Create Network Blog


Today is International Stress Awareness Day #INSAD2017.  For over a hundred years research has shown us that we all need some level of stress to be at our personal best.  Too little and we are not active enough, too much and we become unwell.  So how do we know where we are with our personal levels of stress, and what can we do to manage our stress levels effectively?..

Today is International Stress Awareness Day #INSAD2017.  Jill has recorded a short guided meditation that you can follow today and on any day to reduce your levels of stress and manage your personal wellbeing.  We all need some stress to be active and healthy, however too much is not good for us.  Mindfulness is a great tool for managing our own stress levels to keep us feeling at our best.

For over a decade Lance Armstrong transcended cycling, transcended even sport itself. He was an icon. To millions around the world who looked up to him, Armstrong embodied success in every sense – success in terms of his unparalleled dominance of the Tour De France; success in terms of fighting back from a potentially fatal cancer diagnosis to compete at the highest level possible; success in terms of building a charitable foundation to help others suffering from similar diagnoses.

What do we mean when we talk about our values?  Often they are mixed up with concepts like ethics or morality, but we have a different way of looking at values.  Values are the things that matter to you most, the things you want to stand for.  On our ACTivate Programme we define them ‘as our chosen life directions’.

There is no doubt we are facing an uncertain future.  This may not be a bad thing, the future might be great!  That’s the trouble with uncertainty, we just don’t know.  Unfortunately, we humans just don’t like uncertainty. 

Discover the secret to successful Leadership in the modern world. 

We invite you to be part of discovering the secret to successful leadership for the modern world.  In our modern VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) world we need a level of leadership capability that goes beyond what was required in the past.  This new era requires a new type of leader, the Collaborative Leader.  What makes a great Collaborative Leader across industries and sectors?  This question is at the heart of research we are currently conducting.  

Leading in today’s volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world takes up a lot of our psychological space.  Leaders are required to think in more complex ways, build relationships with a wider range of people, and behave with a higher level of agility. All of these take a lot of conscious effort.   When we are under pressure our psychological space shrinks and we are unable to make this effort.  As a consequence, our thinking becomes black and white, we become emotionally defensive, and our behaviour becomes inflexible.  

Theatre in Education, or TiE for short, is the use of drama as a tool to educate and inform. We are all too familiar with cutbacks and the arts are being squeezed to their limits. But should we cut back on TiE?

The most logical answer is that it depends on what we mean by leading. It doesn’t depend on the person doing the leading. It depends on your definition of a leader.

Over one hundred years of research has shown that there are certain elements that most great leaders share.  Effective leaders tend to be visionary, confident, inspirational and great communicators. They care about what they do and have respect for the people that follow them.  They are driven to make improvements and empower others to be creative and to use their initiative.

It's human nature that we get distracted, neuroscience shows us that it is due to how our brains are wired.  With more distractions surrounding our every second than ever before, maintaining a focus on a task or intention can be a real challenge.  Our minds can easily wander onto checking Facebook, Twitter or thinking about picking the kids up, what to have for dinner etc at many intervals during a day.  That's natural.  When time is such a precious and valued concept in today's complex world, minimising these distractions and maintaining focus can pay amazing dividends for the investment in training your mind to focus. 

It’s likely you have heard the term “mindfulness” already, it’s being talked about everywhere from classrooms to law firms, prisons to spa retreats… I first heard the term "mindfulness" at a coaching conference about 9 years ago, and was intrigued to find out more.

Is our approach to education, training and development producing the leaders that organisations need now and in the future?

Are leaders becoming more intelligent and stupid at the same time?
It has been found that peoples IQ’s are rising by an average 9 points per generation across many countries in the world.  This has been termed the Flynn Effect, after James R Flynn who did much to promote this phenomenon. So, as a global society, what do we have to show for this increase in intelligence?  Solutions to many of the world’s problems, such as economic volatility, food shortages, poverty and environmental degradation still elude us.

Some people wake up in the morning, leap out of bed and can’t wait to get to work. They enjoy their day: the work they do is fulfilling and rewarding. They head home with a sense of accomplishment and pride, and they look forward to tomorrow. However, there are others who drag themselves to work, spending the day watching the clock and avoiding their manager. For them tomorrow is full of dread and they dream of a better job.  Engagement research aims to understand the difference between these two scenarios.

Are leaders fully conscious at work?   They may seem conscious, but are they are in fact behaving unconsciously or habitually?  Are they just acting out a combination of their personality and the skills that have brought them success in the past? 

Advocates of ‘Authentic Leadership’ argue that there is currently an ethical meltdown in leadership and cite major corporate failures such as Worldcom, Enron, and Arthur Andersen. The recent financial crisis and the current low level of trust in business leaders have inevitably bolstered their cause. 

bringing imagination, science and humanity to create the future together.