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November news

It might be getting colder outside but its hotting up at TD central! This month we ran our first international event thanks to Adventure Coaching They run super leadership programmes with teams both in, and outdoors, in New Zealand. Sarah, the MD, who is a real-life adventurer, asked me to share one of our Taster Sessions with a group they were working with.  They used the Talent Dynamics Profile tool, as part of their week long programme of learning, which was very cool! Check out their ‘How Adventurous are you’ quiz here to find out your adventure profile!

We will be doing some more taster sessions and full programmes with Adventure Coaching in New Zealand next year. If you know any companies in New Zealand that you think we should be talking to, please do drop me a line. Michelle@talent-dynamics.com

With current technology, we can run our two hour Taster Session anywhere in the world so, if you know of people who would be interested in researching if Talent Dynamics would work in their organisation, this is a great way to check it out!

I’m really looking forward to Decembers Profile Debrief License Training. As part of the accreditation process for the participants, we need some ‘real people’ to recieve their Profile and Debreif on the day. Its a great opportunity to have a free Talent Dynamics Profile and get to spend some quality time with some top coaches and trainers from around the UK as well. Click here for more information on how to take advantage of this offer.

Have an amazing month ahead.

Michelle


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Michelle's October sharing

October’s been a record month for delivering Talent Dynamics Pathway programmes, since we set up last November. It’s been great!

An extra special programme for me this month, was a one day programme that I actually got to participate in, for a change (because Jan was facilitating it), with a small group  who are set to become part of the Talent Dynamics Team over the next few months.  I will be introducing you to these new team members in forthcoming blogs and letting you know more about their roles! It was kind of strange being a participant of the material I deliver all the time and yet it was a fantastic  experience for me to work on my business with my team!

Over the past twelve months, I have been approached by literally scores of coaches/trainers and business leaders asking to be trained in using Talent Dynamics Pathway with their clients and team members! Well — the time has come.  Jan and I are ready to take a pilot group through just this in December.

This is the only such pilot we have scheduled in for the next year. Numbers are limited to ten and some of the places are already filled.  If you want to know more about how to take part in this pilot, which we have seen generate significant increases in income for individuals. then drop me a line at michelle@talent-dynamics.com.

Here is an example of just such a case where an individual, by understanding their Profile, created really significant results in less than six months

Have a great month ahead, Michelle.


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Jan's Corner: leadership dance

Much has been written and said about leadership and being a leader in business. There are numerous theories and models of leadership and, even now, I can still remember at least a dozen from my organisational behaviour studies and consulting work.

Over the years, what I found useful is a practical approach, one that comes out not as much from a book (even though theory and distinctions are important) but out of a desire to fulfil a specific purpose.

You know…launching that new product, delivering that service better, building that community of clients or improving that process. And, of course, making that contribution and leaving that legacy only you – as business, team and individual – can.

Maybe we could say that leadership is about leading others at the right time, in the right fashion, to fulfil a joint purpose. It is not about control, position or exposure. Actually, it is about assuming leadership and allowing others to lead when it best serves what we are up for in business. It is to create the most flow together.

There is a great opportunity for everyone on your team to lead, whether it is a small task or a large project.

Give it a thought.

Who is best equipped for leading meetings so that they don’t drag endlessly? Who is the most creative in your team? The most connected? The most confident? The most meticulous?

Give them the opportunity to lead and you will see that everyone benefits. And if you see that it is you who can add the most value as a leader, don’t hesitate to step up. It is like a dance – those who know the steps and whose flow connects most with that particular music, lead the way. Enjoy!


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Michelle's September News

Michelle Clarke - Head of Talent Dynamics

Those that know me well, know that I love to learn new skills. This month I’ve had a crash course in Web hosting, WordPress usage, RSS feeds, Web spiders and all kinds of web related stuff! Josh and Jeremy are very patient with me when explaining. Being an extrovert, with an activist learning style, I just want to get on with it and ask heaps of questions!

Thanks to so many people who gave feedback on the launch of the new website and the new What is Talent Dynamics video.  It was really gratefully received. We have made some amends already and have scheduled in more over the coming months based on some of the messages you sent us.

One of the cool features on the new site (if you use Facebook) is that you can log into our community blog section, be a friend or comment on the blog posts and connect with others.  Just click on the right side of the blog page where it invites you to sign in through Facebook and follow the Facebook connect instructions.

Check out this blog on how to unblock common blocks to flow. In it, we share an exercise that you can easily facilitate at your next team meeting. Let me know if you try it, what impact it has!

If you want to keep up with latest trends in business and people development or learn about the different Talent Dynamics Profiles, then you can also sign up with the RSS button at the top right of the website where the social media icons are displayed.

Have a great month ahead!

Michelle


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Jan's Corner: chasing impressive results or nurturing the love of the game?

Jan Polak - Head of Programmes for Talent Dynamics

Doubled sales, tripled profits, customers raving about our products and admiring our brand – who wouldn’t want to achieve admirable results and massive performance improvements in their business?

The problem is that often we – like the popular Queen song goes – want it all and want it now. Add pressure to deliver from the investors and to outperform the competition and it becomes an insatiable drive to chase results quickly, or else.

Yet the most admirable companies, as the most admirable athletes and performing artists, focus on something quite different. Instead of chasing and driving they express, nurture, and enjoy.

They express their passions – individually and collectively, nurture the contribution they make every day to a particular audience and enjoy every bit of the journey. The funny thing is that the results come as well, and what we see is usually quite remarkable. Just watch for instance companies like Apple, Virgin, 37Signals or Innocent Drinks.

Many years ago, I was as a guest at a nationwide music awards. After performing on stage, the event host asked Michael Stipe from REM what explains their long prolific and successful career in the show business. He simply answered: “We love to do music.” Surely MTV, for instance, might help by providing a great leverage and showing them to the masses across the globe, but it is the passion to play great music for others that keeps them in the game for so long.

Business does not need to be different. It is full of passionate, creative and committed people. It seems that all we need to do is to nurture our and others’ love for the game. That way, the results will be not just remarkable but also sustainable and fun to achieve.

Jan Polak


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Calling all pilots who want to fly by taking three Steps!

He clearly wants to 'pilot' all three Steps....

Here at Talent Dynamics, we love to let you know about clients who are piloting our new products! In the past twelve months, we have been blessed with plenty of teams and enterprises wanting to pilot both Step One and Step Two and now we are out there looking for individuals, teams, divisions and enterprises who want to pilot Step Three – the full Integration Programme, with us.

Rapid Transformation, NLP specialists, pilot the three Steps

Osmaan Sharif contacted us recently. He used to work with Michelle at M&S and did his Wealth Dynamics Profile test a few years back. He was curious to see how Talent Dynamics could set his business up for greater success over the next twelve months and asked if could take part in piloting the three Steps over the next twelve months at the Individual Level.

Osmaan Sharif

At Rapid Transformation, Osmaan likes to keep things simple...so its name really does say it like it is!

Os is an expert in NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) and regularly runs open programmes across the UK to train people in how to become NLP practitioners themselves. He has a great track record and as a Talent Dynamics Trader Profile, has built up a solid reputation for strong delivery and great customer focus. You can find out more about Os and his business here.

I’m really excited to be working with Talent Dynamics through all three Steps, as I want to continue to walk my talk by shaking things up and creating a ‘Rapid Transformation’ in my own business.  I’m ready to really re-focus and significantly grow my business.  With the team’s support, I know I can achieve this in a way that will flow well with me on a personal and professional level. Osmaan Sharif

The benefit of being part of the Pilot Programme (on top of all the learning and the guaranteed results we set with you),  is its hugely-discounted! We get to try out all of our funky new tools and methods with you, while you generate amazing results. All we ask in return is that we can share the results of the steps you take in the form of a Case Study and that you interact with us giving feedback on what works brilliantly and what doesnt.

Contact us directly if you want to know more about what results you can achieve if you Pilot all three Steps!


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Unblocking common blocks to Flow

Sometimes the blocks to Flow, facing an organisation or team, seem to be ‘floating about’.  No one wants to take accountability for unblocking them. In some cases, it can be simpler to ignore them or acknowledge them but still not unblock them!

If you want to take some time out to analyse some of the blocks (and create some solutions), here is an exercise we use regularly that you can incorporate into your weekly or monthly team meeting. This exercise can be run over 45 mins or up to a  whole day depending on the result you are looking to achieve.

The more frequently you use this exercise, the quicker you will find you identify blocks and solutions and therefore create more flow…

  1. Set the context and timings for this exercise with the team – it could be to discuss all blocks or one specific block that has been identified.
  2. Invite all team members to take a pile of post-it notes and a pen each and jot down on each post-it note, one word that describes the block (its important to use just one word at this stage).
  3. After everyone has finished writing on all of their post it notes, invite the team to stick them up on a flipchart or an area of wall where you are working.
  4. Ask the team (in silence if possible) to categorise the blocks or tag them into common ‘themes’ and give each a header eg communication, sales leads.
  5. Open out a discussion. You may find that a few people have written the same word, eg time, but this one word, means something completely different to each person. This is great to explore and ensures everyone gets the chance to contribute and share their thoughts. Take as long as you need for this section. (NB The aim isn’t, at this stage to discuss solutions but to understand what the blocks are and how they impact on the flow).
  6. Once you have explored the blocks, and the impact they are having, invite the team to prioritise the top three flow blocks that, if they found solutions to, would create the most flow and would impact the organisation and themselves, the most. They can mark with a dot or line, each, their top three. (At this stage, remember, we are still not even discussing solutions, just understanding what is important to everyone).
  7. This will give you the three most important blocks to unblock. Its a great way to get the team to buy into solution creating as well. Add up the dots and ensure everyone is in agreement with the top three. This is usually very easy to agree, as its done democratically and through frank and open discussion.
  8. Now you can focus on solutions!  If you know your team’s Talent Dynamics Profiles, it’s a good time to split them into specific groups to work on the unblocking solutions, groups which play to their natural talents and value delivery.
  9. Have each team feedback their suggestions and thoughts around how to unblock and create more flow and discuss in the main group to add to/question where appropriate.
  10. Ensure that accountability for action is agreed and a timescale for the team to review is set, a point where you can re-measure the level of flow created by this unblocking process.

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Jan's corner: business lessons from the Tour de France

As I write, the 2010 Tour de France is drawing to an end and I can’t help but see parallels between succeeding in this seminal cycling race and business.

Contrary to popular belief, cycling is far from an individual sport: certainly, to win the Tour de France requires individual talent. But history is filled with highly talented riders who never wore the yellow (race leader) jersey, or the green or dotted shirts either.

Tour de France team

Competitive cycling is about teamwork and playing to your strengths

An individual, no matter how strong, cannot make it over a 3,000 kilometre-long race alone. Technical, logistical, tactical and moral assistance from a well-organised and resourced team is key for cycling success just as small details and a few seconds, here or there, can decide the race winner.

These days, every racing team in the Tour has professional riders, mechanics, medical staff and dieticians, support cars with radios and the most advanced bikes. Just like in business, equipment and technology has become standard.

What did I notice that makes the most difference? Compatibility and collaboration of the people involved on the road and behind the scenes. They set and execute the race strategy (based on their team’s unique strengths) and make sure they quickly adapt their tactics when things change.

In difficult terrain (often climbing on narrow roads in high mountains) and in the face of severe and changing conditions (scorchingly hot sun and cold rain), along with fierce competition for the ultimate prize, even stars like Lance Armstrong depend on others. Without proper and timely support, they can lose a stage, or the whole race, regardless of their talent.

In the Tour, like in business, talent and strength can win a stage, but clear strategy and dependable teamwork are what wins a high placing in the overall standings.

It might sound obvious, but consider how interlinked you are. Who do you depend on to give your best performance day in, day out? Whose success depends on you? Are you geared up to win your race? Do you know the strengths, and weaknesses, of your team-mates? Performance in Le Tour is like performance in business: apparently ‘soft’ skills, like self-knowledge, trust and teamwork, turn out to be intrinsically linked to success.


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Jan’s Corner: success, regardless of where you are at half time

Many eyes excitedly followed the action at the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. The tournament presented an opportunity for every team to demonstrate their capabilities on a world stage, along with the pressure to perform when it really matters.

I like watching sport because it reminds me of both business and life. We set worthwhile goals, team up with others, plan, prepare and then deal with the challenges along the way presented by circumstances and other factors.

England has fallen in the first knockout stage. Does this indicate an inflexibility in adapting to the circumstances of the tournament? Certainly, in past competitions, teams have started poorly but made changes and rallied to win, as did Italy in 2006.

Watching successful teams playing at the World Cup, I noticed a few things that could make a difference in business as well:

  • Playing as a team – focusing on giving your personal best to the team and creating opportunities for others and making the most of everyone’s position and strengths.
  • Playing fully till the final whistle – especially when you are winning.
  • Enjoying the game – playing with passion and improving by learning from both successes and failures.

So, regardless where you are at an intermediate stage, with the right approach, this year can be as exciting and triumphant for you as for the eventual World Cup-winning nation.


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