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Talent Dynamics RSS Feed Blog Archive: 2011

Michelle’s December news

Already its December – we’ve just had the first snowfall in the UK! I remember this time last year when we also ran an accreditation workshop in December, it snowed on the final day – I had joked last week that it might snow again on the final day on Friday and it did!

Still, it didn’t stop us accrediting 5 new Flow Consultants and 7 new Performance Consultants from across the UK, Slovakia and the USA! Big Congratulations to all of them. In January, we are running Accreditation training in both South Africa and Australia. There are a limited number of places still available on both. For more information about either, just drop me a line.

I promised last month, I’d let you know about the fabulous (but very limited) opportunity to be amongst the very first in the world, to get your hands on the amazing Talent Dynamics for Selling E guide!

The Talent Dynamics for Selling E guide, has amazing value content that we at TDHQ have been super excited about sharing with you!! If you are in a sales roles and want to massively increase your results, you will find a lot of value in this E guide! It shares such nuggets as how to work out which TD frequency your client is and then how to best sell to them, plus lots more great content.

You can click here for a sneak preview of the first few pages!

We will be releasing a special newsletter about the promotion on January 6th so you can be the first to take advantage of it via some of our selected TD Consultants around the world.

Look out for the newsletter, as the opportunity is strictly limited to just 100 and will allow you to purchase profiles and Selling E guides specifically for those in your team accountable for sales at a significantly reduced rate!

So it just remains for me to wish you and your loved ones, a very very Merry Christmas and a magical New Year filled with Flow!


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Unas spotlight: To team or not to team, that is the question…

To team or not to team, that is the question…

I have encountered a lot of ‘teams’ that upon further investigation actually were not teams, they were ‘work groups’. What would I use to distinguish one from the other? People working in a work group may add value to the line manager and the organisation but not to each other. Sometimes it’s perfectly OK for a work group to be a work group and attempting to make them a team is a futile effort and in fact could even be damaging to motivation and performance.

So how do you know whether a team or work group is more appropriate to provide maximum value? Some things to look for are:

A Work Group:

  • Usually is accountable for a very narrow set of tasks and activities that sit within a common set of strengths and talents, e.g. an IT help desk that deals with a particular software.
  • Are rewarded for individual results.

Now the work group mentioned above would be more effective if somebody was reporting back the issues and had one or more people working on fixing bugs in the software. I’m assuming that improving the software is done by a different team or indeed even a different company.

A Team:

  • Can add more value by working together and collaborating to complete different aspects of the team’s key accountabilities, e.g. a marketing team where one person puts together the strategy, another conducts research, another data analysis, someone works on joint ventures, a different person does the public relations, some else does the graphic design, etc.
  • Are rewarded more for team results than indivual results.

Sometimes people are called a team, treated as a team, rewarded as a team yet actually act as if they are a work group. If their accountabilities suit being a work group then apart from the waste of money in being subjected to teamworking days every now again that’s fine. However if their accountabilities and strengths suit being a team (in my experience is most of the time) then they usually won’t be very effective.

I have had several people coming up to me after I’ve given a talk on Talent Dynamics and saying that they wished their boss had heard about people working to their strengths and getting a team in flow. Usually the boss in question believes that for a team to be effective, everybody should always be pitching in and helping each other out so they all need to be able to do all the activities that the team is accountable for and do them on a daily basis. This is bound to have most members of the team out of flow most of the time!

I understand their concern about being left in the lurch in an emergency. You can still have team members prepared for what to do should an emergency happen and they need to temporarily step in for somebody if they’re on holiday or off sick. (Though the chances are that when the team is truly in flow that ‘emergencies‘ will happen less often!) It is entirely possible to have a massive increase in team performance when each person pays attention to adding effective value to each other.

The attitude of the leader of a team in flow is one of creation. Often in the situation described by the frustrated team members the person is coming from a very reactive standpoint, one of lack and limitations. Breaking through those limitations by focusing on building trust and flow is what allows Talent Dynamics clients to double and even tripple their results.

By the way, the persons in question who approached me were nearly always looking for another position. They couldn’t possibly get into flow in their current role so planned to go where they would be allowed to do their best work and really add some value.

Food for thought… Why might people be leaving your organisation? Is your team truly a work group or team and which structure would produce the best results?

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Jans Corner: Insights follow Inquiry

Who wouldn’t want to be more productive – get more done in less time – whilst enjoying the process and experience work as something meaningful to do?

Here like anywhere else a little bit of individual initiative can go a long way. However, I don’t mean working harder nor working smarter, but working based on a greater awareness and deeper understanding of the context and dynamics of your business and your role in it.

Why deepening understanding? Because by seeing the links that are often hidden, new options for more effective action naturally open up.

And because insights follow inquiry, let’s explore the following three questions and context around them:

1. What is the primary purpose of my organisation or business? Any business or organisation lives to give value to someone – some specific group or community of people, some market. What and who is it in your case? The greater the value, the greater the place it has in the market. The better it can use the resources it has available, the more sustainable the place. It works best if everyone in the organisation plays the same game together. Is this particular game worth playing and winning for you? If yes, are you playing the game fully from where you are?

2. How do I personally impact the business revenues and profit? If you are in the right – or at least acceptable – business game for you, look how what you are doing and what you are accountable for adds to the success of the business. Directly to revenues and profits. There is a link even if it might not be too visible straight away. For that you would need to better understand your role and accountability, roles of others and the business model of your business. What would not happen if you were not around? Why would anyone miss you if you did not show up for a month? Some people are surprised that they are actually not valued and paid for their time and what they know but where they stand and how well they play with others.

3. What would make my boss more successful? Surprisingly, bosses are there for a reason, and it is not to boss you around. Exploring the previous two questions might give a much better idea about the role and accountability of your boss (even if you don’t have a boss, but account to other stakeholders or external clients) and why it matters as well as about the pressures and measures he or she faces. If you understand that, you can use your best talents to add value that will make a real difference to them, save time and energy, and positively impact you and everyone else in your team or department. And if you wish you can extend this inquiry to your co-workers. If you make the point to make others more successful, you’ll notice everyone else be more open to cheer for making you successful in return, including your boss.

I hope I stirred the pot a bit with this inquiry. Sometimes asking questions like this might be unusual or uncomfortable but the answers are worth it. And so are the insights you gain for yourself in the process. In the end, there might more then three of them, and they will be tailored specifically for you.


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Motivation overload! – How to Make a Change

Read here about how Master Trainer, Jan helped a group of young philanthropists this month to find their inner Entrepreneur (and do some Dad dancing!)  Click here to read the blog of one of the Young Philanthropists Motivation overload! « How to Make a Change.

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Talking Japanese!

I was in Tokyo recently, running a Talent Dynamics Accreditation workshop. My second trip within a few months and I really loved it. The people in Tokyo are the most polite and gracious I remember meeting. The food is divine, the weather warm and there is much to see and do!

The only downside to the trip was that I dont speak Japanese!

When I was with my translator, life was easy. He took me to restaurants and shops and ordered for me, told my taxi drivers where I was going and translated the entire workshop for me… but when I was alone, I was alone. Unable to read or communicate in Japanese. I nearly missed my plane home due to my poor communication with the taxi driver…

It made me think about, how often in our teams, we speak Japanese to one another! Not literally of course but how we think because we communicated a particular point, it was received in the way in which we intended it! Then when the outcome is not achieved blame the other person for not doing it right or not having understood it properly.

I realised if I had taken the time to learn even a little Japanese, I would have been so much more effective in Tokyo! In order to improve the results in your team’s, you really need to improve your communication to each other and the best way to do that is to learn the language that your colleague speaks…

First, you need to know their profile or Energy Frequency, as each frequency has a preferred style of communication. Its the way they like to communicate to you and the easiest way for you to communicate with them!

Communication Styles


Dynamo’s go through information quickly and want to get to the point. They will use vocabulary which is forward-moving and they will not want to work through the particulars of the detail or subject. They want to get through to the meat of the subject as soon as possible.

With a Dynamo you will want to focus in quickly on a few key points. You will want to highlight possibilities and big picture ideas or items that will grab their attention and give them a good overview of what you expect.


The Blaze is an extremely social person who places the highest importance on relationships with others. They thrive on interaction and can develop relationships with people that will last for long stretches of time. They love to chat!

Blazes are all about variety and connections with others.  Auditory communicators – they love to tell stories, and can relate experiences well to others through colorful examples that will resonate with many.


The Tempo frequency prefers a consultative communication approach, talking through things with others, even if it is just with one other person. Tempos are all about rock-solid, proven methods. They enjoy the security that comes from looking back and discussing together what has been done, was done right and was effective and reproducible.

Tempos are concerned with perception, wanting to have all of the peripheral information available to them, as opposed to the Dynamo for instance, who is more concerned with the big picture.


Steel frequencies are very analytical, preferring to crunch data and see the end results of their efforts. They are not concerned with interaction or social aspects of the job, and the feelings of the situation do not enter their radar screen.

Steels tend to see things in black and white, done or not done. Numbers and details fit nicely into their scheme of things. They can often come across as being pessimistic to Dynamo or Blaze frequencies by paying so much attention to black and white details, and are usually very meticulous, making sure that everything is going according to plan. They are more focused on loss rather than gain – the opposite of a Dynamo or Blaze.

Communicating the Final Words….

My last words to close the workshop, I attempted in Japanese. I had my words translated, I practised pronunciation with my Japanese friend and although I had to read it out, it was really well received, in that I had at least made the effort to communicate with the new PC’s in their own language.

Finally I would just like to end with….


Oh, if you dont speak very good Japanese, you can try this

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Michelle’s November news

I was told recently by a client that my news reads like a ‘smug diary of my glamourous travels’ Well, this month is no exception!

I’m writing this from my hotel room in Tokyo where I am running the first ever Japanese PC Accreditation here, with our Master License Holder, Tamami. We have got a group, of very cool, Performance Consultants in training and the whole workshop is being delivered in Japanese – well, the bits i’m delivering are being translated!

We also took the opportunity this week to run another Taster Session at the British Embassy here in Tokyo, where we already found some great new partners for the next Accreditation workshop in Japan in March!

If you are interested to know wether being a Talent Dynamics Performance Consultant would add value to your current role and company, we have some great, limited attendance webinars coming up for you to find out much more. To find out how to register yourself or someone you think would benefit for one of these webinars, please drop me a line. asking for more details.

Have a fabulously Flow filled month ahead!


PS Please look out on next month’s news, for details of how you can be the first to register for the amazing opportunity in January, with the new Talent Dynamics for Sales materials!

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Unas spotlight: Strengths vs Waste Soapbox

Though I’m a very positive person, today I feel the need to get on my soapbox about the money and time that is wasted on training and development trying to fix peoples weaknesses. Why is it that people can know something intellectually and yet not act on it? How many people are out there in organisations that know that it is better to focus on and develop people’s strengths but don’t actually do it?

Research has shown that when people spend too much time working in their areas of weaknesses they are likely to burn out over time. A key source of stress is people not working in their flow. From a Talent Dynamics perspective what I mean by flow is somebody being on their path of least resistance, where they are doing what they are naturally good at and really adding value helping others to be more effective. When people are out of flow they often find the work more challenging, it usually takes them longer to do and is likely to be of a lower quality.

Here in lies what I call ‘the curse of competency’. This is where people have the ability to do an activity, even though it isn’t an area of strength and usually would be done much better by somebody else. Often this task or activity will repeatedly crop up in appraisals as a point to work on.

Yet when training and development budgets are spent on developing people’s strengths and their associated skills then you can anticipate a much higher return on investment. Development doesn’t stop just because you have discovered somebody’s strengths and areas of flow! You can now be much more focused and discriminatory about where you invest.

You can bet that your employees will not want to waste their time acquiring knowledge or learning skills that will take them out of flow either. Being in flow often taps into their inner motivation and means that they have much more fun at work too, which will increase retention of your best performers.

So what can you do today about this? Well if you’re responsible for training and development budgets, see if you can get to the bottom of poor performance. Is it really a lack of skills or knowledge, or is the person out of flow? If they’re out of flow then no amount of development is going to help them very much. You simply can’t develop what isn’t there in the first place…

Instead look to work with them and their line manager to tweak their accountabilities. What do they love doing? Where do they think they can really add value? Sometimes it’s just about letting them do something in the way that suits them and their strengths. Teach them the strategies that work best for their strengths and watch their performance soar.



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Creating a Vortex of Flow

Roger HamiltonWhat is the paradigm shift that 21st Century companies have taken, that enables them to outperform their rivals? Talent Dynamics generates power in team through trust and flow, and the creator of Talent Dynamics, Roger Hamilton uses the metaphor of the river which comes up often. Here are three different levels at which power can literally be drawn from a river, and what we can learn from them:

The Water Mill: The water mill has a water wheel that turns with the flow of the river. They date back to the Greeks and lasted through to the Middle Ages. You don’t see many of them anymore, as there is very little leverage in this system. If the river is slow, the wheel moves slowly. Many companies operate in the same way. They only flow at the pace of the market. When the market slows, so does business. Today, few companies can survive by simply opening their doors and waiting for customers, and most have lost out over the last 30 years to businesses in the second power paradigm:

The Dam: Why be limited by the flow of the river, if you can artificially hold up water flow, and then drop the water from a great height? It was with the advent of reinforced concrete in the 1800’s that dams could be built to leverage several 100 times more power than the traditional water mill. In a dam, falling water is forced through turbines with constant force, regardless of changes in the flow of the river. The industrial age corporation with its marketing and delivery channels, barriers to entry and sales funnels operated like dams, controlling and channelling flow. They were able to spin out more power and profit by keeping to a rigid structure. This paradigm is now failing, as rivers and market flow have fragmented and are far harder to capture. This is where the third power paradigm is taking over:

The Vortex: Roger Hamilton relates his experience at the Green School in Bali: “We are taking the Green School off the grid. We’re installing solar panels to power the school, and the latest technology in hydro-power, a river vortex. While dams cause major environmental damage, a vortex only needs a small height drop to work. Water is channelled into a circular structure which makes it spin as it drops, and this water vortex drives a turbine with 8 to 12 times the power of water that falls from the same height.” The most successful companies today work more like a vortex than a dam. Customers step in, and experience multiple touch points that continually heighten their trust in the company. Connection points are more frequent and faster paced. While a dam controls a customer until they escape, a vortex delights a customer and keeps them engaged for far longer. This is the future of hydro-power, and this is the future of business. This value vortex is a natural outcome of Talent Dynamics.

“In a value vortex, there is spiral of service and leadership that reinforces the promise and culture of the enterprise with every spin. All information and experience loops back and builds on itself. This system is far more powerful than the traditional ‘production line’ paradigm and, like a spinning top, it is far more sustainable and balanced.” – Roger James Hamilton


Jans Corner: Turning Talent into Genius

Albert Einstein said that “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

Genius stands out it in any business yet rarely do we see that genius is widely experienced and witnessed in everyday work. When I work with teams and watch life unfold in enterprises, much more often do I see “fish” being criticised and condemned for poor tree climbing or encouraged to try harder. Admittedly, even the fishiest fish, when provided with a sweet enough carrot and hard enough stick, will think that climbing is the way to go to make it or at least survive at work.

As a result, genius is killed before it can even see the world and the most of creative and productive potential as well as aliveness of ingenious people during a good half of their waking hours is wasted.

Smart companies – big or small – hate to waste any form of talent. They like their squirrels on the trees and fish in the water. The put the Ferrari on the race track (or Autobahn) and the Landrover in the rugged terrain. They will put their diamonds on exhibition and their gravel in foundations. By unleashing talent they allow genius to show up.

Still, everyone has a talent but rarely do we see genius at work. How do we turn on the genius gene in an apparently average individual?

Here are four pointers:

1. Discovering the talent:  It starts with believing that gold is hidden in everyone and continuing looking for it. Nowadays there are numerous methods and tools to make it easier and faster to pinpoint individual talents and often times even basic curiosity, observation and inquiry can go a long way. Discovering one’s talent can be very liberating experience.

2. Understanding the talent: Any talent needs to be understood for the value it brings to the venture and the team. What exactly can we do better, faster, cheaper, more enjoyably as a result of having someone with this talent. In most instances when we peel the onion we can see the value that individuals talents bring to the table and become not just liberating but exciting – for everyone. Work can be both easier, more productive and fun.

3. Developing the talent: When the value of someones talent is well understood the next step is to create opportunities for it to be developed and used. Projects and accountabilities can be designed around making the best out of talents so that the value can be practically used. In practice, this often is a matter of focus and courage. Focus to keep the fish in the water and courage to allow it to swim, even if the first instance is a small fish tank.

4. Effectively engaging the talent: Finally, talent turns into genius when it is effectively given to empower others and directed to fulfil a larger worthwhile purpose. This is about vision and commitment. The Apollo XY landed on the moon on XX August1968 out of a commitment to a bold vision and as a result of genius of thousands of individuals at work for a decade. There is nothing more stimulating and satisfying then bringing our best to something really great! This is when talent turns into real genius and when everything flows naturally.

The good news is that both team leaders and team members, employers and employees, can participate in the process and take responsibility to make genius happen. Discovering, understanding, developing and effectively engaging everyone’s talent is a win-win for everyone.

And the real opportunity to create genius at work is about creating a game worth playing – exciting, challenging, meaningful and one that make a real difference… not just increases the bottom line.

Whether you are an executive leader, HR manager, or employee behind a desk I’m sure you can rise your game today. Are you up for it?


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Talent Dynamics featured in the Blackpool Gazette

Michelle has just been interviewed by the Blackpool Gazette for an article in their newspaper. Click on the following link to view the aritcle –  New territories for training firm



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