Costas encourages people to do something about which you are passionate and good. We can follow many topics and we need to understand these topics. Costas became curious about Curiosity and he wanted to nurture that passion and understand what it takes to pursue curiosity purposefully.
o Because Costas knows Creativity, Innovation and Curiosity are closely linked or brothers he found researching Curiosity to be within his gift.
o He makes the point that if he wanted to research Rockets he would find it very difficult because he wasn’t very good at physics or related disciplines and most probably he would not be interested in any case.
o We have to care about something, we have to be passionate and we have to understand the subject to pursue purposeful curiosity.
o Notwithstanding the fact that Costas has studied Innovation and Creativity when he first mentioned his interest in studying Curiosity everyone he spoke with thought he was crazy.
o The external voices were really projecting their fears onto Costas about the potential pitfalls and opportunity cost of his project. When we embark on something new, and Curiosity is a new field for Costas, people are going to project their fears.
o People who surround us normally care for us. They want to protect us from failing and still if we are passionate about something we have to learn to silence these external voices to follow our path.
o Costas is not encouraging blind faith or reckless pursuits he is taking about projects where you prep
The Enabling Manager How To Get the Best out of your Team with Myles Downey
Introduction: Author, Thought leader and Entrepreneur in the world of performance, learning and coaching
Myles Downey is a thought-leader and entrepreneur in the world of performance, learning and coaching. He was the founder of The School of Coaching, for many years a much- respected provider of coach training and executive coaching in the UK and Europe. Myles is the author of ‘Effective Modern Coaching’, ‘Effective Coaching’ and ‘Enabling Genius – a mindset for success in the 21st Century’.
Myles is one of the leading business performance coaches in Europe with extensive, global experience spanning thirty years. He has worked with CEO’s, COO’s and MD’s in the most prestigious organisations from Banking and Financial Services, to Manufacturing and Oil and Gas to Professional Services and in the Public Sector.
Podcast episode Summary: In this episode Myles Downey shares his passion for his work, his writing work, and the work he does to support leaders and organisations express themselves fruitfully and joyously for the benefit of the organisation and each other. There is a focus on his new book, The enabling Manager where Myles decodes the distinctions between Lead, Manage and Coach.
Points made throughout the Episode:
How did you get into this domain called Coaching? Myles started back in the days when the word “coaching” as we know it today was barely understood. Myles was a good tennis player and enjoying playing and competing and he came upon a book called “The inner game of Tennis” Myles was a professional architect at the time and after reading this book within 6 months began to explore the ideas housed in the Inner Game
The book title effectively divides the world into two, the inner world and the outer world where most of the focus for coaching was applied -such as how you placed your foot etc as opposed to the inner world the stuff between our ears. That was the start of Myles journey into coaching.
Myles set up his practice first in Dublin and then in London where he set up probably the first Coaching School called The Alexander Corporation in 1987
Was the world of sport ahead of The world of Coaching by way of that book The inner Game of Tennis? No like Coaching it was very mechanistic and focused on knowledge and how to rather than what was happening interiorly for a person or player.
What did you appreciate when you first heard about the Inner Game? Gallwey the author made a critical distinction between what he called Self One and Self Two.
Self-One is that part of you that is in fear, in doubt, in worry and Self-Two is that part of you that is in flow. Teaching tends to put people into self-one. They start to emulate the teacher and they “try” and trying cripples people. Operating from Self Two comes self-reliance and autonomy.
Timothy Gallwey used to employ a formula which Myles calls out and explains. Performance = Potential – Interference where interference is about doubt, fear, thinking about winning or not losing instead of being present. If you can reduce the interference for people then they can perform.
How did Sir John Whitmore and Graham Alexander influence your work? These two gentlemen had the rights to the Inner Game in Europe. Myles joined them as they both moved into the world of Coaching in Business.
What made the work of Sir John Whitmore so impactful in the World of Business? Time & Place provided a rich landscape from which John’s work took hold. There was an openness in the mid 80s to alternatives. Sir John Whitmore was the first person to write a book on Coaching devoid of content such as tennis for example. His book was very simple and very readable. Sir John Whitmore was a man of humility and that meant his ego did not get in the way in his communication with others.
Myles does not subscribe to the Leader as Hero model. He shares his work with the English Rugby team and their
Activating the Who of You to Thrive with Alan McFarlane
Introduction: Alan McFarlane is a Scotsman now living in Barcelona. A native of Paisley, near Glasgow, he studied law in Edinburgh before becoming a commercial litigation partner of a Top-10 Scottish law firm. His interest in business development took him in 1991 to Barcelona where he gained his bi-lingual MBA from IESE Business School before embarking on a long, global multinational career which saw him lead the design and implementation of major strategic initiatives, living and working around the world in places like France, Brazil (where he served on the Latam regional exec.) and Hungary. Alan is a published author of two books, a book on Egypt post-revolution and the seven moments of coaching published by IESE. Alan collaborates with IESE, Timoney Leadership Institute in Ireland and Human Content, the cutting edge of understanding personality in the workplace. This is the focus of our conversation today.
Podcast episode Summary: Human Content is at the cutting edge of understanding personality in the workplace. Alan McFarlane works with Human Content and over the course of our conversation across this podcast he brings to life the potential, the human potential, housed in this body of work, a potential that often goes untapped. Alan illuminates what the instrument, B5+ aims to measure, why it is different from other more commonly known instruments and what can be achieved when this human potential is activated.
Points made throughout the Episode:
The fundamental drivers for Alan include Freedom & exploration for creativity.
As part of his journey into this work Alan shares a story from his past. As a then 16 year old in Paisley Grammar School, Alan won a competition, having come from “the back of the field”, for writing, The Reed Prize for English.
Alan explains that because there was a large element of creative writing in the challenge he won over the more scholarly classmates.
It was well known at the time that Alan was going to study law but after winning this prize no one reflected or guided Alan differently.
Studying Law in Edinburgh University proved to be a complete mismatch. He shares that by his second year of study he was down or depressed and the saving grace for him was a membership to the film society at University. This membership allowed him to consume 8/9 films a week and that was his creative escape.
He graduated after 5 years and went on to pursue his apprenticeship and again there was no guidance or self-reflection to wonder if that was the right thing to do.
Another “saving grace” for Alan, in an ill-fitting career, proved to be his involvement with the marketing committee at his then law firm. KPMG were brought in to help the firm with a reorganisation and strategy and they challenged Alan on his personal goals and he realised he did not want to be a practicing lawyer anymore.
That decision back in 1991,took Alan to Spain where he applied to IESE Business school to undertake an MBA- his best subjects proving to be organisational behaviour, Leadership Communication and Business Strategy. Alan self-confesses to have been blind to the activation in him by of his strength in these subjects and joined an Insurance Company in Spain after his MBA.
Alan is not ordered structured or planful notwithstanding the career choices he made in his career
Tomas Lovenskiold, the CEO of Human Content advised Alan to leave his employ when his role was being redirected. He told him to “get out” take the check this is not you. Despite this advice Alan stayed.
A terminal disease for Alan’s father in law proved to be the lucky break Alan needed. The silver lining from this episode in Alan’s life proved to be liberation. Alan used the back In Scotland to write his first book and to get in touch with his fundamental drivers.
Various collaborations later and a meeting with bureau chief of Africa, based in Cairo, of the NYT, Declan
What Bothers Us about Supervision with Tracy Bertran, Michele White, Traci Manalani, Larissa Thurlow
Introduction: Tracy Bertran, Michele White, Traci Manalini and Larissa Thurlow are all executive coaches, team coaches, individual and group supervisors offering diverse and extensive experience in the fields of learning and adult development.
Podcast episode Summary: This podcast discusses the often-misunderstood topic of Supervision, how it serves coaches and team coaches and how it is distinctive from Mentoring and Therapy. To fully appreciate the value of Supervision in the field of professional coaching this episode explores the evocative question: what bothers us about Supervision.
Points made throughout the Episode:
Tracy Bertran PCC, kicked this conversation off by sharing how she came to Supervision. It was an integral part of her Coach Training. She confesses that supervision and its value went off her radar once she finished her Coach training. Larissa Thurlow came to supervision slightly later in her professional career. Larissa was doing lots of training & exposure to team coaching and felt something was missing. She learnt about Supervision, still was not completely sure what she was getting into and then found its value.
Traci Manalini picks up the thread about not really know what you are going into by virtue of Supervision and shares that a colleague found that Supervision made him better as a Coach. Intrigued Traci explored more and found many to be of the same opinion. Supervision supports you to become a better Coach. For Michele White Supervision brings her back to herself and who she wants to be as a Coach. Like Tracy Bertran, Michele came back to supervision after a while and trained to become a trained Supervisor mainly because she wanted to become a better reflective Coach and from there her supervision practice grew.
In addition to becoming a better reflective Coach, Supervision offers more. It provides illumination that extends to the whole of the system. Supervision helps to normalise our practice. It helps to see better and see again.
The title of this podcast is called what bothers us about Supervision and Traci Manalini shares that what bothers her is that people really do not understand what Supervision is as an offering. The word itself, Supervision, has so many preconceptions about what it is. Often people assume it has something to do with a power dynamic, where the Supervisor is “overseeing” someone’s work. This puts an extra emphasise on education to support people unlearn their perceptions about what it is. It ends up that people do not understand what Supervision is and the close their minds to the possibilities it affords.
Tracy Bertran adds that what bothers her is the confusion between Supervision and Mentoring. Some treat the two modalities as interchangeable as if the names are simply semantic preferences. In addition to this confusion what bothers Tracy is the amount of supervision being undertaken by Coaches. Only about 50% are actively engaged in the practice of regular supervision. Professional Rigour is at question.
It makes Tracy sad given the fact that there is so much to be gained by undertaking Supervision. The opportunity to look at behaviours, thoughts feelings, patterns, systems etc is provided. Supervision allow coaches to build mastery as opposed to the acquisition of new knowledge. Supervision can be transformational.
Michele White builds on the feelings of sadness by sharing that she feels sad because Individual or Team Coaches do not experience the joy of Supervision & the depth of Supervision. She queries the ethical nature of the Coaching Profession if supervision is absent. This asks the question about the responsibility of the Professional Bodies to make supervision mandatory. It would appear they are tentative, not mandating supervision or enough supervision. Larissa Thurlow adds that there is an inconsistency at play if we as coaches are asking our clients to be vulnerable and yet we are not doing the
Quiet Quitting with Agnieszka Wolinska
Introduction: Agnieszka Wolinska-Skuza is CEO of MasConsulting. She is an experienced strategic consultant with a background in top management consulting in Corporations. Agnieszka from the Warsaw School of Economics & gained her PhD in Economics from the University of Westminster in London, Trinity College London. Agnieszka is the author of the book The ART of Changing Your Mindset. Agnieszka recently moved to Barcelona where she lives with her husband and two children.
Podcast episode Summary: This podcast discusses the important topic of Quiet Quitting, a phenomenon that is not new but has gained increasing interest and concern post the Pandemic. Agnieszka shares how pervasive Quiet Quitting is and what Leaders need to become to address this pernicious concern and to focus decisively on people. Much has to do with Mindset, the mindset around leadership, growth supporting a robust culture and responsibility.
Points made throughout the Episode:
Agnieszka entered came into this field by observing organisations in the process of change using her background in business consulting. She observed a lot of issues with Productivity, Retention and Mental Health issues post-Pandemic including of course geo-political and social crisis & high inflation together having a profound impact on workforce strategy
Quiet Quitting is a complex topic that Agnieszka has been investigating for a long time. It is not a new phenomenon but before it did not get the attention it is receiving today.
Quiet quitting presents in different ways making it complex to observe and detect. It impacts many elements of the business including a powerful retention strategy.
Quiet Quitting can be defined as a phenomenon where you can observe that people are disengaged at work, where people are losing motivation, losing focus, uneven participation by withholding and detaching psychologically from the job. Employees can refuse more tasks & question why it is important to work hard.
Quiet Quitting can be simply described as a change in Engagement
The critical characteristics of high performing Leaders & their teams and how much mindset influences how they are managed. Mindset is critical for Leaders and in particular having a Growth Mindset.
A Growth Mindset predisposes leaders to create a healthy culture of accountability, that drives business growth. Leaders with a Growth Mindset see opportunities within their teams, they look for possibility, they don’t hide believing all efforts have been wasted and they do not blame others.
Leaders who lead with a Growth Mindset make every effort to accelerate their teams growth even in times of crisis.
So leading with a Growth Mindset is critical if you chose to create a team that is pro-active, creative and solution focused.
Exceptional Leaders know & appreciate they have to consciously grow their skills and the skills of their teams. Strong passion, energy and a vision for growth inspires others to be part of business growth and success.
To adopt a Growth Mindset you have to interrogate your beliefs, thoughts and feelings and in order to assume a growth mindset you have to believe in the possibility for growth, to look opportunistically and to be focused energetically. You won’t be minded to blame the situation but be oriented to search for solutions.
You can always find a way forward if you look for possibility and solutions. If you have a fixed mindset the likelihood is that you will give up and retreat, you will always blame the situation and people and you will likely lose people.
Given how tired and exhausted Leaders and people are after the pandemic the question becomes one of asking how to try to do more with a more positive energy.
People are valuing their time differently and so if they observe that their leaders are not behaving positively they will put distance between them and what they esteem to be toxic leadership.
Teamness at the Top with Prof. Anneloes Raes
Introduction: Anneloes Raes is Professor in the Department of Managing People in Organisations and holder of the PUIG Chair of Global Leadership Development as IESE. She holds a PhD in Organisational Behaviour from Maastricht University and an MA in Psychology at the Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands. Anneloes’s research has been published in academic journals such as the Academy of Management Review, The Journal of Applied Psychology, Human Relations and Small Group Work. Her research has also featured in press outlets such as the Financial Times and La Vanguardia. Anneloes lives in Barcelona with her Husband and two young boys.
Podcast Episode Summary Teamness at the Top is not as prevalent as one might expect. Only 21-30% of teams across the globe can satisfy the elements that describe a real team. The world of today and tomorrow asks that organisations can solve complex and wicked problems. That becomes possible if teams are able to mine the collective wisdom of teams, collaborate and share information so the best strategic decisions can be made. Anneloes illuminates what needs to shift to make this phenomenon a reality for top teams.
Points made over the episode
Anneloes started this podcast by describing her journey into this field of work. Her interest in this field started by way of her research for her PhD at Maastricht. Her formative studies in Psychology meant she was already interested in the interpersonal dynamics between people. Very early on she got the opportunity as part of her studies to sit in on the discussions of a board. That experience shaped her thinking about top management teams. The reality of top teams making strategic decisions, sharing information together and collaborating well together is often far from what you might expect. These teams like others comprise human beings with all of their flaws and differing perspectives. Team Based Leadership at the top is as crucial as it is the requirement for effective teams across the organisation, even when often people wonder if it is feasible or possible. When we look at organisational life we appreciate that so much of its success is dependent on teams and collaboration. It is true too that we accept that we can achieve more together by way of the diversity and also the complementarity of team members, knowing that and especially where the work is too complex to do by an individual the default is team. The work at the top is particularly complex with a high volume of task and uncertainty. It is almost hard to understand that top teams would not work as a team. We expect our leaders to be role models and we expect everyone in the organisation to be team players, how is it then that a top team can get away with not being a team? Real opportunity for the top team to exemplify real team work, given the need to solve complex problems and model behaviour for the rest of the organisation. Why then does it not prevail? There are many different versions of team work that top teams aspire or desire. It is not as binary as either or dilemma. There are degrees of teamness. There is also the real possibility that members of the team have very different perspectives of the order of teamwork required. Anneloes work takes an evidence based approach. In her research she found 3 significant reasons why a Top Team might choose better teamness
Strategic Decision Making at the Top; The Executive take better decisions by combining more and diverse perspectives. It is important to have a good process in place to combine these perspectives. Organisation Stability & Executive Sustainability -Being at the top of an organisation is a very demanding job. Operating in a truly functioning team can provide a lot of support. We say for a reason “its lonely at the top” sharing the load of responsibility and creating a system of social support can mitigate this felt loneliness. It also makes sense
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