Field Notes

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

Tom Fishburne - Agile

How to become an Agile Organisation in 2021

Twenty years ago, 17 software engineers went on a skiing holiday. When they weren’t on the slopes, they shared their frustrations about the way software was being developed at the time. To address these, they came up with a Manifesto for Agile Software Development for faster delivery, greater responsiveness and to continually meet customer requirements. Agile Development is now in widespread use and the principles have been adopted to transform the wider

Medical team


Many senior teams are being restructured during the current crisis.  The stakes are high. The risks are considerable. Ensuring teams are aligned from the outset is crucial. Studies show that about 80% of aviation accidents occurred when it was the first time the crew flew together. Mistakes in operating theatres are more often made when team members have never worked together before. There is a new urgency for teams to


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