Engagement in a time of Quiet Quitting

Have you ever thought about measuring/assessing how motivated and engaged your employees are to perform their best at work each day? You could find out how aligned they are with the organisation's values and direction, their level of enthusiasm for their work, how connected they feel in their team, and their overall satisfaction with what they do.

Why is your Strategy Sitting in your Desk Drawer?

We’ve all been there, a freshly minted strategy document, impressively bound, endorsed by the Board, sits there on your desktop, ready to drive your organisation toward the future to which it aspires. Fast forward and it now sits (at best) behind you on a shelf or (at worst) buried in a desk drawer, rarely to see the light of day.

Transformational Leadership - The Leadership Circle

As a key element of my mahi and what I love doing – leadership coaching - I often get asked what 360o tool is available that is both uplifting and challenging for growth and development to be maximised.

Vision, Vitality and Values for Time and Self-Management

Do you struggle to keep up with your workload? Do you continually feel stressed? Do procrastination and lack of focus hound you? We all encounter overwhelming days in today's busy workplaces, filled with numerous tasks and commitments.

Implementing Sticky Change

Implementing successful personal or organisational change is challenging. The number of New Year’s resolutions that don’t make it to February, is an example of personal change that, despite the very best intentions, is notoriously difficult to implement.

Why it's Still Important to Write Well

Are you embarrassed by the standard of writing that goes out from your organisation? Do you find yourself spending more time than you have to spare proof reading other people's work? Do you cringe every time you receive internal emails that are full of errors, and worry that your clients receive similar emails? Read on...

Setting Up Teams for Success: Development of a Value Proposition

Some of your team members might appreciate refreshed clarity about their team purpose, service offerings and how to more effectively work alongside each other, their customers and stakeholders, thus creating a new or refreshed team culture. 

People Capability - 5 Key Questions for 2023

This article on people capability comes at a key time when businesses are struggling to recruit skilled staff. This isn't a new problem but has worsened in the last 2-3 years. Find out what you can do to manage this issue. 

The True Role of an Executive Team

One of the most critical distinctions that differentiates effective teams at an executive level is how they address the crucial Executive Team question: "What is it that requires us to come together interdependently and for which we are collectively responsible?"

Development of a Competency Framework

A competency framework is a structure that sets out and defines individual competencies (and related skills/behaviours) required by individuals for them to be effective in their job. It provides one of the most important tools for driving key HR and OD functions and can provide both efficiencies and improved performance…

How the 5 Dysfunctions of a Team can Help with Culture and Wellbeing

Focusing on culture right now is one of the most powerful things an organisation can do. As you start the year off, the last thing you need is a ‘broken’ team culture – it’s hard enough to find and keep good people without having dysfunctional ‘noise’ impacting decisions for those good people to move on.

The Paradox of the Compliance-Performance Balance

There is an unavoidable tension in a business between maximising returns and the cost of compliance with financial standards, green goals, equity values, physical safety, safety from harassment and bullying, Treaty obligations and maintaining honesty and ethics.

The Power of Storytelling in Business

I first became aware of the power of business stories while reading The Art of Possibility, by Zander and Zander. This motivated me to research what makes a great business story, and apply these learnings in countless situations over the last decade. I’m convinced that being able to share a good business story is an essential skill required by all leaders.

360 Degree Reviews - How to Get it Right

360 reviews are in wide use as a tool to identify the strengths and development opportunities for an individual against a set of competencies and behaviours that are important in their role at work. The decision to use a 360 review process should be taken carefully.

What can we Learn from Leading with Optimism?

What is optimism? According to Seth Godin, author, entrepreneur and teacher, it is both an attitude and a choice that involves context and focus. Simon Sinek speaks about the importance of leading with optimism, especially during uncertain times.

Embedding Values in your Organisation

All organisations need to deliver on their promise to their clients, customers or other stakeholders. To do so they need to deliver on their promise to their people. Values, and their associated behaviours, are part of that promise.

How Do Your People Feel at Work?

Bullying and harassment - for many people, going to work can feel like entering a war zone. New Zealand has one of the highest rates of workplace bullying in the world. Many employers and people leaders struggle with first identifying that there is a workplace bullying or harassment problem, and secondly what to do about it.

What Really Causes Workplace Bullying?

A lot of people know bullying is a significant problem in New Zealand schools, but what many people may be surprised to learn is that New Zealand workplaces have one of the highest rates of bullying in the world.

Building Resilience and Wellbeing

Over the past two years we have seen our resilience and wellbeing tested with the on-going uncertainty and stress surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. We continue to navigate our way through lockdowns, border closures, working from home, and uncertainty around job security.

Support for Strengths-Based Development

Self-awareness is the foundation of any leader’s development. Knowing what you’re good at helps you make good decisions about your career. Yet, as a society, we gravitate to the gaps – to where the deficits are. This is one reason people dislike performance reviews – they focus too much on talking about what needs fixing.

The Importance of Working Biculturally

When an organisation promotes bicultural awareness, it is reflected in its organisational culture and values. By creating understanding between the different cultures working together, an environment of inclusivity, equality and diversity is created.

Crafting an Effective Sales and Marketing Strategy

It seems completely logical to talk about ensuring that your sales and marketing strategy are aligned with organisation purpose. However, this is not always the case or easy to achieve. It can take time for an organisation to fully define its purpose.

Covid and Resilience

Yesterday I got my first Covid vaccination; I’m not a big fan of needles but happy to do my bit to protect my own health and those with whom I am in contact.

How to Get Value from Coaching #2

In March 2017 I published How to Get Value from Coaching on our ODI website and in our e-newsletter. Since then, a lot has changed that has impacted the coaching space, including Zoom, work from home, higher stress, more uncertainty, and an increase in coaching capacity. Read on for an update of my March 2017 story to reflect the current reality.

Adaptive Leadership: Embracing the Challenge and Thriving

As we're discovering, we can’t just sit this one out, hunker down and weather the Covid-19 storm. There are significant indicators that there is an ongoing need to adapt and continue the process of reshaping organisations and redefining the work being done. Trying to protect existing ways of work in…

Strengthen Awareness and Build Effectiveness with DiSC®

So you think you know yourself and members of your team? How aware are you of what really motivates and stresses you and them at work? What impact does behaviour have on the workplace and customers? What if there was a way to speed up the process of understanding yourself…

Burnout Indicators

As a leader in 2021, you’ll no doubt have welfare concerns for your team. After 2020 (may it rest in peace) and events that preceded it, coupled with the emerging ramifications of COVID-19, there is much to be concerned about. A quick analysis using Google Trends indicated that the search…

Development of Purpose and Values

An organisation’s Purpose and Values describe the core or ‘soul’ of the organisation. They are the organisation’s principal foundations, providing clarity, direction and a common language about what is important. They play a critical role in creating a competitive advantage, for building a positive organisational culture, and for leadership effectiveness.


How is your Learning Culture?

The learning culture in your organisation is a central player in enabling training and development to be successful, but before we explore learning culture, we need to understand what training success really means. In the end organisations invest time and money in training and development to support achieving organisation strategies and the business results expected to flow from that. 

Growth Mindset: The Mindset for a Changing World

Do you dread making mistakes? And even more so when someone notices, and blames you for them?! Guess what? You probably both have the fixed mindset. This mindset expects you to be excellent (or some take it to the extreme, perfect) all the time. This is the mindset we see most of the time, if not always, when something goes wrong.

Pulse Surveys

In these dynamic times, what you know about your organisation culture, climate and employee experience may be completely out of date. With lockdown, working from home, business restrictions and closures, and a refocus for many on home and family, there may have been some fundamental shifts in the employer-employee relationship…

Self-Awareness Diagnostics

Leadership development journeys generally begin with learners gaining some self-awareness about their traits, styles, preferences as well as existing leadership capabilities. This helps them to focus on the development opportunities that are going to make a real difference to their leadership practice. There are a wide range of self-awareness diagnostic tools available.

How to Improve your Self-Management

Leadership starts with yourself – making sure that you’re personally well-equipped for the job and in tune with the demands, needs and issues of those you are leading and of the work that is expected of them.

Collaborative Leadership

Back in February 2016 I posted a blog titled Where is Leadership Going? In it I was tracking the history of leadership styles from the 1970’s to the time of writing and speculating on where leadership style was heading out into the 21st Century. I concluded that Joe Raelin’s Leaderful…

How to Improve Work Culture in Your Organisation

Culture in an organisation is the sum of the behaviours enacted by its people; that is to say, culture is the outcome of the aggregated beliefs, assumptions, attitudes, values and actions that are ‘normal’ and institutionalised in the organisation.

4 Stages to Designing and Embedding Wellbeing and Resilience Programmes

What if it was possible for your workforce to be stronger and more confident about handling change and uncertainty every day at work? Are you responsible for growing wellbeing and resilience in your organisation? This guide provides some information for Human Resources teams or anybody who is responsible for developing programmes in wellbeing and resilience (W&R) at work.

How to Grow Leadership in Your Organisation

Leadership has been in the news a bit lately, for both good and not-so-good reasons.  We have seen Jacinda Ardern ascend the heights of global leadership and struggle a bit locally with the performance of her colleagues and the Opposition.  And we have seen Teresa May succumb to a leadership…

How to Improve Leadership in Organisations

Nowadays, leading people well trumps expertly managing tasks. A new leadership style and practices are needed for business success – distributed, inclusive and collaborative leadership that invites and supports the team to participate in decisions, planning and actions – leading to better individual, team and business results.

4 Tips to Improve Teams using a Strengths-Based Approach

Decades of research have proven that when people are given the opportunity to do what they do best every day, the effect on individual, team and organisational performance is powerful. The problem is that most people aren’t able to accurately identify their own strengths and therefore can’t intentionally use them.

5 Tips for Engaging a Great Leadership Coach

Coaching in work and leadership settings is an invaluable tool for developing people across a wide range of needs. Coaching is an unregulated industry so how can you be assured that the Leadership Coach you select is one of the very best?

5 Tips on How to Recruit for Behaviours and Fit

Keen to make sure your new recruit fits into the team and organisation? Burned in the past by making the wrong selection? Read on for some hints about how to get the right behaviours and fit, first time and every time.

A Pragmatist's Approach to Leadership Development

My experience as both purchaser and supplier of leadership development solutions helps me to see the ‘zone of interest’ where the two parties can come together from their different perspectives on the leadership development solution that can be made to work in each case.

6 Tips on How to Grow your Emotional Intelligence

Science shows that feelings precede thoughts and behaviours, so the more adept we are at managing our feelings, the more effective we'll be in work and all facets of our lives. Organisations high in Emotional Intelligence benefit from more engaged employees and leaders, staff who are more able to cope with change, better team working, and greater collaboration.

The New Leadership Paradigm

We have and are seeing a massive shift in leadership style, driven by employee expectations, new ways of working, and in the communications technology used to support them both. No longer leadership as hero, but leadership as partner. This shift is so widespread now it can be viewed as the new leadership paradigm.

5 Key Questions to Help Reveal Organisational Purpose

There is nothing more powerful to direct focused attention within an organisation than clearly articulated Purpose, but identifying what this might be is not a simple task. Many organisations confuse their Vision with their Mission, and their Mission with their Purpose. Purpose is difficult to identify, but when it is, it unleashes a cascade of thinking and behaviour that simultaneously transforms and unifies an enterprise. 

8 Success Drivers for Leadership Development Programmes

The results are finally in, and, YES, leadership development programmes really do work... Not only that, but the drivers that make for successful leadership development programmes have now been identified.

5 Tips to Get the Best from Your Teams

Our teams just don’t work; lots of talk about each other, plenty of friction but very little traction. Some people simply avoid their team and go it alone. If your teams are not zones of trust, collaboration and harmony, then you won’t be getting the effectiveness and results that you could. Perhaps it’s time for a change for the better?

IBM Kenexa Exit has a Silver Lining

Last month one of the world’s leading employee engagement survey companies, IBM Kenexa, announced they would exit New Zealand in June. It must have been a shock for their customers to hear that they would no longer be supported, effectively leaving them looking around for what comes next.The situation is…

7 Leadership Practices to Boost Employee Engagement

The success of an organisation depends on the people who work for it. Motivated, engaged employees are the foundation for success, with highly engaged employees producing better business outputs, more loyal customers, fewer ‘problems’, and superior financial performance. Engagement goes beyond employee happiness or satisfaction ...

5 Tips for Creating Strategies that Work

Too many leaders say they have a strategy when they actually don’t. Instead, they settle for ‘broad and bland’ that ignores the power of choice and focus, trying instead to accommodate a multitude of conflicting demands and interests.

8 Tips to Maximise your Leadership Development Results

If your organisation is investing in leadership development, you’ll want to know that you’re going to see some real benefits back at work. We’ve put together eight tips that will help to ensure that your programme is robust and that your participants are well set up to bring back new learnings to their teams, and in turn produce results for your business.

Self Projection for the Modest

John Lees explains how quieter people can make a bigger impact.Why are so many career changers told to “get out there and sell yourself”?

In some labour markets, especially the UK and US, access to jobs has changed significantly. The UK, for example has seen a noticeable decline in conventional job advertisements.…

Kirkpatrick Evaluation Proves Training Value

Since 2012, ODI has deployed Kirkpatrick Four Levels (R) in the design and evaluation of each programme it has delivered. Information about each of the four levels – L1 Reaction, L2 Learning, L3 Behaviour and L4 Results - has been collected in a consistent way across each programme; providing a substantial database across 138 programmes able to be usefully analysed.  

Dealing with Challenging Staff

Sooner or later just about every business will face a challenging staff member. Staffing problems can be extraordinarily costly; they can cause high staff turnover, lost customers and a significant decrease in productivity. In addition to the high financial costs, there can also be exceptionally high emotional costs; managers with…

How to Get Value from Coaching

One of the bigger 21st Century trends in learning and development is the increased use of coaching as a core component of development programmes. The weight of evidence is that coaching really does work.

ODI HPWI Programme 2015/16 Delivers Results

ODI's High Performance Work Initiative (HPWI) programme was Callaghan Innovation co-funded and worked with four client organisations over the 15-month period to December 2016. The programme provided workshop-based diagnostics across the 10 Levers for High Performance Work; participative events at which SMT and others from client organisations discussed and rated…

Changing your Leadership Practices at Work

Wiser folk than me make a clear distinction between management work and leadership work. Some define management work as about accomplishing tasks and leadership work about relationship-based inspiration and energising of people. Others define management as about coping with complexity and leadership as about coping with change.

The Power of Authentic Purpose

Only when purpose is really clarified, can attention can be truly focused. Purpose is not a by-line or a marketing motto. It is the fundamental capture and sincere articulation of the soul of the business, but when it is found, it transforms everything.

ODI’s HPWI Programme Shows Promise

ODI has been rolling out its Callaghan Innovation-supported High Performance Work Initiative (HPWI) programme since October 2015 for the four organisations that have joined this inaugural programme. It is scheduled for completion by the end of calendar 2016. Indications are that it is providing good returns to the participant organisations,…

Understanding Human Behaviour with Extended DISC

In my experience, most people say they can sum up a person pretty quickly, and for first impressions, most probably can. So why do I have so many clients disappointed with who they recruited and surprised when their first impression don't work out?  Did they misread that person? Did the context of working with the person change so much that behaviours changed radically? Or do some underlying behaviours only reveal themselves under pressure?

Leadership and Organisational Development

As we all appreciate, organisations are systems of integrated parts, with leadership holding the tiller to guide the organisation’s journey. The organisation exists to achieve pre-determined business outcomes; leadership exists to change the organisation so it can more efficiently and effectively achieve that purpose. Today, leadership can be characterised as having four hierarchical facets; personal leadership, team leadership, organisational leadership and external leadership.

ODI 10 Levers for High Performance Work

ODI has worked with the Burke-Litwin Model of Organisational Change and Performance to create a set of diagnostics to help identify organisational strengths and development opportunities to achieve high performance work.  We have crafted a series of questions that test a business or organisation against global good practices in each…

Impactful Crucial Conversations

Tough conversations can be one of the hardest yet inevitable parts of a leader’s job. Impactful crucial conversations can resolve conflict, deepen relationships, build strong and diverse teams, and keep ideas and creativity flowing. Often fear stops us having those necessary difficult conversations that we know we need to have.

Health-Promoting Leaders Unleash Organisational Performance

In terms of priorities, health often comes last for leaders. Time and time again, studies have found the top sources of stress for executives are excessive workload and/or long hours, lack of work/life balance and inadequate staffing. Yet the effect of poor health for leaders can be profound.

Where is Leadership Going?

The art and science of leadership has been on the organisational agenda for almost 40 years now. Back then leadership started to reveal itself as something important and something different from management, which had been the dominant player in organisations since the Industrial Revolution. Today, leadership stands as the pre-eminent…

How Organisational Culture and Climate Impact Training Success

In our leadership training practice we are often confronted by programme results that are less than we would like to see. I say ‘confronted’, not because we face anger or resentment from clients - by and large they are happy with what we deliver - but because we take it…

It’s all about Sticky Learning – isn’t it?

Sticky learning is a new buzzword in the training lexicon. It is turning up quite a bit in tender documents and elsewhere. Google searches pull up many pages indexed to that term. One entrepreneurial training provider even claims trademark registration for it – so others might need to be a…

More About Mindset

Having recently explored the concepts around mindset, I've become a little fascinated and have taken the time to dig much deeper. I've realised that mindset isn't just about how we might respond to the need to change, it's about our world view of everything that we encounter in our lives…

Can you be an Effective Leader without a Growth Mindset?

Over the last couple of months, while anticipating, undergoing and recovering from major surgery, I've had pause to think a bit about the future. Not so much the future, but my future. Glimpses of mortality tend to concentrate the mind a bit. I’ve emphasised the and my because the distinction is pivotal to what I've been thinking about - that I don't have much influence over the future but I own my future for as long as I am me. ‘Owning my own future’ is a mindset – a personal belief.

Leaders and their Followers

As a leader, you are out of a job if there are no followers prepared and willing to follow you. That is self-evident at the extreme end of the spectrum - when your team resolutely turn its back on you and follows another leader - but it is at least…

The Importance of Coaching

A large part of being an effective leader at work is the ability to coach the people in your team. Most people, when asked, would say that they do coach their team members, but when they really understand what true coaching means, they realise that they actually don't coach. They…

Leadership Training that Really Works

At ODI we’ve been concerned for some time about the effectiveness of New Zealand organisational leadership and we are not alone in that thought. We are also conscious of the variable quality of the response to that by the learning and development community.

At its simplest, sound organisational leadership is about…

Competency Development for Smart Organisations

In our business training and business consultancy practice we regularly advise clients on the best ways to develop the competency of their organisation. We’d like to share our approach with you here.

First though, we need to clarify what competency is. At the organisational level, core competency results from deploying specific…

Competencies Frameworks can Help Organisations

Many see Competencies (or Capabilities) Frameworks as something HR does that adds complexity but no value to the organisation – they see a sideshow that is of no real use to the business. This is an unfortunate view, but it is one that prevails; largely because many frameworks are not…

How Healthy is Your Learn >> Change >> Improve Results Value Chain?

All organisations have a reason for being. Smart organisations are clear about what that purpose is and have strategies in place to achieve it, and measures in place to tell how well they are doing.

Some organisations engage in Organisational Development (OD) – aligning all of the elements of the organisational…

The PEAR Approach to Training

We've known for a long time that simply attending a training course is not enough to make a difference at work. Participants need to start the learning cycle before attending a workshop, and they also need to be supported after a workshop to apply what they've learned.

We know that if…

Collaboration is Alive and Well in Canterbury

Yesterday, a group of Canterbury business and organisation leaders spent a little time with four outstanding collaboration practitioners and a subject-matter expert in that space. It was an unforgettable experience.

The practitioners, Duncan Gibb, GM, SCIRT; Vince Barry, CEO, Pegasus Health; Paul Lonsdale, Councillor, Christchurch City Council; and Dr Tom Richardson,…

Is Your Nest Broken?

As we work more closely with our clients we are learning just how fragile many workplace climates are when it comes to the application of new skills and behaviours at work. And our Kirkpatrick evaluations tell us that if the nest is not ready the fledgling will not thrive.

Let me…

Short Course Changes

As many of you will know, we've made a number of changes to our Short Courses over the last year or two. We've been responding to new needs by offering new (and shorter) workshops and responding to evidence that Short Course participants who are not supported after a workshop are…

Achieving Desired Business Outcomes

How do you achieve desired business outcomes from training? This is a central question for any organisation and the answer lies in analysis, planning and design of learning solutions in conjunction with an experienced learning and development specialist.

At one end of the spectrum, you can simpply send individuals to ad…

It's all about Culture and Climate

The holiday period has given me the chance to review all of our ODI training deliveries over 2013, and it has been quite a ‘special’ review because for the first time we have real evidence from our participants’ workplaces about the changes made there as a result of our work.


How you can Fix your Application Bridge

Our Kirkpatrick tools and methods, and I think common sense also, tell us that if organisational training and development do not result in new skills or behaviours applied at work they are simply waste. In my many engagements with organisation clients and learners I have never been offered a counter-argument…

How our Kirkpatrick Certification can Help You

Training is big business. It costs money and time, both of which are covered mostly by the employer, and only sometimes by the employee. Some organisations spend upwards of 2% of their annual payroll on training; that is the equivalent of an extra week's pay for everyone.

Participating in training is…

On Leadership

I see many organisations that invest in leadership training for senior and middle roles, but not for managers and supervisers closer to the coal face – why is this?

I think it is because of a fundamental misunderstanding about the nature of leadership and its pivotal role in organisational performance.

Leadership is…