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Keith E Rice's Integrated SocioPsychology Blog & Pages

Aligning, integrating and applying the behavioural sciences

‘consultancy’

Shades of Leadership

A Case Study in Leading for the Followers This case study was published in Russ Volckmann’s Integral Leadership Review e-zine – http://integralleadershipreview.com/ – March 2006. A version of the Hodgson Sealants story, with some different emphases, can be found in the Case Studies section of this site. A few years ago, I was invited to work with Hodgson Sealants Ltd, a Yorkshire-based family firm. They were a leading manufacturer of sealants and Europe’s single biggest supplier of putty. They were beginning to penetrate North Africa and other markets beyond the European continent. For the previous 30-plus years, the company had been run as the personal fiefdom of founder Peter Hodgson. His word was law and he could change the law, even on a day to day basis, as he saw fit. But the majority of his workforce, who had been with him, more or less since the company’s inception, were unwaveringly loyal. They loved him; and he looked after them in the manner of a beneficent feudal lord. The company had been a phenomenally successful for a smaller business and, at the time I became involved, had a turnover of over £10M and employed around 110 people. Things hadn’t changed much at Hodgsons over the years; but the world around them was changing – as Peter’s two… Read More

The SME Spiral

This article was published in the January 2005 edition of Quality World, the magazine of the Insitute of Quality Assurance (Brtain’s – and arguably the world’s! – foremost institution for the development and propagation of quality). It was written in response to expressions of frustration by consultants working with SMEs in the magazine’s August 2004 issue. A draft of the article was published on this web site for several months under the title ‘SMEs and ISO 9000’. The revised version above is identical to that published in Quality World – save for references to the models used. (In the IQA version, readers were directed to sidebars containing basic introductions to Adizes LifeCycle and Spiral Dynamics. Here, the links are to other pages containing information on the models.) My thanks to Quality World editor Nicky Farmer for her input in refining the article for commercial publication. Since the heady days of the DTI Enterprise Initiative in the late 1980s, survey after survey has failed to show any real improvement in the competitiveness of the SME end of British industry. Why is this? ISO 9000, Investors in People, business planning schemes, marketing projects, NVQs, Modern Apprenticeships, SMART innovation awards – the list is endless – have all failed to have the desired wide-scale impact their developers dreamed of.This is particulary… Read More

‘William’

2002 The work I undertook with ‘William’ came out of a management development programme I was delivering for ‘Brentbros Ltd’, a smallish family-run machine parts and assembly operation. ‘John’, the Managing Director, was under pressure from his wife (who did the books) to take more time out from the company. They were both in their late 50s and she wanted them effectively to go into semi-retirement. Brentbros, in Adizes LifeCycle terms, had been in ‘Go-Go’ for years without ever having seriously attempted the journey into ‘Adolescence’. John, typical of an Adizes ‘Founder’, still made nearly all decisions in the company. For John to acede to his wife’s wishes would mean he would have to delegate decision-making to others – and they would have to be capable of making those decisions. So I was brought in – on a recommendation from one of Brentbros’ customers – to develop the management capabilities of those people in his team John saw as having potential. 5 people, including ‘Delia’ (John’s daughter and office manager), workshop manager ‘Adrian’ and his assistant, William, went through 5 months’ twilight training (2 hours at the end of every second Monday). The length and format of the training allowed the… Read More

2008

Teacher, Therapist, Counsellor, Consultant and Trainer…! 1988-1996    1997   1998     1999     2000     2001    2002      2003     2004     2005     2006     2007     2008     2009     2010     2011     2012     2013     2014      2015     2016     2017     2018 21st Century Group     HemsMESH     Humber MeshWORKS     Humberside MESH Network February: Delivered interactive evening presentation, Dealing with Conflict – the Integrated SocioPsychology Approach, for the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development West Yorkshire Branch at the Holiday Inn, Ossett. Commentary: CIPD’s Jane Walton had attended a similar session I had done in January 2007 as part of the Yorkshire Leadership Programme hosted by Wakefield College and used the ideas presented to help her tackle issues in her own work team. This convinced her to ask me to make the presentation. Feedback was enthusiastic. February: Began working on a long(-ish term) counselling project with two 10-year-old boys. Commentary: Both boys displayed significant behavioural problems, resulting from deep emotional traumas. My job was to help them recognise the traumas they had been through and acknowledge them while also coming to recognise the effect on others their acting out their problems was causing. One of the boys was so severely affected by a combination of innate temperament… Read More

2003

Change Engineer, Psychology Teacher! 1988-1996    1997   1998     1999     2000     2001    2002      2003     2004     2005     2006     2007     2008     2009     2010     2011     2012     2013     2014      2015     2016     2017     2018 21st Century Group     HemsMESH     Humber MeshWORKS     Humberside MESH Network January: Kicked off the New Year with a Cobus  planning summit. Led by Steve Beevers, of course, the session also featured Steve’s wife, Susan Rose , a trainer and consultant in her own right, and Lloyd Thomas, another leading light from 21st Century Group days. Commentary: After something of a mixed year for Cobus (with minmal involvement from me), this was an attempt to reinvigorate the company. For much of the previous year, Steve had been distracted from his consultancy work by getting a new business, Cyclerax, off the ground. In truth, little real activity came out of the planning session and the more lucrative Cyclerax largely dominated Beevers’ thinking over the next few years. January: Started working with the Consortium for Learning Board on Phase 2 of their Business Plan. January: Asked to do Personal Therapy with ‘Jasmine’, a heroin ‘addict’ wanting to quit the drug. Commentary: I wouldn’t pretend for a second that I can *cure* heroin addiction but the… Read More

2002

Humber MeshWORKS… 1988-1996    1997   1998     1999     2000     2001    2002      2003     2004     2005     2006     2007     2008     2009     2010     2011     2012     2013     2014      2015     2016     2017     2018 21st Century Group     HemsMESH     Humber MeshWORKS     Humberside MESH Network January-February: Delivered Gravesian-centred staff training sessions for the Garths. February: Worked with Cathy Byrne on developing Spiral strategies to employ in her application to become headteacher of the new school being formed from the merger of the Danepark and Court Park primary schools in Hull. Commentary: A ‘graduate’ from the previous Summer’s SD-NLP open workshop programme, the remarkable story of Cathy’s management of the merger is told as a case study in The Parks in the Services pages. In some circles, there’s a lot of contention about the elitism so often associated with those who claim to think in 2nd Tier – especially TURQUOISE thinking. But I actually do think Cathy does think in TURQUOISE at times. Her fearlessness, her ability to see things clearly from multiple perspectives and to build towards the ‘Big Picture’ would fit with the little we know about this vMEME – and she’s often been way ahead of me in her ability to… Read More

2001

Humberside MeshWORK… 1988-1996    1997   1998     1999     2000     2001    2002      2003     2004     2005     2006     2007     2008     2009     2010     2011     2012     2013     2014      2015     2016     2017     2018 21st Century Group     HemsMESH     Humber MeshWORKS     Humberside MESH Network January: Carried out major piece of therapy, using Penny Parks’ Mistaken Belief Visualisation (1994) to facilitate the healthy development of vMEMES. Commentary: The story of Susan’ is told in the Services Case Studies section. January: Returned to teaching part-time (as supply) – encouraged by teachers from St Mary’s College who felt it was important I had front-line classroom experience if I was to introduce the Gravesian approach and related Change Management methodologies into local Education. Commentary: I had quit teaching 22 years previously and never thought I would go back to it. However, with business not exactly flooding in and wanting to further my understanding of the Gravesian approach as applied in the classroom, it seemed like a good option…for the short term! (From the research angle, the result was A Downward Spiral… in the Education pages.) January-February: Assisted Afton Court Retirement Home (Bridlington) recruit a new manager. January-February: Facilitated strategic planning sessions with the Garths Board of Directors. Consequently… Read More

2000

HemsMESH! 1988-1996    1997   1998     1999     2000     2001    2002      2003     2004     2005     2006     2007     2008     2009     2010     2011     2012     2013     2014      2015     2016     2017     2018 21st Century Group     HemsMESH     Humber MeshWORKS     Humberside MESH Network January: Took the lead in organising ‘Business Marketplace’. A one-day business exhibition/ networking event – the first of its kind in South-East Wakefield – it showcased the best of the newer businesses in the area. Hailed as a major success by both exhibitors and visitors. Commentary: Paradoxically, at the time of its greatest success in South-East Wakefield, the Business Link effectively began to pack its bags ready to leave SESKU. By the time the doors closed at the Business Marketplace, the decision had already been taken that the project would terminate with the ending of the present funding. When HemsMESH hit its stride in the Spring, the SESKU & Hemsworth Business News had already ceased publication and Business Link’s part-time office in South Elmsall was closed. Thus, a powerful opportunity to have a linked attack on both the economic (Business Link) and social (HemsMESH) problems in SESKU/Hemsworth, using joint resources, was lost. Unfortunately, this kind of myopic thinking was… Read More

1999

The Year of the 21st Century Group… 1988-1996    1997   1998     1999     2000     2001    2002      2003     2004     2005     2006     2007     2008     2009     2010     2011     2012     2013     2014      2015     2016     2017     2018 21st Century Group     HemsMESH     Humber MeshWORKS     Humberside MESH Network January: Inauguration of monthly SESKU & Hemsworth Business News newsletter. Edited and mostly written by myself, it was hailed as a significant success by both local businesses and the Project Management Board. Commentary: The SRB-funded ‘SESKU’ project (for South Elmsall, South Kirkby and Upton) was meant to assist social and economic regeneration in the pit villages in the south-east of the Wakefield District which had been devastated by the closures of the mines. With high unemployment, escalating drugs and alcohol abuse, increasing crime figures, major behaviour problems in the schools and the health services under growing strain, SESKU was in desperate need of strategies to revitalise the area. The Business News was designed to promote services offered by the local business support agencies and to feature profiles of the more successful companies in the area as potential models for others. January: Issued own Ultimate Newsletter to over 400 nursing/residential homes. Commentary: While it… Read More

‘James’ & ‘Alan’

Updated: September 2005 I had been supplying business development consultancy and management development training to ‘Larsago Ltd’, a small engineering company, for a little over a year. The business was family-owned and run, with father ‘Dan’ making all the decisions and mother ‘Emma’ doing the accounts and making the mid-morning toast. Both their sons, ‘James’ and ‘Alan’, worked in the business which also employed another 9 people. The business was growing and clearly had potential for further growth. Part of the business strategy was to develop a middle management structure. Since Dan and Emma wanted their sons to take over the business eventually, James and Alan had to be part of the little group I was putting through management training. One evening, after all the machines had been turned off and everyone else had gone home, Dan asked me how I thought his sons were doing in terms of management development. I responded by asking Dan the question: “What if they’re not the right material to run the business?” Dan, being a bluff Yorkshireman, replied: “You fucking cunt!” For all that he was highly innovative in many ways and open to much new thinking, in other ways Dan was pure Yorkshire… Read More