Organisational development
Organisational development

Collaboration and Engagement

Organisations need to be fit to deliver in the face of pressing economic, social and environmental challenges as well as new technology that is breaking down traditional boundaries. Your organisation's culture needs to be strong enough to engage a diversity of people and flexible enough to adapt to changes.


I develop collaborative organisations that can share learning and innovation, manage differences constructively, engage people system-wide, improve well-being, adapt to constant change and deliver results. We do this by integrating our leadership coaching and facilitation work with broader programmes aimed at developing a shared sense of identity and collaboration. To illustrate my approach here's an example of a leadership and organisation development programme for senior managers in a large organisation that has it's operations distributed regionally throughout the UK. The key elements that contributed to increased collaboration were:


  1. Leaders received 360-degree feedback, completed personality questionnaires, and participated in individual coaching sessions throughout the program. Successful change starts with the individual and the senior leaders started with themselves.
  2. The program was run in operational teams to develop relationships as well as leadership capabilities. Leaders shared their feedback, strengths, weaknesses, and so on with each other and provided ongoing mutual support through action-learning conversations. Senior teams developed openness and flexibility focusing on priority leadership challenges.
  3. Each team at the start-up event:
    1. Mapped the team context and agreed on the important stakeholders to seek feedback from
    2. Reviewed the team’s effectiveness at the task, process, and relationship levels
    3. Developed a draft team purpose, vision, and operating principles
  4. The teams invited senior managers from other directorates to provide feedback to them using a combination of  a goldfish bowl dialogue process and written comments.
  5. Following this, the teams confirmed their operating frameworks, decided on actions needed to increase collaboration with other teams and groups and used the data collected to tailor the remainder of the programme to their context and needs.


Each directorate team followed a similar process, receiving feedback from across the organisation as well as from customers and clients. This process spawned a number of cross-functional initiatives to increase collaboration and provided the early thinking and creative ideas for a new business strategy and way of working.


This 'inside-out' approach - starting with the individual, continuing in the team and influencing the organisation culture - shifts the behaviour from silo working to engaging with the wider system and the collective focus from reactive problem-solving to co-creating the future. The principles and approach, as explained in my book Collaborating for Results, can be used in a variety of contexts to develop leadership and collaboration between teams and partner organisations.


Please contact me to discuss your organisation's culture and change challenges.

Leadership Development


Leaders set the cultural tone and influence the pattern of relationships across the organisation. They need to harness the power of relationships for competitive advantage and excellent service. To achieve this they need to develop as individuals, work in an open and collaborative way with colleagues and show commitment to this way of working in the organisation.


I provide leadership development focused on achieving collaboration, system-wide engagement and results by combining leadership coaching, team development and action learning. I support empowerment in a practical way, developing leaders in teams focused on real challenges and linking content to participants own experiences. I position myself in the '20' of a 70:20:10 approach to learning and development, helping leaders to learn from experience, embed the organisation's programmed learning and improve relational capital.


Please contact me to discuss your leadership development needs.

Leadership Coaching Leadership Coaching
facilitation Facilitation

Collaborating for Results: Silo Working and Relationships that Work by David Ian Willcock, Director of Liberating Potential Ltd., is available from Routledge publishing. Please click the image to read a sample chapter on-line.


'This is a practical guide to harnessing the power of relationships between people and teams in organisations to achieve strategic vision and to be future-capable in a fast-changing world.'

Dr. Mike Clarke, CEO, RSPB

Information and Resources

For additional information and resources please click on Resources in the navigation bar

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