Kingston knows how to make an impact! Who’s Kingston and what impact? The Kingston I refer to is Kingston Council, officially known as The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames (RBK).
At the end of 2019 I was engaged as the Lead Change Maker to design and deliver a programme that would take a newly recruited Corporate Transformation Team and transform them into a high performing team. They needed to utilise that transformation every time that they went to work in another department. Thus enabling more effective projects to take place within RBK.
The innovative programme was designed to enable the team to reach high performance quickly and to be able to put into action what they were learning immediately. The programme had elements of a suite of e-learning modules that could be accessed from a smartphone or a browser. There were individual and group coaching. There were face to face modules, which morphed into remote ones once Covid-19 made it impossible for in person events to take place.
We extended the duration of the programme to support RBK whilst they were mobilising their COVID response and added some additional elements at no additional cost to them, to support their effectiveness, morale and resilience. (We had already built a resilience module into the programme, delivered by my Change Maker Group colleague Vanda North; which really came into play as the effects of Covid-19 began to become more established).
Knowing and utilising how the RBK team provided impact was central to the programme. We used The Change Maker Profile™ as a foundation stone in which the different elements of the programme was reflected that gained knowledge. This is how The Change Maker Group (who I work with from time to time), defines The Change Maker Profile™:
“THE CHANGE MAKER PROFILE™ IS A GAME-CHANGING TOOL THAT HELPS PEOPLE MAXIMISE THEIR CONTRIBUTION. IT ALSO SUPPORTS ALL OF YOUR PEOPLE ACTIVITY, PROVIDING A BASIS FOR DEVELOPING LEADERS, DRAWING TOGETHER BALANCED AND IMPACTFUL TEAMS, RECRUITMENT INSIGHTS, DIVERSITY IMPROVEMENT AND SO MUCH MORE. IT IS A 21ST CENTURY TOOL THAT HELPS YOU SOLVE REAL BUSINESS PROBLEMS”
The Change Maker Group
Click below to find out what RBK feels about the programme.
The programme has now reached a conclusion with the Change Maker Profile™ accreditation of 4 employees of The Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames, Corporate Transformation Team.
Well done The Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames for having the foresight to equip this important team with with knowledge on how to improve their impact and influence. How to become a high performing team with the knowledge and resilience to extend this ability to others with the Council.
An additional well done to the new GC Ologists who can now accredit others in the Change Maker Profile™ – thus extending the knowledge of how to make individual and collective impact across the Council.
Sophia Severin – Corporate Transformation Manager
Emily Ormerod – Change and Improvement Analyst
Karin De-Giorgi – Change and Improvement Analyst
Katie Fielder – Change and Improvement Analyst
We are excited to see what they will do in the future.
Developing team impact makes all the difference. All organisations are striving to stabilise following the announcement of a pandemic that would wreak havoc across the world in 2020.
Whilst a lot of companies quietly took the decision to ‘write off’ 2020, they realised that 2021 and beyond cannot mean a return to that attitude. They also noticed that many of their high performing teams had reverted to groups of individuals and working remotely had dissolved their organisational culture.
This remains a problem, and concerted efforts need to be made to ensure that teams are developed so that they can make the right impact with your customers and within their organisations.
Fortunately, all is not lost and it’s entirely possible to make the difference that your organisation requires. At the Maverick Paradox we work with our clients to design a solution that not only develops your team, we look at improving their impact and leadership ability.
If you want to find out more, contact us now and we can see if we can get the process rolling for you.
Our partners at The Change Maker Group believe that they have a responsibility to leave a legacy of Change Makers who can shape society, doing remarkable things for the people around them. This is one of the reasons why they set up The Change Maker Community; to help you make an impact and contribution in your community, charity, or voluntary organisation, wherever you are in the world …
It’s a worthy cause and one that I’m pleased to be a part off. This week I was the guest Change Maker on the final Strategy Change Board that began in 2020. This particular Strategic Change Board brought together Charity sector leaders with peers, from across the industry. Through 6 facilitated, 90 minute sessions we helped the group explore challenges, share insight and co-create solutions to the most pressing issues they face. This Strategic Change Board was around the topic:
5 Steps to survive 2020 and thrive in 2021
Simon Phillips, the founder of The Change Maker Group, facilitated this Board. Each month he was joined by a different Change Maker who focused on a particular aspect of Strategic Change.
This week I joined Simon and the Strategic Change Board to discuss Execution. Effective Execution is one of the most misunderstood elements of strategic change.
It was a fun session, and a fitting one to end this Strategic Board series.
I’m pleased to say that there will be more Strategic Change Boards, from the Change Makers Community. The Change Maker Group will be running Strategic Change Boards for other industries. I’m looking forward to continuing with both ventures.
If you are interested in finding out more about how Strategic Change Boards can assist your organisation, then let me know!
The Maverick Paradox Magazine was officially launched on 13 January 2020 borne out of Judith Germain’s desire to look at the world from the eyes of the maverick! (Judith has been defining mavericks as ‘wilfully independent’ people since 2005).
The Maverick Paradox Magazine is an innovative, first of its kind magazine. It is wilful independence played out for the greater good.
There are currently 14 writers and there have been 34 guest writers!
The writers are a Swagger of Socialised Mavericks  who are disparate experts providing diverse opinions. They are wilfully independent people (mavericks) and have a unique and interesting maverick perspective on the world around us.
Alpha 2021 – how to make this year work. This is the first Alone with Judith episode of 2021. In this episode I look back at 2020, reflect on what we, the world, have learnt, what I had hoped to achieve and what actually happened.
I also look forward to 2021, the things that I’d like to happen as well as why we need Maverick Leaders now more than ever.
Have a listen to this short episode and ponder on what you are going to do to make 2021 work for you.
How to make 2021 work for you. It has been quite a year!
That being said, all effective Maverick Leaders realise the need to recognise the past for the learning that it gives you and the need to live in the present to enjoy the moment and the look to the future with hope and optimism.
Today is the first day of a new year and we should take a minute to be grateful for the things that we do have, before we prepare for the year ahead.
Here’s my thoughts on 2020. For this year I have a lot of things that I would like to achieve. However, today sees the UK leaving Europe and in April the start of IR35 – both will have far reaching effects on those that work within the UK. It is unclear what the long term opportunities and consequences are – what we do know is that conducting business will be harder.
I can only make best guesses and take a pragmatic approach. This year sees a shift for The Maverick Paradox.
The new website for aspiring Maverick Leaders and organisations will continue to be developed
There are a number of new ventures that I’m starting this year – more about these when I can!
I will attempt to write book 2 this year – starting in Q3.
I will start doing more ‘talking head’ videos
Is that all? Nope! However it’s better to do rather than say – so let’s see what can be achieved this year.
Mark Bremner and Nick Day are clients of mine and in November 2020, I recognised three things:
We are all Maverick Leaders – Socialised Mavericks working for the greater good
We like each other, have similar values and abilities. Different and complimentary.
We have unique skills, which, when brought together are powerful.
So after a short conversation we decided to launch The Maverick Leaders, with the speed and determination of Socialised Mavericks. The Maverick Leaders work with organisations to:
solve challenging problems with Maverick creativity, capability and conviction.
We are hosting our first event on 28 January 21 at 12pm UK Time. It is an unusual event, the title of which is:
The Diversity Impact: Is Diversity and Inclusion in danger of becoming a fad?
Over time you will learn about The Maverick Leaders and what makes us different when we work with our clients and why our events are not what you would expect …
This year brings much change and globally we have learnt a few things, in part thanks to the pandemic that began last year and which shows no signs of stopping despite the occurrence of new vaccines hitting the market.
What has 2020 taught us?
That the thought process and behavioural mannerisms of the Socialised Maverick is needed, as the old way was bad and we mustn’t go back to the world’s selfish ways. Here are a few of things we, the world, have slowly begun to recognise …
We cannot manage alone
In the West particularly, we have become restricted to our family ties (to just the nuclear family). Being just to busy to see our parents or share our children with them. So stuck on the daily grind and the acquisition of stuff, to wake up and look around at the world we have created for ourselves.
The belief that ‘we did it all ourselves’, and ‘if I help you, it diminishes what I have achieved’, are belief systems that are alien to the Socialised Maverick!
Thankfully this fallacy has been exposed for what it is, even in the most capitalist societies in the world.
We cannot manage alone and neither can you. If we are to survive then we must help you to survive. If we do not, we will destroy our mental health.
Wellbeing is important in your workplace
This is perhaps the most surprising change in the workplace. For literally decades leadership teams have dismissed the need to actively do something that nurtures and builds workforce wellbeing.
Then Covid hit. And forced change.
Now there is a recognition that the mental health of employees and leaders are important. We need breaks, nurturing contact, meaningful work. There is more to do though.
For those with poor mental health, they also deserve loving attention. Perhaps 2021 will see companies and leadership teams become the Maverick Leaders they could be … and actually care about their employees and the lives that they lead.
Not pretend, but care. We will all be the better for it, and their companies will thrive.
Connection is everything
Last year we were unable to meet up with loved ones. We couldn’t hug them, kiss them, be with them. We couldn’t attend care homes or hospitals when they were ill. Some of our family died and we couldn’t be with them in their last moments. They died alone and not witnessed by anyone.
Some of our family and friends got married and we couldn’t be there. Some watched on Zoom and others imagined what it was like. It wasn’t the same.
All of that hurt, still hurts.
And we miss our work colleagues … who would have thought that? We miss seeing them face to face, giggling over coffee and sharing our weekend stories. Yep, even seeing the ones we don’t like – it was part of the rhythm of work.
That rhythm is different now, and seeing them remotely, to just discuss work – doesn’t cut it. Not by a long chalk.
Work can be different
Paradoxically, we love working remotely! How’s that? We love the convenience of working from home, the ability to have more control and autonomy. The ability (for some) to work around the family.
We hate not interacting in the way we want, when we want. On top of everything else, we just miss people – yep, even the ones we work with!
Most managers have understood the complexities of working from home and are being kinder and more realistic with their expectations. Others have gone the other way, with micro managing and key logging software. These companies will not last very long.
We are all looking at the world of work. Wanting to capture the best of the ‘new ways of working’, and leaving the rest. We are seeing our managers and our organisations for what they are … and not always liking what we see.
Diversity is important
And not just in ethnicity! Following the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd in quick succession sparked a new wave of Black Life Matters protests in the United States. What was different this time was that people began protesting the world over.
This ‘social’ movement then entered the business world. Organisations the world over began looking into Diversity, Inclusion and whether everyone had a voice and was being listened to.
Business leaders dusted off the studies around diversity and relearned that their companies benefited from being more diverse. Maverick Leaders go a step further, believing in cognitive diversity – diversity of thought.
Yes, a diverse workforce is desired, essential even and cognitive diversity is often the key to Maverick Leadership. I help individuals, business owners and organisations to Strategise, Innovate and Execute – and cognitive diversity is key. You cannot craft great solutions, when everyone around you thinks the same and has the same life experiences.
Diversity, cognitive diversity is key to a successful 2021.
What we need is Leaders – and Maverick Leaders at that!
If 2020 taught us anything, it has been the need to have good leaders that work for the greater good and not their own self interest. We need leaders at the individual level (yes that’s you!), in our workplaces (that might be you! or others), running our businesses (that could be you), and running our countries (yep that still could be you!).
We desperately need people (that includes you!), that take a collective interest in the world around us. We as individuals impact hundreds of people, those that lead thousands and in the case of world leaders millions/billions.
We have learnt that change starts with us. Not just how we interact with the world around us but what we vote for and what we accept. We need to become Maverick Leaders, prepared to impact and influence for the greater good with integrity, empathy and passion.
Come on, be different, act different and change the world we live and work in.
Omega 2020 – Good riddance! Finally it’s the end of 2020. What a year!
I know I’m not the only one who is looking back at 2020 and wondering ‘what on earth happened!’ It’s extremely tempting to define 2020 as the year of Covid-19 and forget everything else that has happened globally and personally.
That would be a mistake.
However I think its fair to say that the pandemic has captured the attention of the whole world. Many have died, whether that’s directly or indirectly attributed to Covid-19. Millions have lost jobs or businesses, and there has been a great deal of suffering all round the world.
It has felt that the whole world has been shut down, locked down.
We’ve seen such distrust. Distrust of our leaders, our organisations and our institutions. What started as a reliance on Fake News propagated by Donald Trump has escalated into a distrust of scientists, experts or anyone not in our own tribe.
It is dangerous to our health and to our sanity. Who to believe? What to believe? When to believe?
Questions, questions, questions …
And yet, and yet … there has been hope, kindness and love, from one stranger to another. Whilst the coronavirus has brought out the very worst in people it has also brought out the very best.
There has been Maverick Leaders and organisations to admire, such as Jacinda Ardern (New Zealand Prime Minister), Marcus Rashford (who lobbied the UK Government to extend free school meals during the school holidays), and institutions like churches and community groups (feeding and supporting local communities).
It’s afforded time to reflect, to consider what is really important, and how we want to spend the rest of our lives. It has spawned creativity as we search for new things to work and do to survive, and has pushed us out of our comfort zones as we grew into new beings and organisations. Selling, making, producing new things to consumers who are more cautious and more critical of or intentions.
But other things did happen in 2020 …
There is a 6.4 magnitude earthquake in Puerto Rico.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announce stepping back from being Senior royals
On 22 January, China locked down Wuhan in an effort to control Covid-19
The UK formally withdraws from the European Union
The last Ebola patient is discharged in Beni
The World Health Organisation on 11 March declared Covid-19 a pandemic
In May the murder of George Floyd by US Police caught on video, ignited widespread global and (US) national protests
Twitter adds warning label to warn about inaccuracies in Donald Trump’s Tweets for the first time
In June we saw the highest ever recorded temperature in the Artic Circle
In September we learn that there might be life on Venus
September saw more than 50 arrested as Portland, Oregon, marks 100 days of protests against racism and police brutality
Naomi Osaka wins her second US title (Tennis)
November brings the news that Former Vice-President Joe Biden becomes President Elect
In December the first Covid-19 vaccine is administered in the UK
Omega 2020 – good riddance! One thing is for certain, this year, ends, poised for change.
What about you Judith?
This is what I wrote on New years Day in 2020:
This year sees a shift for The Maverick Paradox.
In the period of October 2019 to December 2019, the Maverick Paradox Stable was determined. This year sees The Stable being, refined, defined and nurtured.
More professional speaking to take place and of course new clients to assist!
How’d you do?
I have refined, defined and nurtured the Maverick Paradox Stable, and yes the Mavericks in the Workplace website went live in October 2019, this month has seen the decision to completely revamp it with new content and radical new look!
This magazine went live on January 13 of this year with some great writers. There has been a number of LinkedIn Pages added to the portfolio – here’s one of them. The Twitter account was set up and is being utilised.
I had decided to write my book in April, l however I decided not to do this once it became clear that we were in a pandemic. The UK went into its first lockdown at the end of March. I put those energies into the magazine and transitioning into new areas of activity.
My professional speaking went online and after a time of clients cancelling and postponing due to lockdown, I gathered new clients wanting me to deliver different things.
It’s been interesting, for sure!
Omega 2020 – good riddance! You were transforming. But it’s time for a change. Alpha 2021.
The need to develop Maverick Leaders is stronger today, than it has ever been.
High Performing Teams handle with care!Every organisation I know wants high performing teams. After all, if your team is performing well then you will get more things executed in a manner that far exceeds your expectations. Unfortunately not every organisation has high functioning teams, perhaps a collection of individuals thrown together in a group. It’s not enough to insist this group is a team, you have to create the environment to enable this to happen.
Over the years I have noticed that many leaders assume that they know exactly how to put together a high performing team. They will tell me all about Tuckman’s model of forming, storming, norming and performing. Some will even recall the adjourning stage. Or if they have a high performing team, they change the environment so the team struggle to perform at the peak they once were.
To ensure that a team is high performing, however, means more than slavishly following Tuckman’s model … it requires innovation!
Firstly there is a recognition that for good work to appear in the workplace then you need to allow your employees to bring their wholeselves to work. Not just the parts that you want to segment as ‘work’.
The ‘personal’ side of individuals may be messy at times, however, employers have a role in enabling their employees to harness the whole of who they are.
I’m a values driven Socialised Maverick, who thinks differently, challenges often and influences people and solutions to achieve better outcomes for all.
At the core of what I do, is my ability to:
Who I am, and what I do, doesn’t change regardless of whether I’m working within the Maverick Paradox or with another company – or indeed when I’m not at work. Maverick Leaders are the same wherever they are, although how they demonstrate their thinking and skills will change with the circumstances.
This is why I like working with The Change Maker Group. They don’t require me to change myself to work with them. They accept this serious, slightly quirky, playful, Maverick Change Maker into their midst!
There are many reasons why we understand exactly what makes a High Performing Team, and I thought it would be interesting to hear it from the mouth of one of our clients.
I have taken the LinkedIn personal testimonial left for me by Sophia Severin, Corporate Transformation Manager as a base, for this article. You will recognise the testimonial because it is shown in quotes throughout the text.
I have also included a couple of video testimonials, taken together with the LinkedIn testimonial, you will be able to see the impact a high performing team can make on an organisation.
Setting the scene
“Putting together a new Transformation Team from scratch, that would be required to challenge the organisation (and its partners) to think radically to tackle future issues and achieve their ambitions, with and for Kingston communities, was no easy task.
It would require individuals to form a high performing team ethos very quickly, and have the ability to form and become part of cross service high performing teams across the business”.
This was the situation that we found ourselves in. We were asked whether we could offer advice on the recruitment of the new team (we did) and then design something that would quickly forge the group into a high performing team.
The team would need to be able to help other departments within the Council become high performing too and enable departmental projects to be completed efficiently and beyond expectations.
“THE PROGRAMME DELIVERED THIS BY A RANGE OF METHODS; INFORMAL/ SOCIAL, AND FORMAL SESSIONS, COACHING AND DEVELOPMENT TOOLS.
THIS ENABLED US TO PUSH THROUGH THE ‘FORMING, NORMING AND STORMING’ BY ENABLING US TO UNDERSTAND THE PERSONAL AND COLLECTIVE IMPACT WE CAN HAVE, THE TEAM LEARNT HOW TO GET THE BEST FROM THEMSELVES AND EACH OTHER, AND WHAT OUR STRENGTHS WERE AS A TEAM”.
When we first met with The Royal Borough of Kingston it was abundantly clear that they needed something unique for their new team. Fantastic, this allowed me to utilise my ability to Strategise, Innovate and Execute!
As the Lead Change Maker I designed a comprehensive programme that delivered via micro-learning (via Smartphones), coaching, mentoring, training. We provided them with their Change Maker Profile so that they could understand and utilise their personal and collective impact.
There were a number of in-person modules too, where they learnt and practiced their skills.
The unexpected happened!
“Then COVID hit midway through the programme – but it was like we were ready for it before we knew it was coming!
The team understood what was needed to support their own personal resilience, that this change was just part of the ‘new normal’ and how to integrate with other parts of the business despite only being weeks into their roles.
Everyone was deployed to completely different jobs – and they excelled and delivered at a challenging time, at pace, in a strange new environment. I definitely attribute a lot of this to the programme and approach from Jude”.
When I was first asked (2019) to propose a High Performing Teams Programme for the Royal Borough of Kingston, I knew that it would need to equip the Council’s Transformation Team to become change ready and change resilient.
I wanted them to not only accept change, but to be able to seek it, ensuring that they bypassed old ways of thinking and looked for solutions that would work and be sustainable. I even designed a module (pre Covid) called Change is the new normal! My colleague at The Change Maker Group, Vanda North, delivered a module on personal resilience.
Little did we know how needed these two modules were going to be!
The Royal Borough of Kingston decided to send their teams to work from home a full week before the rest of the country went into the first Covid Lockdown. So, I decided to design and deliver an additional module (at no additional cost) to the team. In this module, we discussed how they were going to work from home and deal with the fact that this newly formed team was going to be deployed into separate areas. How would they retain the feeling of being a team when they are working in different areas and projects?
How would they teach what they had learnt to their new teams so that they could help the Council become more resilient and cope with the major change they were now facing? We consolidated their learning so far and dealt with the personal uncertainties they were facing.
What was important was that they were ready for Covid even though they had not known it was coming!
Almost the new normal
“After there was some respite in COVID activity, Jude picked up the rest of the programme virtually and we as a team concluded through to the performing part of our journey.
It’s helped me immensely as a manager to support the development of the new team and give me insight on the strengths, opportunities and potential needs of the team and individuals.
Jude has been a constant support; calm, patient, checking in and making sure momentum was maintained. The genuine enthusiasm and energy she has for the programme and seeing people succeed is evident and contagious.
I loved her no nonsense approach and practical help – it was a good mix of theory and helping me to make changes in my approach to be a better manager.
The programme is almost complete. We are accrediting The Royal Borough of Kingston so that they can deliver Change Maker Profile reviews to others in the Council.
Enabling more individuals within the Council to know and understand their personal and collective impact.
The Royal Borough of Kingston understood that to recruit, nurture and grow a High Performing Team that could ‘roll with the punches’, they needed a unique programme designed just for them.
It was fun working with the team and seeing them grow and take the uncertainties of 2020 in their stride.
The Maverick Paradox Podcast is now officially 3 years old! In this ‘Alone with Judith’ episode I speak about the Effective Maverick Leader.
These days everyone wants to be an effective Maverick Leader, even if they are unsure what that really means. The great thing about pursuing mastery is that although you cannot attain it, you are compelled to try.
Find out what I else I have to say on the effective Maverick Leader and Maverick DRIVEN Leadership!
Judith’s LinkedIn profile is here. Her website is here.
Judith Germain has worked within many industries and has influenced thousands of leaders. She has trained them, disciplined them, advised and mentored them. Judith has worked with and in the majority of corporate functions and environments and wrote a book on leadership.
Following this, a few years ago Judith postulated the theory that Maverick DRIVEN Leadership™ is at the core of exceptional leadership. Her clients discovered that her Maverick DRIVEN Leadership™ Methodology:
creates passion filled individuals that engender resilient maverick leaders; who work with purpose and meaning, for just causes and greater futures.
She observed that this was true whether the individual was running their own business or was working as part of someone else’s.
Maverick DRIVEN Leadership™ is important for organisations and leaders because it provides a blueprint for successful leadership. It speaks to HOW someone leads and who they ARE when they are doing it. It is the combination of these two concepts with the utilisation of the maverick mindset and attributes that makes a difference.
A successful execution ensures engaged, inspired employees and trusted leaders who know how to strategise, execute, and be innovative enough to influence and implement change.
These maverick leaders are resilient, so are able to help you withstand the buffering of modern business and empower their employees to become successful leaders.
Maverick DRIVEN Leadership™
Maverick DRIVEN Leadership™ is a way of life, not a formal process. What we mean is that everyone can learn to be more DRIVEN™, to learn how to be a Maverick Leader. The act of being a manager or having the word ‘leader’ in your job title doesn’t infer that you have the ability to lead.
In the past leadership has been rooted in the time period it’s being observed in. In fact it is normal to see the latest leadership theory, as just the latest fad. If you don’t like that theory, hold your breath, another theory will come along!
Maverick DRIVEN Leadership™ is different because it’s not time bound. The importance of WHO you are (in terms of character and intention) and what you DO is timeless. Your reputation (which is bound in these two concepts) and how it is perceived will not suddenly become unimportant. In fact the Millennials have re-introduced this concept and Generation Z and Alpha are making it abundantly clear that if you do not conduct your business taking this into account then they will not be working there, nor will they shop there.
Ignore their warning at your peril.
These are the attributes of Maverick DRIVEN Leaders™
Maverick DRIVEN Leadership™ matters
Organisations stand out, becoming attractive to employees and customers, by learning faster than their competitors in this fast paced world. Maverick DRIVEN Leaders™ are strategic, empathetic leaders that execute well and care how they achieve their outcomes. Regardless of whether they own their business or work within someone else’s.
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