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That People Thing: Punks in Suits - Personalised Leadership in a Bossless World
Leadership | Authenticity | Business | Coaching
Category: Management & Marketing
Location: WIltshire
Followers (11)
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As the CEO of That People Thing, I've spent more than 10,000 hours in board meetings and I've learnt what works and what doesn'...


by Blaire Palmer
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February 26, 2017 01:37 PM PST

I'm so excited to introduce you to my guest this week. Yehudi is a fascinating guy, a team coach and org design specialist who asks some pretty big questions in his work, questions we would all do well to ask.

In my solo shows I tend to focus on the inner work, but in my interview shows it's normally about these big questions - putting assumptions under the microscope and asking ourselves "What if there's nothing to these assumptions except conventional wisdom?".

I'm sure you'll enjoy listening to Yehudi and I talk about education, organisational change, organisational design and what the business of the future will look like.

Stay in touch on twitter @blairepalmer, instagram @blairelyspalmer or email blaire@thatpeoplething.com

February 19, 2017 02:37 PM PST

Earlier this year I shared my view that there really isn't such a thing as "leadership development". But this doesn't mean you can't grow in to leadership or grow as a leader. The best leaders are endlessly curious and endlessly evolving.

In this episode I share a few ways you can grow and evolve without anyone trying to teach you to lead.

For me the only leadership development is inner work and big questions. But what does that actually look like? That's what I'm talking about today.

I'd love your thoughts.
Twitter: @blairepalmer
Instagram: @blairelyspalmer
Email: blaire@thatpeoplething.com

February 12, 2017 11:10 AM PST

Over the last few years I've made predictions about what's going to be in the agenda in the year ahead. This year it's taken me a few weeks because the start of the year was dominated by other stories.

But now I'm sharing my 4 themes for the year. These aren't new concepts by any means but if you're not thinking about them this year, and I mean really thinking about them, then you're way too late.

Without giving too much away, how deeply are you considering agile, diversity, digital transformation and the relevance of global social unrest?

Chances are all 4 of these topics are on the agenda. But what about the leadership implications? Are you really considering your responsibility as a leader when it comes to something like Agile Working? How far have you taken that thinking?

Taken individually these concepts are just technical changes - new policies, processes and systems. They don't mean much. But taken together and seen through the lens of a radically changing world, they are all telling us something about how organisations of the future need to look, and what you need to start changing now to be relevant by then.

Hope you enjoy!
Twitter: @blairepalmer
Instagram: @blairelyspalmer
Email: blaire@thatpeoplething.com

February 05, 2017 10:49 AM PST

I've been writing about, and consequently thinking about, feelings all week. The chapter of the new book, Punks in Suits, about Trust looks at the part emotions play in business and how important our ability to bring feelings in to the conversation is.

One reason for this is that, very fast, computers are increasingly able to do things that have previously only been done by people. At some point these jobs will all be done by 'bots. Anything a bot can do - anything that is based on pure logic, data analysis, facts and process will be able to be done by a bot.

What does that mean for humans and the workplace? Well, it means that if you say that you are able to leave emotion at the door and make decisions purely on scientific fact, you're basically saying that a bot can do your job.

The truth is that, certainly for the foreseeable future, bots won't be able to empathise, sense, read between the lines or connect and therefore we'd better get good at doing that ourselves. Those might be the only jobs humans will be doing! And that ability to empathise, sense, read between the lines and connect is what makes humans great problem solvers, innovators and creatives - just the skills your business needs. If leaders are unable to connect with their emotions then maybe bots can do our jobs too!

Instagram: @blairelyspalmer
Twitter: @blairepalmer
Email: blaire@thatpeoplething.com

January 29, 2017 10:06 AM PST

In this episode of the Punks in Suits podcast I reflect on the concept of Trust, in the light of the publication of the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer (an annual, global survey of levels of trust in the 4 major institutions of goverment, media, business and NGOs) and the first week of President Trump.

Trust is in crisis. 67% of Trump voters describe themselves as "fearful". The pace of innovation, globalisation, corruption and erosion of social values are cited as some of the main reasons people feel distrust. And all attention for fixing this is turned on government and the media.

But business shares some responsiblity for creating the mess and therefore some of the responsibility to clear it up. How people feel about their work (if they even have work), and the behaviour of senior leaders, CEOs and Boards affects how trusting they are generally. Business cannot simply promote innovation and disregard the impact this has on those that get left behind. Business cannot simply treat people like disposable cogs in a wheel and then claim it's not their business when people feel social values are eroding.

I have also written a short piece about this on LinkedIn if you follow me there.

Please feel free to share this podcast, comment, review and start a conversation. What is the part business plays in repairing the state of trust?

Twitter: @blairepalmer
Instagram: @blairelyspalmer
Email: blaire@thatpeoplething.com

January 22, 2017 01:54 PM PST

This week I'm talking to the co-founder of Happy Start Up, a business school with a difference.

Happiness - not the smiley-all-time kind but deep-sense-of-fulfilment kind - lies at the heart of their business philosophy. What if business could meet your personal needs, be an expression of your values and, by the way, do good in the world (even in some small way)?

Laurence talks to me about the Happy Start Up Canvas - a 7 part, one-page business plan template that helps budding entrepreneurs think through the foundations of their business idea. However, after 17 years in business I found it useful to test my business model against these 7 areas too. What would your answers be if you ran your function, role, or company through the same template?

If you run your own company, or are thinking of starting, you'll get lots of food for thought from Laurence.

But if you work for an established, big business, I think you'll enjoy this insight in to the mind of the funky, start-uppy world that the disrupters come from.

To share your views tweet (@blairepalmer), instagram (@blairelyspalmer) or email (blaire@thatpeoplething.com). And please share this podcast and comment on iTunes! We're growing and we want more and more people to hear these ideas!

January 15, 2017 11:22 AM PST

Do we need to re-think what we mean by "influence"? Often "influencing techniques" are tricks we use to get people to take us seriously, to do what we say, to get people to do what we want them to do.
But what if influence really begins far before you actually have to change anyone's mind? What if it starts with you, your ability to connect with others and YOUR ability to change YOUR mind?
That's what we're talking about in this episode. And we'd love your thoughts - twitter: @blairepalmer, instagram: @blairelyspalmer, email: blaire@thatpeoplething.com

January 08, 2017 07:31 AM PST

Welcome back to the first episode of 2017!

In this show I talk about leadership not as a profession (like being a lawyer or doctor) but more as a way of being, more like being a citizen or a friend.

When we attempt to professionailse leadership we end up with complex, theoretical approaches and the need to "teach" people how to do it. It becomes an academic endeavour.

But if we see it as a way of being, learning to be a great leader is more like learning to be a great member of society. It is self-directed and self-determined.

I'd love to know what you think of this idea!

Also, if you are curious about how work might look in future we have a special promotional code that gives you access to a special price for tickets to the first "Agile Working Event" conference in London on March 29th, 2017. Listen to the show more for information.

Please stay in touch via twitter (@blairepalmer), instagram (@blairelyspalmer) or email (blaire@thatpeoplething.com). We love hearing from you!

December 11, 2016 10:26 AM PST

In this, the final episode of the Punks in Suits podcast for 2016, I share the 10 books, podcasts and concepts that have inspired me the most during 2016.

You may even get a few gift ideas from it!

I'm back on 9th Janurary 2017 but meantime do stay in touch on instagram (@blairelyspalmer), twitter (@blairepalmer) and on the Punks in Suits Facebook page.

Have a wonderful festive season and a happy New Year!

December 04, 2016 01:50 PM PST

What does it feel like to walk away from the security of a management job in a big company to start your own business, when you don't know what business you want to start?

How does it feel when you start breaking unwritten "cultural laws" because of the way you've chosen to work, the philosophy that guides your life and the decisions you make about how you live?

In this interview with Sally McCutchion, one of the UK's only Holacracy facilitators, we hear what her experience has been of all of this.

Whether you're curious about alternatives to the hierarchical structure or whether you're asking yourself deeper questions about how you live and what's authentic to you, there's lots to inspire you in this interview.

To contact me email blaire@thatpeoplething or you can follow me on instragram (@blairelyspalmer) or twitter (@blairepalmer) or join our new faceboo page, Punks in Suits. I'd love to read you comments and hear about your experiences.

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