How to change absolutely anything: Damian Hughes
Damian Hughes started out as a footballer on the England Youth Team, and is now Professor of Human Resource Management and Organisational Behaviour at Manchester Metropolitan University. We met during a leadership development programme and I warmed to his pragmatic and open style.
Listen to Prof. Damian Hughes talking about how Manchester United Manager Alex Ferguson set the tone
We first invited Damian to talk about his earlier work - which he calls 'liquid thinking' and reviewed and interviewed him on his book Liquid Leadership. I like his 'can do' attitude and I believe it compliments the Forton Group's work on bringing out the 'inner leader' - where we focus on the vision, values and authenticity of who the leader is being, as well as what they do and how they do it.
This book promises "Ten easy steps to bring about lasting change" and the book layout reflects that practical approach. What is also great about Damian is that he thinks about the challenge of learning as an adult -and encourages his readers to take a positive attitude by reading with an open mind.
I particularly like Step 6 'Anticipate how those around you will react to change' - and his acknowledgement of the vital role of people he calls 'blockers'. We all known people who put forward the objections, or act as 'Devil's Advocate'. The positive-thinkers in the group often resist or reject these ideas, because they're seen as negative. Damian maintains that "Blockers do play a vital role in maintaining balance in a group" and he asserts that "most of the tension lies between the initiator and the blocker".
Too many wild and creative ideas fail - not because the idea isn't good - but because it hasn't been tested for its strengths and weaknesses before being launched on the world. Am I the only person who remembers the launch of the Intercity Tilting Train, the Hoover free flights promotion - or the Tesco banana story?
This book is not just about fulfilling our own desire for change; it's also very useful in helping to recognise the behaviour of others and meet their needs and expectations.
I look forward to Damian being interviewed about this book by Bob Hughes on our Leadership Book Club meeting soon.