People Leaders Programme / Emerging Leaders Programme – Tourism NZ

People-leaders programme
Emerging leaders programme.

Tourism New Zealand

CGL designed and delivered a 3-day Business Leaders Programme to meet the purpose of accelerating the required skills, thinking and behaviours of Tourism NZ Business Leaders to execute their vision, mission and values.  Emphasis was on enabling leaders to select the tools and techniques that would enable them to demonstrate desired leadership behaviours, drive and influence change and implement an ongoing personal development plan.

Learning processes involved 360° feedback, experiential activities, storytelling, real life issue analysis and problem solving with presentations to senior executives, application of tools to own situations and guest speakers.

Content included exploring different leadership behaviours, coaching, decision-making, leading change, influencing and collaborating.  Learning processes involved 360° feedback, experiential activities, storytelling, real life issue analysis and problem solving with presentations to senior executives, application of tools to own situations and guest speakers.

The New Source of the Runner’s High


So after years of believing that endorphins are the source of the runner's high, new evidence shows (well in mice anyway) that maybe there's something else at play.  Thanks to Stewart Forsyth, one of the attendees at my HRINZ presentation last week for pointing this shift in thinking!  A new study from the Central Institute of Mental Health at the University of Heidelberg medical school indicates that the euphoric feeling that runners experience is actually due to the body's own endocannabinoids, the chemicals that, like the cannabinoids in marijuana, lighten mood. The New Source of the Runner's High

A building with Nokia signage.

An interesting analysis of Nokia's decline and the importance on the role of Leadership in creating a safe environment - summarised by Annie Whitley

Nokia’s Decline - Key points from a blog by Neil Perkin
Only Dead Fish, UK
Matt Edgar’s analysis of Nokia’s decline. Rather than the complacency and ignorance to which
Nokia’s innovation and competitive failures are usually attributed, the author’s research (based on an
internal perspective from interviews with both senior and mid-level executives and engineers as well
as an external one from experts) puts the blame on an organisational culture that at the time
was dominated by a climate of fear.
The research indicates that, during the time in question, temperamental leaders created an
environment that made it very hard to pass bad news back up the line. The fear that senior
management had of the external environment and of not reaching their quarterly targets in a highly
performance-driven culture seemingly impacted the treatment of their subordinates, making those
middle managers fearful of disappointing the top executives. This ‘froze co-ordination’ between
senior and middle management to the point where the latter over-promised, remained
silent or even directly lied to the former in order to avoid being told that they were not
ambitious enough to meet the stretched goals set for them.
The result was a company-wide inertia. Everyone realised that Nokia needed a better
operating system for its phones in order to respond to the threat posed by Apple. But
middle management, fearful of appearing defeatist and of the reaction of their bosses, avoided
publicly admitting the inferiority of Symbian (their own operating system), and the culture led to a
‘decoupling of perceptions’ between the two groups of top and middle managers about how quickly
Nokia could match the iPhone.
This shared fear was exacerbated by a culture of status inside Nokia that equated resources
with power. This made everyone want to retain status in order to prevent resources being allocated
elsewhere, or to avoid being marginalised by being perceived to be not ambitious enough or willing
enough to take on challenging projects or targets. Over-promising became a route to securing
more resources which in turn was perceived as an increase in status
The conclusion from the authors is that leaders, and particularly those required to lead
transformation (and which leader doesn’t fall into that category right now), need to be able to
identify ‘varied collective emotions’ and develop a collective ‘emotional capability’ in their
companies. In other words to be really sensitive to the emotional fallout and resultant
impact of the culture within their organisation:
“While modest fear might be healthy for motivation, using it indiscriminately can be like overusing a
drug, which risks generating harmful side effects…Fear can only be a useful motivator if
management can provide workers with the means to address these fears.”
See the full article at

Build leadership capability in your SME 2016

We are taking Registrations for the 2016 Everyday Leadership Programme for SME’s in the Greater East Tamaki area in Auckland.

In partnership with GETBA and the Skills Organisation we have developed a programme to target talented or potential team leaders or supervisors in SME’s. The action oriented and practical programme involves 5 modules over a 7 month period and provides credits towards a National Diploma in Business (level 5). Time on the programme and pricing are tailored to the small business environment and budget. If you are interested in registering or would like further information contact Our brochure has further details Download here.

Pep Talk Logo

Pep Talk

PepTalk is an initiative we have recently launched to address the “preparedness gap” for young people transitioning between tertiary study and the world of work.

It is a culmination of over 2-years of research and thinking into the ways in which this “gap” could be filled. We are taking a lean start-up approach to the development of Peptalk so it will continue to be a work in progress.

One of the things we have noticed across all or our corporate clients is they are all dealing with the same issues; graduates not having the requisite skills or capabilities to get up to speed in organizations quickly. What we hear from graduates is that they struggle to get their first “real” job due to their lack of work experience and/or skills.

We have kicked off by setting up a facebook page called PepTalk. This initial step is about establishing a community of young people transitioning from study into work and intends to provide insightful tips, techniques and inspiration to assist graduates in securing that first job post uni or establish their own start-up. Check it out and “like” us!

As we continue with our product and services prototyping and testing we are hoping to collaborate with universities, students associations, corporates and other interested. If you are interested in talking to us contact Sudan at

Playspace 3: Perspective

I recently used this video in a workshop on change management.

The video plays around with perspective in a really entertaining way and allows a conversation about how different perspectives play out during change initiatives ….

Design thinking meets Lean Start Up

The most common refrain we hear from our clients is “we need our managers and leaders to take more risks and be more agile.”

When we dig deeper the behaviours organisations now see as being necessary to be responsive and adaptable to a rapidly changing marketplace include being mentally agile, psychologically flexible, with a learning oriented mindset, able to light multiple fires to see what lands, etc, etc. The three theorists / practitioners that I have followed most closely on these matters in recent years have been John Kotter (Accelerating Change), Tim Brown (Design Thinking) and Eric Ries (Lean Start Up). Separately, the work of these guys has provided much insight and value to the work we now do with our clients. But when you bring the key principles from each of these practitioners together… that’s when things start to get really interesting. You start to get what I believe will be a lasting and coherent framework or set of principles that should underpin all Organisation Development work and change programmes in our organisations.  I was really excited the other day when I came across this link which shows a couple of these theorists in conversation.

Building a culture of learner accountability / learner independence

“How do we get our employees to take accountability for their learning?”  This is a question we are often asked by our clients.

One of the keys to building a culture of learning independence is to shift the focus away from workshop attendance to on “on the job” application of learning and being very systematic about this ... design how “on the job learning” is going to work for learners and present this as the significant component of the learning event.  Even better, involve programme participants in the design of the “on the job learning” component of the programme.  This does not mean workshops stop being run ... in fact they are critical to ensure you get the benefits of shared learning and sharing of experiences.  Rather, this shifts the focus and accountability of application of learning to the learner.  This also requires a shift away from one off learning events to longitudinal programmes where there are short workshops followed by big chunks of time to apply learning on the job, followed by another workshop, etc.  One up managers of learners also need to be engaged in this process and upskilled in coaching conversations, knowing when to step back  and their role in creating a learning oriented culture.  Next generation e-learning platforms like Axonify are great for supporting both learners and managers in taking a proactive role in their learning.

Shifting mindsets .... retaining knowledge .... the health and safety revolution

With the introduction of the Health and Safety At Work Bill and the establishment of Worksafe NZ, safety is now top of the agenda for many NZ Chief Executives and their teams.

Most organisations will strive for a mindset, behavioural and culture shift across all employees when it comes to safety and many organisations are currently developing programmes to create this shift.  Policies and processes that comply with the requirements of the new Bill will invariably be the first cab off the rank.  Training on these new policies and processes will then follow, including Leading Safety as a core component of Leadership Development programmes.   The danger is that implementation of new Health and Safety programmes stops at this point and the required mindset shift does not occur.

We know from brain science, that within a month of a training session most of us are lucky to retain any more than 5-10% of any knowledge gained from the workshop.  Health and Safety is one of many aspects of an organisations landscape where policy and process knowledge retention is critical to supporting new ways of working and new attitudes.

We have recently come across one of the best tools we have ever seen that supports knowledge retention in a highly engaging way.  We are so impressed with this next generation e-learning platform that Capability Group has partnered with the Canadian tech company that has developed the tool to distribute it to NZ organisations and we are looking to distribute this in China.  It’s an e-learning platform that incorporates gamification, learning tailored to the individual, individual learning maps, comprehensive reporting and requires only 90 seconds of the learners time each day.  This is a game changer and the perfect complement to support and embed the changes required by the Health and Safety revolution before us.  For more information on the future of Safety Awareness training or for a demo contact

Check out WorkSafe’s new website here ....

Playspace 2. Another genius combo ...

This has got to be the coolest car ever ...... it needs to be made!