Services

Ken offers a range of services which will benefit your organisation. Based upon Ken’s wealth of experience in regional and national leadership roles within public service, Ken can bring key insights to you and your organisation.

Board and team development...

Ken brings his coaching approach to Board and Team development. If time and resources allow, Ken’s preference is to have face to face sessions with all members of the Board or Team as the first step. This helps to ensure that all members feel valued and involved, that their issues and expectations can be included in the draft agenda for the development event and that Ken has a good understanding of each individual before he works with the team as a whole.

Ken prepares a draft agenda for the event and encourages the sponsor to share it with all Board and Team members. Ken never refers to the content of the individual sessions at the event. The agenda is designed to enable members to raise their issues if they wish to do so.

The approach to Board and Team development that is least likely to succeed is when the development event is entirely based on the views and expectations of the sponsor, the Chair or CE, and the facilitator’s only contact before the event is with the sponsor.

This often leads to a lack of engagement from the members and the event is seen as belonging to the sponsor and designed around their view of the issues and development needs.

Coaching

Ken’s main consultancy activity is coaching.
When Ken has the privilege of working with someone he goes through three stages.

First listening.

Robert Greenleaf (RKG)the founding father of the modern version of servant leadership, has been the greatest influence on Ken’s work. RKG described listening as the premier skill. Ken invites the client to talk about themselves and the issues they are bringing to the coaching process. Ken will only contribute if he feels that he needs to clarify what he is hearing.

Second, reflecting back.

When the client is finished, and Ken encourages the client to resume at any stage, Ken will summarise what he had heard and ask if his summary is correct and if he has understood the issues.

Third offering reflections and advice.

In this third stage Ken will use his many years of experience to offer reflections and comments on what he has heard. Ken will only offer practical advice if two conditions are fulfilled. First, if it is clear that the client wants advice and second if Ken feels he has the appropriate knowledge and experience to offer advice.

These three stages are repeated at each coaching session. Ken will always ask the client to set out the issues they bring to that station. Ken will only refer to previous sessions if he feels that the client will find it helpful to compare where they are now to where they have been.

Frequency of sessions

Ken never suggests to a client that another coaching session should take place. It is always up to the client to contact Ken.

Duration of the coaching relationship

Ken has had the privilege of working with some clients for ten years. However it is always up to the client to decide to invite Ken to continue to share their journey.

Contact between sessions

Ken is always happy to hear from clients whether or not a further session has been arranged. Clients often find it helpful to share a situation with Ken and to ask for his reflections and advice.

Telephone coaching

Ken is only happy to do coaching by telephone when he has established a good level of understanding with the client. It can be highly effective, easier to arrange and is cheaper! However, there is no substitute for face to face contact.

Coaching and Counselling

Clients often trust Ken with many aspects of their lives both work related and personal. This often gives Ken a better understanding of the client and the issues they are facing. Although Ken has himself benefited greatly from psychotherapy and counselling and therefore has a good understanding of these processes, Ken is always careful to suggest that the client should seek professional help if he believes that this is appropriate. When Ken first began to understand himself and to face difficult personal and work Issues in 1991 he worked with both a psychotherapist, and later counsellors, and his coach Bob Dearden. Ken found this dual approach to be very effective.

Know yourself, and to yourself be true

One of the most important aspects of coaching and working with individuals and teams is to enable them to get to know themselves. Once people understand themselves it is easier for them to be true to themselves.

Ken’s preferred approach, if time and resources allow, is to use the Myers Briggs indicator – MBTI. Ken’s preference is based on his own experience. When Ken first encountered MBTI at the age of 43 he began to understand himself for the first time and to see that many of his behaviours were learned behaviours and were not natural to someone of his psychological type. Ken is trained to administer and interpret the indicator. However, Ken’s approach is very different to the way in which MBTI is sometimes used.

Ken begins by explaining the history and origins of Myers Briggs and the story of the remarkable women who developed the system. It all began in 1917 when Katherine C. Briggs began to study individual difference through biography. In 1923 Jung’s Psychological Types was translated into English, and for eighteen years Katherine and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers, studied Jung’s theory and observed personality in terms of terms of type. America’s entry in to World War II in 1941 prompted them to develop the indicator in order “to do something that might help peoples understand each other and avoid destructive conflict”. The research and development of the indicator continued over many years. Katherine and Isabel had many useful contacts. Katherine’s husband, and Isabel’s Father, was Lyman Briggs who became director of the National Bureau of Standards in the USA during the Great Depression. Isabel apprenticed herself to Edward N. Hay, who founded the Hay Consultancy, now one of the largest management consultancy firms in the world.

The indicator did not become widely available until 1975. If you want to understand the Myers–Briggs approach, there is no substitute for reading Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type by Isabel and her son Peter B. Myers. It was published in 1980, the year of Isabel’s death. Ken loves the fact that the book was not published until sixty-three years after Katherine began her studies. This tells us that important work is rarely quick or easy. It takes time, resilience and determination. The book is dedicated to “all who desire to make fuller use of their gifts” and begins with St Paul’s reminder in Romans 12 that we all have “gifts differing”.

Katherine and Isabel would have been appalled that the process is sometimes reduced to an online report and that people are simply told which personality type they are. Their only concern was that people should understand themselves and others better. Introduction to Type, written by Isabel, suggested a three-step process. First a self-estimate based on listening to, or reading, the descriptions of type. Second the reported type based on the choices made in completing the indicator. The third and crucial stage is the process of selecting your “best fit” type based on studying the sixteen type descriptions. Katherine and Isabel would have had no problem with people changing their “best fit” type as their understanding of themselves developed.

Two at the top

This coaching programme focuses on the relationship between the Chair and the Chief Executive and their roles. It was designed for the National Agency for Leadership and Innovation in Healthcare (NLIAH) in Wales in 2006 and has been commissioned 16 times by NLIAH and its successor, Academi Wales.

The Programme consists of three days

On the first day Ken has individual coaching sessions with the Chair and Chief Executive. These sessions are confidential freeing the Chair and CE to raise any issues about their relationship, their roles or the issues faced by the organisation.

After reflecting on what he has heard Ken prepares a draft agenda for the second day which is a joint session for the Chair and CE. The agenda is designed to enable the Chair and CE to raise the issues which they raised in the individual sessions. However, Ken never refers to the content of those sessions. It is entirely up to the participants to decide what they say. The agenda is sent to the Chair and CE for their approval so that they are both content with the format.

The third day can either be further individual sessions or a second joint session. It is entirely up to the Chair and CE.

Ken brings to bear his experience as a coach, his experience working as a CE for 6 NHS Chairs and as a Chair with 3 NHS CEs, one Housing Association CE and “Chief Officers” in national and local government boards and the learning from the Two at the Top.

Workshops

Ken has delivered workshops on leadership and management for many years using the material which is now the basis of his book “Other People’s Shoes”.

Long before Ken became Chair of the Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, Ken was commissioned by the Trust to deliver a workshop for the Leadership Programme, which covered two topics. The first is a review of all the factors that influence the NHS and the work of its staff. This is called “The World We Live In” and the factors discussed are:

  • Demography
  • Education
  • Research and development
  • Technology including IT
  • Changes in social attitudes
  • The age of discovery
  • Terrorism, cyber security, and international tension
  • Economics
  • Politics
  • Brexit and the NHS
  • The five challenges facing the NHS
  • The financial challenge
  • The NHS in 2018
  • NHS policy
  • NHS - international comparisons
  • Quotations for encouragement

This workshop has been delivered ten times a year for more than ten years and the feedback from front line staff of all professions and occupations has been very positive.

The second is the material covered in Other People’s Shoes including Ken’s definitions of leadership and management and the values and behaviours needed for leadership and management.

Ken, after discussion with the CE of the Trust, continues to deliver the workshop although, of course, it is now part of his role as Chair and is not delivered on a consultancy basis.

This workshop, or specially designed workshops, are available on a consultancy basis.

Ken offers a range of services which will benefit your organisation. Based upon Ken’s wealth of experience in regional and national leadership roles within public service, Ken can bring key insights to you and your organisation.