At the moment I’m facilitating about twice a week…and I’m facilitating a variety of programmes and courses but the one I struggle with most is our Courageous Conversations workshop, mainly because I feel like a complete fake.  I constantly wait for someone to challenge me as to when I last had a courageous conversation that went beyond my husband, kids or the family pets.  The problem is that I’m a wimp (Patrick Lencioni says he’s a wuss, so I feel as if I’m in good company!).  I admit I lack courage. I would do anything to avoid the hard discussions.  And I’m not alone, many people take a courageous conversations workshop, gaining all the needed skills and knowledge to carry out a difficult conversation but they still don’t have them, they still avoid them.  This leads many organisations baffled as to why, after such investment, they don’t get traction around people actually having the hard conversations, particularly around performance.  We wimps aren’t alone!


So how do you get courage?  Bravery, fear, and courage are all linked.  I’ve been around long enough to remember the book ‘Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway’ by Susan Jeffers written in the mid 80s.  This book title sums up perfectly how to find courage.  I remember reading that being brave isn’t the absence of fear but rather doing stuff in spite of the fear.  You don’t feel courage and then do courageous things (worse luck!) but rather you get courage by doing scary stuff, feeling sick to your stomach but doing the hard stuff anyway.  The more you do the scary stuff the better you get at it.  You may not do it perfectly or it may go badly…and that’s ok, that is what learning is all about.  But if you want to be more courageous you do just have to get on with it….oh so much easier said than done!!

Auckland Libraries

Organisation Design: Libraries Collections

Capability Group was asked to develop a new organisation design that was innovative, agile and enabled the delivery of a fresh organisation strategy. The existing organisation structure of Libraries Collections was based on geography, whereas the new service delivery model was centralised so the change impact was significant. The project involved running a series of design workshops with all impacted staff, other key stakeholders and an internal design team. Capability Group consultants then worked through their multi-step agile design process to create a final organisation design ready for consultation.

Auckland Leisure and Recreation

Organisation Design and Change:
Leisure and Recreation

Since the 2010 amalgamation and creation of a single Auckland Council, the organisation redesign of the Leisure and Recreation function has been the biggest reorganisation to occur within Council. Impacting more than 1100 staff across leisure centres, swimming pools, early childhood centres and recreation planning, this project was significant in both scope and scale. Capability Group completed a detailed current state assessment, held a series of more than 20 design thinking workshops with impacted staff, facilitated workshops with an internal design team and executed the development of the detailed service delivery model and organisation structure.

People Leaders Programme / Emerging Leaders Programme – Tourism NZ

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.

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.

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.

Design thinking meets Lean Start Up

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.