Hidden power: the political undiscussable

Where does the authority to make decisions in a government really lie? Is it with politicians, or do those who work in administrative posts long before and after Ministers or Secretaries of State have left wield more power than we think? Given Edward Snowden‘s recent revelations concerning the National Security Agency (NSA) in the USA and the impact of that story globally, this is more than an academic question. We talked to one of the UK’s most interesting thinkers in the sphere of democracy and participation to get his view. Read more →

July 21 2013

Is truthfulness a competency?

As human beings, we tend to ignore the elephant in the room because we fear the consequences. Truth is a time bomb; the fuse is lit, and when it goes off we’ll all get blown to bits.

Really?… It could just be that when it blows there’s nothing more than a lovely colourful (and perfectly harmless) foam fountain. Why do we fear the worst? Read more →

July 17 2013
Author stevehearsum
Comments 5 Comments

How not speaking out is ‘hard wired’?…

I went to a book launch this week, for Embodied Leadership by Pete Hamill – a great writer, and, in the interests of full disclosure, a friend. During a talk about how he came to write the book, Pete suggested that whilst most of us like to think that we would have the courage to speak out, the reality is that the vast majority of us are in a group that don’t. Read more →

June 28 2013

Fallibility, flogging & undiscussables – an unholy trinity

In the UK, there is currently a great deal of soul searching regarding how to prevent what happened in one part of the National Health Service recurring elsewhere. Any death is a loss, those that were preventable arguably more so. When things ‘go wrong’, the calls for more to be done to prevent mistakes seems to start from the assumption that the volume of errors is both excessive and inherently preventable.

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June 13 2013
Author stevehearsum
Category Undiscussables, Video
Comments No Comments
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Navigating the Jungle of Opinion & Valley of Fear: naming undiscussables

Working with groups in the territory of undiscussables is quite something. It, invariably and understandably, results in conversations that are coloured by the lived and felt experience participants bring relative to their own ‘undiscussables’. The focus I bring is less on the undiscussables themselves, more the conditions that support us to leave things unsaid and hidden. This gives the group and me the safety and flexibility to talk around what matters, without feeling an obligation to reveal all. That is important.

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May 01 2013
Author stevehearsum
Category Tools
Comments No Comments

Did somebody mention strategy?…

In organisations big and small it helps if a) there is a plan and b) people are told about it. Typically that is what ‘strategy’ is supposed to be about – but what happens if no-one knows what the plan is, or indeed if there really is one?…

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April 03 2013
Author stevehearsum
Category Undiscussables, Video
Comments No Comments

Sticky plasters for sticky times?…

Large organisational cultures can often get so wrapped up in their own operational mechanics, that they lose sight of what is changing around them and how to adapt and innovate.

A lot has changed in the NHS landscape since 1948 – and the big question is whether really the model fits with 21st century living.

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March 02 2013
Author stevehearsum
Category Undiscussables, Video
Comments 4 Comments

What on-line dating tells us about honesty in the workplace

Undiscussables Opinio Piece

The gap between how we behave in our private lives and in the workplace is not as big as you may think… Read more →

February 25 2013
Author stevehearsum
Category Opinion
Comments No Comments

Cycles of silence

When a scandal breaks, the news often exposes evidence that undiscussable elephants have been stomping around, leaving squashed, altered bits of reality and stinky piles of consequences that are difficult to clean up. The mess existed all the while, but new publicity puts it on amplified display, under harsh lights, perhaps to a wider audience that is finally drawn to look. What is the influence of this deeper scrutiny? It depends… Read more →

February 04 2013

Conversations about the value of conversations in organisations

Our interview with a public sector HR officer reveals the importance of listening to informal discussions to balance legitimate and ‘shadow-side’ processes and sustain an open culture. Read more →

January 29 2013
Author TeamUD
Category Discussables
Comments No Comments
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