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Supporting organisations to bridge the gap between strategy and action at moments of change, making sense and shaping conversations with Big Pictures.


What can we do together that we can't do alone?

julian burton


What can we do together that we can't do alone? Rethinking leadership and self-development through the lens of relationships

Sadler Heath Workshop, London 9am-1pm 16th March 2018

Julian Burton and Eli Rebeiro, Delta7 Change Ltd.

“Relating with another person is one of the most powerful crucibles for our growth and awakening, giving us the opportunity to learn to become more aware and able to see ourselves more clearly, to love more deeply, to communicate and show ourselves transparently as we grow trust” (Malcolm Stern).

We believe that the quality of interpersonal relationships at work is central to the personal learning, wellbeing, performance and success of every organisation. In this workshop we want to do two things. Firstly, to set the scene by sharing some leadership research that is helping us think about the benefits of more relational styles of leadership and learning. Then we want to explore developmental themes that each of us is finding on the edges of our learning and look at how the quality of our relationships could positively influence our capacity to learn and grow.

As O.D. practitioners we find many leaders are experiencing more complexity and uncertainty in their role leading change. Some we talk to feel stuck, overworked and exhausted. We often hear that clients want to move away from command and control and move towards more collaborative ways of working. The focus of culture change seems to becoming more personal; there is a requirement for leaders to role model stepping into new, more collaborative ways of being. For many of us this may involve some degree of personal growth and for others, a significant transformation.

There seems to be a growing need for more relational ways of leading and managing. The dominant view of management is that work is done transactionally by individuals (Hartling, L. and Sparks, E., 2008); yet the collaborative, interactive nature of organising and coordinating mutually interdependent tasks and roles means that effective working relationships are what gets things done (Fletcher 2001). We are not machines, we are human beings with needs and feelings. We are not individuals, we are all connected, we need each other and our relationships are what matter most in life. Our lives are a tapestry woven from the fabric of our relationships. This is why we believe that organisations can’t afford not to focus on building relationships as a central theme in leadership development and culture change work.

In this workshop we will engage in some experiential exercises to explore the different ways we can relate to each other at work; and discuss how that can illuminate the direction that leadership development might need to take in order to more fully support organisations to thrive.