What do you think of current trends on problems for companies and people?


For organisations
Larger organisations are looking for more tailored and integrated ways of driving action. When trying to marshal large scale diverse and remote work forces the one size fits all doesn’t work. Localized, targeted and aligned programmes have a far higher chance of success.

Sometimes organisations rely on shuffling the pack to solve the organisational ills, this form of illness shows itself in dysfunctional behaviours, over competition, in fighting and empire building, which results in a lack of trust and a huge waste of resources.

Looking for a magic bullet has long since been a recipe for failure, so what is driving the lack of progress within organisations?
The same old gets the same old
Being covert instead of explicit
Following a process blindly without full examination of the risks; being a robot not a human. Allowing senior people to work by cliques and head / horns approaches; everyone must be like my own image, speak the same jargon and not be a threat to me in any way.

Organisations need to regenerate a sense of belonging and re-establish trust and integrity levels. Having open and clear conversations has an enormous pay off. Collaborative and collective forms of leadership are the key a common message in a common way with personalized emphasis

To use a football metaphor, when the team doesn’t perform there’s always another manager with a great reputation ready to step in and save the day. The boss stays for a shorter time, the MD is on the line, too, and their time may be short. Some organisations are becoming skeletal in nature; too thin to survive. Therefore, there is no room to anticipate or deal with any fluctuation of the plan.

Risks and experimentation are at a minimum. Innovation is marginalized and the same old gets the same old. Change is not getting any slower and shortages exist at all key levels, so perhaps getting the best from people is not such a costly idea and practice after all. The world is small and big at the same time; speed and flexibility are the key.

So how can these patterns be avoided? Clarity and trust are the keys; clarity about what the organisation is about and trust of the people to be involved, engaged and a part of the organisation.

For individuals
Resilience is the key. Keep learning, take care of yourself, both physically and mentally. Look for the good in what’s happening and have realistic expectations. Enjoy the now.

Many of these approaches sound simple to do, but often the complexity and pressure of organisational life means that we are distracted and unable to focus because of fears, real or imagined, and in this position of weakness people are expected to give of their best? Really?

Be self reliant, self motivated and self developmental, because in some strange way this is what the organisation wants from you, and it’s what you want for yourself.

Learning is the key. Keep being open to new and different things; give the brain something to work with.

The more we express our concerns and see the reality of them, and the more we develop our dreams, the more they turn into reality.

Time is finite, most other things can be adjusted.

Let me know what other problems are holding your organisation back from within.

Five Top Tips
1. Encourage your staff to voice their opinions and thoughts.

2. Reward creativity, even if at first it seems like a mad idea.

3. When reaching consensus give time to overcome obstacles or you will only come back to them later.

4. Recognize that learning takes place every day and encourage everyone to share what they have learned this week or month.

5. Start with trusting yourself and finish with trusting the team and the organisation.

Leaders are like icebergs

October 2015 Newsletter

What’s going on in the innovative leader’s mind?
When thinking about an Innovative Leaders mind-set, what else is going on inside the leaders mind?
I started to wonder what might be the top five characteristics for leaders with an innovative mind set, so just for a moment I thought about being innovative and some themes emerged: stillness, daydreaming, sketching for the mind, lot of questions. So for me, being curious, bouncing back and being flexible and being my true self come to the fore.
So how would you rate yourself on having a innovative leaders mindset say on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being very well? Rate yourself against some of these key indicators:
1. Curiosity the ability to explore without judgment and preconceived ideas
2. Encouragement the ability to nurture the new and small seed of an idea
3. Resilience the ability to keep going, viewing mistakes as learning
4. Flexibility the ability to be agile and adapt to the current and future demands
5. Honesty the ability to be authentic and true to yourself and others.
The Innovative Leaders mind-set – what’s at the corner of the page? What’s just within your memory but not fully formed?

Quality thinking
When thinking about this article I became drawn to a book Time to Think: Listening to ignite the human mind by Nancy Kline ISBN-13: 978-0706377453 on my bookshelf that seemed to be summarizing many of the areas that came to mind when pondering about an innovative leadership mind-set. In particular, many of the thinking principles, for example:
1. Everything we do depends for its quality on the thinking we do first. Our thinking depends on the quality of our attention for each other
2. Thinking at its best is not just a cool act of celebration it is also a thing of the heart
3. A thinking environment is a set of ten conditions under which human beings can think for themselves with rigour and imagination, courage and grace
4. Listening of this calibre ignites the human mind
5. Between you and a wellspring of good ideas is a limiting assumption. This assumption can be removed with incisive questions
6. Incisive questions increase the functional intelligence of human beings.
Sounds like some reflective coaching is in order to help tease out what has not quite yet been discovered, so to quote Steve Jobs, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

profileVision, Mission, Ambition and Role
So, if leadership is ‘the capability to express a vision, influence others to achieve results, encourage team cooperation, and be an example’, as Robert Dilts says, then an Innovative Leader’s mind-set encourages what’s not been tried, what else is possible, and so by reviewing your biggest success and pinpointing the smallest steps that created it you can develop a model for success.

Dilts refers to these factors as:
What do you want to create in the world through you but that is beyond you? What services, benefits and contributions do you want to make to your customers, society, the environment, etc.?
What is your unique contribution to making the vision happen?
What are the special resources, capabilities and actions that you will develop, mobilize and apply to reach the vision?
What type of status and performance do you want to achieve with respect to yourself and others (stakeholders, competitors,etc.)?
What type of individual (or organization) do you need to be in order to reach the status and level of performance you want to achieve?

We can consider the mind-set aspect of the Innovative Leader’s mind-set by looking into the latest research and thinking in Neuroscience. Neuroscience is concerned with improving understanding of the brain and how it works, how we process information and the reason we make some basic cognitive mistakes (limitations), why change is so hard and how to better manage change, why we react negatively in certain situations and how emotions can be better regulated.

The brain is actually never at rest but actively processing and internalizing existing knowledge (to make sense of the world). When you stop processing external information, quality internal processing can take place. For example, daydreaming, envisioning the future, retrieving memories, and gauging others’ perspectives.

Leaders are like icebergs (learning is what lies beneath the surface and much is hidden).
What we can see (above the surface):
traditions, symbols, artifacts, behaviours, customs, and symbols.
What we can’t see (below the water line):
perceptions, world views, attitudes, motives, values, beliefs, thoughts.

With the ever evolving nature of business, leadership and the work environment that we live in, the need to be more innovative and understand how we think and improve our own thinking processes are ever present.

I hope this article has intrigued you, made you think, want to know more So if this collection of thoughts and observations has sparked your interest get in touch and  share some insight and discover how to release innovation in you.



When does innovative leadership start?

September 2015 newsletter

Innovative leadership for everyone?
When does innovative leadership start? Firstly let’s explore what it is. Having googled it a bit, asked a few leaders and experts and generally had a look around about what’s out there, what have I discovered so far?

Innovation leadership is a philosophy (thinking) and technique (acting) that combines different leadership styles to influence (leaders and followers) employees to produce creative ideas, products, and services. This leads to greater adaptability, agility and strategies for the future as well as for the now.

So where does it come from?
Having the right climate (culture, context)
Having the right drive, push / pull
Having the right people
Having some time to reflect and think.
Some of the major theories applied to innovative leadership
Innovation leadership has roots in path-goal theory and leader-member exchange theory. Wolfe (1994), Sarros, Cooper, & Santora, (2008) realized that organizational culture is crucial for success.

So, let’s focus on the practice and how to do it.
Encourage creativity
Protect the mavericks
Allow for dissent
Nurture it
Have patience and drive
Small chunks
Giant leaps

What holds it back?
Leaders being in charge; old command style
Leaders being autocratic
Leaders being obsessed with numbers
Leaders only wanting success for themselves; the self interest is the only interest syndrome

Okay, so what makes it work?
Leaders who have a long term perspective
Having the courage to fail and learn from it
Leaders who work with the team
Leaders who motivate through coaching and mentoring
Leaders who are emotionally intelligent
Leaders wanting everyone to succeed
Leaders who have a passion for innovation
Leaders who innovate with their head (thinking) heart (feelings) and hands (actions)

Innovative leaders are able to both supply the vision and create the plan that takes the organization forward. Sometimes it’s the organization itself that is the greatest barrier to innovative thinking and acting.

From the CBI publication Excellence in Service Innovation, Fujitsu moved from technological solutions to a business based outcomes orgnaisation. The company strategy and culture focused on looking at future trends to reduce costs, including its customers in its innovation quest.

Organisations have taken very different approaches to innovation. Microsoft and Google have taken an in-house approach led from within (8 Pillars of Innovation), while My Space and You Tube (prior to its takeover) had a community driven approach.

“The best organizations understand design and do not see innovation as something happening in a laboratory on its own” Joe Heapy, Co Founder and Director of Engine.

The thinking skills for innovation are much more about the abstract, multi-screen breakthrough, diversity and the ultimate goal thinking, as outlined by Valeri Souchkov in her book “Power thinking for innovative leadership.”

So, if this collection of thoughts and observations has sparked your interest get in touch or come along to the Innovative Leadership Mind-set session in Bristol on the 28th October to gain and share some insights and discover how to release innovation in you.I am attending with some of my colleagues from Smart Coaching and Training Ltd

The Innovative Mind-set
Smart Coaching and Training Ltd. – Ross Nichols

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015 from 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm

Smart Coaching & Training Ltd excel at providing bespoke business support, coaching, training, mentoring and consultancy services and resources to business leaders, entrepreneurs, organisations and individuals looking to grow and transform.  Business leaders we have supported have transformed their enterprises, grasped opportunities, identified success elements, developed an innovative mindset and achieved momentum in their business growth.

I hope this newsletter has provoked some thought. For those who want to be provoked further, I am very happy to help you along the way. Feel free to contact on 01793 882058 or via peter@petermayes.co.uk

The Artist and The Engineer new event 10th March

“Some more moments that take your breath away”

Harmonising the Artist and Engineer in ourselves and our coaching”

Coaching Authentically In the 21st Century

Core philosophy
To discover fresh insights, approaches and scope of coaching, so that your practice
To boldly go where no one has gone before.”
Explore ways in which we identify with certain creative or process orientated approaches and how we then choose to either use or avoid them and how they can build our authentic coaching.

Full details coming soon!HiRes

So what’s this about? The Artist and The Engineer

Often we start out from a place which is our history only to realise its now about where we have never been before.

The future our future is becoming complex and ever simple.

So to be agile and adaptable, authentic and awesome, diverging and converging experience some paths from exemplars

So come along to a one day event for coaches and developers Wednesday 3rd December 2014

The Artist & The Engineer

Harmonising the Artist and Engineer in ourselves and our coaching”

Coaching Authentically In the 21st Century

Core philosophy
To discover fresh insights, approaches and scope of coaching, so that your practice
To boldly go where no one has gone before.”
Explore ways in which we identify with certain creative or process orientated approaches and how we then choose to either use or avoid them and how they can build our authentic coaching.

Learning approach
Through this discovery process you will learn the meaning and scope of creativity using a range of experiential approaches and reflection on our own learning and what helps and hinders us. The way process can set us free and enable our thinking and actions.
Interactive, discussive, reflection and focused on action.

Significant learning activities
• The meaning and scope of creativity
• The meaning and scope of process
• How these are applied through our own converging and diverging behaviours and tendencies
• How models from other disciplines can add to your overall approach
• How integration of the two metaphors creates a balanced and authentic approach that exposes the real you when you are coaching and increases the benefits option and capacity for growth for your clients
• By being the coach you are can expand your abilities, confidence and practice.

Gaining the greatest momentum by:
• Being open
• Having fun
• Joining in
• Questioning what’s gone before
• Asking ‘what next?’

How to book?   Through Eventbrite

Investment £162.00p including all refreshments, lunch and materials

Where’s it at?
The Venue details are: The Ship Inn Alveston BS35 3LL
Contact Jenn on 07772267004 Or Contact Peter on 0793 334 4707


The Artist and the Engineer converging and diverging?


Often opposites can make a whole

Often what we think is different comes from the same place

Odifferent disciplines can add to the completeness of a coach

A one day event for coaches and developers Wednesday 3rd December 2014

The Artist & The Engineer

“Harmonising the Artist and Engineer in ourselves and our coaching”

Coaching Authentically In the 21st Century

What does this programme do?
Discover fresh insights, approaches and scope of coaching, so that your practice becomes more authentic and expansive using the artist and engineer metaphors in developing your mastery.

“To boldly go where no one has gone before”

Explore your practice by
• Bringing the whole of you to your coaching
• Finding courage and using your intuition, creativity and common sense to choose how to work with your clients in any given moment
• Practical ways of self developing your coaching so that the authentic and inspirational you comes to the fore and creates a sense of easy and doing it easily
• Visioning the pictures of insightful knowledge in your core being
• Hearing the sounds that are the theme of your life and work

Brought to you by an actual artist and engineer who through their very different approaches have converged to bring about fresh insights into what coaches can do and be

The Artist Jenn Gash
Starting life in Human Resources, Jenn re-trained as an Occupational Therapist. Her interest in positive psychology and therapeutic relationships led her to train as a coach in 2005. Her passion for creativity led her to specialise in creativity coaching

The Engineer Peter Mayes
Starting life in construction and then engineering firms as a designer then work study engineer Peter progressed into specialist roles for multinationals in Human Resource Development before becoming a consultant and trainer in leadership development

How to book?

Investment £162.00p including all refreshments, lunch and materials

Where’s it at?
The Venue details are: The Ship Inn Alveston BS35 3LL
Further location details on eventbrite

Contact Jenn on 07772267004 Or Contact Peter on 0793 334 4707

So what’s happening with leaders in the 21st century?

October Newsletter

Well for a whole host of leaders the tried and tested ways of the past work for yesterday’s paradigm at yesterday’s pace and yesterdays people. The trouble is today is today and we’ve not even reached tomorrow yet.

So what’s to be done? Let’s some new questions?

  • What do people experience of us on their first day?
  • Even before that, what do candidates we’ve interviewed think of us? Are unsuccessful candidates discarded even though they have demonstrated lots of great skills? What do we do with them?
  • What’s working exceptionally well right now and why?
  • Do we as an organization follow the herd or lead it?
  • Do all of our peoples attributes turn up and turn on for work?

The concept and practice of collective leadership being aligned top to bottom seems to be getting more air time and the comment and writing in this area is increasing

As early as 2011 Deloitte” means Deloitte Consulting LLP published a research article “Collective leadership: Getting organizations to work as one” it highlighted some key trends (I have added my own de-jargonised thoughts in italics)

Leaders are seeking new ways to drive effective action. Changing employee expectations demands different and more tailored leadership approaches than many companies have used in the past. (why is it that employee engagement surveys in the USA show a lowest scoring for 20 years)

The average CEO tenure is getting shorter. This creates two challenges. First, continuity of leadership is hard to sustain. And second, leaders feel pressure to produce quick results that stick. (Football manager syndrome, that’s the problem measure the wrong things well and you get the wrong things done even better)

Downsizing has taken its toll. Leadership ranks and organisational layers are thinning. Organisations have to take full advantage of the talent they have to drive engagement that fulfills the business strategy.(taking advantage or mobilizing their potential) I recently participated on a Human Resources Professionals discussion group that harped on about how the psychological contract was dead and moaned about people most of the time and then gave advice on how you can control them, at that point I left the group)

Risks seem riskier. Today’s competitive environment values executives who are able to find new ways to manage through continuing global challenges and workforce instability.(its called reducing fear and increasing trust)

This is just one of the reports that highlight similar needs so why is it so different for most organisations given that the three principles of collective leadership are easy to understand (but hard to do)
1. Creating a sense of belonging (we want to work here)
2. Gaining shared commitment (we want to stay hear)
3. Achieving a shared interpretation of the problem and desired solution. (we know what is going on and what part we play)

These principles should be used across the organization strategy formulation, leadership development, organization design, process design, technology strategy, and change management.
• Drawing lessons from the people closest to the customer
• Ensuring your people have a sense of being connected
• Enabling people to act together to achieve their goals
• Understanding the ways in which the organisation gets work done?

Recently after attending a series of business gatherings and specialist workshops where the key issues of energizing your people and managing your talent we explored.

I came away realizing that neither question had been addressed in any great detail or significance. Yes energy can be increased by ensuring you are properly hydrated (the key tip bit from a two hour presentation by a presenter who was anything but energetic).
The managing talent session was an introduction to using assessment and development centers how to do it and what makes them effective actually a really great session but not what it said on the tin which was talent management?

What’s significant about these examples?
These sessions in their different ways show the dilemmas leaders have in the 21st century, making the message clear and making the message appropriate. The time for jargon has gone people has become too skeptical and lost faith in many institutions banks, religion politicians easily spring to mind
• The time for meeting people you wouldn’t normally meet
• The time for trying new things
• The time for taking action in a way that’s different from the past

Taking some tips from Rosaline Torres in her recent TED Talk “What makes a great leader?” see video. http://petermayes.co.uk/wp/
She asked a series of questions to establish the leaders that we thriving what was it that they we re doing
1. Where are you looking to anticipate your next change? The companies or people who are exceptional
2. What is your diversity measure? The capacity to develop relationships with people different to you, so what would someone who has never bought your product or service say about you?
3. Are you courageous enough to abandon the past? So what’s next, what’s now and what will work tomorrow? Innovation creativity is the key. Letting people have space to think without a box let alone outside of one.
Call to action to all people developers, coaches and trainers an innovative new programme

The Artist & The Engineer: coaching using harmonised approaches      See your inner Artisteer!

Integrate from the world of the arts and science, understand how these approaches converge and flow together