Sue's portfolio of
organisational work ...

 

Three sections here:.

  • the Leaderful Women Project, a not-for-profit venture to support and help women understand their leadership ...
  • with Rosie Mayes and Mary Musselbrook, we set up Engendering Balance Ltd  to promote our work in organisations ...
  • and Research, initially for my PhD and now in league with Universities using data from those we work with.
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the Leaderful Women Project

During my research on leadership in organisations, it became crystal clear that feminine leadership practices were (by nature or nurture) very different from masculine practices. These feminine practices (adopted by both men or women) were effective — but regularly eclipsed.

I developed a range of 'qualities of practice' that many people identify as related to femininity or masculinity. Some called them 'head and heart' some 'left-brained and right-brained', some simply 'objective subjective'. What was fascinating was that people described a current position as imbalanced, with a desire for the future to operate in a more balanced way.

With Rosie Mayes and Mary Musselbrook we set up Engendering Balance Ltd to pass on this understanding, and reveal the benefits it has to many aspects of a modern organisation.

We have developed a range of powerful tools for organisations that I describe below.

 

 

 

The LW Project works alongside Engendering Balance Ltd to

  • promote post-heroic ideas of leadership,
  • to explain the crucial difference between self-confidence and self-belief
  • to offer alternatives to the out-dated leader-follower concept of leadership
  • to help those who wish to look deeply into new ways of understanding themselves and their leadership.
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Engendering Balance Ltd

( trading as the EB Centre for Developing Leadership )

The EB Centre for Developing Leadership brings extensive experience and specialist knowledge to support the advancement of female leaders, engaging post-conventional approaches that can achieve genuine sustainable change. The core principles behind the work have come about from the principles of the Leaderful Women Project, and through interviewing and working with women in both national and international corporations. 

  1. Women-led learning provides female leaders with all the benefits of exploring and sharing space with other women, enabling them to take a lead on re-shaping their future together. At the same time avoiding historic, negative associations with women-only learning groups.
  2. The disparity between womens learning and a corporate value of inclusivity is a concern. We explore a range of options that can creatively build inclusivity with male peers and more senior leaders. We use dialogue and conversations with male colleagues; half-day events that include/invite male leaders. This overtly relational activity carries the seeds for collective development and change.
  3. Self & System learning is essential to acceleration of female leaders. There are many initiatives to support women in developing their personal and professional selves. We add the organisational culture and system structures (System), shaping them to support womens' special contributions. Women learn how they can positively influence new cultural practices and be a source of direct learning for those around them.
  4. Remodelling day-to-day leadership in such a way that acknowledges, values, and enables qualities that women identify with and can strengthen in their leadership culture. Research has revealed a range of valuable qualities women bring to leadership but are overshadowed by traditional leadership practices. Our work with female leaders is demonstrating how to reclaim these qualities and contribute to the growth of more relational, inclusive, and connective organisational cultures.
  5. Social and cultural understanding is at the heart of our work and research with female leaders. We help individuals understand and work with the cultural assumptions and deep beliefs that shape their organisation's systemic practices. Once recognised change can take place. Without this deep level of knowledge, organisational efforts to grow diversity and inclusivity is limited, with ambitions and quotas unmet.

We use PODS, groups of senior women in organisations, where understanding the qualities of practice they can bring to the organisation and the self-belief to implement, can radically help them and their organisation.

A tool we have developed helps people leap into understanding the different qualities. With a deceptively simple system of cards*, individuals or groups describe views they have and they wish to have. Then with a simple action,  we can astonish the participants with a level of understanding to make shifts.  We are helping organisations change their global culture with this system.

We have built a tool built that is a radical alternative to appraisal, assessment and 360º systems. This on-line tool** develops individual performance without judging, scoring or assessing. It guides an individual to gather highly specific areas of information from responders they trust and respect. (We sometimes assist the responders in this process). The tool enables an individual to strike up safe and generative dialogue that will directly enhance their contribution. We assist the individual to assess, discuss and deal with the supportive feedback they obtain.

* Quality of Practice Cards®

** The 360ff®

 

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Research

I have always believed it necessary in organisation psychology, to have a solid grounding in the results of the work. My PhD surprised me when the analysis produced a clear definition of leadership differences that I had not fully expected.

In the EB Centre for Developing Leadership, we use our results both to qualify the results for sponsors, and to continually improve how we work to help others assimilate the learning.

We work in association with sponsors, and with Universities who are particularly active in the area of womens development.

With a recent global organisation, our results together with feedback from the women involved was analysed by the University of Lancaster and by Roehampton University.

 
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