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Talent Dynamics RSS Feed Blog Category: Developing Trust and Flow

Getting Projects into Flow


By Neville Pritchard 

So many projects fail to meet initial budgets and/or timelines. Why? When working with the underlying principles of the Talent Dynamics profile relating to I Ching it is so clear that any great project or organization strategy needs to follow the natural flow of the seasons, natural energies and relate to the positive cycle of default question.

So, what are these links and how do they apply in a project context?

‘When you’re surrounded by people who share a passionate commitment around a common purpose, anything is possible.’ – Howard Schultz

This approach relies on digging deeply at each stage. There is potential impatience in following taking time to fully consider each step before reaching ‘how’ – however, the stress caused when projects have to be pulled out of disaster or at least re-worked to incorporate more realistic timing and detail can be avoided by spending the time at this early stage.

Positive Flow

Think from NHS technology to those projects within your own organizations.  In researching a number of high profile and also smaller organization projects we have realized that whenever implementation has more closely followed the ‘positive flow’ we see high percentages of success.

The danger and where we have seen the lowest levels of success has been when either the Why has not been fully defined and when the planning has jumped from What to How. These are common issues yet a large percentage of these errors are made at the most senior levels. Often in the belief that key to speed is the ability to move thinking from what to how and an assumption that the why is obvious. Neither of these considerations are logical. When fully explored and the evidence of major project failings is so overwhelming it is time to stop the assumptions.

Stress, Timelines and Budgets

Think about the people you sit near on trains having fits of stress from phone calls about their timelines and budgets. The person I sat near last week was in deep do dah!

On listening (it was hard not to!) it was clear that so many of the ‘who’ questions had not been considered that he was now being blitzed by a range of people that he had never heard of now sending him irate e-mails. This he was passing onto a colleague to investigate and all of the action and task considerations would now need revisiting. Unfortunately this is a familiar tale.

Positive Depth

Essentially, once the ‘Why’ has been agreed at senior level and the ‘what’ defined then it is the time to pass the ‘thinking’ on the project over to a core set of project specialists and facilitators with the skills to ensure the positive flow and depth is completed.  The added value from executives can then be brought to consider a fully developed approach rather than ‘solutioneer’ a less developed frame. Time of all is better utilized.

This is not easy to achieve though; the need for trust is key. When in place though the enhanced impact on internal trust, of workflow and on people costs and people value contribution are likely to be significant and the real value of each level of contribution is focused to greater impact.

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How Sustainable is Your Team’s Energy?

wind turbine

The environment and sustainable energy has been a core feature in news for several decades now.  We are all aware that fossil fuels are a finite resource and to safely secure our future alternate, renewable energy is a must have.

Big Issue, Small Application

Yet how often do we think about our team’s energy?  We all know the feeling of being supercharged with energy and we also know the feeling of being flat.  Where is the source of this energy and how can it be made sustainable?  This blog was spurred by the following conversation overheard between two employees (paraphrased for space):

“Employee 1: I’m not having fun in work any more.  It’s just a real grind now”

“Employee 2: Well work isn’t supposed to be fun is it?  Otherwise it wouldn’t be called work”

Both employees are clearly verbalising a feeling of low energy.  Work not being fun any more.  A real grind.  One employee is clearly suffering because of it, the other seems to have come to terms with the fact that the work they do isn’t fun.

Can Work = Fun?

Employee 2′s point of view is quite common, even if it isn’t verbalised.  Fun and work are mutually exclusive.  You can’t be working and have fun, you can’t have fun if you’re working.

Without going into the detail around what counts as “work” and what counts as “fun”, the principles of Talent Dynamics would disagree with this view.  If you are doing an activity or task that you are good at, you enjoy or are trusted in, chances are you are going to feel supercharged, a state referred to as flow.  If you are in flow you will be having fun (that is not to say there won’t be pressure, that’s a different thing).

And this is the key to understanding how to ensure your team’s energy is supercharged and sustainable.  Ensure that the activities and tasks are given to the right people.  Not necessarily with the skills and experience but the ones who will enjoy it the most.  They will be super productive (even over the ones with skills and experience) and they will enjoy what they are doing.  Enthusiasm will be high and people will have more energy.

Employee 1 sounds like they used to be given the tasks and responsibilities they enjoyed but perhaps because they were so good at it, they have been promoted, moving them out of where they are trusted and away from where they found their flow.

Employee 2 sounds like they have never been given tasks they enjoyed so never experienced flow (and likely not have a high level of trust).  They have come to terms with this fact by switching off and disengaging.  They are in it for the money, not for the pleasure of a job well done or for helping their team achieve success.

Which employee would you want in your team?  How sustainable is your team?  Have you asked which tasks your team would enjoy doing?

Featured image used with thanks to Paco Cepas

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The Launch of the Australian Trust Awards 2015

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I’m thrilled to announce the launch of the Talent Dynamics “Australian Trust Awards 2015”  The first awards of their kind anywhere in the world!

These awards are a celebration of the most trusted, respected and loved businesses in Australia and it’s going to be an absolute pleasure to shine a light on them for the world to see.

I’ve arrived in Sunny Australia and I’ll be here until the end of March to launch the awards personally.

To truly showcase the most trusted businesses in the country, we’re calling upon the general public – the fans, customers and staff members of all Australian businesses to cast their vote.

But we would be honoured if you could get the ball rolling for us.  I’d like to ask you to nominate the businesses in Australia that you think deserve to make the finals of the Australian Trust Awards 2015.

There are 10 categories to choose from including, ‘Most Trusted Business Leader’, ‘Most Trusted Small Business’ and ‘Most Trusted Online Business’. You can nominate as many businesses in as many categories as you please.

Once nominated, we’ll get in touch with them directly to let them know the good news and help them create a profile where people can vote for them to make our final shortlist.

Trust between a customer and a business is the most precious transaction of all. Tell us the companies leading by example and we can put them on a platform for others to follow in The Trust Movement.

And for every nomination that gets made to the Australian Trust Awards, we will be giving one months supply of lifesaving water to a family in need, through our partnership with the Global Giving Initiative B1G1 Business for Good.

If you want to stay up to date, join the Trust Awards on Facebook and Twitter.  Thank you so much for being part of The Trust Movement!


P.S. If you would like to become an Australian Trust Awards Partner or Sponsor and see your business named alongside Australia’s most trusted organisations, along with some very cool and out of the box benefits, please drop me an email at

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DT’s Tower: Handwriting, Star Wars and How to Play Nice


I found this video during my travels across the internet and it got me thinking (always dangerous).  Graphology is currently considered a ‘pseudoscience’, that is something that purports to be scientific but actually has little proven scientific research behind it.

And yet the idea of graphology has made its way into popular culture with everything from Sherlock to CSI: Crime Scene Investigation at one time or another using graphology to get an insight into the personality of a suspect.  The idea that ‘who we are’ can be analysed is a powerful one.

But Why?

One of the things that everyone struggles with at some point is knowing who they are. There is no objective standard to use.  As individuals our point of view is heavily biased, sometimes towards the positive or sometimes to the negative.  We ask those who know us well their opinion but again, there is the danger of a hidden agenda.  Either people will focus on positives to spare our feelings, or sometimes might focus on negatives to score points.

There is little point asking people who don’t know us… as they don’t know us :D

So we turn to analysis of the effects of our personality.  The individuals that we are leave impressions on the environment around us, the people we interact with, the choices we make… perhaps even our handwriting?  Our impressions on a page.

If we can understand ourselves, we can accurately assess our strengths and compensate for those things that challenge us so we can improve and develop.

‘Know Thyself’

Very noble.  However, our own brains get in the way of making full use of this knowledge. We instinctually need to classify and categorise. This is why in psychology there is an important difference between personality types and personality traits.

Types categorise.  People are either/or.  So someone is either introverted or extroverted.  Traits acknowledge a sliding scale.  People can be place on a line between ‘fully introverted’ to ‘fully extroverted’.  Because of problems with consistency and how people answer psychometric tests, personality type theories have fallen out of favour in psychology (just for your information, MBTI is a ‘type’ instrument).

There is another issue with this objective analysis.  Ironically, we can struggle to come to terms with the idea that something other than ourselves can tell us who we are.  We resist the categorisation of any instrument even if it is a ‘trait’ instrument ESPECIALLY if it goes against our own self image.

For example, on the Buzzfeed personality tests of Facebook I keep getting R2 D2 when I am CLEARLY Han Solo!

The other thing to bear in mind (and I fall into this trap myself) is we look for how the objective test can be wrong, even in the most minute detail… like when I come out as something else other than Han Solo ;)

On a Sliding Scale

Although the Talent Dynamics test has 8 personality profiles, it isn’t a ‘type instrument’. These are simply handy, easy to remember reference points.  Behind the types is a mix of 4 energies (traits) that scales from 0 – 100%.  It is the mix of these traits which can be used to objectively ask questions of yourself and allow focused development with an understanding of strengths and challenges.

But none of us are an island and the final issue with psychometric testing is the isolation that many tests engender.  It is focused on you.  One of the most valuable things you can take from a psychometric test is how you relate to others.  Even Carl Jung, pioneer of “Psychological Types”, came up with the concept in an attempt to reconcile his own perspective with those of Freud and Adler, whose relationship had grown… ‘tense’ due to differing perspectives.  In effect, the start of psychometric testing was to learn how everyone could ‘play nice’ (dazzling use of technical jargon there, DT) despite the tensions of extroversion, introversion, intuition or sensation.

“In attempting to answer this question, I came across the problem of types; for it is one’s psychological type which from the outset determines and limits a person’s judgement.” ~ Carl Jung

Ultimately, all the self-knowledge in the world will be largely useless if we don’t understand how we can use that knowledge of ourselves to improve our personal and professional relationships.

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A Profiling Workshop – Sysmex Middle East’s Story


Saad Kayali, the Managing Director of Sysmex Middle East, a subsidiary of Sysmex Europe GmbH, had his Talent Dynamics profile done and liked the results so much he asked Susan Castle, Performance Coach & Flow Consultant, to do the same for the entire top level of his company!

There were six managers at this level:

  1. the Managing Director,
  2. the Marketing Director,
  3. the Logistics Director,
  4. the HR Director,
  5. the Sales Director
  6. the Operations Director.

As global leaders in vitro diagnostics and automation services, the managers seemed to have no immediate issues. All communicated well with each other and as a team were seamless.

Uncovering Issues

The issue was they tended to focus on areas they knew they were brilliant at – for example the conception of ideas, but they had blind spots in other areas, i.e. putting things into action.

On completion of their individual Talent Dynamics profiles the explanation became obvious.

Out of the six people on the team, four were Mechanics including Saad, one was a Lord and the other was a Creator profile.

This lack of Blaze and Tempo energy explained why they were good at brainstorming, but not so strong at following through. They were very tunnel focussed and tended not to go for bigger targets those with a more Blaze energy would instinctively do.

Talent Dynamics Workshop

Saad then asked Susan to run a leadership development training session to decide what changes, if any, needed to be made to their management set-up.

“I wanted the Heads of Departments to understand their own profiles, master their own talents as well as ensure that these talents are put into good use for the team and the company. Having a team that is well-honed and performing at their best can only be good for business.”

During the workshop they looked at what was stopping them from setting bolder financial targets. Was it a Dynamo, Tempo, Blaze or Steel problem? The managers ended up with about 30 or 40 different things blocking them.

After narrowing down these blocks further, the underlying core issue became apparent:

the truth was there was no one in that room with the specific kind of business power or ability to deal with Blaze or Tempo challenges.

What Kind of Energy Are You Missing From Your Team?

Each of the directors left the workshop motivated and full of clarity. They had a deeper understanding of what was stopping them from achieving higher targets and more importantly, who to go to in order to solve any issues and help achieve these new goals.

Susan says, “Sysmex found, through the test, that the management roles fitted them quite well but the workshop helped them to leverage these strengths by highlighting them and showing them how they could be leveraged to improve team communication and performance while reducing stress.”

Saad is now planning another workshop for the next level of management in the Sysmex team and we’ll keep you posted on how much of a difference this one also makes!

 “I think Talent Dynamics is a great opportunity to maximize the harmony within the team, to get the needed group mindset and perspectives of “what else we can do”; and thus develop a healthy change culture, opting always to challenge our own achievements and parameters to yield further milestones in the journey of success.”  - – Saad Kayali, Managing Director of Sysmex Middle East

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Transforming Teen Talent Through Trust! Talent Dynamics for Young People


By Teejay Dowe - Talent Dynamics for Young People

It was astounding and inspiring to see so many business people who attended this year’s Trust Conference attend a break out session about ‘Transforming Teen Talent Through Trust’.

Perhaps it’s because so many businesses find it perplexing to employ young people, or they have hired young people and been disappointed, or struggled to trust young people to do a good job or even the right job.

As we all know the cost of poor employment decisions is massive both in terms of finances and morale.  Businesses have lost trust in a young work force.

A Challenge of Self Trust

The biggest challenge that young people face today is that they have low self-confidence and cannot see their worth to an employer or, they have so many options and opportunities that they have no clear vision and are confused about the jobs or careers that would suit them best.

The “hidden talent” remains hidden because our young people are never taught what their natural gifts and talents are and why they are so crucial to a fulfilled life.

They are often made wrong for spending time on what they love to do and told they must spend more time on what they find difficult and whilst this is valuable to a certain degree it becomes counter productive as their confidence takes a huge knock, they question their self-worth and they struggle to know who they are and what direction they should take.

And so, their talent stays hidden from the young people themselves and their prospective employers.  Ask them what they want to do, what job would they love to do they’re like…

“I dunno!”

And we continue to judge ability purely on academic achievements, force young people to stay in education till at least 18 to get more qualifications. Some still have no clue what they want to do and continue to university, sent off by proud parents wanting the best for them, dreaming of how proud they’ll be when their son/daughter graduates.

That young person is also dreaming of what it will be like when they graduate, and then they graduate and the reality most often is £55k debt, still not sure what they want to do  and few jobs to go to anyway.

Young people have lost their trust in academia, adults, employers and their ability to get work.

A Loss of Trust

A poll for LinkedIn questioned 200 Graduates questioned about their experiences after university and discovered that:

65% of graduates are not prepared for the world of work, March 2014

635 senior managers and 52% employers said ‘none’ or ‘few’ graduate recruits were prepared for the working world when starting their first job, YouGov Survey, September 2013

When Trust has been lost on both sides we need to address it on both sides and Talent Dynamics for Young People is a vehicle that does just that.

It starts with stopping! Let’s stop criticising our young people for not being ready for work when actually we never taught them those skills. Let’s start taking collaborative action to ensure young people learn about their strengths and talents, where they will shine as an individual, where they best contribute to a team, who they are as a leader, how to communicate more effectively with themselves and others.

And, start with businesses recruiting young people for their natural energy and talent rather than recruiting for the elusive all-rounders. We are bringing together young people, teachers, parents, apprenticeship providers and businesses  to better work together and understand each other through Talent Dynamics for Young People to build a trusted way forward for tomorrows employees, employers, business leaders,  and entrepreneurs.

It started with me and it continues through YOU!

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Osmaan’s Observations: Are You Admiring the Wrong People?

Admiring Wrong People

By Osmaan Sharif – Rapid Transformation

Do you ever look at other people and think, ‘gosh I wish I was more like them!’, as they seem to have their ‘stuff’ together and are getting amazing results?

Then you start believing, that if only you could think and act like them, then you’d also have similar successes?

So you start ‘modelling’ them but it just doesn’t feel right – (like it would if you were squeezing yourself into someone else’s underwear (yuck!).

Then you start to saying not so nice things to yourself & putting yourself down, because surely it’s down to YOU and how you’re not as good as them – so why even bother?

Sound familiar to you? 

Well, here’s the thing …. maybe it’s because you’re admiring the wrong type of person for you?

I’m a firm believer that we can learn from other people around us – whether that’s famous folks; colleagues; managers; leaders or even our close relations – but you’ve got to be super choosey when it comes to it!

Its important knowing what your talents are.  Because it means that you can do more of what you’re good at & enjoy – BINGO!  

Sounds simple doesn’t it, but really how much time do you actually spend at ‘work’ doing the things that float your boat?

Talent Dynamics Profiles

From the world of Talent Dynamics, which I share with my clients – it quickly shows how there are 8 different ‘types’ of people – who each bring different things to the party (a.k.a. your business or team).  Each with their unique ways of thinking; communicating; feeling and doing things.  The cool thing is that each of the 8 different profiles are needed to makes the world function and go around.

But here’s the thing … each of the 8 types of people ‘see’ things differently from one another!

It’s all well and good modelling those who are some steps ahead of you in your business or career – or have a particular skills that would be really useful for you …. BUT ONLY IF THEY ARE THE SAME TYPE OF PERSON AS YOU (sorry for shouting but that’s super important!)

Let me put it another way – if you were in a 8 piece band and you played the guitar … but wanted to up your game.  Then go and learn from another guitar player who’s in a band – rather than the drummer!

Follow Your Flow

“Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses.  Follow your flow.” – Roger James Hamilton

For example, in my case, I’m a Trader profile in Talent Dynamics – which is the complete opposite from a Creator profile.  That means that even though I think the late Steve Jobs was super cool because he came up with amazing new innovative ideas, because he’s a Creator – even if I was to put some of his best strategies in place – for me they just wouldn’t connect as well as they would for other Creators out there.

Instead though, if I focused upon some of the things other Traders do, like Sir Alan Sugar, then that would help me to grow, develop & continue to get even better results.

I’m not saying that the other 7 profiles aren’t relevant to you (or me) in our ‘work’ but there may be other people out there in your team (or associates), who you could enlist to help with those parts.

That way they’ll be getting to play the ‘instrument’ that they’re a master of and you get to play your ‘instrument’ and you can make sweet music together (… I think I’ve been listening to far too much music while typing this …)

So enjoy getting to know YOU even more & then choosing more people who are like YOU to admire & learn from – as this is key for you to both LOVE what you do & get amazing results in your working life.

I look forward to sharing even more with you next time and until then bye for now.

This blog was originally posted on Os’ own site Rapid Transformation

Cover Photo: Courtesy of Clelia Serpico

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Whats new


So this month I got to hang out with one of my all time hero’s… Humanitarian Sir Bob Geldof, was the keynote speaker at our Trust Conference on September 11th in London. During his keynote, you could of literally heard a pin drop! It was spell binding. From how he built Trust in the 90′s through to Live Aid and on to the modern world, with the social and economic importance of Trust.

If you didn’t make it to the conference, either online or in person, for a limited time only and only for the first 50 people who register to download here, we have a special offer to access all of the keynote recordings from the day reduced from £149 to just £29 but this will only be for the first 50 to register.

Click here to access a full set of keynote recordings from the Trust Conference for just £29


Have a great month ahead


PS. If you are a leader of The Trust Movement, why not apply for the Top Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Awards 2014! These awards are run by our good friends at Trust Across America.

Click here to nominate someone you feel should be recognised for one of these awards.

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DT’s Tower: Applying Trust

Trust Conf

Well, it came and it went.  The Trust Conference.  As it did last year.  And although it is now disappearing on the horizon of a new month something, once again, stuck with me.

Actually 2 things stuck with me.  I’m going to be using myself as an example of how I myself have applied trust.

1. Trust starts with yourself

One theme that ran through each of the speakers presentations was that trust needs to start with you.  As a person.  How can others trust you if you are a bit shaky on what you trust yourself with?

So how do you work out where you are most trusted? As I see it, it comes in two strands.  Self-reflection and opening yourself up to others.  The first part, self-reflection can be a little tricky as we can all rationalise away problems and build ourselves up.  This is where a profile test can come in.  It can objectively assess where your personality provides strengths and challenges.

I am a Lord profile.  The strengths of my personality are in details and certainty (and personally in a general pleasure in spreadsheets and flowcharts).  I am challenged when I have to deal with people and variety (not a natural multi-tasker by any means).  This means that on paper I can be trusted with spotting errors and asking awkward questions that bring things into focus.  I can lose trust quickly if I am always in front of people and dealing with too many things at once.

The second part is even trickier as our defences go up when we ask the opinion of others.  The phrase “Yes, but…” can sometimes be heard.  I find concentrating on understanding the points and applying them to yourself before jumping to your own defence works well.  Especially if you are asking people you trust!

Asking others confirms my profile with a few surprises.  Although I have a tendency to focus (some might say obsess) on the detail I have a reputation of getting things done.  You could say I am trusted to finish.  Despite my challenges with people, people consider me to be quite diplomatic.  I can be trusted to take on multiple points of view and deal with things fairly.  I also have a tendency of phrasing things in just the right way (all in the detail) to not put people’s noses out of joint.

2. Trust builds when you offer it

The second point is that if you don’t offer trust, you cannot build trust.  Very often we can get stuck in a cycle of not trusting.

“I don’t trust them, so I won’t let them do something just in case they fail”

This leads to team members not being given the opportunity to do something they might excel at.  Stephen MR Covey’s point here is that you shouldn’t blindly trust everyone but that you should be smart about the trust you give.  Start with the small things (or the detail :) ) and let trust build.  If the small things are delivered and the trust is developing, go a little bigger or wider.  Get other people’s opinions as yours might be biased in some way.

We’ve recently restructured in our business and I’ve had to offer trust to others.  I have a tendency to be controlling so this has been hard for me.

I didn’t blindly just toss people a load of work with a half-arsed ‘I trust you’.

What I did was consider the benefits of the trust I was offering:

  1. Allowing me to focus more on the things that needed to be done.
  2. Providing others with opportunities to develop.
  3. Attempting to align what needed to be done with what has been done in the past or my view point on which responsibilities people might thrive with.
  4. Getting the view point of others.
  5. Understanding that with trust comes a responsibility to support.

My understanding of my own area of trust (my profile and the opinion of others) and the understanding of where I already trust people has been a great help.

I can easily provide a structure to allow people space to use their own initiative but also provide them boundaries which they can understand and help them to focus.  I can help people with problems or issues that they are struggling with by providing an objective viewpoint that weighs the pros and cons (possibly on a flowchart!).

This is how I am starting to apply trust after this year’s Trust Conference.  The interesting thing to note is that the above two points were already under way before the Conference but by examining actions and outcomes through the lens of trust I am able to not only further justify the things that are working, as the trust builds, but I am also able to examine why certain things are not working and use trust to explore ways of improving results.

What did you takeaway from this year’s Trust Conference?  How are you applying them?

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Guinness World Record Business Conference!

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There’s a business conference happening in London on 17th October, run by my good friend Darshana Ubl, that I wanted to let you know about.

It’s the Entrepreneur Brand Accelerator on 17th October.  It’s a full day conference, that will show you how to grow your influence and attract more clients and we’ve partnered with them once again.

A small part of the event will see Darshana Ubl, her team at Entrevo and all participants attempt to break the …

GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for the Most People Attending a Business Speed Networking Event”.

The conference will have Dr. Vince Cable (Secretary of State, MP of Twickenham) as the guest speaker and other key industry leaders, sharing a coherent strategy that you can apply in your business. It’s a strategy that’s right for the times we’re in, capitalising on your personal and business strengths.

Please be aware that no payment is required as a condition of your participation in the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDStitle attempt. In other words, when you purchase a ticket for the Entrepreneur Brand Accelerator at the standard price, your participation in the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title-attempt is free of charge.

The Huffington Post has called this conference “the world’s leading personal brand accelerator”.

As a partner of the conference, we’ve organized a preferred pricing for you, which means that tickets start from just £19 instead of £49.

Tickets are required to attend the conference, so do book yours here >>

Exciting times being part of a Guinness World Record and we hope to see you at the event!

All the best,


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