show episodes
 
If you are looking to identify and develop your strengths and talents, take calculated risks and make decisions, The Strengths Revolution with Steve Morgan will help your personal development, as well as helping you support your clients, employees, teams and wider organisations. Knowing your strengths will also support positive risk-taking and decision making as part of good risk management.
 
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show series
 
So, what does funky and creative working look like when you have to implement things through a team? It is one thing for a creative individual to plough their own furrow, but as soon as you get two or more people together the opportunity arises for three or more opinions on how to go about things! In this episode I outline my consultancy work acros…
 
We spend so many hours, and restless nights, focused on work, so don't we deserve to get enjoyment, fun and creative challenge in our work? Managerial structures, systems, procedures and processes are designed to achieve consistency and homogeneity of output. Monitoring and auditing of standards and targets keeps a watchful eye how we work. So, are…
 
How serious are we about truly developing the talent of our key people? The world is over-populated with academic pursuit of leadership initiatives, all competing to produce people with accredited qualifications. But what about developing people with the confidence to deliver on the practical day-to-day challenges that our businesses through at peo…
 
How do you go about identifying your natural talents? Most of us stroll through life largely oblivious to what we may excel at. Either we are subject to the constant focus on our weaknesses, and attempting to get them fixed, in the flawed assumption that this helps us to massively improve our performance. Or, we are simply just not aware of resourc…
 
It's one thing to have a great idea but another entirely to put it successfully into practice, particularly if it is about delivering on difficult and challenging decisions. What does it take to put positive risk-taking into practice with clarity and confidence? This was a concept I developed in 1994 and have been refining and implementing with so …
 
A good idea is about 10 percent of the effort, it's the implementation and hard work that makes up the bulk of the effort. But how do we go about identifying and implementing good ideas? What can we use to help us deliver great work? In the case of a Strengths Approach and Positive Risk-Taking, two of my signature ways of working, I have developed …
 
Why do we need to be constantly changing things? Is there too much change going on in the world? It is tempting to look back with rose-tinted glasses for the better times, and to bemoan the worst of what is going on at present. But change has undeniably contributed more positive than negative outcomes for most people. However, in business how can w…
 
What qualities do we look for in our great leaders and great managers? Can one person embody both functions? The great leader connects people to a vision of a better future, and a great manager instils quality performance in other people to achieve the steps towards the ultimate goals. In this episode I use a series of quotes from the business lite…
 
What is the distinction between leadership and management? Do we need to have more of one and less of the other? Ideally we need the good experiences of both. In this episode I explore the future focus of leadership alongside the present focus of management. Using a series of quotes from the literature the contrast and the complimentary nature of b…
 
Are we really developing the strengths of our staff in the workplace? I previously outlined my own Team Strengths Assessment, but in this episode I focus on the messages emerging from the Gallup organisation strengths research. Buckingham & Coffman published First, Break All The Rules in 1999, which included 12 questions we should continually be as…
 
Do we only draw on the evidence that supports our original beliefs? The strengths approach is supported by a relatively small evidence base in the healthcare world, but if we look to the business world the quantity greatly amplifies. However, quantity should never be allowed to overshadow the quality of an evidence base. In this episode I review th…
 
Are we just in the business of keeping academics in jobs? Best practice is the ultimate goal for delivery of any self-respecting business, but we must be confident in the evidence that underpins our beliefs in a particular way of working. A strengths approach is no different, and making best use of our personal assets and resources needs more than …
 
How do we help to develop and nurture our primary resource, our individual staff? The research tells us we spend too much time trying to fix their weaknesses, and not nearly enough identifying and exploiting their unique gifts and talents. A motivated workforce is a profitable workforce, so it makes sense from the personal and business development …
 
How do we develop the potential of our individual staff members? We are all individual's with unique abilities, interests, drives and motivations; but do we really spend time identifying and nurturing these? The Gallup organisation research suggests that the most successful leaders and businesses do, but the majority are still focused more on fixin…
 
In his relationship to others the word that comes to mind for me in describing Steve would be generosity. He gave of his time, but perhaps more important was the quality of that gift. Steve had a generosity of spirit that shone through his passion to understand and help people. To describe Steve by his professional role of psychologist is to miss t…
 
With all the expectations placed on providing excellent service to clients how can we truly expect staff to value others when they don't feel valued themselves? So, the concept of a strengths assessment should apply equally to staff members as it does to their work with clients. In this episode I explore some of the key messages from the wide-rangi…
 
In recent episodes I have explored the meaning of recovery and concluded that I fully support the original intentions of its service user creators, but despair at the corporate take-over and misappropriation of a good idea. I have also explored how the 'can do' strengths approach lends practical reality to the conceptual language of recovery. But h…
 
Having explored the concept of recovery in the previous episode I concluded that I fully support the original service users' intentions but despair at the corporate take-over of manifestly good ideas in order to decorate their own complex and confused way of going about things. As a realist I have to accept that recovery has become a leading mantra…
 
'Recovery' can simply be described as to regain, get back or restore something which has been lost, but in health and social care services we don't tend to go for the simple and straight forward, particularly when confused and complicated are on offer. I fully support the concept of recovery, as it was originally identified by service users, but I …
 
Solution Focused Therapy has been established in the US since the early 1970's, but didn't make an impact in Europe until the mid to late 1980's. The approach is largely attributed to Steve de Shazer, and has garnered considerable favour with the attibution of 'Brief' in front of its title. Many clients and practitioners alike favour the specific f…
 
We all know what motivation is... it is what gets us out of bed and out of the door. But what if you have a problem with alcohol, or with misuse of other drugs? What role does motivation play in our desire or ability to change our behaviour patterns? In this episode I explore the strengths-based credentials of the concept of motivational interviewi…
 
Take a picture of this... it's 1998 and Martin Seligman is just installed as president of the American Psychological Association. He challenges the massed ranks of psychology professionals to change their fundamental ethos, from a focus on pathology to a pursuit of what makes for an excellent life. Positive Psychology is born; but does it match up …
 
AI is more frequently known as Artificial intelligence, but in the context of organisational change I am focusing this episode on Appreciative Inquiry. But, apart from the simple assumption of showing some appreciation to another person, what is it? David Cooperrider and colleagues have claimed this to be a uniquely strengths-based approach to the …
 
The strengths approach shares many values, principles and practices with other well known approaches, one of which is Appreciative Inquiry. During a conversation planning for a workshop presentation at a conference the question of establishing a 'provocative proposition' arose... a concept closely integrated into the practice of Appreciative Inquir…
 
Person centred planning is a concept well established in learning disability services, with a clear set of principles, broad questions, tools and methods for capturing plans. But, what does it really look like in practice? In this episode I narrate a detailed case example from a service I had been involved in developing. This case study of Sarah (n…
 
The strengths approach is all about being person-centred, but the concept of person-centred planning is much more closely associated with learning disability services. It is about ensuring the individual's needs, wants and personal choices are paramount; and that the role of workers is to listen and learn from the individual in order to shape servi…
 
Whether it is the occasional personal reflection or the more structured process in service delivery, we all review our progress from time to time. The purpose is to check in on the progress of our plans and actions towards the achievement of our priorities and goals, and just occasionally to check how we are managing lifes crises. In UK mental heal…
 
Working with Strengths is a consistent process of identifying strengths through a strengths assessment, leading to the identification of personal priorities. These priorities become the separate strengths-based support plans, but the identified strengths also apply in managing crises and concerns. In this episode this whole process is illustrated t…
 
When delivering ideas about a strengths approach I am frequently confronted by the need for practitioners to discuss their most extreme example of a severly depressed completely entrenched person who has no strengths. My immediate response is that everyone has strengths, just on some occasions it is a greater challenge identifying and developing th…
 
You may be a supremely spontaneous individual, but we all still need degrees of planning if we are to be confident of setting in motion the powerful action to help us in achieving our dreams and aspirations. In planning for achievement it is common sense to think that our strengths will be focal in the process, but they apply equally to plans for m…
 
Why are we so enamoured with our impenetrable jargon and gobbledegook? All professions adopt it, seemingly as a badge of membership, and as an illustration of their special exclusivity. For the outsider, having the unfortunate need of the services of a professional, the langauage is often likely to be the first insurmountable barrier. In this episo…
 
Can the chairing of meetings, the very thing we often want to avoid, actually be fun? In this episode I discuss how the overall effectiveness of meetings can be directly proportional to the effectiveness of the chairperson. Those who operate as control freaks with an over-inflated sense of self-importance, or those who are democratic to the point o…
 
Within the context of service-centred working can a meeting ever be person-centred? In this episode I outline experiences of ward rounds and community reviews that are frequently presented by the services as being person-centred, but are clearly service-centred. Our use and misuse of language is more often than not a reflection of our values and ul…
 
How effective are all of the meetings you attend? It's very likely that whatever business you are working in you will have to attend meetings either occasionally or frequently. They take up an inordinate amount of time, but the question is just how much time are they wasting? In this episode I will take a formal definition of meetings, but add my t…
 
Building up a strengths assessment based on personal reflection, or helping others to construct a picture requires a positive outlook and a determination to enquire into what has worked in the past, what is working at present, and what is wanted in the future. Alongside the picture of who we are, we should concentrate on building the picture of wha…
 
Building up a strengths assessment based on personal reflection, or helping others to construct a picture, requires a positive outlook and a determination to enquire into what has worked in the past, what is working at present, and what is wanted in the future. It is about developing an inventory of resources that can then be productively applied t…
 
How do we go about constructing a strengths assessment? Whether it be reflecting on our selves or working with other people, it is a flexible process developed over time, not a function to be mandated, timed and audited by a managerial approach. For ourselves, it happens as and when we give ourselves time for reflection. With others, it is best ach…
 
How do we go about building a picture of our strengths, and those of others? We don't usually greet each other by enquiring what we are no good at, or what we have recently screwed up; yet we also do not naturally and consistently search deeply for those inner-most strengths and natural talents. Listen to any conversation between people who have me…
 
In this episode I continue my focus on one of my favourite business books 'Organizing Genius: The Secrets of Creative Collaboration' by Warren Bennis & Patricia Biederman. I am interested in their take home lessons final chapter, drawing conclusions about great leadership and great teams from six in-depth case studies. I use three of my own favouri…
 
In this episode I continue my focus on one of my favourite business books 'Organizing Genius: The Secrets of Creative Collaboration' by Warren Bennis & Patricia Biederman. I am interested in their take home lessons final chapter, drawing conclusions about great leadership and great teams from six in-depth case studies. I use three of my own favouri…
 
In this episode I focus on one of my favourite business books 'Organizing Genius: The Secrets of Creative Collaboration' by Warren Bennis & Patricia Biederman. I am interested in their take home lessons final chapter, drawing conclusions about great leadership and great teams from six in-depth case studies. I use three of my own favourite experienc…
 
Is good leadership the antidote to a poor management culture? It is too simplistic a premise, as what is really needed for supporting the implementation of best practice is good leadership coupled with good management. The two do not produce good results if working in opposition! It is one thing to have a good vision of where a business or service …
 
In this interview Anne Clilverd talks about the important therapeutic value that pets provide for their owners and for others. They offer a remarkable range of functions that can help people across all age groups. She also talks briefly about her work with the Pets as Therapy charity.
 
We shouldn't be happy just being critics; do so with constructive responses, so you are always being helpful in your role of criticising others. I have been a critic of the management culture in general in recent episodes of this show, but also need to stand up and be counted in my response alongside my criticism. I have chosen a process of transfo…
 
In this episode a couple of recent newspaper articles reflect on the malaise of the management culture in two UK world class institutions... the NHS and BBC. Damning reports into the culture of management in the NHS are being withheld until after the imminent general election, where the description of the sturcture is described as 'totally shocking…
 
It can be argued that over several decades the function of management has morphed from the role of supporting the essential development of a business into a role of managers running the business for their own primary gain. Recognised management academic gurus have identified the dangers of management for management sake, and the way it can block th…
 
An interview with Anne Clilverd as she reflects back on three specific teams to identify what elements contribute to good team-working. An acute admissions ward where, despite being based on a hierarchy, a strong sense of belonging was fostered. The environment was supportive through all staff being encouraged to contribute their observations in a …
 
We all work in teams from time-to-time but how much do we really focus on identifying and developing the individual talents of the workers, and the overall strengths of good team-working? A team is a group of people coming together for a common purpose or goal, and often it is the challenges and difficulties that define the work of the team that wi…
 
This episode is the first part of an interview with Anne Clilverd, formerly Team Manager of the Kings Cross Community Mental Health Team in London. In this discussion Anne reflects on where she first became aware of Narrative Therapy, how she followed through the specific training faciltated by Michael White, and some of the challenges of embedding…
 
The term narrative is important for many reasons; it is the means by which we recount our lives, the events, emotions and experiences that make up the patchwork of our existence. It is the core of each interpersonal relationship, and it has become a continual theme throughout my working career. The fundamental basis of mental health care is the tru…
 
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