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Talent Dynamics RSS Feed Blog Archive: October 2012

Michelle’s news

Congratulations to the 2 newly accredited groups of Talent Dynamics Consultants in October. We had a group in Australia join us and a group in the UK both in the same month. Pictured below are the latest group from the UK, with Jan Polak our Master Trainer!

We are all excited here at TDHQ, as we are now in the final build up to our first ever Global Talent Dynamics Partner Conference!

Meeting up in the idyllic paradise island of Bali in just 2 weeks time, we will be joined by Talent Dynamics Partners, flying in from the UK, USA, South Africa, Japan and Australia! Straight after the conference, we are also to have another first! Our first ever group of Performance Consultants who we are accrediting at Step 2 on the Talent Dynamics Pathway.

Consultants like Neville who has helped his clients add over £500K in additional revenue in the past 6 months. He’s also added £25k in additional revenues to his own training company since becoming accredited less than 6 months ago and Teejay who has helped to add £110k to a UK based charity. Both Neville and Teejay, along with several others are joining us for the Step 2 accreditation.

The first group attending the Step 2 accreditation are already getting great results with their clients using Step 1 and will now be able to run our 3 day ‘Meaningful, Measurable, Profitable Change’ programme, which typically see’s clients doubling results somewhere in their business within 12 months of attending. We had one of our UK based clients, double their revenue in 6 months and double profitability within 12 months after attending this programme.

Jan and I are also going to be mentoring at Roger James Hamiltons Wealth Dynamics Masters Programme the week before, which we are really excited about. We will be joined by the entire TDHQ Leadership team globally and 12 other amazing Business Leaders from all around the world, looking to dramatically grow their businesses. Its a perfect time for us to get focused on our plans for the next 12 months too!

So… I’m off to pack my bags! Looking forward to not having cold, wet windy weather for a few weeks!

Here’s to a fabulously Flow filled month ahead!



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Inner Flame Case Study









Inner Flame Case Study

Submitted by Teejay Dowe Talent Dynamics Performance Consultant

Why we were asked to work with Inner Flame Submitted by Teejay Dowe Talent Dynamics Performance Consultant

Inner Flame is a 3 year old Youth Charity based in Swindon, Wiltshire. The organisation was originally set up to provide residential courses for 14 to 19 years olds in order to inspire them to reach their full potential and live happy fulfilled lives. In three short years the number of courses Inner Flame now runs, the diversity of those courses, and the demand for courses for a slightly older audience has grown significantly. Funding and staffing of the charity have become an on-going challenge as all of the coaches, trainers, outreach and office staff are all volunteers.

The board of trustees, founders and management team really needed to find a way to identify strengths in the organisation in order to ensure people’s time and skill is put to best use. They required a focussed way to take stock of where they had got to and where they want to go and to discover what is currently standing in the way of that progress.

Read more here Inner Flame Submitted by Teejay Dowe Talent Dynamics Performance Consultant | Talent Dynamics.

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Unas spotlight: Why are only one in 20 bosses a good leader?

One in 20 bosses. That’s only 5%. According to this research cited in Management Today, for every company that has 20 bosses (your average 200-300 employee firm), only one of them is likely to be a good boss. For a public sector body with say 5000 employees, it may have 25 good bosses. Puts things into perspective wouldn’t you say?

How on earth does this happen in today’s world when it would be easy to think that businesses understand the value of developing their people? It’s not like there aren’t any books on the subject or even free information out there on the good ol’ web…

I’ve pulled together these critical danger points for you to look at for yourself and/or to work through with the leaders and managers in your organisation. They come from my personal experience and learning so I’m not saying this is all there is to it, please add your own insights too in the comments:

Critical Danger Points

Not understanding that different people need different approaches so they treat all people the same.

This can come from a genuine wish to do well by others, so many of us learned “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. Treating people with kindness and compassion makes you a good person. Giving all your direct reports public praise and recognition may not make you a good manager though – some will love it and others may be mortified. The same applies to how much time you spend handholding and ‘helping’ your team. Some may really appreciate help, others will just feel micro-managed and that you don’t trust them.


Not ensuring people work to their strengths and talents.

The evidence is overwhelming on this point. When managers and their teams really get how to leverage their talents across the team (and between them and other teams in the organisation) not only does productivity and effectiveness go up, motivation and engagement usually increases too.

Underestimating the importance of good people management the higher up the ladder they go.

I’ve heard several HR people talk as though senior leaders don’t need to focus so much on their people management skills because their direct reports are also more senior and should know what they’re doing. Maybe so, however, there are some other factors to consider. Their direct reports are people too and they have the same emotional needs as any person does. Remember “All the world’s a stage” and people are watching how senior managers manage to get clues about what is really valued by the big bosses, no matter what leaders say. So maybe it’s more important the higher up they go as they get to influence a greater sphere of people. After all, people do as you do, not as you say..

They lack self-awareness 

As cited in the Management Today article self-awareness is very important. Imagine a leader talking at a staff conference about people coming forward with ideas and interacting when they had shouted at people only a few minutes earlier? Leaders and mangers may believe that their past successes were all down to them and discount the contribution of others. Nothing rankles so much with people as when blame and credit are unfairly attributed. There may be times when us development and HR peeps have to bite the bullet and help leaders to understand the impact of their behaviour – get your CV ready and tread carefully though, not all leaders will want to hear it because…

They simply don’t care and purposely choose a domineering or bullying stance

because they believe that’s what gets results. It will definitely get results; the ones where people do a lot of politicking to stay on their right side. The kind of results where people won’t pass on valuable data for decision-making because it conflicts with what they know or think the leader wants to hear. This not caring often results in the best people leaving the business at the first opportunity because they’re not allowed to do their best work. The research cited in the article found that 47% of respondents felt threatened at work, instead of praised… The end result of all this is usually a downward spiral for the organisation.

They don’t manage change very well.

Any research on change will indicate that participation and communication are the two most important elements of successful change. Yet time and time again bosses don’t do either very well. All too often in my experience decisions are made without genuine interaction with others in the organisation. Often those making the decisions on changes don’t know what really goes on in the level of detail that team members do. Give people a chance to input BEFORE decisions are made. Not all change will be good for each individual in the business but for those that it is make sure to communicate that as well as why the change is so vital in the first place. Then communicate that again and again and again and again until people complain that they’ve heard this message several times now!

The business hasn’t got the right leader in the right place at the right time.

In the way that team members will get to perform at their best when they get to work to their strengths, the same applies to leaders and managers too. Yet more than this, each leader will have a time and place in the organisation that is most suited to their talents. When a leader is great at innovating and problem solving, don’t put them in charge of customer service because they are likely to innovate their way out of service issues. This is especially true when the business (or product) is at the point where it is building a solid customer base. In the same way, a leader who is great at managing risk is not going to excel if the organisation really needs to boost the performance of its staff. In addition, the economy goes through cycles (or seasons) too and this also influences who is best to lead at a particular point in time. You don’t want the person who was so good at tightening your belts to restrict growth when the economy turns from Winter to Spring.

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Jans Corner: A lasting contribution or winning at all costs?

I’m a big cycling fan. Apart from an occasional bike ride I love to watch the Grand cycling tours, most notably the Tour De France – arguably the biggest and most prominent three week cycling race in the world. I have followed Le Tour, as they call it in France, for the past ten years ever since I spent some time in Paris and witnessed Lance Armstrong win it for the fourth time.

Lance Armstrong is a cycling legend having won the race seven consecutive times. He inspired millions of people – including me – by his story of overcoming a terminal illness and succeeding against all odds. He also was the one who pointed out in his books and interviews that success in cycling is less about the individual greatness and more about seamless team work. Over the years, I have drawn many useful lessons for teamwork and high performance from cycling in the Tour de France to business. Playing to ones strengths, adjusting strategy based on the terrain, optimising the teams’ energy and timing of tactical actions, are just a few of them.

However, today I’d like to point out something completely different. In the past week, Armstrong’s phenomenal success has been shockingly turned completely on its head. He and his past team members, as well as management and staff of his teams were accused of probably the greatest doping scandal in the sports history. Based on a detailed investigation of the US Anti Doping Agency (USADA), Armstrong achieved his extraordinary success and sports prominence to a great extent due to their sophisticated and systematic doping program that virtually everyone surrounding his team participated in over a period of 14 years. It seems now obvious that the performance and success have been built on a deceitful use of banned and dangerous performance enhancing substances and methods.

Basically, Armstrong created an amazing teamwork and a high-performance culture that delivered extraordinary wins consistently but that was completely violating the spirit of the sport and the agreed rules of the game.

The story is both shocking and sad and demonstrates not just that a reputation built over a lifetime can be destroyed in a moment but also that a winning at all cost attitude, that employs questionable means that justify the ends may reap short-term awards but in the long term tends only to destroy the value that it created and more. It has a devastating effect on the individuals who participate in it and on the trust in both the team and the sports as a whole.

Sadly, I see this approach sometimes applied in business situations. The same pressure to win at all cost as is used for justifying dodgy tactics and dubious means. Phrases “everyone else is doing it, so why not us” or “this is the necessary evil” come to mind. Moreover, short-term thinking drives executives to exploit the resources for quick but unsustainable performance increases and generous rewards that come with it, only to move on and have the successors to pick up and deal with the mess that happens afterwards. Many companies covertly circumvent regulations to save profitability targets only to leave employees, suppliers, communities and the environment paying multifold for these savings now and in the future.

Gandhi said that “means are results in making” and I believe that we have a unique opportunity to build our businesses and teams around values that not only respect the shared purpose of the enterprise and the agreed rules of game in the market or industry but also ensure that we play transparently and can always look straight in the eyes of those we are serving and impacting.

Lance Armstrong’s legacy that went way beyond re-writing cycling history, to making a difference to millions of cancer patients, got severely tainted if not completely destroyed over night. Let’s choose a different path. One that might be not as spectacular in its short-term triumphs but one that is sustainable in its long-term positive impact and contribution. And also one that we can be proud of even if someone discovers the secret of our success.


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