Field Notes

Insights, inspiration and ideas. Observations on real-life challenges that our clients are facing and practical strategies to address them.


THE BEHAVIOURS THAT LEADERS MUST EXHIBIT TO AVOID EXTINCTION Everyone agrees that leaders today need to embody vision, energy, authority, and strategic direction. But truly inspirational leaders possess something more – in fact, four distinct qualities. They are able to: Balance sensing with transmitting. They don’t just transmit messages regardless of the context or the climatic conditions. They sniff the air and sense what is going on in their teams

How to stick with a new habit

People have trouble making lasting changes. Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit talks about the importance of developing new habits. Much of the advice offered recommends that we change who we are in the process. But what we need is to understand the science behind lasting change and then create a process that fits who you are. With regard to the science, Sean Young in his excellent book, “Stick with

How to tap into human instincts to build engagement

Our amazing brains do more than think. They have additional activities running constantly in the background, just as they have done for thousands of years to keep us alive in times of extreme danger. Most of us don’t have to worry about predators lurking behind rocks anymore. Instead we can use that hidden brain activity to help build relationships and influence others: customers, colleagues, stakeholders, friends and of course family.

How great leaders use communication as an agent of change

Highlights for Leaders by Olwyn Merritt Change is both scary and exhilarating in equal part. Many of the leaders who I coach are experiencing significant change in their organisations. They often are very clear about their goals in transforming their organisations, but they can face challenges in their communications to those they have to lead or influence in these testing times. Nancy Duarte’s excellent book “Illuminate” offers some great examples

How to create an early-warning system for your business

The quarter-end scenario It is the end of the financial quarter. Sales orders are below target and the sales team is rushing around trying to close as many orders as possible. The development director has just told you that the release date for your new product will have to slip by two months because the coding took longer than expected. Problems with one major project resulted in the professional services

5 Steps to Ensure Your Training Investment Leads to Results

……. “We spend money on training but we don’t see any result – is it worth it?” This is a common reaction at senior level, particularly in times of uncertainty where every discretionary spend is under scrutiny. My response is: make it worth it. The purpose of training is to change something – increase knowledge, improve skills or change behaviour. There is no point in training without paying close attention

Group of people

How to influence without authority

We often find ourselves working in matrix environments, working in virtual teams or simply trying to get something done by someone in another part of the business. This common aspect of our working lives has a common challenge: how to influence other people to help us or do something for us, when they don’t report to us. Pulling rank or bullying might work once, but we need to build a

Pig Farmer

How to choose measures that work

Weighing the pig Once upon a time, a group of simple villagers were facing rising meat prices. They decided to buy a piglet, fatten it up and share out the meat between them. They went off to a farmer to buy a piglet. “Here’s a great little pig,” said the farmer. “You weigh him regularly and you’ll see how fast he grows.” So the villagers took the pig home, and

How to transform your team’s performance and engagement using game psychology

Anyone who plays popular computer games or has children that do, will confirm that they can be highly engaging to the point of being addictive – particularly the massively multiplayer online (MMO) games. If people can be so engaged with gaming, why can’t they be as engaged in the workplace? A simple analysis of game psychology shows that there are a number of concepts that can be adopted very easily.

Gerald Rosen

How to deliver complex messages – successfully!

I am sure we have all done it – you have a great idea, an important message or a brilliant product and you explain it to your audience of colleagues, team or customers. But they don’t get it! How can this be? Surely they could see how compelling this is. But they couldn’t. Many of us fall into the trap of being so enthused about our message that we go