FeaturedReal Transformation or Boomerang Change?

Boomerang change is the kind of change that goes forwards and backwards, hesitating and never really transforming anything

Elisabet Vinberg Hearn

Everyone talks about transformation, but is it really transformation they are doing? Could it be that it’s “just” change?

Don’t get me wrong, change is sometimes enough, but the problem is that change often isn’t enough, or the efforts put into change are not impactful enough and therefore don’t really change anything other than what’s on the surface. People fall back into old habits – as habits die hard – we all know that.

Transformation, real transformation, is a marked, significant change, where the change is so thorough, so disruptive, so – well, yes, transforming – that it can’t go back to what it once was. A bit like how a butterfly can’t transform back into a caterpillar.

Real transformation requires more than a well managed project (to change processes, digital tools, organisational structure etc) – it requires a transformation of mindset, habits and culture. And that transformation must be led from the top, where leaders themselves transform how they lead the organisation, how they behave, what they prioritise, what actions and behaviours they ignite in others. Without it, it’s unlikely that transformation will happen.

Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything

George Bernard Shaw

So, if you are serious about business/digital transformation, take a moment to reflect on how you can bring all the pieces of real transformation together – the WHY, the WHAT and the HOW, keeping in mind that real transformation is more about people than processes and tools. It’s about connecting with people, with their hearts and minds.

And maybe Einstein said it best…

The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking  

Albert Einstein

Isn’t it time to leave Boomerang Change behind and go for Real Transformation?

Want to be part of a smarter team?

From WeAreTheCity’s Future Leader’s Blog

Collective intelligence and collective decision making equals the ability to influence more.

When a a team or leadership team works well together, with a shared purpose that everyone believes in and owns, something almost magical happens – their impact is multiplied, their teams work better with each, communication flows more effectively, goals are aligned and the risk of confusion and overlaps are almost completely eradicated.

So if you are part of a leadership team, or a team, and want to have greater impact together, better goal achievement, then look for the common purpose, what you all have in common. What do you all want to achieve?

And then talk about that and reach agreement on a shared commitment to that purpose. Make that commitment a promise.

Whenever possible, connect your goals to those of your peers. If there are competitive behaviours between you and your peers, then having connected goals will make those competitive behaviours impossible to carry on with. If each team member can be goaled not just on his/her individual performance but also the performance of the team overall, then it brings out collaborative behaviours instead.


“Leadership is not about a title or a designation.

It’s about impact, influence, and inspiration.”

Robin S. Sharma


Want great  team or leadership team success? Then get together with your peers and work on how to work together and how to have greater impact together. Create a team success journey plan and start taking steps together. Don’t leave it to chance, take action.

For more info on personal and leadership impact, check out our latest book “The Leader’s Guide to Impact” which serves as an easy-to-follow strategic and practical tool for individual leaders and leadership teams alike.

7 steps to team success in 2020

From WeAreTheCity’s Future Leader’s Blog

What can you do, as a team, to make 2020 our best year yet?

Getting a team to work well together doesn’t happen by chance. It requires intention, commitment and a focus on both structure/task and behavioural habits.

The start of the year is a great time to stop for a moment with your team and discuss:

“How do we best work together to best achieve our goals, and make this a truly great place to work? How can we make this year our best year yet?”

One crucial ingredient in that dialogue is to create a Team Charter. 

A Team Charter is a document that describes the purpose, framework and agreements of the team. Creating a Team Charter is a shared process (not just a leadership task), hence making it a powerful and visual shared commitment. A Team Charter that is created by everyone, is owned by everyone and therefore is carried out by everyone.

Each Team Charter is unique to the team, but typically it includes at least the 7 steps:

  1. Team purpose and clear links to the organisation’s vision and purpose (how you as a team make a difference)
  2. Expectations and goals (what are you expected to do and achieve this year?)
  3. Roles and responsibilities (who does whatwhat are the overlaps and collaboration opportunities?)
  4. Skills and expertise needed to fulfil purpose (is there anything new you need to learn and/or how can team members’ skills/expertise be shared?)
  5. Resources needed to fulfil purpose (g.what data and tools do you need to do a great job?)
  6. Operating guidelines: behaviours and how the team will work together to fulfil the purpose (g. how should you treat each other, how should you communicate, help each other, spend time together?)
  7. Signed agreement/commitment

Some seem obvious and almost implicit, don’t they? Well, then ask yourself as a team; why aren’t we doing it then. And if you are doing it, challenge yourself on how you can make it even better, strive for more together. You may have these 7 steps in some implicit form, it is also important to make them explicit for all to agree to openly.

So yes, as you reflect on these 7 steps, some are probably already in place, but it is still crucial to review them as a team to reconfirm or indeed update your shared agreement on those important ingredients of teamwork. The steps that definitely need updating each year, for every team, are 2, 6 and 7.

Once you have documented the team agreements steps 1-6 (and any other topics you have chosen to include as a team), make sure each team member gets invited to sign the document (step 7). Signing the Team Charter agreement signals real commitment and cements it. You can even call it a team promise – after all, a promise feels even more powerful.

January focus: Work smarter, not harder

From WeAreTheCity’s Future Leaders Blog

A new decade, a new year, a new month – what better time to have a proper restart?

This is the time to do it, don’t let the autopilot run your life and career, make sure you are in charge of your journey through the year.

As you kick off 2020, stop and think about how you spend your time and how you can work smarter, not harder. What do you need to focus on this year to achieve your goals and ambitions?


If you chase two rabbits, you will catch neither one

Russian proverb


Part of this is about TIME LEADERSHIP (not ‘time management’ as it’s about more than just managing your time). It is all about self-leadership, leading yourself entails planning your time well, blocking time for the important stuff too, so the urgent stuff doesn’t win every time.  It’s about thinking short- and long-term.

It could look like something as simple as this for example:

The other part is about HABITS & ACTIVITIES – being outcome focused rather than task focused. Ask yourself:

  • What should you STOP doing? (dare to challenge practices that don’t deliver for the overall outcome)
  • Is there anything you should START doing instead?
  • What should you CONTINUE doing? To celebrate your strengths and success and to ensure you appreciate what you already do well.

And then finally, ask yourself:

How will you stick to your commitments of working smarter, not harder?

Who could support you? Who else could you involve, to help you succeed?

And could there a win-win aspect here too, that helps both parties succeed?

Here’s to a smart 2020!


Efficiency is doing the thing right. Effectiveness is doing the right thing.

Peter Drucker

Leadership you can trust

Leadership you can trust

From WeAreTheCity Future Leaders Blog

There’s a lot of talk about trust – all around the world; in politics in particular, but also in business and society as a whole.

We would argue that trust is quite a straightforward thing – without it we have nothing.

We may be able to manage without trust for a while, but over time lack of trust erodes engagement and joy at work.


“No legacy is so rich as honesty”

William Shakespeare


Leaders that want to create long-term, sustainable results MUST be in the trust business.

They MUST earn your trust.

They MUST be trustworthy.

They MUST embody leadership you can trust.

If people don’t trust us, we risk

  • People going behind backs (ours and others)
  • People not daring to speak up for fear of retribution
  • People cutting corners
  • People leaving (employee turnover)

If people trust us, we

  • Invite honesty and differing viewpoints
  • Secure support
  • Build bonds that last

4 tips for how you, as a formal or informal leader, can build trust

  1. Be genuinely interested in people.

Take the time to talk with others and get to know them. Could you trust someone you didn’t know?

  1. Be generous.

Share what you know. Give feedback. Give credit where credit is due.

  1. Be consistent.

Don’t keep people guessing. Be emotionally aware; manage your emotions and the impact they have on others.

  1. Keep your promises.

Simple, but oh so effective. Do what you said you were going to do – or apologise and explain why and what will happen next if you couldn’t keep the promise.

We’re all in the trust business

Trust is the foundation for all great leadership and teamwork.

And in a world that changes faster and faster, trust will only get more and more important.

And we’re all in the trust business – every day, in everything we do.

Peripheral vision for change

Leading change? Working with digital or business transformation? Then you’re probably great at focusing on what to do, when, how and why.

And focus is great. We all know that.

But at times, focus can lead to tunnel vision, that state of mind when we are so focused that we lose sight of the bigger picture, or what is happening around us and how people are responding to the change.

So, to balance your great focus, develop your peripheral vision too. Peripheral vision is taking in information outside of our immediate focus. It’s widening our view to be able to notice what happens around us. And that’s not metaphorically, it’s a question of practicing having a wider visual field.

Some of the greatest speakers, facilitators and trainers have great peripheral vision; they have the whole room within their view field, so they can notice shifts in people, recognising when people react to something, noticing disengagement or excitement.

So whenever you are in a project meeting for example, consciously notice and use your whole visual field (rather than just looking at the person you are talking to for example) – and notice how much more you become aware of.

Want to know more about peripheral vision for change? Get in touch – we’re happy to talk.

The pace of change is so great, there is always something else going on. What that says to me is that you have to have strategic vision and peripheral vision. Strategic vision is the ability to look ahead and peripheral vision is the ability to look around, and both are important.

Carly Fiorina

Door 24: We give away 3 signed Leadership Impact books!

How leaders lead transformation matters greatly. Your impact as a leader can make THE difference in transformation success.

This is why we, as it is Christmas Eve, give away 3 signed copies of Amazon bestseller The Leader’s Guide to Impact” by Mandy Flint and our CEO Elisabet Vinberg Hearn.

Please enter your name below to be in the prize draw – we’ll draw 3 winners before the end of the year.

Good luck!

Door 23: Hearts and Minds

We continue our reflection from day 22 on how to avoid Boomerang Change…

If you are serious about business/digital transformation, take a moment to reflect on how you can bring all the pieces of real transformation together – the WHY, the WHAT and the HOW, keeping in mind that real transformation is more about people than processes and tools.

It’s about connecting with people, with their hearts and minds.

And maybe Einstein said it best…

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking”

Albert Einstein

Isn’t it time to leave Boomerang Change behind and go for Real Transformation?

Door 22: Transformation, not boomerang change

Transformation, real transformation, is a marked, significant change, where the change is so thorough, so disruptive, so – well, yes, transforming – that it can’t go back to what it once was. A bit like how a butterfly can’t transform back into a caterpillar.

Real transformation requires more than a well managed project (to change processes, digital tools, organisational structure etc) – it requires a transformation of mindset, habits and culture.

And that transformation must be led from the top, where leaders themselves transform how they lead the organisation, how they behave, what they prioritise, what actions and behaviours they ignite in others.

Door 21: Share generously

In our Katapult Advent Calendar we continue to reflect on the human aspects of digital/business transformations that truly make a difference.

Things change fast, we all know that. New research, new technology, new innovations, new customer expectations, new regulations – the list is long.

This is also why the need to share is so much greater than ever before. No one knows everything, but everyone knows something others don’t. And when hat knowledge, idea or insight is shared, it’s multiplied.

So share it! Generously share what you know.