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The 91 Untold Change Project
22 minutes | May 29, 2019
Episode 10: Absence of the Deity - With Susan Quilliam
Digging further into the landscape of change, we have decided to ask an expert of human relationships, Susan Quilliam, to contribute some of her wisdom to the project. Susan has had a very successful career as an author of twenty-two books in the relationship field. She is also a coach, facilitator, agony aunt and, ultimately, a long-standing muse of ours here at 91 Untold. During this episode, Quilliam educates us on how our attitudes towards romantic relationships have shifted and, in some ways, intensified, since much of the western world’s movement towards a post-Christian society. Neil and Sue also draw the parallel between our attitude towards relationships and our attitude towards organisations. Are we looking for divine fulfilment within our job roles too, or is this just a substitute from a lack of religion in our culture?
49 minutes | May 1, 2019
Episode #9: The Memes of Transformation - With John Seymour
This week’s episode of the 91 Untold Change Project podcast features an interview between Neil and our very own John Seymour. If you don’t know John he is regarded as one of the UK’s foremost experts on NLP (having co-authored the million copy best-seller Introducing NLP and having founded the hugely successful JSNLP training school – now a part of 91 Untold). John is a radical thinker capable of conceptualising change at multiple levels and weaving modalities such as NLP, applied psychology, memetics and system’s thinking to take our understanding of change to a deeper level. It was typical of him, for instance, when asked the question ‘how does change happen?’, to respond “But what is change anyway?”. John loves to play with paradox and mind-melting complexities, such as, “How do you harness unconscious skills, giving that they’re unconscious?”, in a way that never ceases to intrigue us. In this podcast, John explores how to build momentum in change projects, particularly for larger scale changes. He breaks down ways you can look beyond the often-misleading surface structure of an organisation, and how to untangle some of the most difficult of problems that can arise within large teams. We are guided through Richard Hawkins’ Meme Theory, with John explaining why it’s is so relevant in the changing world around us today.
32 minutes | Apr 18, 2019
Episode #8: Breaking the Vase - With Marcus Harris
One of the themes that’s emerged so far within the 91 Untold Change Project is how vitally important disruption is to facilitate real and lasting positive change and growth. Most of what we’ve talked about so far has focussed on disruption in the context of the workplace or to facilitate radical social change. But what about personal change? How can we as individuals reinvent ourselves to embrace opportunities and avoid falling behind. In this episode we talk to Marcus Harris about how to put yourself in the way of opportunity in these changing times and embrace change and transformation with an excitement and verve that frees you to reinvent yourself in ways you’ve never previously imagined. Marcus introduces us to his concept of “breaking the vase” - a metaphor for throwing aside the tight barriers we tend to build around us. Marcus explains that from breaking this vase comes true adaptability, unlocking the opportunity for regrowth, regeneration, and perhaps even intergalactic domination. He suggests that defining ourselves by either our pasts, or indeed our futures is limiting. Instead he calls for us to create completely new problems to release new energy. We hope you enjoy the show.
38 minutes | Apr 3, 2019
Episode #7: Change Needs Leaders - With David Smith Collins
This weeks podcast features David Collins, whose strong reputation as an innovative change leader stems from his days in the police service - where he rose to the rank of acting Deputy Chief Constable. David is now a successful leadership consultant and executive coach based in Bahrain. David draws on all of these experiences to consider how organisations can become more future proof and how leaders can maintain agency and resilience to inspire successful change. The podcast explores many of the practical challenges – personal and organisational – that often get in the way of the effective delivery of change projects. It also touches on David’s experience of swimming against the cultural tide and the importance of turning structures on their heads to take everyone with you towards a goal. David is an authentic leader with the experience of leading 1000’s of staff through change processes, and it is this experience that Neil is determined to tease out to inform the 91 Untold Change Project.
60 minutes | Mar 20, 2019
Episode #6: Start with a Crisis - With Sophie Livingstone
In Episode #4 of the Change Project Giles Gibbons suggested that the separate nomenclature of ‘charity’ and ‘business’ is potentially becoming ever more irrelevant. What is more important are the values that are brought to bear and the impact an organisation has. In today’s podcast Neil Almond interviews Sophie Livingstone, Managing Director of Trustees Unlimited with the aim of exploring some of these ideas further. Sophie has great experience as a social change activist and is perhaps best known for her leadership of the pioneering youth charity City Year, where, with her team, she took it from start-up to a hugely successful organisation with three regional bases. Sophie has always cherry-picked the best of business and blended it with leading thinking from the charity and social sectors. This podcast explores how to help people coalesce around a central vision for change by developing a sense of urgency and alignment around a ‘crisis’. Sophie explores how to lead through change and how to maintain consistency of values and culture as you grow. She also shares some of her learnings around how to measure success and get funders eating out of your hand.
62 minutes | Feb 27, 2019
Episode #5: Pivot to Purpose - With Rachel Higham & Neil Almond
To be honest, we went into today’s podcast knowing we’d be wowed by our guest, Rachel Higham, Managing Director of IT at the communications colossus BT. After all, Neil consistently regales us with stories that paint her as one the most inspirational leaders he’s ever worked with. But truth be told, we were expecting dirt; David and Goliath stories about her fight with the corporate machine, epic battles of her efforts to wrestle BT kicking and screaming into a modern world. We couldn’t have been more wrong. Rachel was still brilliant, of course, but the story she shared gave real insight into how organisations can embrace massive change whatever their size. The conversation became a rich case study of how to place your purpose at the heart of change in order to remain relevant to customers, talent and stakeholders whilst simultaneously harnessing the organisation's energy to positively impact society. This podcast is a frank discussion between host Neil Almond and Rachel about the importance of a socially-rooted purpose and how to avoid the platitudes of green-washing so many organisations resort to. Together, they explored how to attract and keep the best talent and how vital this is becoming, given the changing employment landscape. Rachel gives templates for energising and inspiring change projects within organisations, and explains how Human-Centred Design is driving innovation and allowing her tech teams to place people at the heart of development. As usual, Neil also asks Rachel to also consider the workplace skills that will be needed to thrive in the years ahead. As someone at the very heart of technological advances in Artificial Intelligence, chat-bots and automation, her answers have a heightened poignancy.
56 minutes | Feb 20, 2019
Episode #4: Business: A Force for Good? - With Giles Gibbons & Neil Almond
Today’s podcast shines a light on the future of business. How, in a world that seems more and more driven by stakeholder value, can organisations buck the trend and take a stand for being ‘good’? How do they measure their impact on the world and the people who work within them? How can they be progressive and harness their collective energies to become a force for positive change? Our guest, Giles Gibbons, has literally written the book about Good Business (albeit a while ago) and for the past 20 years has run a hugely impactful company of the same name. Giles works with businesses and charities to help them use their power to positively impact the world socially and environmentally. He also argues that this ‘good’ purpose can offer the resilience for organisations to remain current and relevant in our evolving world. Based on his experience, Giles talks to Neil about his thoughts on how “listening” businesses are typically the ones staying ahead of the game. He also outlines the importance of organisations opting for a more open and agile approach, as opposed to businesses solely focussing on meeting last year's targets. Having a foot in both the commercial sector and in the charity sector gives Giles a unique perspective on how businesses could become a force for good in the world – if indeed they aren’t already.
61 minutes | Feb 13, 2019
Episode #3: Working with the Grain of Social Change - With James Smith & Neil Almond
On today’s show Neil interviews James Smith. As you know, the 91 Untold Change Project aims to explore how change happens across different domains – organisational, personal and social. As one of the pioneers of the social enterprise movement in the UK, James has a unique insight into how effective social change can be achieved and the qualities needed by social change agents. Much of this insight was earned during James’ time as CEO of The School for Social Entrepreneurs, an organisation he founded alongside Michael Young, Lord Young of Dartington (perhaps best known for founding organisations such as Open University and the Consumers Association). Michael was arguably one of the finest social thinkers of the last century and Neil wanted to use this opportunity of talking to James to also tease out any lessons we can glean from the late master. Equally important to our project research are lessons from James’ current adventures as a social and environmental leadership consultant. Neil’s friendship with James goes back to 1999, when he was a student at the school setting up Kikass. Neil later became a visiting tutor for the SSE and an action learning set facilitator.
60 minutes | Feb 6, 2019
Episode #2: Surf The Millennial Wave! - With Sarah Smith & Neil Almond
Today’s podcast features Sarah Smith. We asked Sarah to be a part of the 91 Untold Change Project because she has the very rare ability to elegantly marry empirical research with real world applied practice. She has a particular academic passion for Positive Psychology (again blended elegantly into her highly respected executive coaching and facilitation practice). Sarah also leads the 91 Untold Applied Positive Psychology programme In this episode, Sarah challenges the myth that millennials are demanding different conditions from the rest of us, suggesting that you’d be hard pressed to find a member of Generation X who is asking questions about how they could flourish more effectively in the workplace. Millennials may be shaking things up, but actually it's potentially all of us who benefit. Sarah also talks about the importance of vulnerability in Leadership and shares some Positive Psychology-inspired interventions that individuals and organisations can make in order to foster the conditions in which workers can flourish, grow and tap into their full potential. Sarah has vast experience of working as a coach and consultant within organisations, and this shows through in the practicality of her comments. Leaders don’t need to know all the answers, but the behaviours they model are reflected through the organisation.
53 minutes | Jan 30, 2019
Episode #1: Occupational Philosophy or Creating Chaos? With Kevin Watson & Neil Almond
Today's podcast features Kevin Watson, one of the finest thinkers we know around organisations and disruptive leadership. Kevin is the former Operations Director at Selfridges and was a key part of the turnaround team there. He was also their Head of Customer Service, so we wanted to tap into some of his wisdom and radical thinking. Kevin is a sublime coach, with first-hand experience in organisational design and leadership. As Kevin would say, radical change has already happened. It's now about individuals and organisations catching up and learning to embrace the possible. In this podcast, he discusses with out host, Neil Almond, his ideas around occupational philosophy, creating chaos in businesses and how appraisals should be dumped and kicked into touch. Kevin has a passion for shaking up the way organisations are led and is an advocate of dismantling the hierarchies within them, so that teams run from the bottom up.
14 minutes | Jan 23, 2019
Welcome to The Change Project
Host, Neil Almond, joined by series producer, Mason Palmer, give a brief insight into what The 91 Untold Change Project is seeking to achieve, together with some ideas of what people can expect from the podcast series in the weeks to come. An adventure begins... Episode 1 coming 30.01.19
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