Sunday, 29 March 2020


We are very often defined by what we do. We do not say he or she does accountancy we say they are an accountant. We even define ourselves by what we do. We would not say I do triathlon, but we might say I am a triathlete.

So what happens when what we do or our ability to do it fundamentally changes? How does this affect us and our identity?  How does Coronavirus, lock-down and home-working impact upon our meaning and values?


William Bridges wrote about his life and value changing experiences, developing a transition model, when he retired from work. In short, the model identifies three stages people go through as they gradually enter and accept the new organisational landscape. The model mainly focuses on psychological change during the transitions between each stage.

Elisabeth Kbler-Ross in her 1969 book talked about the stages of grief. This has been recognised by many as equally applying to our reaction to change.

Denial  The first reaction is denial.
Anger : When the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue
Bargaining : The third stage involves the hope that the individual can avoid the situation
Depression : "I'm so sad, why bother with anything?"
Acceptance : "It's going to be okay." "I can't fight it I may as well prepare for it."

Viktor Frankl argued that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. Frankl's theory-known as logotherapy, from the Greek word logos ("meaning")-holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful.

Julian B. Rotter in 1954, came up with the concept of a Locus of control: The degree to which people believe that they, as opposed to external forces (beyond their influence), have control over the outcome of events in their lives

Stephen Karpman suggested in the Drama Triangle that we get to choose a role.

The Victim: The Victim's stance is "Poor me!"
The Rescuer: The rescuer's line is "Let me help you."
The Persecutor: (in this case Coronavirus, or Government or Conspiracy)


Many people are valued for what they do rather than who they are. This is partly western culture and as much about how we valued ourselves as how society or employers value us. Under these circumstances being sent home with not enough to do may impact our sense of self-worth. The uncertainty, plus lack of control may create anxiety.

A lack of tasks or content in our day may create boredom or distress which we can resolve by filling with activity which may be constructive (hobbies or chores around the home) or destructive (excessive drinking, eating or social media). Being jobless (or simply without enough work to do) may make us feel useless and thus meaningless leading to depression, aggression or addiction.

A remedy may be to change your mindset from being without work to being on holiday. With a new angle of perception, we may find better pastimes to pass the time. Or to change our role within the existing context from Victim to Rescuer and take part in any of the voluntary on-line or off-line efforts to help people.

Frankl argued that we cannot simply be happy, any more than we can snap out of being depressed. The challenge instead is to find meaning, a reason to be happy: A cause (or a person) to serve.

My view is that it is better to be the captain of your ship rather than the crew of someone else and therefore better to pursue meaningful tasks to your own ends of none are forthcoming from your boss, spouse, family or community.

Irrespective of your view of fate or control, there may be moral obligation upon employers to find meaningful things for their colleagues to do. Not just for their occupation and mental health but also to maintain the link, loyalty and sense of belonging that is essential to a functioning community or a successful business.


If you to discuss these ideas or anything related to people, process or change please get in touch.

Tim HJ Rogers
Senior Consultant
Mob 447797762051
Skype timhjrogers
Twitter @timhjrogers


William Bridges transition model

Elisabeth Kbler-Ross stages of grief

Viktor Frankl

Drama Triangle

Locus of Control

Thursday, 26 March 2020


 Yesterday I wrote I had a series of very interesting meetings today about how the challenges of Coronavirus will impact the short-term (current health and social crisis), medium-term (business and economic crisis) and long-term (changes in vision, values, habits, behaviours and expectations)

Today I read this…

I’m clearly not the only one thinking that coronavirus will have implications for the long-term and for those who are not flat-out coping with the immediate crisis it may be worth investing your time to planning what the future may look like and getting ready for that.

The book Black Swan suggests that whilst it is difficult to predict, it is common sense to prepare.

The above referenced article make clear that food, medical and office work may significantly change. I agree. I have also observed that despite “working from home” people are struggling to utilise the tools for communication and collaboration but that will quickly change and become the new normal. Thereafter it will be difficult to go back.

Recent books that have influenced me include

How to Fix the Future – Andrew Keen
Utopia for Realists
Life 3.0
Everything by Yuval Noah Harari
Out of the Wreckage: A New Politics for an Age of Crisis - George Monbiot
WTF?: What have we done? Why did it happen? How do we take back control? - Robert Peston
The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups - Daniel Coyle
Principles: Life and Work -

I value comments feedback or any suggested reading


Wednesday, 25 March 2020


I had a series of very interesting meetings today about how the challenges of Coronavirus will impact the short-term (current health and social crisis), medium-term (business and economic crisis) and long-term (changes in vision, values, habits, behaviours and expectations)

I may post an article or blog which I hope will be interesting based on those conversations and peoples interest about what we can do now for the future. In the meantime, I welcome comments and observations and happy to take a collaborative approach to predicting and preparing for different futures.



Clear concise communications for colleagues, customers, the public and the media is critical at this time. However for many organization the carefully planned theory fails on execution because people simply are not used to home-working or the new tools or habits they need to employ.

Mike Tyson said Everyone has a plan, until they are hit in the mouth

When anyone has a choice of WhatsApp, Yammer, Email, Zoom, Hangouts, MS-Teams, Skype as well as all the usual platforms we risk confusion rather than communication. What is needed is clarity and simplicity.

People are used to looking at websites, social media, linked-in to find out information  notably about the latest Coronavirus and its impact on people, services and jobs. So organisations need to make sure that they have pre-prepared messages that go through the right (ideally rehearsed) channels that everyone is already familiar with.

If you are interested in a simple guide for Crisis Communications get in touch

Having a communications plan (What, When, How and Who)
Checklist preparing and sending  colleagues communication
Checklist preparing and sending  customers communication
Checklist preparing and sending  a media release
What tools work best for which audiences
Keeping in touch after everyones gone home.



Understandably lots of projects are being put on hold whilst the immediate focus is on coronavirus.

However, it is important that you follow the right process when mothballing a project. Note mothballing means stop using (a piece of equipment or a building) but keep it in good condition so that it can readily be used again.

Simply abandoning projects and disbursing the team(s) is likely to create long-term problems. This is especially the case if the team(s) are not your own people but consultants, contractors, suppliers who may have different priorities in 3,6,9 months time or (in the worst case) may not be around at all.

Make sure you have a clear understanding with the people about their role and responsibilities in each of the [1] Stop, [2]Freeze, [3]Unfreeze phases. Make sure that there is adequate documentation and provision for support for each stage and necessary commercial agreements to underpin the agreed plan.

Should you return to the project in 3,6,9 months time it should be easy to unwrap, understand and resume operation and not resemble something wretched and confused that you may abandon in favour of a fresh start (and the loss of the time, money, effort knowledge and asset value)


Saturday, 14 March 2020

Coronavirus Things to Do Checklist for your business

Identify a coordinator and/or team with defined roles and responsibilities for preparedness and response planning. The planning process should include input from a wide range of stakeholders e.g. health and safety representatives and trade union officials. . . .
Identify the critical activities undertaken by your business which would have to continue during a coronavirus outbreak on-Island, as well as the employees and other inputs that support those activities (e.g. raw materials, suppliers, sub-contractor services/products, logistics, process controls, security).   . . .
Discuss with your suppliers/sub-contractors whether they have robust Business Continuity plans in place – your organisation is only as good as those on whom it depends.   . . .
Consider preparing an additional pool of workers to undertake key tasks and provide training where appropriate (e.g. contractors, cross train employees, retirees). . . .
Determine the potential impact on your business-related travel (e.g. should international travel be curtailed in certain countries due to quarantines and/or border closures). Note that current planning assumes that domestic travel will not be restricted, although the Government may advise against non-essential travel. . . .
Find up-to-date, reliable information on the Government of Jersey website:   . . .
Establish an emergency communications plan and revise periodically. This plan should identify key contacts (with back-ups), chain of communications (including suppliers, customers and employees), and processes for tracking and communicating business and employee status.   . . .
Implement an exercise to test your plan, and revise periodically taking into account updated advice and guidance from Government   . . .
Implement an exercise to test your plan, and revise periodically taking into account updated advice and guidance from Government. . . .
Guided by advice issued by Government, forecast and plan for employee absences. This could be the result of a number of factors including personal illness, family member illness, bereavement, possible disruption to other sectors for example closures of nurseries and schools or reduced public transport.  . . .
As a general approach to reducing the spread of the infection across the island, assess your business needs for continued face to face contact with your customers/suppliers and consider plans to modify the frequency and/or type of face-to-face contact (e.g. video or tele-conferencing instead of travelling to meetings) among employees and between employees and customers. Whilst there is no intention to restrict domestic travel, the Government is likely to advise against non-essential travel, and this should be taken into account in planning.  . . .
Plan for a likely increase in demand for employees welfare services, if they are available.  . . .
Identify employees and key customers with special requirements, and incorporate the requirements of such persons into your preparedness plan.  . . .
Ensure that you have up to date employee contact details. This includes: Work and home contact information Telephone number Email (personal email as well as corporate email) Next of kin  . . .
Consider your customers’ needs and whether to review your business model and arrangements to continue to meet those needs. (e.g. enhance mail ordering and internet shopping capacities)  . . .
Guided by advice issued by Government, establish policies for sick-leave absences including policies on when a previously ill person is no longer infectious and can return to work after illness (i.e. when they are no longer showing symptoms and feel better) and agreeing them with trade unions and other professional representative bodies.  . . .
Establish policies for flexible worksite (e.g. working from home) and flexible work hours (e.g. staggered shifts)  . . .
Guided by advice from Government, establish policies for reducing spread of Coronavirus at the worksite (e.g. promoting respiratory hygiene/cough etiquette, and asking those with symptoms to self-isolate).  . . .
Guided by advice from Government, establish the current policies for employees who are suspected to be ill, or become ill at the worksite (e.g. infection control response, sick leave policies).  . . .
Set up authorities, triggers, and procedures for activating and terminating the company’s response plan, altering business operations (e.g. reducing operations as necessary in affected areas), and transferring business knowledge to key employees. This should include nominating deputies for key employees in advance, in case of absence.  . . .
Guided by advice from the FCO (which would be informed by the latest information from the World Health Organization and/or advice from Health Departments), establish policies on travel to affected geographic areas overseas and develop policies on managing employees working in or near an affected area.   . . .
Provide sufficient and accessible means for reducing spread of infection (e.g. provision of hand washing facilities or hand-hygiene products). 
 Consider additional measures to reduce the risk of infection, such as more frequent cleaning on premises, and ensure the resources to achieve these will be available. 
 Consider whether enhanced communications and information technology infrastructures are needed to support employees working from home, tele- conferencing instead of face to face meetings and remote customer access. 
 Consider policy on access to medical treatment for UK staff working overseas, and whether any specific arrangements need to be put in place, and more generally develop policies, based on duty of care, on managing your overseas staff taking into account possible reduced access to consular services  
Disseminate easily-accessible information about coronavirus (COVID-  ) to your workforce which is appropriate to the stage of alert (e.g. signs and symptoms, modes of transmission when this information is available), personal and family protection and response strategies (e.g. hand hygiene, coughing/sneezing etiquette, contingency plans). This should be based on the information already available on the Government website. 
Ensure that communications are culturally and linguistically appropriate. 
Disseminate information to employees about your preparedness and response plan for your business, including their role in this plan. 
Develop platforms (e.g. hotlines, dedicated websites) for communicating status and actions to employees, vendors, suppliers, and customers. 
Ensure that Government, Public Health and WHO websites are the sources for timely and accurate information (domestic and international).  

Not yet fully prepared for Coronavirus, or just want a checklist to confirm you are?

If there is one thing coronavirus tells us it is about the impact of sharing
Using the following guidelines to write your plan will help analyse the risks and so minimise the impacts of a pandemic on your business

1) Prepare for the potential loss of 50% of workforce over one or more waves of a pandemic each lasting 12-15 weeks and occuring weeks or months apart

2) Allow for relocating staff to other sites or home to avoid crowded situations where infection rates will be greater

3) Identify scenarios, eg working normally as far as is practicable, taking account of staff shortages and other related pandemic issues or shutting up shop as far as possible

4) Identify the Pandemic Incident Management Team (and a back up team in the event of team members becoming unavailable)

5) Develop a Pandemic Operating Regime which should become operational during the Pandemic Outbreak phase (or earlier)

6) What will the trigger point be Identify when the Pandemic Operating Regime will come into play This could be when a previously determined number of staff become absent or when the government officially declares a pandemic

7) What are the companys critical processes that will need to be sustained throughout

8) Who are the critical personnel whom the company cannot do without

9) Can other staff be cross-trained to take over in an emergency situation

10) Communication  ensure staff, customers and other interested parties are kept informed of the companys preparedness planning for a pandemic situation and updates are issued regularly

11) Staff welfare  refer to Government guidelines and establish a policy on staff welfare during a pandemic such as how to deal with infected staff, when to quarantine and offering counselling in the event of bereavement

12) Review HR policies with regard to absenteeism, compassionate and sick leave, wages, etc

13) Monitor events as they happen and be aware of government measures such as travel restrictions or quarantines

14) Identify staff who can work remotely, either from home or another location

15) Review IT and telecoms networks to allow for usage by remote workers (and increased customer usage)

16) Video-conferencing and other communication alternatives can be used to allow essential staff to continue working productively

17) Supplies  how will critical functions be maintained if essential supplies are disrupted Check suppliers have pandemic business continuity plans and make sure they are tested regularly

18) Stakeholders  ensure they are aware of your pandemic preparedness planning

19) Travel  establish how travel restrictions could affect productivity and how to deal with employees stranded in other countries where a pandemic has been declared

20) Test and test again  test plans frequently and as they are triggered by alerts Review during each phase and update as necessary

In the comments I will also add some useful links and would invite others to do the same

If there is one thing coronavirus tells us it is about the impact of sharing

If you want help with business continuity planning get in touch

AdaptConsultingCompany com
Mob 447797762051 
Twitter  timhjrogers
people projects change leadership lean scrum agile


Advice for business from Jersey (

Jersey Government Advice

Johns Hopkins Map of Cases (including Jersey)

Guernsey Gov webpage

UK gov advice (

Advice from FCO (

UK Guidance for various business sectors(

Jersey have a daily update on cases (

Sunday, 1 March 2020

Still struggling with GDPR and Records Management

Adapt Consulting and Fusion have developed a simple solution using SharePoint

Easily add all your processes and data
Simple to use look-ups to avoid keying-in
Record purpose legal basis  data-types
Add Data Processing Impact Assessment
Add Data Sharing Agreement
Use PowerBI to produce reports
Use PowerApps to create Workflow
Automate Privacy Notices

Easily import and export to any Microsoft app
Dashboard to track progress
On Premises or In the Cloud options
No lock-in  no license fees

If you are interested and would like see a demo or read case studies or testimonials from happy clients get in touch

Tim HJ Rogers
Mob 447797762051
Skype timhjrogers
Website adaptconsultingcompany com
LinkedIn linkedin com/in/timhjrogers

The difference between Document Records Management

Really looking forward to the on-Island demonstrations by Laserfiche next week Working with our clients to automate work in every department with powerful workflows e-forms and intelligent document management

Beyond that we are looking at how we satisfy PII protection and records management

Accountability  - A senior executive oversees the recordkeeping
Transparency -The processes and activities are documented
Integrity - Program shall be constructed to ensure authenticity and reliability
Protection - Reasonable level of protection to records and information that are private

If you are interested in all 8 criteria and their detail our toolkit templates training or support get in touch

Tim HJ Rogers
Mob 447797762051
Skype timhjrogers
Website adaptconsultingcompany com
LinkedIn linkedin com/in/timhjrogers

Data Protection and Cyber Security Was last years training now this years behavior

Data Protection and Cyber Security is not a once only event it is something that needs follow-up and taking account of new challenges

We are delivering a variety of training sessions for Directors Marketing Teams and Front-Line Staff from simple basics to Board Reporting

Coverage Data Protection and Cyber Security

Basic principles of Data Protection
Overview of a Privacy Notice
Logins and Passwords
Email scams
Role Based Access Control
Phishing Attacks
Office Security and Clear Desk Policy

Coverage Subject Access Requests and Breaches

What is a Breach
What the OIC expects in a Breach Log
What is reportable and non-reportable
How DPIAs and DSAs can help Breach Management
What is a subject access request
The possible exemptions

If you are interested in bespoke training our toolkit templates training or support get in touch

Tim HJ Rogers
Mob 447797762051
Skype timhjrogers
Website adaptconsultingcompany com
LinkedIn linkedin com/in/timhjrogers

Case Study Jersey Royal Consultation Project

The Farm Jersey consultation with the Jersey Royal Industry has really highlighted a number of challenging issues but it has also identified a significant number of possibilities and opportunities many of which cost nothing We greatly welcome this initiative and look forward to contributing to more like this in 2020
Tim Ward Sales  Distribution Director Albert Bartlett

Working with a broad range of stakeholders Tim Rogers of Solitaire Consulting worked with Farm Jersey and the Rural Economic Advisor to run a series of interviews and workshops These brought together a diverse group with a common passion to secure a future for the Industry The outputs included interview notes a review report and recommendations combining no-cost quick-wins and longer-term initiatives and programmes
The work was well received by the industry who both embraced the opportunity and provided positive feedback about the process

If you would like to see the full case study and feedback or are interested in facilitation consultation or running workshops get in touch

Tim HJ Rogers
Mob 447797762051
Skype timhjrogers
Website adaptconsultingcompany com
LinkedIn linkedin com/in/timhjrogers

Saturday, 18 January 2020


This is part of a series of blogs, posts and articles on people, process or change, but notably about self-improvement since “know thy self” is a first step towards friendship, leadership or change. Please feel free to comment, add feedback or perhaps share your own experiences, recommended reading or favourite resources from the internet.

If you want to meet to discuss any of the elements mentioned here please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Tim Mob 447797762051


I attended the Disruptors Club business building event in Jersey, not because I want or need to build by business but because if “You're The Average Of The Five People You Spend The Most Time With ” (link below) then it makes sense to spend time with interesting people.

In an earlier blog (What books to YOU recommend I should read in 2020? ) I suggested that you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but can you judge people by their books. They’re practically taking a piece of their soul and waving it in front of you like a gigantic, colorful flag. It would be rude not to read something into what they’re reading.

So inevitably I asked each of the panelists what was the best book they read. More about that later.

All the speakers were good, but I really liked Positive Neil, partly because of his life story, practical advice and my own experience as a participant in Glenda Rivoallen PhD Mindfulness for Entrepreneurs, which later became a book Mindfulness for Wellbeing.

I often use the phase: Are you the captain of your ship or the crew of someone else’s.


All credit to Positive Neil for the observations below, although they are my interpretation of based on my recollection of what he said and my own experience.

Quote: Anger is not a cloud that you want into. It is a thought that creates action and experience. You can choose that thought. The ability to choose, to control, is medication.

This is a great quote and links directly to the Ladder of Inference How to Avoid Jumping to Conclusions (link below) and how we can choose how to infer and respond to people and events.

It also says something about the locus of control: the degree to which people believe that they have control over the outcome of events in their lives, as opposed to external forces beyond their control.

I liked these practical tips

Step 1>> Don’t start worrying about the stress on your mind until you have sorted out the foundations like: Have you drunk enough water; had enough sleep; ate the right foods; done some exercise etc.

This is good advice because if you are already physically stressed then it seems unlikely or impossible that you are in a good position to start dealing with mental stress. I highly recommend The Organized Mind, Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload by Levitin, Daniel J. , if you want to understand the neuroscience of this.

Step 2>> Find the time, some time for just you. It may be at dawn, lunchtime, dusk, when caught in a queue or a traffic jam, but find some time to “check-in” with yourself.

As a former athlete with a full-time job I am used to being up at 5am, in the pool by 6:30am and at my desk by 8:45am. In Jersey in particular there is no commute like London and there is no reason not to carve out the start, middle and end of the day to do something more productive. We all get 24 hours. How do you use yours.

I am always amazed by people who have no time, but do have a smart-phone, TV, and lots of distractions which take time but don’t give growth.

Step 3>> Have routine tasks and get these done so that your chores are done and you are free to think about important things rather than urgent things.

I believe routine habits are essential. There is a lot of trash said about motivation. You don’t wake at 5am every day because you are motivated, you do it because it is part of a habit, routine or regime that is geared towards your goal. You may start with motivation, but you keep going with habit!

Step 4>> Meditate. If you have done all the above you are in a good state to be mindful, reflective, meditative.

I know from Glenda Rivoallen PhD Mindfulness for Entrepreneurs, that I cannot blank my head, empty my thoughts, or erase my feelings. By I can direct my focus. I can think about how my arms, legs, lungs feel as I swim, bike or run. I can study a rock-face and think about the best route to climb. I can feel the breeze on my face or the water that laps around my feet. So this is my version of mindfulness.

The key thing is that for those moments I am not thinking about someone, something, somewhere that I need to be, do, see.

Step 5>> Relationships. Make time to spend time with the right and important people.

As an athlete or entrepreneur success is heavily linked to being selfish and single minded. Without doubt the scales may be heavily tipped against relationships or friendships. However try to do enough to keep these alive. Don’t loose touch. Even a phone call, coffee, email, skype is enough to maintain the correction if not nurture the relationship.

Clearly it would be better to have strong relationships that bring joy, happiness and support and these are worth investing and cultivating but it would be naïve to suggest that this is easy for everyone.

Step 6>> Life. Get all the above more or less right, an repeat each day, for the rest of your life making tiny improvements each day.

When asked about lessons from the Commonwealth Games or World Champs Rowing I’ve always offered the following quotes

Quote1 >> 80% of life is just turning up – Woody Allen

I just turn up, to every training session, to every lesson, to every meeting. It's amazing what your learn, who you meet and how you improve by just turning up.

Quote2 >> Do exactly what is says on the tin – Ronseal

Life often is just doing the obvious: eat, sleep, drink, think. Every weight loss programme. Every training regime. Every qualification is simply a matter of do this, then that, then the other. Everything is obvious in the world of google. The challenge is doing it.

Quote3 >> If you can fill the unforgiving minute    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son! By Rudyard Kipling

We all have the same 24 hours, how do you use yours?


If any of this has been interesting perhaps have a look at Neil’s website or The Disruptors Club


Positive Neil

Disruptors Club

Disruptors Club business building event in Jersey

You're The Average Of The Five People You Spend The Most Time With

What books to YOU recommend I should read in 2020?

Mindfulness for Entrepreneurs

The Ladder of Inference How to Avoid Jumping to Conclusions

Locus of control


If you to discuss these ideas or anything related to people, process or change please get in touch.

Tim HJ Rogers

Senior Consultant / Project Manager

Mob 447797762051 Skype timhjrogers Twitter @timhjrogers

Adapt Consulting Company - Consult, CoCreate, Deliver

Business Analysis – Projects – Processes – Programmes



Tuesday, 7 January 2020



As a former athlete and coach (Commonwealth Games Triathlon and World Champs Rowing) I appreciate that success is teamwork. Even for solo events you often need the support of a coach, mentor, physio and guidance on nutrition, technology and even help with admin and logistics.

I love Lane4 famous quote from Olympic swimming "We create the environment where success is inevitable" (see link below). They put it down to Leadership, Vision and Standards.

I tried to emulate this for the 2014 Commonwealth Games Team (see link below) I have long been inspired by Robert Dilts and a key phase “I can do that here” or indeed “I can’t do that here” because it breaks down some of the key components of values and culture into things we can easily understand and manage.

I – Is about me, myself, my core belief, my talent. (Individual)
Can – Is about capability, competence, and capacity. (Belief)
Do – Is about action, permission, freedom, responsibility. (Capability)
That – Is about values, culture and behaviour. (Behaviour)
Here – Is about place, environment and timing. (Environment)

Now what is interesting about this model is that whilst ostensibly it starts with the individual who thought a step-by-step process might change the world, it also suggests (going in the opposite direction) that the world might step-by-step change the individual.

So this is where I would start with to create the perfect team and circumstances for project success.


For a project I would want the whole team all located and working together like a tribe (see below link to Seth Godin) We know from the Allen Curve (link below) that people communicate better when they are closer together. We also know that communication is faster and better when the group is small.


This is easier said than done, especially when you understand all the elements that make-up culture. (see Johnson and Scholes’ Cultural Web Model below). However I think that Seth Godin Tribe is a neat way to encapsulate all these elements.

“A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea.”

“A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.”

“Tribes need leadership. Sometimes one person leads, sometimes more. People want connection and growth and something new. They want change.”

It should be possible to create a tribe that has its own....
1. Stories and Myths
2. Rituals and Routines
3. Symbols
4. Control Systems
5. Organisation Structures
6. Power Structures


The Robert Dilts model talks about Belief, Behaviour, Capability which are essential to the individual and the team. Godin talks about shared interest, and John Adair Action-Centred Leadership (link below) talks about the need to align corporate and personal goals.

This needs to be started by dialogue. There is an informal and formal aspect to this. First it is necessary to talk to the individuals about their aims, ambitions, needs and understand how to align this with the project outputs and outcomes. This is a personal agreement about mutual support, dependancy and responsibility.

Then there is the more formal aspect of aligning rewards and recognition so that incentives of pay, bonus, training, promotion, holidays etc., are all supporting the same alignment and not pulling in a different direction.

Understanding the individuals motives (Psychometric MBTI), ways of working (Personality DISC) and best contribution (Belbin Team Types) all help to pull all the jigsaw pieces together (lots of links below)

It is also essential that the organisation is flexible to accomodate these elements and provide the support, training and safety net (willing to tolerate occasional failure) in order for the team to learn and grow.

I believe if you really listen and understand people and create the circumstances where they can thrive, then you will have the makings of a great team.


I am a PRINCE2 qualified project manager and I fully know the strengths of a structured approach to delivery of projects, outputs and outcomes. I am also a programmer and fully know that 10 programmers tasked with creating the same outcome will choose many paths to delivering that result. I am also a qualified Change Manager and I appreciate that every gantt chart is a lie and every budget is fakery. I appreciate the importance of agile and of scrum.

Every high performance athlete has vision, mission, goals, objectives and measures. But they are also flexible about rest days, injury, weather and very often the key maxim is "What is the most important thing I can be doing right now."

I know this from personal experience: I broke my arm 5 weeks before the Commonwealth Games Triathlon and rather than come up with a list of problems, issues and a demand for sympathy I simply realised I could still run, ride on an exercise bike and [by covering it in a plastic bag] even swim! This is being agile, and whilst I didn't win I came in the top 20, which is better than abandoning [which is how so many project fail!]

Exactly what method is best depends on the people, project and politics. I am increasingly finding a blend between waterfall (plan everything in advance) and scrum (make it up as you go according to circumstance) seems to work: Waterfall + Scrum = WaterScrumFall.

However see link below for some stark warnings of trying to apply a method which doesn't align to corporate knowledge or expectations. I am a pragmatist.


You may be surprised that this appears last. Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action is a book by Simon Sinek. (see link below). I don't think this applies for projects.

If you are a firefighter or elite soldier you build your competence, capability, drive and desire before you actually know the situation you are going into. You do not train for one scenario only.

I believe the same should be true of projects. Success is a journey not a destination (Quote: Arthur Ashe) and We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. (Quote: Aristotle)

And so, perhaps controversially, I believe to create the perfect team and circumstances for project success is not predicated on the project purpose. To illustrate the point, I would take more or less the same approach whether I was delivering an IT Project, a business transformation or creating a high-performance rowing team.

For example, for a high-performance rowing team by having the right ENVIRONMENT (coaches, facilities, funding) and creating a CULTURE (practices, habits, behaviours) I'd aim to attract the right people and build a TEAM of common interests. The METHOD will need to reflect the task: 2000 meter rowing on a lake is different from 8000 meter coastal rowing, but in the end the aim is that we achieve a PURPOSE.


We create the environment where success is inevitable

2014 Commonwealth Games Team

Tribes - Seth Godin

Allen Curve

Group-size and Relationships

Johnson and Scholes’ Cultural Web Model

Action-Centred Leadership - John Adair

Psychometric MBTI

Personality DISC

Belbin Team Types

ScrummerFall, WaterScrum, WaterScrumFall

Start With Why


This is part of a series of blogs, posts and articles on consulting, leading or managing. Please feel free to comment, add feedback or perhaps share your own experiences, recommended reading or favourite resources from the internet.

If you want to meet to discuss any of the elements mentioned here please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
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Twitter @timhjrogers