I’ve done ‘time’. Corporate ‘time’ for many years. It’s given me the odd (sometimes very odd) insight into what makes companies tick and – more importantly – the people who work in them. Here, you’ll find some of those insights in the form of musings on leadership, personal development, organisational and personal change, and probably the odd reference to cats. You can learn a lot from cats. And dogs obviously.

In my view, it’s the emotional agenda that drives organisational life. Many years ago when I consulted to an international upstream oil company, I questioned the leaders about why they operated an oil platform way out of their ‘strategic’ territory. It just didn’t make rational or financial sense to me on any level. Until I realised that is, that the oilfield in question was somewhat handy for the Bahamas. I then learnt that the Chairman had a holiday home there. Exactly. The emotional – or in this case, certainly non-rational – agenda strikes again.

The need therefore for leaders to be in touch with how they feel and respond to different events and different people is critical for success. And that’s because other people notice everything, and I mean everything, that a leader does. Not what they say. But what they do. The way they make decisions, the resources they allocate to projects or people or teams. The activities they spend their time on. The oil company I mentioned was successful (it was difficult not to be financially successful doing what they did when they did it) but it finally caved in, and was taken over when it failed to read the market. Perhaps people were dreaming of their own holidays somewhere and took their eye off the ball at the critical moment. I exaggerate of course. But the point is that the more authentic and ‘real’ the top leaders are, the more that they will build and nurture a culture that is responsive and able to change.

Ok, enough. I hope you enjoy these musings. They’re all my own views and I don’t subscribe to any one particular methodology.

As for me, I’ve held senior roles in large organisations heading up global teams focused on organisational change and development, leadership development and talent. I work with CEOs and other board members to plan and implement strategic change, helping business leaders see the bigger picture, think ahead and develop the people, skills and culture to be ready for the future. I support senior leaders in developing their skills which are often rolled out to all tiers of management.

Alison Young-13 copy