A key to mediation, which is also useful in project management, is to work with the people and to work on the problem. The emphasis being that the people are the solution, and the problem is the thing to be solved by use of a ‘process’ to end in a ‘product’

When working on projects and change it is important to understand and engage people, but your scrutiny should be on process and products

For example, if something is to be done, you need to be 100% clear on the ‘product’ to be delivered (what does it look, feel, smell, touch, taste, do) and when will it be received, tested, trained and complete, and what will it cost.

The regular steps are discuss > document > design > demo > deliver > done, with a clear definition of done eg success or acceptance criteria

To do this you may have…
A business requirements document BRD (explaining the need)
A functional spec document (explaining the solution)
A release notes (explaining what has been delivered)
A user acceptance test (explaining success or acceptance criteria) A sign-off (to approve go-live and confirm operational use )

This ‘process’ creates certainty about what will be delivered, by whom, when, and for what purpose. This eliminates confusion, error, omission which often occurs with too many emails, poorly recalled conversations and too many differing recollections of what was discussed or agreed.

If a project is becoming stressed it is important to focus on the ‘process’ (how we work) and the ‘product’ (what gets done & when) rather than the ‘people’ (who is failing) or the ‘problems’ (what is bad). This keeps the energy positive and forward focussed on solutions and delivery rather than negatively on people or problems.

I often use this as a reminder
• If it is not written down how to we know?
• If it is not written down did it happen?
• If it is not written down how can you test or evaluate?
• If it is not written down how can you be sure?
• If it isn’t written down properly, you’re not sure exactly what happened.
• If the records are not correct, neither is the product.

When people are working collaboratively to a document, a plan, a story, an output or an outcome there is shared commitment and accountability towards a tangible artefact. This is preferable to a potentially adversarial approach where the attention (and often fault finding) is on the person.


Tim Rogers is a Commonwealth Triathlete, World Champs and GB Rower, and now consultant, coach, IoD mentor and mediator. His public sector work included project manager for the incorporation of the Post Office and Ports of Jersey, and project director for the Health and Social Services Governance Review. He has also supported start-ups and SMEs be successful with 4 clients subsequently winning IoD Director of the Year. He now focusses on coaching people and teams delivering change.


Tim HJ Rogers
Mob 447797762051
MBA (Management Consultancy), ICF Accreditation Trained Coach, Mediator,
PRINCE2, APMG Change Practitioner,
IoD UK Rapid Response Mentor


A series of people, processes, technology and other resources organised to deliver outputs, outcomes and benefits which align with the strategy. The aim is to complete on-time, on-budget, to-specification, with low-risk and high-communication. The outputs / outcomes are clear and ideally SMART so that everyone knows exactly what will be delivered, why, and how and when this will complete and flipped into business-as-usual (and the project team disbanded)

Lots of projects all joined together in a sequence that delivered more than just one thing, but a whole sequence of things which may be separate, dependant or interdependent.

Separate projects might be a change in HR and a change in IT that have no relation to each-other but together achieve aa programme (strategic) aim.

Dependant projects more obviously are those where one must complete before the other starts. Arguably this could be one project with Phase1, Phase2, Phase3 but you may choose to split it into a programme of Project1, Project2, Project3 if they have different suppliers budgets, teams, aims, focus, timescales.

Interdependent are a mix of the above. Not exactly one after the other, but a more complex integration which inevitably happens where people and process change runs parallel to a business or technology change.


So one issue is do you want 1 x mega-project or 10 x projects as part of a programme. As noted above a key factor may be if they have different suppliers budgets, teams, aims, focus, timescales, but also the competence, capacity of people (Sponsors, Project Managers, Participants) to mentally keep track of everything.


In organisations without a formal Project/Programme Office to support the business with tools, training, tips, templates etc., you end-up with disjointed efforts and often projects that compete or even compromise each-other. I like to think of a Project/Programme Office a bit like Air Traffic Control at an airport.

The role of Air Traffic Control [ATC] is not to fly the plane (that is the airline and the pilot) but to provide the structure that ensures a safe journey: pre-flight checks (governance), enough fuel (budget), all passengers (stakeholders), an agreed destination (deliverables and benefits), a clear route (tasks and plan) and an available runway (approval).  ATC schedules take-off and landing and provides information and support to pilots. In some cases ATC may be linked to a flight school that provides pilot training.

Without ATC you may have project crashes which are harmful to the business, stressful for your people, and compromise the strategy which is about quality, products, services and profits. It seems to me your role might expand beyond ‘project management’ (the pilot flying the plane) to ‘programme management’ (the Air Traffic Control role of planning and co-ordination)

We are expert in projects, programmes and change. We can deliver projects, but also provide the tools, templates, training and support for businesses to develop their own in-house capability

Tim HJ Rogers
MBA Management Consultant + Change Practitioner
ICF Trained Coach IoD Business Mentor
Mob 447797762051

Source: Adapt Consulting Blog



If you are planning an M&A spree you will ostensibly need 3 groups of people …

Group1 – who find, appraise, negotiate, acquire businesses as part of M&A acquisition process. These people will look at businesses differently to those who simply operate the business. Like a mechanic will look at a car differently to a driver.

Group2 – who post-acquisition integrate people, products, services, technology, legal, marketing etc. These people have the design template for how each acquisition should be integrated and a 90 day plan (?) for implementation .

Step 1 – Assemble the Project Team
Step 2 – Understand the Strategy
Step 3 – Review the Products and Services
Step 4 – Review the Support, Partners and Suppliers
Step 5 – Review the Organisation Structure
Step 6 – Review the Company Structure
Step 7 – Prepare the Service Teams
Step 8 – Communications
Step 9 – Culture and Process Change
Step 10 – Review and Migrate the Customers, Products and Services


Group3 – who run day-to-day business after all the post-acquisition integration complete and following standard policies, processes, procedures etc.

The role, skills, qualifications, thinking and time-horizon of each are quite different. As consultants we can help with the design, as project managers with the delivery, and as coaches we can support the people.

Tim HJ Rogers
MBA Management Consultant + Change Practitioner
ICF Trained Coach IoD Business Mentor
Mob 447797762051

Source: Adapt Consulting Blog



People who are engaged (working hard) but not thriving in life (finding it hard)

61% higher likelihood of burnout often or always
48% higher likelihood of daily stress
66% higher likelihood of daily worry
double the rate of daily sadness and anger

Thriving: These respondents have positive views of their present life situation (7 or higher best life present rating) and have positive views of the next five years (8 or higher best life future rating). They report significantly fewer health problems and less worry, stress, sadness, depression and anger. They report more hope, happiness, energy, interest and respect. Across countries, the percentage of thriving employees ranges from 8% to 87%.

Struggling: These respondents struggle in their present life situation and have uncertain or negative views about their future. They report more daily stress and worry about money than thriving respondents do. Across countries, the percentage of struggling employees ranges from 12% to 77%.

Suffering: These respondents report that their lives are miserable (4 and below best life present rating) and have negative views of the next five years (4 and below best life future rating). They are more likely to report that they lack the basics of food and shelter and more likely to have physical pain and a lot of stress, worry, sadness and anger. They have less access to health insurance and care and more than double the disease burden compared with thriving respondents. Across countries, the percentage of suffering employees ranges from 0% to 35%.

Read more
(Thanks to David Ogilvie FCMI for the share)

Tim HJ Rogers
MBA Management Consultant + Change Practitioner
ICF Trained Coach IoD Business Mentor
Mob 447797762051

Source: Adapt Consulting Blog


WORKING FROM HOME / WORK Most companies are prepared to accept some hybrid work as a permanent change (66% of firms feel it is inevitable and 73% of people want it) — and a minority embrace remote work as the main workplace as they imagine all real estate costs will soon be dropping from their traditional place on the ledger to the profit line. Thoughts How can we continue flexible working that makes use feel part of a community, rather than an isolated nomad. Perhaps A regular tribal gathering, rituals and routines that bind us, and choosing one or two methods of communication to connect us. Example instead of many, many confusing ways to connect (Email, Social Media, Video, Meetings) we select 1. What we use for urgent (WhatsApp?) 2. What we use to call for help (Chat?) 3. What we use to find information (IntraNet?) BOSSES ARE OUT OF TOUCH A report by Microsoft’s reveals business leaders are out of touch. High productivity is masking what’s really going on. If high productivity is leading to burn-out and resentment it isn’t good. Moreover if the effort is due to fear of unemployment that isn’t a good motivator or sustainable. Time spent in Microsoft Teams meetings has more than doubled (2.5x) globally. The average Teams meeting is up from 35 to 45 minutes year-over-year. The average Teams user is sending 45% more chats per week and 42% more chats per person after hours There was a 66% increase in the number of people working on documents. Thoughts How can we do to balance our efforts between work and welfare, about supporting people as well as getting jobs done. Perhaps coaching, mentoring and other caring initiatives (mindfullness, check-in, pastoral care) might help. Also switching the flow of information: receiving feedback, listening to ideas, help people feel engaged and valued. EMPLOYEES FEEL OVERWHELEMED The barrage of communications is unstructured and mostly unplanned, with 62% percent of Teams calls and meetings unscheduled or conducted ad hoc. And workers feel the pressure to keep up: Despite meeting and chat overload, 50% of people respond to Teams chats within five minutes or less, a response time that has not changed year-over-year. Fifty-four percent feel overworked. Thirty-nine percent feel exhausted. The workday has elongated by at least an hour. People do more work after hours and more work on weekends. Flexible working has become 24/7 working and down-sizing, contracting, and the gig-economy demand a 24/7 alert for work. Thoughts More than ever we need a focus on purpose rather than productivity, of value rather than volume. What can we do to reconnect with our reasons, motives and joy of working. THEY WANT TO QUIT 41% of employees are considering leaving their current employer this year. This year! And 46% say they’re likely to move because they can now work remotely. Most companies couldn’t deal with 10% of their workforce leaving in the same year and the second largest impact of a mass exodus would be higher costs to retain employees or higher cost to train new employees, or contract-hire people. Thoughts How can some of the interventions above help retain and recruit people? What can we offer to make work either a career (3-5 year) destination (training, qualification, experience, expertise ) or a great place to partner/contract (pay, brand, reputation, innovation). CONNECTIVITY HAS MADE US MORE SILOED Collaboration trends in Microsoft Teams and Outlook confirm that interactions with our immediate team, or close networks, increased with the move to remote work but our interactions outside of that team have diminished. Inevitably this created in-groups and out-groups strengthening bonds with those we interact with regularly at the expense of different people and diverse views. And that spells more competition (between teams) and less collaboration (for organisational goals) Thoughts What can we do to mix groups, encourage diversity, create new routes and channels, break-up patterns and routines in a way that keeps things exciting, alive, thoughtful, challenging, innovative and thinking without it becoming messy, chaotic and confusing. How can we introduce just enough ‘chaos’ to keep us vibrant, without overwhelming us? IS CRYING A GOOD TREND? Microsoft talks about authenticity in the workplace, about what percent was comfortable crying in front of their co-workers. Whilst mindfulness may have put us in better contact with our thoughts and feelings i do not feel a workplace that makes us cry is a good thing. Indeed it seems that the work ethic and culture is becoming toxic rather than supportive, and people have become the tools of productivity rather than the architects of it. Thoughts We should sweat our systems and our processes not our people. Machines should work 24/7 not people. Our people should be the architects and the mechanics, not the machines. Tim HJ Rogers MBA Management Consultant + Change Practitioner ICF Trained Coach IoD Business Mentor Mob 447797762051 We deliver projects and change, and improve the confidence, capacity, drive and desire of the people we work with. FOLLOW AdaptConsultingCompany #People, #Process, #Projects, #Change, #Consulting, #Coaching, #Mentoring, #Training

Source: Adapt Consulting Blog



Never complain; never explain. This pithy little maxim was first coined by the British politician and prime minister Benjamin Disraeli, and adopted as a motto by many other high-ranking Brits — from members of royalty, to navy admirals, to fellow prime ministers Stanley Baldwin and Winston Churchill.

Feedback is an interesting thing, most people are shy to give feedback, generally opting for satisfactory 6/10 to 8/10 rather than a shocking 0 or superlative 10. If all your feedback is satisfactory is that good enough? If one person in a hundred suggests a low score or a high score is this more or less important than all the satisfactory scores?

What about second-hand or late feedback, is this more honest because it has the merit of reflection than direct face to face feedback?

When we receive negative feedback to what extent can we use this to remedy the past, apologise or recompense. Or should we simply note it and move forward, taking the lessons and applying them in the future, but in the meantime never complain; never explain.

What about positive feedback, should we use past successes, accolades and praise to herald future performance? Any investment business will tell you that the past is not always a predictor for the future.


There are many ways to get product or service feedback

1. Customer feedback surveys
2. Email and customer contact forms
3. Usability tests
4. Exploratory customer interviews
5. Social media
6. On-site activity (via analytics)
7. Instant feedback from your website

There are also lots of ways to get staff feedback

1. New employee surveys
2. Employee engagement surveys
3. Pulse surveys
4. Stay interviews
5. Review sites
6. Managers
7. Employee suggestion box
8. Exit interviews


Read more on Never complain; never explain.

Read more on 360 Degree Feedback: See the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Source: Adapt Consulting Blog


There are different styles of leadership (see list below) and some have legitimacy in certain circumstances.
1.       The coercive style. …
2.       The authoritative style. …
3.       The affiliative style. …
4.       The democratic style. …
5.       The pacesetting style. …
6.       The coaching style.
For more information see Goleman
I would warn that the coercive style is just bullying: This style can also help control a problem teammate when everything else has failed. However, it should be avoided in almost every other case because it can alienate people and stifle flexibility and inventiveness.
If the aim is to control a problem then check that people agree there is a “problem”, and that there is consensus that this is the best approach.
You’ll win support of your team if the intent is to deal with someone who is undermining the team, working against key values or indeed being a bully. You’ll create distrust if you’re the one being the bully and picking on someone who is valued by the team, or who is acting in accordance with the organisational values.
For example if your organisations’ values are like Starbucks (below) its wise not to remonstrate with someone who is “challenging the status quo” or discussing issues as part of “connecting with transparency”
1.       Creating a culture of warmth and belonging, where everyone is welcome.
2.       Acting with courage, challenging the status quo.
3.       Being present, connecting with transparency, dignity and respect.
4.       Delivering our very best in all we do, holding ourselves accountable for results.
5.       We are performance driven, through the lens of humanity.
In school people are advised…” if the bully says or does something to you”
1.       Ignore the bully. If you can, try your best to ignore the bully’s threats. …
2.       Stand up for yourself. Pretend to feel really brave and confident. …
3.       Don’t bully back. …
4.       Don’t show your feelings. …
5.       Tell an adult.
This is more complex in the work-place, particularly if the bully is a boss.
You may not be able to ignore them if they are the boss. Standing up for yourself could be insubordination. You may not have an “adult” you can tell: Your colleagues may offer sympathy but they are unlikely to stick their neck out.  I know many HR people who will diligently listen, offer you advice, and then do nothing themselves because they don’t want to rock the boat.
I have always followed this advice…
1.       Ask for time to think – it should force a pause or moment of silence.
2.       Think about what you want to happen – don’t fight back, think forward.
3.       Get the bully to stop yelling – “Please speak more slowly, I’d like to understand” or (if on the phone) say nothing until they ask “Are you still there?”
4.       What-ever you do don’t explain – think forward, don’t justify, recriminate, excuse or offer explanation. They’re looking to exploit weaknesses (-) not strength (+)
5.       Ask “what would you like me to do?”. If so challenged they will ask you for something more acceptable than what they want. This is your exit opportunity.
6.       Don’t take criticism personally – attacks on your team, your work, your values, etc. are not attacks on you. Although it is hard to resist “fight or flight”
7.       Learn from criticism – if you wait 24 hrs before answering criticism it will demonstrate maturity, reasonableness and you may learn something!
There is however a different approach that you might take. There is a theory that there are three key roles in any situation…
·         VILLAIN
·         VICTIM
·         HERO
When we live in the drama triangle, we see the other person as our  adversary — the villain. If only  they  would change, we reason, things  would be fine.  They  stand between us and happiness. Ironically, they  are usually thinking the same thing about us. To resolve conflict, we  need to relinquish our roles as victim, villain and hero and work with  the other person to solve the problem. 
We must meet the other person in the middle. This means telling them our story (in a way they will be able to hear it) and listening to  their story with curiosity. Such open communication fosters mutual understanding. This understanding provides a doorway through which we can exit the drama triangle and enter into the  circle of resolution. 
I would however concede that this is easier said than done because “telling them our story” is a direct contradiction of “What-ever you do don’t explain” . Trying to justify yourself to a bully unlikely  going to work.
For more information
Tim Rogers is a Qualified Change Practitioner and PRINCE2 Project Manager, with an MBA in Management Consultancy. Past projects have included the incorporation of Ports of Jersey and Operations Change and Sales Support for RBSI and NatWest. He is a tutor/lecturer for the Chartered Management Institute. 

Source: Adapt Consulting Blog

The recipe approach to make culture

In an earlier blog I suggested that it should be possible to Codify culture. I think it can be as simple as a recipe of factors (environment, peer group, education, common goal) and practice: ostensibly  “fake it till you make it”
See earlier blog
I then suggested that in successive blogs I would explain the recipe of factors and how to bring them together to make culture.
Lane4, the management consultancy which uses Olympians and other sports people to talk about plans, strategy, team-work was set-up by Olympian Adrian Moorehouse. Their philosophy is based on a motto “The aim of this establishment is to create an environment where champions are inevitable” and when you look at managers, coaches, physios, and the competitive and collaborative processes, plus the use of data (watts, power, speed, timings, bio-mechanics, heart-rate) it is clear that a centre and pursuit of excellence leaves nothing to chance.
The Cultural Web identifies six interrelated elements that help to make up what Johnson and Scholes call the “paradigm” – the pattern or model – of the work environment. By analyzing the factors in each, you can begin to see the bigger picture of your culture: what is working, what isn’t working, and what needs to be changed. The six elements are:
STORIES – The past events and people talked about inside and outside the company. Who and what the company chooses to immortalize says a great deal about what it values, and perceives as great behavior.
RITUALS AND ROUTINES – The daily behavior and actions of people that signal acceptable behavior. This determines what is expected to happen in given situations, and what is valued by management.
SYMBOLS – The visual representations of the company including logos, how plush the offices are, and the formal or informal dress codes.
ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE – This includes both the structure defined by the organization chart, and the unwritten lines of power and influence that indicate whose contributions are most valued.
CONTROL SYSTEMS – The ways that the organization is controlled. These include financial systems, quality systems, and rewards (including the way they are measured and distributed within the organization.)
POWER STRUCTURES – The pockets of real power in the company. This may involve one or two key senior executives, a whole group of executives, or even a department. The key is that these people have the greatest amount of influence on decisions, operations, and strategic direction.
Finally, a lot of my work with Island Games, Commonwealth Games and working with businesses helping people and process development is based on Robert Dilts model “I can do that here”
See blog
Whilst there is no one-size-fits-all approach nor a standard set of ingredients, but there are common themes and I’d like to explore the following in future blogs.
Ingredient  No1: Environment
Ingredient  No2: Behaviour
Ingredient  No3: Capability
Ingredient  No4: Belief
Ingredient  No5 : The Individual
The above assume you already have the people (good, bad, happy or sad) and that you aim to change culture by leadership and management and are not in a position to build culture by selective recruitment.
If you are in a position to build culture by selective recruitment, then I highly recommend three excellent blogs by Dr. Cameron Sepah [Clinical Professor at UCSF Medical School. Startup & VC Advisor] and strongly recommend these for anyone interested in change/leadership psychology
Your Company’s Culture is Who You Hire, Fire, & Promote: Part 1, The Performance-Values Matrix
Your Company Culture Is Who You Hire, Fire, & Promote: Part 2, Anatomy of an Asshole
Breaking Bad: Why Good People Become Evil Bosses
If you have experience of this, or would like to made a contribution to my next blog please contact me:
Tim Rogers is an experienced Management Consultant, Project and Change Leader. He is also Commonwealth Triathlete and World Championships Rower and a Tutor/Mentor on the Chartered Management Institute.

Source: Adapt Consulting Blog

Codifying culture or Are leaders born or made?

Some organisations have a great culture because of great leadership, great people, great values great practices. Is it possible to codify this so that organisations without the charismatic leadership, dynamic high-fliers and brilliant processes can harness the benefits of great culture?
Bob Hope is credited with saying “The most important thing is honesty. Once you can fake that, you’ve got it made.” Or a variation “The secret of success is sincerity. Fake that and you’re in.”
Is it possible to “fake it till you make it”
I think so.
There are plenty of telesales businesses that follow scripts, dancers that have strict choreography and actors who have lines and stage direction to help them deliver a great performance.
Both positive and negative values (including sexism and racism) are learned from parenting, peer groups and society influence on the individual. It is clear that people are influenced by their environment, education, opportunity and social groups. It is also clear that outstanding individuals can reshape the people and the world around them. People like Martin Luther King or Nelson Mandela.
I would argue that even if you do not have a charismatic leader you can achieve a great culture through planned interventions and carefully orchestrated social engineering.
If you believe “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” (Will Durant) then establishing great culture is simply a matter of following simple steps and getting better with each repetition. This is how we teach dance or karate, so why not leadership and culture. According to Malcolm Gladwell with 10,000 hours you can be fantastic at anything and according to Josh Kaufman [TEDxCSU] you can become quite good at many things with as little as 20 hours.
In this blog I have attempted to suggest that it is possible to codify culture and that leaders are not born but made (by education, opportunity, circumstance and followers). In my next blog I will explore how to codify culture.
If you have experience of this, or would like to made a contribution to my next blog please contact me:
Tim Rogers is an experienced Management Consultant, Project and Change Leader. He is also Commonwealth Triathlete and World Championships Rower and a Tutor/Mentor on the Chartered Management Institute.

Source: Adapt Consulting Blog

Don’t tick that box for them!

We all know and understand the risks of a tick-box mentality which means people or organisations take the minimal and potentially superficial approach to addressing issues.
Whether it’s to pass an audit, regulatory compliance or assure the supplier, boss or customer that everything is OK, simply doing the minimum to ensure you are legal, decent and honest is seldom enough to protect you if it all goes wrong.
I am reading a book “The Infiltrator” (by Robert Mazure) and it’s revelatory as a true story of the biggest drug cartel in history and the systemic failures of people, process and technology to stop money laundering.
It’s always a challenge in any business to engage staff to be interested, to be passionate, to be informed and to take ownership. Without strong leadership and shared responsibility many organisations end-up with a “do the minimum” approach which although ostensibly compliant is seldom robust.
This is foolish but its becomes insidious if someone is asking YOU to tick the box for them.
“Can you approve this?” is something of which to be wary.
“We just need YOU to satisfy our [Auditor, Regulatory, Customer, Client, Board]”  is something to be cautious of agreeing to because you’ll get little thanks if everything is OK and a whole lot of woe otherwise.
There is a lot of criticism for managers or civil servants who attempt to outsource risk or responsibility by standing behind consultants’ reports and professional indemnities. The bigger fools are surely those that sell their brand or reputation cheaply without being certain what they are underwriting.
A true partnership is not one where Customer-A outsources risk and responsibility to Supplier-B, but one where both organisations work together to fully understand and satisfy all the requirements.
This is the difference between outcome (a robust solution) and output (a completed form). The outcome should be a solution this is suitable, feasible and acceptable and this should precede the output, which is a ticked box.
What do you think?
Tim Rogers is an experienced Management Consultant, Project and Change Leader. He is also Commonwealth Triathlete and World Championships Rower and a Tutor/Mentor on the Chartered Management Institute.

Source: Adapt Consulting Blog