The leadership conundrum

May 10, 2010 : General Team Building

Team Building Indoor

Lead Facilitator Keith Garside reflects on leadership and the benefits that whole brain thinking approaches and techniques can bring in terms of:

Since time immemorial managers have wrestled with the topic of leadership, asking themselves, “How much, how often and how well do I lead?”


The jury may still be out on this one and the effect this particular question has on trainers and developers is no less soluble! Huge effort and resource goes into identifying and processing leadership development within organisations – sometimes, arguably, for marginal long-term benefits when matched against costs.

Maximillion has been working with client organisations such as ACCAAirtricity Europe (now SSE Renewables) and CIPFA, designing bespoke experiential events that offer practical ways to ground learning back in the workplace. These interventions incorporatedwhole brain thinking approaches and techniques to help the client organisation simplify the often exhaustive list of what they want their managers and leaders to do. Influencing skill consistently bubbles to the top of the pile and this is always connected to the ways in which managers deal with individuals and groups.

Using an awareness and practise of brain preference techniques, set within a broader management skills development programme, a language of appreciating ‘where others are’ in relation to our own perspectives, is one way of using language and conversational skills to produce productive relationships at work.

The background research is that of Ned Herrmann and Katherine Benziger, which made great strides into creating effective businesses in the 1970’s and 90’s, where a check of matching of jobs to individual’s work preferences evolved.

The key to designing and conducting engaging development sessions in the topics of leadership and influencing change is to incorporate a range of learning techniques that our brains may have lost the practise of using, but which offer a fast route to transferable learning.

Typically these may include the use of cartoon images, trigger pictures and visioning techniques that harness the power of metaphor, as well as the use of colour and creative language. Experiential interventions, such the Leading Edge Learning Lab, Creative Visioning and Retrospective provide ideal vehicles, where other people’s views are talked about with our own in ways that encourage a willingness to understand and practise key behaviours. The real conundrum is how and where managers see leadership as an important skill to encourage in others – this is what will contribute to their own growth as leaders.

Go here for Keith’s profile.

For more information on the above or any related area of interest for Learning & Development, please contact Sandy Smith on 0131 333 0066 and

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