Posts Tagged ‘values’


Passion and Flow: How to make the most of your greatest asset – People!

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

People potentialI’m running an event in Melbourne on 12 August at 6.30pm. You can find the details here.

But first some background:

Like it or not, we live in revolutionary times. Everywhere I go I find conversations about working in a different way. Some of the regular themes include:

  • unleashing human potential and creativity
  • working collaboratively across silos and organisations
  • building tribes and communities with trust
  • the shift away from patriarchal structures and the rise of feminine values
  • a new environmental awareness
  • putting values at the centre of everything we do
  • being authentically human

(more…)

Keys to High Performing Teams part 8 – Workplace Conflict Resolution

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Businessman yelling.This is the eighth in a series of Ten Keys to High Performing Teams. This article looks at the role that conflict resolution plays in workplace performance.

Conflict, like change, is inevitable. But it does not have to be destructive. Handled well, conflict can be a driver of innovation leading to better outcomes for everyone. The good news is that if you implement the other Keys to High Performing Teams in this series, you are already avoiding some of the drivers which can make conflict damaging and costly.

But because conflict is usually seen as something negative, painful and destructive, many people and organisations try to live in denial, seeking to avoid open conflict at all costs. This is not a good idea! It leads to even more pain over time as the conflict goes underground spreading its toxic fruits without being given a chance for a positive resolution.  (more…)

Keys to high performing teams part 3 – Align personal and organisational goals

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Align personal and organisational goals.This is the third in a series of posts exploring 10 keys to getting high performing teams. This one looks at the third key: aligning personal goals with organisational goals.

A recent article in Fast Company magazine made some interesting points about the “onboarding” (orientation for new employees) process and challenged the conventional practice. Currently the emphasis is helping the newcomer understanding the organisation’s practices, values and people, so that they can quickly learn to fit in.

However, drawing on Positive Psychology research, the authors of an academic paper titled Breaking Them In or Eliciting Their Best? found that current practice leads to people performing less than optimally in the job. (more…)

The Daring Greatly Leadership Manifesto

Sunday, September 29th, 2013

From my own learning and observations, one of the biggest barriers to trust in the workplace, and by extension to productivity, is the habits of blame and shame that manifest into toxic blaming and low-trust cultures.

Brené Brown has been doing some pioneering work on understanding the role that shame plays. As well as her excellent TED talk, do yourself a favour and spend an hour looking at an interview she did with Oprah Winfrey.

There is pure gold in that interview.

There is also a link to download several Daring Greatly manifestos, including the Leadershp Manifesto.

This is so in-tune with my work that I share it here. (Click the image to download it as a PDF from Brené Brown’s website)

Daring Greatly Leadership Manifesto

Mike Lowe
Helping individuals and teams get into flow

Keys to high performing teams part 1 – have the right people in the right roles

Friday, September 13th, 2013

Am I the Right Person?This is the first of a promised series of posts exploring 10 keys to getting high performing teams.

This one looks at having the right people in the right jobs.

A key part of this comes at the recruiting stage. Don’t make the mistake that many businesses do and focus on skills and experience. Skills can be easily taught and experience can be gained. It is more important to look things like personality, strengths and values.

Get this right and you will find people who have an intrinsic motivation to work in that role. In other words they will enjoy what they do. That is a powerful drive, and will mean that they are not so dependent on extrinsic motivators – the carrots and sticks of traditional performance management.

I use the Talent Dynamics test to find out in what roles a person is most likely to find their flow. There are other personality profile type tests, such as Myers Briggs (MBTI) DISC and various derivatives of them with different names. Personally I find Talent Dynamics more suited than the others for reasons I go into here. What it will help you find is the person who is most likely to thrive in the role you want them to fill. It’s no use having someone who is a creative big-picture person trying to do repetitive detail-orientated work. Likewise it’s no use having someone who is systems and numbers focused in role where they routinely need to engage with people’s emotions and irrational behaviour. (more…)

Gandhi and leadership

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013
Rajmohan Gandhi (left)

Mike with Rajmohan Gandhi (left)

Back in February I travelled to India to participate in an international conference, Dialogue on Democracy, in Panchgani, Maharashtra. I was last there 27 years ago so it was interesting to reconnect with familiar places and faces and also to see how much had changed.  It was also a chance to reconnect with Rajmohan Gandhi, grandson and biographer of Mahatma Gandhi, and I was fortunate to share a 5-hour taxi ride with him back to Mumbai after the conference finished.

A while back I purchased and started reading Rajmohan’s mammoth biography of his grandfather, but it was only after this visit to India that I was inspired to read it properly.  And after reading it, it was several more months before I felt I had digested it enough to write a review.  Well I have now done that. The review is on Amazon.com, but I also include it below. (more…)

A tale of two airlines – lessons for corporate ethics

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

airplaneWe all make mistakes – even the best of us. What sets us apart is how we respond to those mistakes. For companies and organisations, these are the situations when corporate ethics are put to the reality test.

A few weeks ago, United Airlines copped a lot of unwanted publicity for losing a ten-year old girl who was travelling, unaccompanied, from San Francisco to attend a summer camp near Traverse City with a change in Chicago. Her parents had paid a $99 “unaccompanied minor” surcharge and the girl had been told that she would be accompanied at all times at by someone wearing a United Airlines badge. However, in Chicago nobody showed up to accompany the girl, and as a result she missed her connection. Worse, her parents were not informed and only found out when the summer camp called them to say that she was not on the flight. (more…)

Frameworks for understanding & managing diversity part 5. Personality differences

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Personality typesThis is the fifth in a series of articles on frameworks for understanding and managing diversity. Part 1 looked at different developmental stages. Part 2 looked at the huge issue of cultural diversity. Part 3 looked at the sensitive question of religious differences, and part 4 looked at the role of different values. This article builds on the previous articles and looks at personality differences and some of the tools available for assessing personality.

The concept of different personality types has been studied for thousands of years . Many of the modern personality profiling systems have their roots in the Four Temperaments, as described by Hippocrates about 2400 years ago. These four temperaments: Sanguine, Choleric, Melancholic and Phlegmatic, remained commonly used categorisations of personalities right up to the present time. The Swiss Psychologist Carl Jung used them as a basis for his own theories of personality which were then, in turn, picked up by others. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the DISC assessment both have their roots in Jung’s work on the psychology of personality. Both MBTI and DISC are often used in the business sector to help managers better understand the teams they are managing. (more…)

Frameworks for understanding & managing diversity part 4. Values differences

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

scales of valuesThis is the fourth in a series of articles on frameworks for understanding and managing diversity. Part 1 looked at different developmental stages. Part 2 looked at the huge issue of cultural diversity. Part 3 looked at the sensitive question of religious differences. This article builds on the previous articles and looks at values differences.

Each person has a unique hierarchy of values which determine their actions and filter the information they take in. If a person eats lots of unhealthy fast food, it is because they place a higher value on eating than on their health. If a person neglects their spouse to work 80 hours a week in their job, it is because they place a higher value on their work (or what their work gives them) than on spending time with their spouse. Someone for whom sports is a high-ranking value will read the newspapers differently to another person who values being informed about politics or foreign affairs. They might watch the same TV news and remember quite different things from it. (more…)