The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence – it is to act with yesterday’s logic - Peter Drucker

The TurningTides Blog

Ideas and inspiration from Turning Tides

U Lab Scotland - Conversations and Catching the Waves

big wave

 Know that feeling of being with kindred spirits? That's how I felt yesterday.

We were in Saint Paul’s and St George's Episcopal church in Edinburgh. A magnificent venue for the first of a series of 'U Lab Scotland' preparatory events. Over 200 people attended. Some had to take seats in the balcony. Such was the interest in this event. 

U Lab is based on Theory U, an approach to change that aims to unleash the collective energy and intelligence in a group. The process encourages participants to view complex issues through a different lens and observe deeply.  After a period of deep reflection solutions emerge through a process of 'prototyping' and testing. Otto Scharmer and colleagues from MIT have been developing the approach over many years with a growing excitement worldwide.  

Change as an Emergent Property

I've had an interest in change as an 'emergent property' for a number of years. I took an 'intensive' programme similarly called 'Change Lab' run by Adam Kahane in Utrecht a few years back. The programme, based on action enquiry, followed the U process and it was truly inspiring. I still draw on the learning in my current work in helping people and organisations navigate change.

Hearing the principles of U Lab being introduced by Scottish Government officials created a frisson of excitement inside me, and I suspect in many others. It was a defining moment. And perhaps another indication of the groundswell in Scotland of people searching for something different.

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Getting people on board with change: Writing that connects

Getting people on board with change: Writing that connects
 Think of what you’ve had to read recently at work. What has created a sense of connection? What has left you cold? Connecting with people in the way we write is a leadership skill. Simple, direct, human language inspires trust and confidence in a way that the language of organisations rarely can. Engaging with staff in person at meetings and learning events is one thing. But how do you capture people’s attention if, for example, you’re leading large-scale change or quality improvement programmes where you also have to connect and engage through the written word? It’s an important question – but one that’s routinely overlooked. And the challenge grows when it comes to working with different cultures as in health and social care. Which words do you choose when people speak different professional languages? How do you find a tone of voice to inspire confidence and trust across multiple agencies? The...
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Alternative Advent in 24 Words

 

christmas tree decorations 200943

An alternative advent - 24 words for 24 days!  That was the challenge set by one of my writing buddies. Back in October I posted a blog about my creative writing for business experience with Dark Angels. I loved it and wanted to keep on cultivating my ' true voice' in a writing context. I particularly wanted to bring more of a human touch to the written word. So when Pip Trentham set the challenge I was up for it. 

Writing Short

Writing a little advent message in 24 words certainly challenged my ability to 'write short'. However, given that we live in a world of truncated electronic communications, it turned out to be a discipline well worth developing. I'm not saying we have to get our message across in 24 words all the time, but sometimes we do have to get to the point quickly or risk losing our audience.

Going for Stretch

There were no other rules as such; just write 24 words each day and share it with the others from the course. Ah, now that's where the other challenge came in.  I don't know about you fellow bloggers but it takes a bit of time to get used to exposing your inner wordage online. The words never seem quite good enough.  

My writing course buddies were all pretty accomplished writers already. In fact most of them were writers in their day jobs so I knew I was in for a 'stretch situation' when I signed up for the course. But why undertake a course if it isn't going to stretch you? That's my philosophy anyway. So, of the 24 word challenge, well lets just say that, like the lion from the Wizard of Oz, I found my courage and the s-t-r-e-t-c-h I was looking for!

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