How To Support Teams’ Learning And Development Needs

Organisations can fundamentally support their teams’ learning and development needs by cultivating an environment that fosters intrinsic motivation. But how to achieve that?

One approach is the adoption of the Toyota Kata model. The term ‘Kata’, borrowed from martial arts, refers to a structured routine practiced so it becomes second nature. Toyota applies this concept in the realm of continuous improvement and coaching.

To put it simply, Toyota Kata isn’t about providing answers, but about establishing an organisational culture that motivates individuals to discover solutions themselves. This inherently appeals to intrinsic motivation, as employees are driven by the satisfaction of mastering challenges, the thrill of problem-solving, and the joy of personal development. They’re not learning and developing because they’re told to, they’re doing it because they want to.

Organisations utilising the Toyota Kata model promote a learning mindset where curiosity, creativity and resilience are valued. They foster an environment where it’s okay to make mistakes, as they’re considered part of the learning process. This can reduce or eliminate the fear of failure, which significantly hinders innovation and risk-taking.

Further, the Kata routines can ensure teams have a clear focus and direction. Through the Improvement Kata, employees are guided to understand the direction, grasp the current condition, establish the next target condition, and experiment towards that target. When people know where they’re headed and why, it encourages them to take ownership of their roles and fosters intrinsic motivation.

Moreover, the Coaching Kata supports managers in developing their subordinates by not simply providing solutions, but by asking insightful questions that encourage critical thinking. This way, managers become facilitators for growth rather than just taskmasters. This coaching approach can instill a sense of competence and autonomy, which are key components of intrinsic motivation.

Toyota Kata isn’t about achieving perfection, but about continuous learning and improvement. By acknowledging this journey and celebrating the learning process, organisations can make their teams feel valued and motivated to continue their development.

So, an organisation’s support for its teams’ learning and development needs goes way beyond merely offering training programmes or growth opportunities. It’s about creating a culture of continuous improvement and learning, fostering intrinsic motivation, and supporting this with models like Toyota Kata. When organisations achieve this, they’ll likely see not only improvements in their team’s skills and capabilities, but also enhanced engagement, productivity, and innovation.

Self-Serving or All-Serving?

It’s often said that we are best at solving problems we understand. But what if the problems aren’t ours? While (software) development teams excel at catering to their own needs, attending to the needs of others presents a new challenge. Uncover the disparity in this service and explore how the emerging role of Attendants promises to reshape this landscape by navigating the Needsscape and addressing the needs of all.

Development teams have long been the driving force behind many of the products and services that we use daily. But when it comes to meeting people’s needs, there’s a noticeable disparity. On the one hand, development teams are generally proficient at attending to their own needs. After all, they are most familiar with the tools and methods they use, and they sometimes even have the power to alter them to better suit their needs. They also have a clear line of communication within their teams to express their needs, and they understand the technical language and nuances that go into addressing these needs.

However, when it comes to the needs of others – users, stakeholders, or other teams within an organisation – development teams often fall short. They might struggle to fully understand the perspectives, problems, and desires of these other groups, especially if they do not have direct interaction or a clear line of communication with them. This gap in understanding can lead to products that do not fully meet the needs of the people they’re intended to serve.

In essence, the ability to attend to one’s own needs does not necessarily equate to the ability to meet the needs of others. It requires a broader understanding, empathy, communication skills, and a willingness to step outside one’s comfort zone. This is where the new role of Attendants can make a significant difference, with their primary focus on navigating the Needsscape and serving the needs of ALL the Folks That Matter™.

Business Is All About Attending to Folks’ Needs

So why not structure around that imperative? Imagine a profession unconstrained by traditional boundaries, an occupation focused on understanding and addressing needs in their entirety.

The Era of the Attendant

Welcome to the era of the Attendant – a role dedicated to exploring, mapping, and translating the ever-changing ‘Needsscape’ and serving the requirements of users, customers, groups and organisations. This is not just a job; it’s a paradigm shift in our professional landscape.

A Novel Professional Paradigm

I’d like to champion for a novel professional paradigm: the Attendant. Attendants stand apart in their unwavering commitment to exploring, comprehending, translating, and addressing the explicit and tacit needs of individuals, groups, and organisations. The Attendant role introduces a fresh perspective on the fulfilment of needs, unfettered by the limitations of a specific medium or discipline.

Mastery of the Needsscape

Central to an Attendant’s role is the mastery of the ‘Needsscape,’ a dynamic landscape of evolving requirements and expectations. Attendants are skilled at cultivating this Needsscape, distilling key insights, and transforming them into actionable and adaptable outcomes that cater to folks’ needs.

The introduction of the Attendant role marks a fundamental shift in our understanding of professional roles. This shift advocates for roles that place paramount importance on interpreting the ever-changing Needsscape and addressing these needs rather than being restricted to a certain set of tasks. The future demands not only the creation but also the attentive, adaptive, and progressive servicing of needs.

A Promising Future

Attendants, with their focus on deciphering and navigating the Needsscape, are ideally positioned to steer us into this promising future.

You may also like to read more about the Needsscape:

How Do We Change a System That Doesn’t Want to Change?

Changing a system that doesn’t want to change is hard. To do so invites us to focus on needs, not wants. Wants are like wishes, but needs are what drive action. So, change requires us together to change what the system needs.

This means we need to change what the people who own and run the system need. They decide how the system works. Their needs shape it. For positive change, their needs must fit with the changes we need.

One way to do this is to invite folks to consider why the change is good. Let’s say a business is reluctant to address “people issues”. By illustrating, with dialogue, how people are central to them getting their needs met, work can be easier, save money, and make customers happier.

Organisational culture is also key. It’s like the personality of the business. It decides how people think and act at work. If we can change this culture, it can also change what the system and those in charge of it need.

In the end, changing a system is about changing its needs. This can help bring the change we all need.

What is Normative Learning?

Imagine waking up one day, only to realise that the world isn’t as you’ve always perceived it. Your beliefs, assumptions, even your understanding of yourself and your group(s) are challenged, inviting y’all into an enlightening journey of self-discovery and adaptation. Welcome to the fascinating realm of normative learning – an odyssey towards personal and community transformation, and broadened horizons.

Normative learning is a process of reevaluation and adaptation, where we reassess our understanding of the world and our place within it. This iterative process can be triggered when we encounter situations or information that contradict our preexisting beliefs, assumptions or expectations. Such moments force us to confront the fallibility of our understanding, prompting us to say, “Hmm… it now appears that the world does not work the way I/we thought it does.”

This kind of learning goes beyond simple knowledge acquisition. It’s a complex negotiation of personal and societal belief systems, often challenging the status quo, questioning ingrained habits, and promoting growth. It is not always an easy process, but it’s an essential one for both personal and societal development. The revision of assumptions and beliefs broadens our perspectives, enabling us to be more open, empathetic, and adaptable.

Moreover, this learning journey can also lead to a profound reevaluation of self. By reframing our worldview, we inherently alter our self-image and self-knowledge. As we understand more about the world, we understand more about ourselves, making normative learning not just a cognitive exercise but a path to personal and collective transformation and enlightenment. This complex relationship between knowledge, self-discovery, and societal norms is what makes normative learning a fascinating area of exploration.

Why So Cruel?

What is it that makes people, particularly those in positions of power and authority, seem so cruelly blind to the needs of others? Could it be that the Antimatter Principle, which encourages us to focus on attending to folks’ needs, is simply lost on those who rise to the top?

Is it possible that “the system” in most organisations unwittingly selects for promotion and responsibility those with shortfalls in empathy, compassion, and interest in the needs of others? Perhaps there’s a hidden flaw in the criteria used to evaluate leaders, resulting in the ascension of individuals who prioritise their own ambitions over the well-being of their team members.

Might we also consider that folks in positions of power may develop a sense of entitlement, leading them to overlook the feelings and concerns of those they perceive as beneath them? If so, how can we, as individuals and as a society, work towards changing this and foster a more compassionate approach?

Let’s not forget, though, that there are certainly people who do exhibit empathy and a genuine concern for the needs of others. What sets them apart from the rest, and how can we nurture these qualities in future generations?

In conclusion, it’s a curious conundrum why some people in power can be so seemingly blind to the needs of others. Whether it’s a product of the system selecting for certain traits or a gradual development of entitlement, organisations might choose to recognise the importance of empathy, compassion, and the Antimatter Principle in creating a more nurturing and supportive environment for everyone.


The fear of employees ganging up on bosses is a common dread among business owners and leaders. According to a study conducted by the American Management Association, 53% of managers surveyed reported that they were afraid of their employees ganging up on them. The fear of insubordination, disloyalty, and rebellion can lead to a sense of paranoia among bosses, making them feel that they are under constant threat.

The terms “insubordination” and “superiors” suggest a hierarchical power dynamic in which employees are seen as subordinate (and inferior) to their bosses. The use of these terms can create a perception that employees are expected to blindly follow orders and never challenge the boss. However, in modern workplace culture, the relationship between bosses and employees is evolving. Employers are now expected to listen to their employees, value their opinions, and create an inclusive workplace culture where everyone’s voice is heard.

Business owners and leaders should be aware that the fear of employees ganging up on them can negatively impact workplace dynamics, create a toxic work environment, and stifle innovation. These folks may choose to create an open and transparent workplace culture where employees feel comfortable expressing their concerns without fear of retribution.

Communication and collaboration are key to fostering positive relationships between bosses and employees, building trust and creating a productive and successful work environment.

Bottom line: A positive culture is one where everyone’s needs are considered and actively attended to.


Unveiling the Surprising Purpose of Anger and the Sustaining Power of Hope in the Quest for a Better World

Are you familiar with the two flames burning in the human heart? One fueled by anger against injustice and the other by hope for a better world? Discover the surprising purpose of anger and how hope sustains our fight for a more just and equitable society in this thought-provoking exploration of Tony Benn’s powerful quote.

Tony Benn’s quote, “There are two flames burning in the human heart all the time. The flame of anger against injustice, and the flame of hope you can build a better world,” captures the paradoxical nature of the human experience. On one hand, most of us are driven by a deep-seated need for justice and equity, and on the other hand, we are sustained by a persistent hope for a better future.

Anger is often viewed as a negative emotion, one that is associated with aggression, violence, and irrationality. However, anger also serves a surprising purpose: to signal to us that our needs are not being met. When we feel angry, and thereby become conscious of our need for justice and equity, we are more likely to take action to see our needs met, and to work towards creating a more just and equitable world.

The flame of hope, on the other hand, is fueled by our need for belief in the possibility of a better future.

Hope is what allows us to persevere in the face of adversity, to keep struggling for what we believe in, and to continue working towards a more just and equitable society. Without hope, our need for justice and equity can easily be overwhelmed, and our desire for change can be replaced by despair and apathy.

In conclusion, Tony Benn’s quote reminds us that as human beings, we are driven by two powerful forces: the flame of anger against injustice, and the flame of hope that we can build a better world. It is up to each of us to harness these forces and to use them to create positive change in the world. Anger can be a powerful signal, but let’s use it as such in the hope of getting our needs better met.

Mastering the Art of Discovering Folks’ Needs

Do you struggle to uncover the needs of those around you? Discover the power of the Antimatter Principle and learn how to cultivate empathy, deep listening skills, and observation techniques to uncover the desires, hopes, and concerns of the people in your life. With these tools, you can build stronger relationships, improve communication, and develop a greater understanding of those around you. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to connect with others on a deeper level and create more fulfilling connections.

I write a lot about attending to folks’ needs. I’ve explained the psychology behind it, and named it the Antimatter Principle. I’m often asked HOW to discover folks’ needs so we can attend to them. Here’s a brief response.

Attending to the needs of others is an essential part of building strong relationships and creating a fulfilling life. However, discovering these needs can be challenging. The first step in discovering folks’ needs is to cultivate empathy and deep listening skills. This means paying attention to both verbal and nonverbal communication and being present in the moment.

To begin, it’s important to ask open-ended questions and encourage the other person to speak freely. I often start out with “Is there anything you’d like to have happen?” This can help uncover their desires, hopes, and concerns. Additionally, observing their behavior can also give clues to their needs. For instance, if someone is constantly checking their phone, they may be feeling disconnected and in need of attention. Caution: It’s way too easy to project your assumptions into what you observe. Always test such assumptions by asking e.g. “I see you checking your phone. I guess this might mean you’re feeling disconnected?”

It’s also essential to recognise that folks’ needs change over time. Therefore, it’s important to continually revisit the dialogue and check in with people to ensure that their needs are receiving attention.

In attending to folks’ needs, it’s important to recognise that everyone is unique and has their own set of needs. Thus, it’s crucial to approach each individual with an open mind and an intention to learn about them. By doing so, we can develop meaningful connections and improve our understanding of others, leading to greater empathy and compassion.

Beyond the Price Tag: The Stone Truth About What Really Attracts Top Talent

Are you tired of losing your best employees to competitors? It’s time to rethink the traditional (and unevidenced) notion that “you have to pay market rates to attract good people”. Simply offering more money will likely attract mercenaries rather than loyal and committed employees. So, what can companies do to attract and retain people? Let’s explore the factors that truly matter in building a team of dedicated and passionate people who will help drive your company’s success.

The idea that “you have to pay market rates to attract good people” is widely accepted in the business world. The basic premise of this argument is that in order to attract the best talent, companies must offer competitive compensation packages that reflect the current market rates. This is because highly skilled and qualified individuals are in high demand, and will often receive multiple job offers from different companies. As a result, companies that offer below-market compensation packages are unlikely to attract the most talented candidates.

“If all you have is a hammer…”. Compensation is that hammer.

However the stone truth is that simply paying market rates is totally inadequate to engage and motivate. This is because individuals who are primarily motivated by money are mercenaries – individuals who are willing to work for the highest bidder, without any loyalty or commitment to the company or its values.

In this sense, paying at or above market rates will attract mercenaries rather than truly committed and loyal employees. Mercenaries may be skilled and talented, but will lack the long-term commitment and dedication that companies need to succeed in the longer run. By definition, mercenaries are primarily motivated by financial gain, and will quickly jump ship to another company if they receive a better offer.

Therefore, companies might choose to consider factors besides compensation, such as company culture, opportunities for growth and development, and a strong sense of purpose and mission. By offering a more holistic package that goes beyond mere financial compensation, companies can attract employees who are not just in it for the money, but are engaged with the company’s long-term success. A policy of hiring mercenaries also lowers the workforce’s esprit de corps.

Finally, there’s Deming’s 95:5. Deming’s 95:5 rule states that 95% of productivity in any organisation results from the system or process, while only 5% is down to individual talent. This principle has important implications for the idea of paying market rates. By focusing on the 95%, rather than the 5% represented by individual employees, “best talent” becomes next to irrelevant. Ultimately, the success of a company depends on the strength of the entire organisational system, rather than the individual skills and talents of its employees. Where’s the bigger payback?


The Antimatter Principle In The Real World – Rendanheyi

Haier Group Corporation is a multinational home appliances and consumer electronics company based in Qingdao, China. It was founded in 1984 and has since grown into one of the world’s largest appliance manufacturers, with operations in more than 100 countries.

Haier’s unique management philosophy is called “Rendanheyi,” which means “employee-customer integration” in Chinese. This philosophy emphasises the importance of aligning the interests of employees and customers to create a shared sense of purpose and drive innovation. Rendanheyi involves creating a company culture that encourages employees to think like customers and solve their problems, which in turn leads to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.

The concept of “zero distance” is an essential component of Rendanheyi. It means that employees should be as close to the customers as possible, to better understand their needs and preferences. This proximity to the customer allows employees to develop a deep understanding of their needs, which they can use to design and deliver products and services that truly meet those needs.

When it comes to software businesses, the application of Rendanheyi and the zero-distance philosophy can be transformative. In the software industry, it is all too easy to get lost in a sea of features and forget about the customer. By emphasizing zero distance, software businesses can focus on customer needs and create products that truly solve their problems.

This means that software companies should aim to have their developers, engineers, and other employees interact directly with customers as much as possible. This can be done through a variety of means, including user research, customer support, and even direct sales. By creating opportunities for employees to engage with customers, software businesses can ensure that they are developing software that meets their needs and expectations.

Another way that Rendanheyi can be applied to software businesses is through the use of cross-functional teams. By bringing together employees from different departments, such as marketing, sales, and development, software businesses can ensure that all stakeholders are aligned around the customer’s needs. This can lead to more efficient development cycles and better products that truly meet customer needs.

In conclusion, Haier’s philosophy of Rendanheyi and its emphasis on zero distance can be applied to software businesses in a variety of ways. By focusing on the customer and creating opportunities for employees to engage directly with them, software businesses can create products that truly solve their customers’ problems. Additionally, by using cross-functional teams and aligning all stakeholders around the customer’s needs, software businesses can ensure that they are delivering the best possible products to the market.


The Dangers of Projecting Needs onto Others

Projecting needs onto other people without evidence or dialogue can be a dangerous and problematic behavior that can lead to misunderstandings, conflicts, and even harm. Assuming that we know what other people need can reflect a lack of empathy, self-centeredness, and a belief in our own superior knowledge or intuition.

When we project our own needs onto others, we may be blind to their individual experiences, perspectives, and preferences. We may overlook their unique circumstances, cultural background, or personality traits that can shape their needs. Moreover, by stating unequivocally what other people need, we may come across as arrogant, dismissive, or manipulative, and erode trust and rapport.

To avoid projecting needs, we might choose to practice active listening, empathy, and curiosity. Instead of blithely asserting that we know what others need, we can ask open-ended questions, seek clarification, and pay attention to nonverbal cues. By doing so, we can gain a better understanding of their needs and show that we value them and their feelings.

Ultimately, projecting needs onto other people can be a barrier to effective communication, mutual respect, and collaboration. By acknowledging our own biases, limitations, and uncertainties, we can create a more inclusive and compassionate environment where people feel seen, heard, and appreciated.


1000 Little Acts of Defiance: Disengaged Employees Are Costing You Big Time

1000 little daily acts of defiance are small, seemingly insignificant actions that individuals take to undermine the purpose and goals of an organisation. Defiance is the flip side of compliance.

1000 little daily acts of defiance can take many forms, such as purposely slowing down everyone’s work, failing to complete tasks to the best of one’s abilities, and spreading rumors and negativity. The motivations behind these acts can range from frustration with management decisions, a feeling of being undervalued or that one’s needs are being discounted or ignored, or a desire to push back against what is perceived as an oppressive work environment.

One historical example of this type of resistance can be seen in the Luddite movement of the 19th century. The Luddites were skilled textile workers who, in response to new technologies that threatened their livelihood, engaged in acts of sabotage against the factories that employed them. This act of defiance was rooted in a desire to protect their jobs and way of life, and it had a significant impact on the industry.

Similarly, saboteurs are individuals who intentionally engage in acts that disrupt the operations of your organisation. This can range from damaging equipment to leaking sensitive information. Saboteurs are often motivated by a desire to cause harm or disrupt the operations of an organisation that they believe is acting unethically or in opposition to their interests.

The impact of these 1000 little daily acts of defiance can be significant. The reduction in productivity and morale can have a direct impact on the bottom line, with a recent study finding that quietly defiant employees can cost a company an average of $3,400 per year. In addition, these actions can also create a toxic work environment, leading to increased turnover and decreased employee satisfaction.

Data further supports the impact of these acts of defiance. For example, a study by the Society for Human Resource Management found that companies with high levels of employee engagement had a 41% lower absenteeism rate than companies with low levels of engagement. This highlights the fact that when employees feel valued and engaged, they are more likely to show up for work and be productive.

In conclusion, 1000 little daily acts of defiance can have a significant impact on an organisation’s bottom line. From the Luddites to modern-day saboteurs, individuals have long sought to resist the operations of organisations that they believe are acting in opposition to their interests. While these acts may seem small and insignificant, they can have a significant impact on productivity and morale, leading to a major drag on the overall success of an organisation. Creating a supportive, engaging work environment well serves those companies needing to mitigate the occurrences of defiance and enhance their success.

Navigating the Ever-Changing Terrain of Needs: The Thrilling Journey Through the Needsscape

The Needsscape refers to the dynamic and ever-changing landscape of the people and their needs that are critical to the success of a business. These people can include owners, shareholders, employees, customers, management, suppliers, and wider society, each with their unique set of needs – financial, emotional, and otherwise. Understanding and addressing these needs is crucial for businesses to create value, build strong relationships with stakeholders, and avoid effort that undermines their needs.

The concept of the Needsscape invites visualizing the current and future state of these key people and their needs, helping businesses understand their position in meeting and exceeding those needs. A real-time or near real-time visualization of the Needsscape provides transparency and visibility into business operations, making all work and objectives visible, including progress, status, and other important aspects related to the relevant people and their needs.

A well-defined and understood Needsscape allows businesses to be proactive in addressing the evolving needs of their stakeholders. It enables them to anticipate changes and shifts in the market and adapt their strategies accordingly, staying ahead of the competition. By staying attuned to the changing needs of their stakeholders, businesses can ensure that their products and services remain relevant and competitive in a fast-paced and ever-changing business environment.

Moreover, a well-defined Needsscape can help businesses prioritise their efforts and allocate resources more effectively. It provides a clear understanding of the most pressing and relevant needs of stakeholders, allowing businesses to allocate resources to the areas that will have the most impact. This, in turn, leads to more effective operations and higher customer satisfaction.

In conclusion, the Needsscape is a crucial concept for businesses looking to create value, build strong relationships with stakeholders, and stay ahead of the competition. It provides a real-time or near real-time visualisation of the current and future needs of key people, allowing businesses to adapt their strategies and allocate resources more effectively. By staying attuned to the changing needs of their stakeholders, businesses can ensure their efforts remain relevant and competitive in today’s fast-paced world.

Stepping Away From the Meat-grinder: Joining the Campaign For a Just And Fair World

I don’t have a regular job because I just can’t stand the insanity of it all any more. Is that my loss or the world’s?

The world of work is a meat-grinder, a place where the only thing that matters is ego, violence and stupidity. It’s a place where the only thing that counts is one’s ability to serve oneself, to cosy down and protect one’s own interests to the exclusion of all else. I can’t live like that.

I can’t stand the way that people are treated like nothing more than numbers, like nothing more than cogs in a machine, like so many adjuncts of a Borg unimatrix.

Similar to how Gandhi couldn’t stand the deep injustices and intolerability of British imperial rule in India, I can’t stand the world of work as it is now. He stepped away from his comfortable life to fight for what he believed in. Similarly, I have stepped away from the world of traditional wage-slavery to pursue other avenues, other ways of making a difference in the world.

I don’t know if my decision is a loss for me, or for the world. I just know that I can’t continue to be an acquiescing adjunct to something that I find so deeply troubling and unjust. I have little expectation that in the future, the corporate world will change, that it will become a place where people are valued for the content of their character and their heart, not for how much money they can make. But for now, I know that I need to step away, and that’s what I have done. I suspect I’m not by any means alone.

#work #culture #change #people #justice #insanity

Don’t Let a Gift Mask Your Emotions: The Transactional and Trivial Nature of Gift-Giving

From my own experiences:

Gift-giving is a common practice in many relationships, whether it be romantic or platonic. However, I believe that showing someone how you feel about them by giving them a gift is a transactional and trivial way of expressing emotions.

First and foremost, a gift is a physical object that can be bought and sold. It is a tangible item that can be exchanged for something else. In contrast, emotions are intangible and cannot be bought or sold.

Expressing emotions through a gift is a transactional way of showing how you feel because it reduces emotions to a physical item that can be exchanged for money. This commodification of emotions trivialises the relationship and reduces it to a transactional exchange.

Furthermore, gifts are often given with the expectation of receiving something in return. This creates a sense of obligation and expectation in the relationship, which can lead to feelings of disappointment if the gift is not reciprocated. This expectation of a return on investment in the relationship can create a sense of distance between the two individuals, rather than fostering intimacy and connection.

Additionally, gifts are often given to fulfill a need or want that the giver perceives the recipient to have. Giving a gift to fulfill a perceived need is not always the best way to attend to emotional needs. The emotional needs of an individual are complex and cannot be fulfilled by a physical item. A gift can only provide temporary satisfaction, whereas emotional needs require time, attention, genuine understanding and empathy.

In conclusion, I believe that showing someone how you feel about them by giving them a gift is a transactional and trivial way of expressing emotions. Instead of giving gifts, it is important to focus on understanding and fulfilling the emotional needs of your loved one. A gift is never the best way to attend to emotional needs. It is important to ask oneself, “Am I attending to this person’s needs?” before giving a gift. Emotions are intangible and cannot be bought or sold, and are much better expressed in a genuine and empathetic manner.

One-on-One Meetings: Focus on Needs to Move From Mediocre to Masterful

One-on-one meetings are crucial for building effective and productive relationships within any organisation. To ensure that these meetings are successful, understand the social style of the person you are meeting with and adapt your communication and behaviour accordingly. One valuable technique for this the Wilson Learning Social Styles Model. This model identifies four different social styles, each with their own unique strengths and communication preferences. By understanding the social style of the person you are meeting with, you can adapt your communication and behaviour to better suit their needs and build a more effective and productive relationship. The model suggests that there are four social styles: the Analytical, Driving, Amiable, and Expressive. Each of these has its own characteristics, communication preferences, strengths, and potential development areas. By understanding the social style of the person you are meeting with, you can adapt your communication and behaviour to better suit their needs and build a more effective and productive relationship.

Additionally, the principle of nonviolence and the practice of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) can also play a key role in making one-on-one meetings more effective and productive. NVC emphasises the importance of understanding and expressing our own needs and feelings, as well as listening deeply to the needs and feelings of others. By using NVC techniques, we can communicate in a way that is more compassionate and understanding and avoid the use of blame, criticism, or judgement. This helps to create a more positive and open environment for communication. Additionally, by approaching conflicts and disagreements with a non-violent mindset, we can avoid escalating tensions and find more constructive solutions.

Another valuable technique for one-on-one meetings is Nancy Kline’s Time to Think (and More Time to Think). This approach emphasises the importance of giving people enough time to think and reflect before responding, rather than expecting immediate answers or solutions. By creating a safe and quiet space for people to think and actively listening without interruption, we can help them to access their own wisdom and insights. Additionally, by encouraging people to share their thoughts and ideas, we can tap into the collective wisdom and potential of the group. This can foster a more collaborative and productive working relationship.

In summary, the key to great one-on-one meetings is a combination of understanding the social style of the person you are meeting with, incorporating principles of nonviolence and NVC, and using techniques like Time to Think. By implementing these approaches, you can create a more conducive environment for effective communication and problem-solving in one-on-one meetings, resulting in better outcomes for all parties involved.

You Won’t Believe What Happens When You Switch to the ‘Needs’ Approach in Business Strategy!

When it comes to business strategy, there is a fundamental difference between the concepts of “want” and “need.” The approach a business takes to these concepts can have a significant impact on the overall success of the company, as well as its impact on society and the environment.

On the one hand, a business that focuses on creating products and services that consumers “want” can be highly profitable. This approach often involves creating products that are flashy, trendy, or offer a sense of luxury or status. By appealing to consumers’ desires, businesses can tap into a large market and generate significant revenue. However, this approach can also be highly wasteful and unsustainable, as consumers may be persuaded to buy products they don’t actually need, leading to overconsumption and pollution. Additionally, a focus on consumerism can also lead to undermining of employee job satisfaction and a lack of purpose for the company.

On the other hand, a business that focuses on creating products and services that consumers “need” can be more sustainable and ethical. This approach often involves creating products that are essential, practical, and offer a real benefit to the consumer. By focusing on providing real value, businesses can create a loyal customer base and generate steady revenue. Additionally, a focus on need rather than want can lead to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly business model, as well as a more engaged and satisfied workforce, who are proud of their work and the company’s purpose.

Furthermore, a company that follows this approach can become a “destination” employer, one that is highly sought after by potential employees, leading to a strong employer brand.

In conclusion, while a business strategy that focuses on creating products and services that consumers “want” can be highly profitable, it can also be unsustainable and unethical. On the other hand, a business strategy that focuses on creating products and services that consumers “need” can be more sustainable, ethical, and lead to a sense of purpose for the company, as well as job satisfaction for employees, and a strong employer branding.

Ultimately, the best approach will depend on the values and goals of the business, as well as the “fit” with the current mores and predilections of the Core Group and society both.

Reasons To Be Cheerful, Part 3

Reasons to be cheerful, Pt. 3

Some of you dear readers may, entirely reasonably, assume that I mention my books in the hope of increasing sales. However, this just ain’t so.

I mention my books in a vainglorious attempt to effect some positive shift in the world of business. I’ve written many times about my motivation. Specifically, my delight in helping people have a more joyful time in the world of work (in particular, Collaborative Knowledge Work).

I truly believe that Organisational Psychotherapy is a path to saner, more joyful, more humane workplaces. And my book “Quintessence” illustrates and maps out what a saner, more joyful organisation looks like and works like, in detail.

Maybe you share my enthusiasm for change, and for seeing things improve. Maybe you’re content with – or at least resigned to – the status quo.

In any case, I’d hate for my enthusiasm to be a source of frustration or angst for you.

On the other hand, I’d be delighted if through reading one or more of my books – or even blog posts or white papers – you might find a different perspective on what ails you, and new, more effective ways to meet folks’ needs, including your own.

– Bob


Further Reading

Marshall, R.W. (2021). Quintessence: An Acme for Software Development Organisations. [online] Falling Blossoms (LeanPub). Available at: [Accessed 16 Jun 2022].
Marshall, R.W. (2021). Memeology: Surfacing And Reflecting On The Organisation’s Collective Assumptions And Beliefs. [online] Falling Blossoms (LeanPub). Available at: [Accessed 16 Jun 2022].
Marshall, R.W. (2018). Hearts over Diamonds: Serving Business and Society Through Organisational Psychotherapy. [online] leanpub.comFalling Blossoms (LeanPub). Available at: [Accessed 16 Jun 2022].
Marshall, R.W. (2021). Organisational Psychotherapy Bundle 1. [online] Leanpub. Available at: [Accessed 16 Jun. 2022]. (n.d.). Ian Dury and The Blockheads – Reasons To Be Cheerful, Pt. 3 (Official Lyrics Video). [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Jun. 2022].

Why I Blog

Thare’s a few key reasons why I’ve been consistently and regularly blogging for the best part of fifteen years now:

  1. To invite conversation. I love conversations. I love personal interactions and the exchange of perspectives. Blogging has not served me too well in this regard, so far.
  2. To clarify my thoughts. I find writing my thoughts down serves to refine and clarify them.
  3. To change the world. Some ideas, such as nonviolence, fellowship, love and dialogue have the possibility to change society in general, and the world of work in particular, for the better. I feel privileged to invite folks to encounter these ideas.
  4. To listen to and learn from others, and experience their alternative perspectives.
  5. To share my experiences. I probably have more experience in software delivery (and life) than most. Maybe my sharing equips readers with extra experiences, albeit vicariously.

– Bob

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