Blog

This is a showcase for my work and a place for learning.

Housing Scotland 2018 presentation and reflections

So I was asked to speak at the Housing Scotland 2018 Conference on reaching out to people to get them involved in the use of digital pieces of kit. This followed work I’ve done in Haddington on getting funding for a literacy expert to spend time in our housing offices, being there for people to…
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Don’t second-guess

So I recently managed to spend some time catching up on leadership skills.  This post summarises some of the zingers which have stayed with me. Life is 10% what happens and 90% how you respond to it. Work is a negotiation.  Someone wants you to do something – make a counter offer with a smile.…
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Don’t be a mum or dad

You might be a mum or dad at home but you shouldn’t be forced to play that role at work.  But we all get comfortable with certain roles – and sometimes the people you work with like playing the teenage child who will just sit back in project meetings and let mum and dad get…
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It’s ok to zone out

I recently went on a leadership course with some insightful and astute individuals, including a chap called Robin Yourston.  Robin is a career engineer who came out of the IBM culture and has been stretching himself through research into neuroscience and I was fortunate enough to be challenged by him. Robin had a really good…
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The godfather of Change programmes

John Kotter is the undoubted star of the change literature.  Kotter put forward 8 key points in achieving  lasting change.  In my experience, he’s spot on. The Eight You need a sense of urgency.  Also known as “never waste a good crisis”.  Or you can expect references to “burning platforms” from people trying to ramp…
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Difficult conversations

We all have to have difficult conversations.   Being a particular personality type, I used to be frustrated when working with colleagues with differing personality traits, because I could never understand why they just didn’t get it – why they needed thinking time when the case, or project, caught my imagination with the first glimmerings…
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Building trust

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about trust recently.  I’m asking a group of people who don’t know me to accept my leadership when they don’t have to.  So how am I going to manage that? Here’s what the literature says I should do. Avoid promises, but if you say you’ll do something, you…
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Why do we want things to stay the same

We’re hardwired to resist change.  We like where we are right now (even if that’s not a good place – it’s ours).  I’ve been doing a lot of reading and reflecting recently on why change is hard, and what best practice might look like.    That’s led to me to eight reasons why people fight…
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Decision-making – we irrational creatures

Way back in the dim and distant days of the late 1980’s, I had my first taste of economic theory.  The study of how society reconciles unlimited wants with limited resources, I seem to recall.  It was based on the concept that people behaved rationally, that choices were made in a sober fashion and that…
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