Mike Zeidler2021-08-10T20:53:26+00:00There’s a lot of talk about collaboration these days — and with it often comes a worry about making decisions. The more you try to include people and decide things together, the longer it all takes — right?
Wrong! At least, it’s not necessarily so.
People who want to be inclusive can easily get caught up by thinking: Everybody must agree; and Things shouldn’t happen before everyone’s been properly consulted.
The trouble is, life simply isn’t like that. Decisions can’t always wait, and there’s always more than one solution because our minds are compulsively creative. The good news is that being properly inclusive and being swiftly decisive is actually quite easy(ish) as long as you keep a few simple rules.
The first is to use the right decision making process for the right job. In my experience, there are three kinds of decision making:
Decisions about purpose and meaning
Decisions about strategy
Mike Zeidler2021-02-24T16:27:41+00:00Here's an open lecture I gave at the Institute For Leadership And Sustainability (IFLAS) in Cumbria on 11th June 2019. Based on workshops I've been running since 2016, this talk squishes a full day's content into 57 mins. I suggest you start at 3m 32s to save yourself the intro whiffle. If you decide to watch, please give me feedback - I always love to hear what people find most interesting or useful so I can learn from that.
Mike Zeidler2021-02-22T12:48:25+00:00People are tricky. We’ve got a lot of moving emotional parts, so we do well when we handle each other with care. Innocent mistakes are easily made and work can really suffer if things go wrong when we’re trying hard to get it right. The trouble is, the saying ‘you can’t please all of the people all of the time’ is true. So how best to deal with that?
I’ve spent 26 years studying people skills closely as I’ve helped people collaborate and build partnerships. This article is a quick share of some of the ‘go to’ books I recommend when coaching people in the art of leading together. Hope you find them as useful as me.
Humankind, a hopeful history by Rutger Bregman is a valuable read because it gives clear evidence in favour of having faith in others. Bregman puts the stories of mistrust and conflict that surround us...
Mike Zeidler2021-02-09T16:17:16+00:00I've just published a piece on my Medium page about how I'm helping to bring coworking leaders across the UK together for the benefit of people and the planet.
The impact of coworking on UK society is hugely underestimated. It's a hotbed of innovation and change, and rich in people whose work reflects concerns about the 'big' social and environmental issues of today.
This is partly because the sector is full of very driven independent entrepreneurs - so it's self-organising by nature. Just like nature, it's power to make vast changes comes through the magnifying effect of many small actions.
The magic of self-organising comes from the freedom to act swiftly, experiment and learn. But! There are flip sides to everything, and duplication occurs if lots of independent people act fast, responding to similar conditions. That's not a bad thing - often it's part of the way the problem gets solved, but...
The problem with being rational, is that what you think is reasonable depends on what you believe. You know science is reasonable and you think you’ve got it licked — but then you bump into quantum physics and find out there’s a liquid that can run uphill, or some other crazy thing like the faster you travel, the slimmer you get. Totally nuts, but true*.
These discoveries were not made by those who ignored or rejected the evidence because they couldn’t explain it. They were made by people who suspended their disbelief and opened their minds enough to see the possibility of something new.
I think the chaotic times we’re living in aren’t here by chance — they’re here because so many of our most popular and firmly held beliefs aren’t as reasonable as they seem. One of the main culprits is the big disconnect from nature. There’s a gulf between the views...
The Pollinator Project - a study of Opportunity Makers like me. I'm talking to those with a natural instinct for providing that vital impulse - an introduction that leads to so much more; experience that saves time and effort; knowledge that changes possibilities; wisdom that settles differences; and curiosity that inspires creativity. Can you support this project? We're looking for funding to analyse the behaviour of these unsung heroes of progress so we can and publish their brilliant insights. Write to us if you can.
UK Coworking Assembly - Chair of the company, co-founder and facilitator. I'm helping gather, strengthen and guide the board and a Wisdom Council to work out strategic priorities and find the resources to deliver them.
Research & Support - The links below are regular haunts for sharing learning, actions and support.
Weaving Lab Wellbeing Economy Alliance New Economic Organisers Network Losing Control network Build back better campaign Schumacher Institute School...
The way a company is run depends mainly on the goal. There’s lots of guidance like ‘9 types of organisational structure every company should consider’, but most company designs start out ad hoc. It’s not until something significant changes that people start to focus on what they’ve created, as this excellent article from MindTools explains.
Since people tend to feel safer with the clarity of command and control, it’s by far the most common strategy, but it has its pitfalls. Elevating responsibility concentrates risk, and those who shoulder that burden are likely to demand more, and to spend more as they seek to justify, protect or force their positions. The irony is that the feeling of control is often far greater than the reality. Nature does things differently.
In 2005, I played a key role in creating The Association of Sustainability Practitioners. Since the goal was to promote sustainable behaviour, I had a hunch the organisation...
Don’t watch the clock, watch whatever you’re doing(First published in The Innovation on Medium here)Last time I baked, I burned the bread. Such a stupid mistake to make, and yet it’s so common. Watch the clock instead of the thing you’re doing, and things will often go wrong. I was paying attention to the wrong kind of time…
If only I’d stuck to the principles of Open Space, it would all have worked out fine.
Open Space started out as a “simple way to run productive meetings, for five to 2000+ people” which we quickly learned also turns out to be a “powerful approach to leadership”. I fell in love with the method 15 years ago, finding it so useful that besides using it to facilitate work, I regularly call on it’s wisdom in everyday life.
There are just 4 principles and one ‘law’ in Open Space, and you don’t need to learn anything new or have...
Mike Zeidler2020-08-28T10:43:57+00:00Liz arrived back from the World Government Summit in Dubai this month armed with a wealth of fascinating new knowledge, connections and ideas. She spent time with John Helliwell, Jeffrey Sachs, Don Norman, Tim Kobe, Daniel Kahneman, Charles Montgomery and Martin Seligman among others. This simple expression from Simon Sinek though, strikes a real chord. More on his presentation about Leadership in an infinite world anon.
"Leadership is not about being in charge,
leadership is about taking care of those in your charge"