Transform Culture, Lead Authentically

21st century leaders must embrace a culture of growth & development

Attracting and retaining skilled staff is the greatest challenge facing most businesses. Yet the latest polls indicate that only 3 out of 10 employees are actually engaged in their work. It would appear that ample creativity and contribution is available for stealing IF you can get your leadership and culture right.

To retain a skilled, modern workforce, and to thrive in a complex and disruptive world, organisations must become places of safety, for employees as much as for the consumers they serve. Values and principles need to pervade operations through all levels of hierarchy and all modes of function, both internal and external to the organisation, resonating with employees, customers and stakeholders alike.

At Spireworks, we focus on fostering and developing the mindsets of self-authorship, mutual accountability, bringing out the best in ourselves and each other, continuous learning, focusing on what works, inquiry, self-reflection and intelligent compassion. These individual and team capabilities are required to safeguard the investments organisations make in their people and their customers. Take a look at our Guiding Principles if you want to know more.

Spireworks tailors leadership development and organisational change journeys specifically to the needs of our client’s, to enhance trust and effectiveness across teams, departments and boundaries.

We usually deliver one or more of the following:

Leadership workshops and coaching. Often, the need for leadership development work is identified through the failure or difficulty of implementing a change - a new organisational structure, a new technology implementation or a compliance programme. Fear of change is a natural human emotion. It rises in all of us, regardless of our gender, training or experience. This fear usually manifests in the process of change, resulting in anything from micro-management and negativity to aggression and harassment. A classroom based training course covering leadership skills WILL NOT address these issues. To learn and evolve, individuals must be understood, met where they are and offered the “just-right-challenge”. But focusing on individual development alone is fruitless. The complexity of interactions between people, the assumed rather than espoused rules of engagement, the microaggressions and prejudices, all must be understood and supported to improve the underlying cultural dynamic of an organisation.

Our coaches drive dedicated workshops with leadership and executive teams, to uncover the challenges presented by their existing mindsets and behaviours, and instituting an improved culture of learning and self-reflection across the team. We have found that leaning on the rapid and experiential learning techniques of improvisation serves to uncover the challenges in any leadership team fast and without controversy.

In these workshops we focus on establishing shared purpose, values and behaviours that the leadership team wants to exemplify and promote, often in the context of achieving particular strategic objectives or planned change.

Boundary spanning sessions. Within any organisation boundaries exist between teams, functions, layers of hierarchy, age, gender and racial demographics and geographic distribution. This often leads to siloed behaviour, duplication of work, wasted effort and at its worst your people working against each other. To unblock progress and drive success, a cultural reset is often required by our clients, to demolish these boundaries and establish shared understanding and empathy for our colleagues across the organisation. We work with team, department or organisational leaders to integrate the perspectives of the entire team in an all-staff boundary spanning session. We work in groups to identify and expose fears, anxieties and concerns from across the floor, and resolve those in real-time with the leadership team, thereby role-modelling a learning, collaborative mindset. The session allows the leadership team to tap into the tacit knowledge that is usually held in silos across the organisation.

Coaching and learning through real work. Spireworks favours methods of experiential learning, over traditional classroom-based and theoretical leadership training. While we embrace and communicate the theory, our most important contribution is often to work with the leadership team on a real project or issue. We will coach a team through the initiation, delivery and completion of a real world project, working with them to identify their strengths and blindspots, their communication deficits and opportunities, and embedding the self-reflection and self-leadership they will need to succeed in an ever-changing world.

This on-the-job learning means that skills are embedded in day-to-day activities, rather than remaining the ethereal theory of the classroom. Managers and staff learn to apply the theories of strengths-based interaction, individual and team accountability, vulnerability and servant leadership to the specific situations within your organisation, with their own colleagues, with their own eccentricities and challenges. This approach is the most effective and efficient leadership development work possible. Staff emerge from the experience enlightened and

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