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Case Study – HERO

Facing dramatic government cuts in spending, we might not be here today if we hadn’t discovered Talent Dynamics six months ago! That day, everything changed. We discovered how we could make our vision a reality. Not only could we sustain but we could also scale our service…. The team was inspired in a way like never before.”

Nicola Hall – Head of Enterprise Education for Blackpool

Why we were asked to work with HERO

HERO is a project funded by Blackpool Council to deliver Enterprise Education across Blackpool. It is tasked with providing young people access to skills and knowledge they would otherwise have never received. The HERO team inspire many a young person into a career in business/entrepreneurship. Its work has been incredibly well received by young people, Blackpool schools and parents alike.

The team have known for approximately 18 months that their LEGI funding (Local Enterprise Growth Initiative) was due to end in March 2011 and that they would lose their entire £300,000 a year funding for activities. This meant an end to Enterprise Education as Blackpool knew it. Throughout the last financial year the project has seen “in-year” cuts to its funding become the norm.

If the team wanted to continue, it had to find a sustainable and scalable solution that didn’t require public sector funding and fast!

What we did

The HERO team completed Step One on the Talent Dynamics Pathway – a one-day programme called Understanding Primary Purpose.

On this programme, individuals in the team received their personal Talent Dynamics Profile Reports and began to understand the best way to create value within their team and how to leverage that value with each other. They started to have some real ‘aha’ moments about why the ideas they previously had were not coming to fruition in the way they had set out in the new HERO vision.

They experienced a unique process of creating flow using the Talent Dynamics model and learnt how to immediately apply that to the ideas created that day. The programme created situations that allowed participants – both as individuals and as a team – to experience for the first time together, flow, in a very empowering way.

Whom we worked with in the Enterprise
The HERO leadership team and Schools’ HERO enterprise facilitators .

Programme timings
One day programme.

How the programme has impacted

The change in the mindset within the team was dramatic and instantaneous. Team members were open to change, much more flexible in their approach, more committed and most importantly, were having more fun!

HERO has now become a Community Interest Company. It will no longer be funded by the Government from March 2011 but be funded through its commercial activities.

Forward orders have already been placed for programmes by schools that will be run by this ‘new company’ in Blackpool and it is estimated that a revenue of £50,000 will be achieved as a minimum in the next 12 months.

As a community interest company, it can now apply for funding streams that were not ’t open to it previously. This is likely to generate a further £30,000

It is likely that the service provided to Blackpool will be leveraged next year across the whole of the UK as part of an ambitious expansion plan.

The team remains the same as before with imminent plans to be no longer employed by the public sector, but set up as a Community Interest Company The wealth of experience, credibility and the strength of relationships mean service can continue at the usual high standard.

Productivity has increased because each person is working to roles and accountabilities that keep the team in flow.

They are all particularly excited that the work they have invested their time and passion in was recognised, when the team was awarded a Prime Ministers Big Society Award (one of only a handful presented across the country!).

Read more detail about this and other case studies here.

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Michelle's January News

Happy New Year!

I love the New Year. An indication that Spring is around the corner. Its a great time for setting new Goals for the coming year.   The TD team are meeting at TDHQ on the 21st, to set some new and challenging goals for 2011 and to look at where we are in and out of flow and what needs to be done to increase the level of flow in the Company.

If you want to spend some time assessing where your team are most in or out of flow right now, and where you can make some increases to Flow, you might want to look at our January Sale  Our 2 hour taster session is significantly reduced in price for January!

We have finally made our Talent Dynamics Profile Test available on our website. As part of the January Sale, if you purchase a profile in January, you will also qualify for a free personalised telephone debrief from one of the team.

Have a fabulous month ahead!


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How you can educate a child for a month in India, through Talent Dynamics.

We are thrilled here at TDHQ to announce our new partnership with B1G1 — an extraordinary organisation that is causing change in a huge way and directly impacting thousands of lives by involving more businesses in contributing to charities and causes.

As you know, at TDHQ we believe that everyone has a fundamental right to experience flow. That’s our mission; it has been from day one and will continue to be. It’s why we do what we do! We also have a very strong connection and contribution ethic. We have always had a policy that 10% of our profits goes to the charity or cause that we support and we have done this almost ‘covertly’ in the past, because we didn’t think you needed to know about it.

Well all that changed recently when Michelle talked with Paul Dunn, Chairman of B1G1.

During that conversation we discovered that last year in the US alone, less than 4% of all contribution came from business. That’s a very low number of businesses that are making a difference back in to the communities in which they trade, so we decided it was time to ‘out’ our contributions and show it in a very transparent way through B1G1. We firmly believe that by doing this we can encourage other businesses to do something similar.

Here’s what Paul said when TD joined the B1G1 movement

“There is no doubt that ‘flow’ involves giving. Being in flow creates happiness and there’s now so much research to show that giving does precisely the same thing. So at B1G1 we’re really thrilled about this partnership with Talent Dynamics. Even more to the point, we’re thrilled that Michelle and the team really get the significance of ‘embedding’ the giving so that it becomes an effortless habit, connecting us even more to who we really are.”

What does this mean for you?

Whenever you choose to buy one of our products or services, we will make a direct contribution to one of the charities or causes in B1G1 (there are over 600 already to choose from) and we will tell you about it directly, so you will know that as well as your purchase making a difference to your team or organisation, it has made a difference somewhere else as well. You can even choose the charity if you like yourself. In the next few months, we will make it easier on our website for you to see the projects and how they relate to our products and services. 

For now though, the participants on our first ever License Accreditation Programme will discover today that as a result of ‘buying one’ programme, where they have become educated in using the Talent Dynamics Profile, each of them have also given education to  a child in India for a month

We think that’s pretty cool.We hope you do too and would love to hear your feedback.


Only 17 percent of the workforce believe they use all their strengths on the job

“Research data shows that most people do not come close to making full use of their assets at work – in fact, only 17 percent of the workforce believe they use all of their strengths on the job.”  from the book “Go put your strengths to work” by Marcus Buckingham

This is a sad statistic for us here at TDHQ and its our personal quest to change it for the better. We fundamentally believe that everyone has a right to experience flow and be in flow. Time and time again, where we see trust and flow occurring at a greater rate in the workplace, we find people enjoying their jobs, having fun and creating results that far outdo the competition.

Marcus Buckingham knows that where people focus on using their strengths, they create more success and feel more fulfilled. Actually, its not just your strengths, because you can learn to become strong at something thats not your natural talent. Its also important to focus your time, where you have the most enjoyment. When you couple the thing you are the best at, with the thing you enjoy doing the most and you are placed in a role where you can spend the majority of your time doing just that, its just so much more fun! Wouldn’t that make you want to come to work more often? Would it allow you to feel more valued? Would it feel less like work and much more enjoyable? Of course, we’ve heard clients, after they have changed their accountabilities, say exactly that!

It can be difficult for some people to believe that you can focus on your natural Talents and make that into a full time role and a valuable career. We were taught as children at school, that when we got a bad grade in a subject, we had to give it more time and attention to improve, we weren’t encouraged naturally to focus on the subjects we excelled at. Then, when we got a job, we were put into roles that maybe suited us but we were given accountabilities that didnt suit our Talents and were then sent on workshops to learn more about them and improve those areas! Good feedback was placed on the Appraisal around natural Talents but just as in the school report, the other areas often said “must do better in…”

If you want to improve the level of Trust and Flow in your team, why not conduct your own poll in the office and find out how many of your team feel that they use all of their strenghths in the role they are in. You may be suprised by the responses. Do drop us a line and let us know…

Jan's Corner: one simple way to get the best out of others, apparently

I have a friend who always seems to the get the best out of the people around him. You’ve probably seen this before. People love to do things for him, even if the tasks are difficult, tedious or risky and they seem to do the most excellent job for him! I wondered why this was…

So I asked him: “David, how come people around you are always so excited and nothing ever seems to be a problem?” And I was surprised by how simple his answer was. He said: “Everyone is great in some way or another. My only job is to find it, then notice when they are doing it and praise them for that. Then I give them more opportunities to do it again. Every day I focus on nurturing their strengths, not on fixing their weaknesses.”

It can’t be that simple, can it? But it also is not so unreasonable, right? We know that what we feed grows, whilst what we starve withers. It’s obvious. I see it in my garden and in my relationships. So I wonder why don’t we pay more attention to others’ strengths, praise them for work well done, and create opportunities for them to thrive? It doesn’t take much time.

Maybe we are afraid that nothing will ever get done if we just do what we are good at. Maybe it is out of habit or because our predecessors didn’t do that. Or maybe we are still conditioned by our years at school where subjects with bad grades required focus and improvement and praise was given sparingly. I don’t know. All I see is an opportunity to do something else – something that is more respectful, rewarding and something that actually works!

It’s worth asking yourself: “Whom could I praise today for something they have done really well?” (whether it is their job or not!)


Make employees part of the solution

Saw this article in People Management – it surprises me, how many leaders are taken aback at the fact that the best people to unblock flow or continue to create the flow are from within the team! We always see the best ideas for the business coming from the individuals that work within them when they get the opportunity to get into flow – what do you think?

When Nick Clegg and David Cameron agreed to work together in coalition, they announced that “we have found that a combination of our parties’ best ideas and attitudes has produced a programme for government that is more radical and comprehensive than our individual manifestos”.

This concept of sharing ideas seems to have followed through into the way the new government is going about its business. For example, as part of the deficit reduction programme, the minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, met with the CEOs of the 19 biggest government suppliers to ask them what they could do to help cut the cost of the services they provide to government.

The Treasury also asked public-sector workers to let them know of ways in which money could be saved across the sector. The response was overwhelming, with over 100,000 suggestions made, of which 44,000 came from members of the public. Many of the ideas coming forward have now been published on the Treasury’s website.

via Make employees part of the solution – People Management Magazine Online.

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Measuring and building Trust and Flow

We worked with a team, recently, who placed a lot of value on skills and experience. Rightly so, their clients expected them to have in-depth, detailed knowledge on the subject matter they were delivering. Business success rested primarily on the individual’s credibility and ability to do just that!

We measured the levels of Trust and Flow in their organisation using our 360 degree measurement tool and shared with them their individual and team scores.

Being trusted to deliver

If you are trusted, you will be delivering value. Value is what ensures you have a place in the team, or a place in the market.  As long as you are delivering value, your clients will want to buy from you and your boss will see a reason for you to be in the team!

Teams need to achieve Trust and Flow for success

Team success is about being proactive with Trust and Flow and not reactive to market indicators

You just need to look at Apple to see how this is true. People buy products from them without even seeing them or touching them. They queue in the streets for hours to get the next new Apple product! They have a very high level of trust with their customers.

Creating Flow

Sustainable Leverage is created by measuring and managing Flow. Once you know you are delivering value, you need to ensure you are leveraging your resources effectively. Focusing on utilising your resources effectively, will  help you to further increase profitability.

Understanding this allows you to measure the effective leverage of each person in your team, based on the level of flow they deliver to others through communication, resources and profitability.


The team  members saw, from their individual scores, where they delivered the most trust and flow and were able to create blueprints to increase this. It gave them a whole new strategy for implementation that they could achieve quickly and easily, at no extra cost, but that would really impact on the bottom line. They reported to me very recently a significant increase in the team’s scores, communication and productivity levels!


In these fast-changing times, sustainability comes from measuring and refining trust and flow. Self-evident as this may sound, most companies are not measuring these two factors and work reactively to market and financial indicators. This is the equivalent of patching the symptoms and not treating the cause.

If you want to measure the levels of Trust and Flow within your organisation, contact us for a free consultation.

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Are you solving problems or co-creating flow?

The ‘Problem’

Recently, I was working with a client, when they admitted to having a dispute with another colleague over a number of work-related issues.

This person, let’s call them Manager A was really struggling to see eye to eye with Manager B, who worked in the same department. The matters were of real importance to the organisation and they had attempted several times to discuss and resolve them. The boss had noticed the relationship differences and wasn’t sure how to resolve this either.

I wondered if part of the ‘problem’ was the level of trust between the two managers and if, as a result of this, the level of flow being created by each of them for the other one was not being maximised. Both were attempting to get an outcome that worked for them and hadn’t thought of the ‘problem’ as an opportunity to actually create flow for one another in a really effective way that would benefit the team and the organisation at a much higher level.

Measuring Trust and Flow

Having both already completed their Talent Dynamics Profile tests (and being almost opposites on the Profile square), I now asked Manager A to complete the diagnostic tool I use to measure PSR: Personal Social Responsibility and asked Manager B to do the same. Once they had both completed their assessment, I asked them to share their responses with one another.

The PSR scores show individuals very clearly where they create the highest amount of Trust and Flow and both were quite suprised at the low scores they recieved from the other manager!

Where an individual is not seen to be adding value or helping the team to leverage in an effective way, they will soon be rejected by the other team members and indeed ultimately by the organisation. Manager A and B recognised that this was happening to them, in the way they viewed each other and possibly the way other team mates viewed them also.

This created an open discussion on what could be done to increase both the Trust and Flow scores for one another. Both Managers realised the way that they could most successfully co-create flow was by taking specific actions that would enable the other person to increase the scores they had given them. To do that, the Managers created a plan both individually and together that they could implement.

Just last week I had a call from Manager A, to tell me that since they had this new level of understanding about how they can add most value to one another, their working relationship has improved dramatically. They actually now really appreciate the differences in one another and they value one anothers strengths and utilise them in a way that is much more effective for the Organisation. The boss has noticed the difference and commented on the improved outcomes that they are now creating together too!

Manager A said to me: ‘I wish we’d known about this months ago!’

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