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The 2013 Trust Conference and Trust Awards with Stephen MR Covey

Wow, we are super excited here at TDHQ!


With our keynote speaker, internationally acclaimed expert on building Trust in Organisations and author of The Speed of Trust, Stephen MR Covey!


Amongst others to speak will be, Creator of Talent Dynamics and Wealth Dynamics, Roger James HamiltonSue Swanborough, HR Director for General Mills renowned as one of the top 50 companies to work for in the UK.


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Michelle’s news

Michelle ClarkeI’m really pleased to announce the UK’s first ever Trust Conference and Trust Awards being held by Talent Dynamics, in London, on September 10th 2013.

With Stephen MR Covey as the keynote speaker, we have a host of the leading experts on building trust in Organisations and teams already involved to share their expertise! To find out more about the event and how to be the first to get your tickets, register here for details coming soon!

Please let me take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Here’s to a Flow filled month ahead

Michelle Clarke


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What is Motivation?

MotivationMotivation is something we all want and need.  We understand ‘what is motivation’, yet many of us find it lacking, especially when we work in teams.  Why?  Performance management looks at increasing the motivation of people and teams to get more from them, yet it often seems like pushing a boulder up a mountain.

Defining Motivation

Looking at the dictionary we can see two meanings to the word motivation.

1. The reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.

2. The general desire or willingness of someone to do something.

The first definition of motivation shows us that it is very logical and rational.  We are motivated when we are given a reason to be motivated.  This definition also seems to talk about motivation in the past as in “what motivated you?”

The second definition seems to contradict the first.  A desire to do something is emotional rather than rational.  We are motivated because we want to do something.  This definition also seems to talk about motivation in the future as in “what will motivate you?”

So motivation is both rational and emotional, facts and feelings.  Motivation also seems to sit between the past and the future, very much in the ‘now’.

Why Do We Need Motivation?

Without something to drive us forward, whether they be facts or feelings, we wouldn’t do anything.  When we weren’t hungry we wouldn’t eat. When we didn’t know something we wouldn’t learn.  Nothing would move forward.  Everything would be stuck in a rut.

People and teams can get stuck in a rut.  It can happen very easily.  A person or team could be happy at home, paid well and have plenty of holidays yet still they seem stuck.

Who Has Motivation?

‘Ah ha’, you might say, ‘the boss or team leader isn’t giving them enough motivation!’

Really? Whether it is facts or feelings, motivation comes from within.  In this case, how can you give motivation?  It isn’t some kind of magical power up or chemical energy drink.  The person or team member needs to ‘own’ their own motivation.

For the person this can be quite simple, do what you love.  If you let your passions fuel you as an individual then you’ll be motivated to continue.  If you concentrate on what you are good at, more will be done in less time.

This is flow.  The path of least resistance or the ‘thing’ that motivates you from within.

Yet everyone has strengths and challenges.  If everyone only did what they were good at certain things would be done well and quickly while other things would be ignored.

This is one of the reasons why we naturally form groups and teams.  We can do more, with less.

Where Is The Motivation In A Team?

We’ve established everyone has a way to motivate themselves, or ‘get into flow’.  What is the best way to motivate a team?  With a mix of different motivations the team can be pulled left and right as it chases the motivations of the individual members.

The team needs to understand its own shared purpose.  Why they have come together in the first place.  Once they all agree and understand their primary purpose, or team motivation, they can look at who will be good at what , motivating individuals to move forward towards their goal.  It won’t matter how close or far away it is, how simple or difficult it will be.  This is because the team understands why.

How To Motivate A Team?

So motivation or flow comes from within.  Its a personal thing but how can a group keep up the motivation?  Talent Dynamics looks at this question and gives a simple answer.  You cannot get yourself fully into flow, you can only get others into flow.

It is the team that motivates the team.  With one success, the team wins.  With one problem, the team solves it.  Each member covers the challenges of the other while using their particular strengths to make progress for the shared purpose.

In this way, the cycle of motivation can close on itself becoming truly sustainable.

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Unas Spotlight: Acceptance

Una’s Spotlight – Acceptance

Some people think that acceptance is a weakness. To get where you want to go, to be successful means that you must fight for what is yours, pull out all the stops and be all gung ho! Doesn’t it? Maybe. Some of the time. However:

“When you fight with what is, you only loose 100% of the time…”

I know when I first came across this saying it took me a few times to really get it.

For instance, because of changes in technology such as digital photography, bigger bandwidth and the increasing use of mobile devices, the patterns of media consumption have and continue to change dramatically. Anyone in the creative industries that is ignoring this does so at their peril.

Think about H.M. Warner who said in 1927, “Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?” Seems a pretty dumb thing to say now, eh?

Yet changes like this could be happening in your industry or profession and the pace of change is much faster now than in 1927…

So being in denial is not going to get you anywhere. Hoping things will be different may feel good as you dream about how things could be “if, but, maybe” things changed. However,

“Hope is not a course of action.”

Acceptance is not self-defeat

I’m not talking about giving up on what you want either. The next time you hear yourself or somebody else moaning, listen intently to what they are really saying. Is it “I don’t like XYZ fact”, or “there’s nothing I can do about XYZ fact”?

There’s nothing wrong with not liking something, as long as it doesn’t stop you from exploring what the true implications are and what to do as a result.

Get a team together who have different skills, experiences and perspectives from you, to help you overcome a challenge and watch magic happen.

Accepting People

One of the things that I love about Talent Dynamics is that it really helps to increase acceptance. Acceptance of ourselves as well as others.

That is incredible because so much heartache and pain happens in the workplace and in life all around the world because of a lack of acceptance. Remember,

“Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and it annoys the pig.” 

George Bernard Shaw

Who do you know that is trying to be something that they’re not and will always find it a challenge to be?

For instance, someone with a Creator profile is going to struggle to be a great project manager if the main focus of that work is detailed planning and scheduling. This is what Accumulators and Traders find simple. However if the role’s key accountability is coming up with great strategies for the project then that’s a different story.

Delivering value builds trust and it’s pretty hard to deliver excellent value when you’re not working in your area of natural strengths. If you want people to give you interesting work then they need to trust you can deliver. If you want to have great clients then they need to trust that you can deliver.

You want a team around you that you trust to deliver. Begin by accepting who people truly are and helping them to work on tasks that are within their natural strengths.

Build Confidence

As you may well be aware, the more somebody accepts themselves for who they are the more likely they are to be open to their weak spots. This means they don’t always have to be perfect allowing them to be vulnerable at times so they can open up and listen to others ideas and – imagine this – even ask others for help!

If you want true collaboration and team effectiveness you won’t get it with a bunch of know-it-alls that’s for sure.

Do remember though, that any strength overdone becomes a weakness… As we often say within the Talent Dynamics community “your profile is not an excuse for inexcusable behaviour”.

Make sure that you don’t mirror the “Oh, that’s just me!” blind refusal to grow, you may sometimes come across… Let’s face it, personal growth and emotional intelligence are not related to any particular Talent Dynamics profiles – we all have the opportunity to grow… or not as we choose.

Accepting the facts of a situation helps you deal with them in the most effective way possible. Accepting yourself allows you to develop and grow those parts of you that you do have the power to change. Accepting others, well in addition to building trust it will increase the levels of peace in the world. A timely thought for the holiday season…


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Jans Corner: A radically better 2013

The end of the year is in business traditionally associated with both looking back and planning the next year. Normally, we approach the business plan for the next year as an extension of the previous year. If we feel pressed or optimistic, we budget in an incremental percentage increase. We feel really bold and daring when the percentage is in lower double digits.

What if we could approach next year differently this time? In a radical fashion. One that could mobilise us and awaken the latent potential in the business.

A radical approach starts with a radically different question. Rather than asking about what can we accomplish or improve next year, ask what if it was possible to double our business or team performance? Yes, to double productivity, sales, profit or whatever is the key performance indicator for you. Or whatever has been the biggest challenge in the past.

The magic that opens up from entertaining such a question should not be underestimated. An interesting phenomenon occurs when we acknowledge that something radical is possible. We begin to search, to look intensely for ways to find out, even if we don’t know how exactly in the moment. It opens a space for us to boost our collective creativity and collaboration in areas that remained unexplored before. Also old assumptions and ways of thinking and operating will surface and be up for a challenge and upgrade.

Jack Welsh, former CEO of General Electric, used to lead his executives to set two types of goals for themselves and their business units – a base goal and a stretched goal. The base goals were the minimum that had to be accomplished for the business to perform at a level, to stay competitive and profitable. Stretched goals were designed to target the bold ambitions and bring the best out people to on the way to accomplish them. One thing was obvious, if one wholeheartedly pursued the stretched goals, the accomplishment of the base goal was virtually guaranteed. So there was no pressure just the opportunity to stretch, to expand one’s capacity and discover the hidden potential. No wonder GE was growing in spectacular fashion for several decades.

You can capture the same untapped resources and creative energy whether you are part of a small or an international corporation.

Just consider the following questions as an example:

:: What if we could attract double the customers in half the time next year? Would we be willing to explore that? And plan for it?

:: What if we could spend just a third of the time in meetings while accomplishing more every single time we meet? Would you be willing to challenge how we think about and run meetings? And change the way we go about them?

:: What if we could double our profitability while working less and having more fun and fulfilment at what we do everyday? How would need to interact and approach each problem and opportunity? And what kind of work environment we need to create and sustain?

Often, what limits us most are not the realities of the outside world but the questions we don’t ask and the assumptions we don’t question – individually and collectively.

I wish you a radically better 2013, not because you should or have to, but because if you play you might as well play big. You might be surprised that it actually takes less time and effort and is far more rewarding whether you actually achieve your aspirations or not.

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Introducing the new Flow Consultant Master License Holders

We recently invited a group of our high performing Performance Consultants to come on board as Flow Consultant Master License Holders or FCLH’s for short!

This new license level will enable Robin, Teejay, Neville and Sylvia to directly train and accredit Flow Consultants themselves.

Flow Consultants

Flow Consultants are trained and accredited to use Talent Dynamics as part of their line management/coaching and work mainly one on one using the TD profiles. Carrying out an empowering Talent Dynamics debrief on a member of your team is a skill we know many more of you would like to have so this is a great opportunity now we have 4 new Trainers who have joined our ever expanding team!

 4 new Flow Consultant License Holders

Teejay specialises in working with young people. Teejay will be running Flow Consultant accreditation training for people who already work with young people and would now like to use Talent Dynamics as one of tools in their kit bag.





Robin is an expert in Leadership training and is the first License Holder in the USA to offer Flow Consultant accreditation there!






Neville is a specialist in the development of Trust and improved Performance. He works in the world of Financial Services and wider Human Resources and has 30 + years of experience.





Sylvia is a consumate networker who specialises in training women in business who want to make a mark on the world





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Free Step One Programmes for Charities/Social Enterprises/NFP’s

An early Christmas Present!

As you know, we run high impact, high return on investment programmes. Our one day Introduction to Talent Dynamics programme, generally sees at least a £100k ROI within 12 months for a team of 10-12 people. Usually, a one day programme is priced at £2750/AUD$5000

Every month, we are accrediting new Performance Consultants, either in UK/Australia/South Africa or Japan. These new Consultants are really keen to get some experience running programmes straight away and they would love to get their experience in an organisation that is also making a real difference itself.

We have run a few free programmes to particularly deserving enterprises. Here’s one such case study from Inner Flame in the UK.

We want to help our Consultants to get real experience in running programmes as soon as they are accredited, at the same time as making a contribution to the community, by running free programmes for deserving charities/NFP’s and social enterprises.

If you know of, or you run a cool charity/SE/NFP with a team of at least 10-12 people who would love to experience one of our programmes and you are based in one of our trading countries (or you are willing to fly someone in to run a programme), please send  details to, telling us more about what you do and why you would love to be part of this programme.


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Unas spotlight: Walk a mile in their shoes

Receiving my Step 2 certification from Master Trainers Michelle, Vicky and Tamami in Bali this month.

How do you define the best customer service? Is it being friendly? Is it coming from the perspective that the customer is always right? Is it giving the customer what they want, or is it something else?

I’ve just returned from Bali where I attended the Talent Dynamics Annual Conference and Step 2 Accreditation Training. This was my first visit to Indonesia and I was so impressed by the service I received – it really was phenomenal!

It made me question the service and approach of so many UK companies that really just pay lip service to customer service. How many stories have you seen on Facebook or LinkedIn for instance that spell out the abominable way that somebody you’re connected to has been treated?

In some countries it seems to be just expected that service will be poor. People shrug their shoulders and say it can’t be done any other way, you can’t get the staff or that the management don’t really care.

In today’s connected world this attitude would be a big mistake. Customers are voting with their feet and it’s often easy – sometimes even easier – for them to buy from another company and even country.

The UK is a Dynamo country with many creative people who are great at being inventors, entrepreneurs and strategists. Often they can find it hard to think like a customer because they have their head in the clouds and are too busy thinking a million miles an hour of new ideas and strategies.

Indonesia in contrast has many Trader profiles with high Tempo energy. These people have their feet on the ground and tend to be very connected to the market and to customers. They don’t just spend time thinking about customers, they naturally feel what they want. They also take the time to ask them, to check in with them. They know how to walk in their shoes.

This gives a whole new meaning to customer service. Instead of innovation that could potentially drive customers away where there is a lack of depth in the connection with the customer, those with Tempo energy will implement the little things that together add up to a completely different experience for the customer, driving loyalty and repeat purchases.

I’ll definitely be returning to Bali, not just because it is a beautiful country but because I felt relaxed, understood, cared for and like I really mattered. How does that contrast to your daily experience of customer service?

In this global and increasingly competitive economy, make sure you have some Tempo energy on your team and listen to what they say. How you listen to them is how you listen to your customers. It matters…

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Michelle’s November News

I’m just back from Bali and writing this at 545am. My body clock still hasn’t quite adjusted yet! I spent the first week, with Roger James Hamilton (creator of Talent Dynamics and Wealth Dynamics) as one of the mentors at his international Wealth Dynamics Masters programme. I met a group of incredibly inspiring Entrepreneurs and as always, learnt heaps for myself too!

The next 7 days, I spent with a group of Talent Dynamics Performance Consultants and Master License Holders, who had flown in from the UK, USA, Australia and Japan.

During the first 2 day’s we held our first ever Talent Dynamics International Partner Conference and we have some awesome announcements to make in the coming weeks as a result of this conference – The first, I’m allowed to spill the beans about today…

A group of those Performance Consultants then stayed on for the following 5 days. Pictured below, this group are the first, amongst our 150 worldwide Partners, to become accredited at the Step 2 level on the Talent Dynamics Pathway. They are now accredited to deliver our 3 day Meaningful, Measurable, Profitable Change programme. Typically clients experiencing this programme are doubling results within 12 months!

So I’m back in the chilly UK now and as I said we have lots of exciting news to share with you in the coming weeks. Some of which I’m still sworn to secrecy on but as soon  as I can tell, I will!

What I can tell you today, is that in September 2013 in the UK, we are hosting the first ever Talent Dynamics Trust Event. Steven Covey Junior, Author of the Speed of Trust is joining us as our keynote speaker for the day. I’m really excited to tell you more about this and how you can join us, in the next few weeks, so watch out for updates on our social media sites coming soon…

Have a fabulously Flow filled month ahead!


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Traits of High Performance Teams

One goal of performance management is to create high performance teams that are motivated and achieve far more than the people in the team could ever do on their own.

A high performance team displays certain traits that are common across whatever area you choose to look at.  They exist within sport, science, industry and business.  The traits demonstrate the power of ‘flow’ and pick out individual details about it.

Flow is the path of least resistance where actions and activities are almost effortless.  When in flow, barriers and obstacles fall away.  This can occur on an individual basis.  You’ve probably experienced it yourself at some point:

  • Time seems to stop.
  • Instead of draining you, whatever you’re doing energises you.
  • There is a sense of excitement.
  • You have incredible focus.

Yet when a team is in flow the effects increase.  This leads to a high performance team:

1. Leadership.

Instead of ‘I tell, you do’ the team members participate in the leadership of the team.  Each team member reflects the purpose and values of the team.  The team members use their skills and experience to solve problems.

2. Decision making.

We make decisions in two ways, reason and intuition.  Both have strengths and weaknesses.  Reason is detailed and slow.  Intuition is sketchy and fast.  Different circumstances require different decision making processes.  High performance teams not only display a balance of both but they also know when each is needed.

3. Communication.

Team communication needs to be open and transparent.  The goals of the team are regularly reflected upon, progress is fed back and problems addressed quickly.  High performance teams recognise that each member communicates differently and use the best communication channel for the information AND the team member.

4. Diversity.

High performance teams embrace the diversity and difference in the team’s collective background and experience.  This leads to many viewpoints and a greater understanding of problems.  High performance teams use this diversity to make better decisions and create solutions faster.

5. Trust.

If everyone in the team is looking over each other’s shoulder, progress is limited.  High performance teams trust in the team as a whole and trusts each team member to perform without fear of failure or accusations of irresponsible behaviour.  The Talent Dynamics Pathway fosters this trust by seeing the value that each team member brings and ensuring they are in the right place at the right time.

6. Conflict.

“It’s not about who is right, it’s about getting it right” is a mantra of Talent Dynamics.  High performance teams deal with any conflict as openly as possible, focusing on the underlying problems and working together to get to a solution as quickly as possible.  Grudges are prevented from building and team morale is strengthened by focusing on resolving the problem.

7. Goals.

High performance teams focus on setting the right targets and ensure that they resonate personally for each team member.  This helps create and reinforce the team identity.  This ‘why?’ question crosses personalities and skills to build commitment and engagement across the team.

8. Roles and Responsibilities.

Each team member understands what they should be doing to demonstrate their commitment to team.  High performance teams have the right skills, in the right place, at the right time.  The team members with the natural strengths take responsibility for what they are good at.  This ensures a natural flow through the team allowing a quick response.

9. Co-ordination.

Effective team members can anticipate what each team member can and will do.  This stems from identifying the strengths and weaknesses within the team and the bonds that exist between team members.  High performance teams can use this characteristic to achieve both efficiency and effectiveness.

10. Atmosphere.

High performance teams are created in and project a positive atmosphere.  This stems from the overall team culture of openness, transparency and trust.  Success is celebrated and failure is explored.  Overall the focus is on helping each team member stay in flow and improve on past results.

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