Facilitation is like skiing. Preparation, practice and picking the right line are essential

Facilitation is like skiing. Preparation, practice and picking the right line are essential. In other words, know your audience, know the outcome desired, and introduce a facilitation approach (style) that best fits the situation.

John Burdett outlines four facilitation styles. One size doesn't fit all. A masterful facilitator sees the four approaches as a rich pallet of behaviours to be mixed, matched and blended as the situation demands.

Insights from "Facilitation - the Forgotten Art" by John Burdett.


As passionate experts in the executive search and leadership consulting industry we build leadership teams for our clients every day. Learn more about TRANSEARCH International and our wide-ranging approach to leadership acquisition and management assessment.

Excellence in facilitation shares much with what it means to be an outstanding coach

Few companies teach facilitation as part of their leadership development agenda. And yet, if we want collaboration, if we want to grow teams, if we want to challenge talent in a meaningful way … being able to get the best out of meeting of minds becomes pretty important.

Excellence in facilitation shares much with what it means to be an outstanding coach:

  • Humility
  • Conduct with a hidden baton but don't start to play any of the instruments
  • Come with a beginner's mind … be open to being surprised
  • Pass power to the participants
  • Ask great questions
  • Push for clarity around what the real issue is but avoid suggesting potential solutions
  • Listen, listen, listen
  • Summarise what has been agreed to
  • Push for objective action regarding next steps

Good luck on your next opportunity to facilitate. It is one of the most difficult but at the same time rewarding leadership skills. Remember, from a career perspective, bringing the best out of a group session is something of a forgotten art.

Insights from "Facilitation - the Forgotten Art" by John Burdett.


As passionate experts in the executive search and leadership consulting industry we build leadership teams for our clients every day. Learn more about TRANSEARCH International and our wide-ranging approach to leadership acquisition and management assessment.

Culture is the often overlooked, all-pervasive, enterprise-wide, organisational DNA

Culture is the often overlooked, all-pervasive, enterprise-wide, organisational DNA that dictates whether your strategy lands or if your brand sustains. It is "a way to be" shaped by the past but continuously honed by the emerging business, social, economic, political and customer context.

The essential supporting pillars of culture are:

  1. Mission (why do we do what we do?)
  2. Diversity (diversity fuels innovation)
  3. Brand (why buy from us?)
  4. Speed (Focus - Anticipation - Simplicity - Technology)

The four pillars are braced by the organisation's values. Culture and values frame the context - the cultural canvas. The most forceful elements on that canvas being:

  • Vision and strategy;
  • Measurement and rewards;
  • The talent management system (e.g., who gets hired and/or promoted, the leadership development agenda); and,
  • Technology (quickly becoming an irresistible force).

All of the elements described come together to shape the organisation's story. You are your story. Culture is story and story is culture!

Insights from "The 7 Questions Every CEO Should Ask About Culture" by John Burdett


As passionate experts in the executive search and leadership consulting industry we build leadership teams for our clients every day. Learn more about TRANSEARCH International and our wide-ranging approach to leadership acquisition and management assessment.

Defining the future way of working over the next six months
transearch.com.au

This crisis is demonstrating that the way we behave, interact and communicate may have changed forever. In fact, our response to COVID-19 will be seen as one of largest social experiments in living history.

Bill Sakellaris, speaking with clients and candidates (the two customers in Executive Search) and those in his broader professional network and friends, observes a transitioning of thought and behaviour in people and organisations.

Read "Defining the future way of working over the next six months" leadership insights

There is one fact of life that is impossible to ignore - tomorrow will be (very) different

There is one fact of life that is impossible to ignore - tomorrow will be (very) different. More specifically, the rate of change is getting faster - and about to get much faster. Being faster, however, is ultimately all about how people learn. It's a matter of adapt or perish.

How and what we learn is a product of the:

  • Nature of the experience,
  • Mental model (metaphor, theory, hypothesis, conceptual template) used to access the learning,
  • Quality of the questions posed,
  • Time set aside for reflection, and
  • Follow-up.

Ultimately, an investment in learning is about orchestrating change. In pursuit of that goal, learning starts with the experience. And it's not just learning fast at an individual or team level but building an environment where speed of learning becomes an organisation-wide competitive advantage.

If you're not fast, you're going to be last!

Insights from "Speed of Learning: The Ultimate Competitive Advantage" by John Burdett, Leadership advisor to TRANSEARCH International.


As passionate experts in the executive search and leadership consulting industry we build leadership teams for our clients every day. Learn more about TRANSEARCH International and our wide-ranging approach to leadership acquisition and management assessment.

If you are a top executive, you don't owe it to yourself to be coached, but you do owe it to all of those whose lives you touch

If you are a top executive, you don't owe it to yourself to be coached, but you do owe it to all of those whose lives you touch. The coaching conversation must be informed by the emerging economic environment, tomorrow's customer's needs, and the business strategy. A number of coaching disciplines are common:

  • Coaching is about framing the conversation such that the coachee finds their own way (power to).
  • What the coach believes, the coachee will perceive. The coach must therefore work from the belief that the agreed outcome will (not might), could or should happen.
  • An experienced coach learns how to work from a beginner's mind.
  • To coach is to listen in the way the coachee has always wanted to be listened to.
  • To coach is to help connect the coachee with their own story, ask great questions, introduce a new metaphor, share a compelling story, open the door to best practice and personally model the behaviour being sought.
  • Coaching mastery draws on a robust coaching model, meaningful executive experience, cultural relevance, interpersonal sensitivity and mental agility.

Insights from "Coaching the CEO" by John O. Burdett, Leadership advisor to TRANSEARCH International.


As passionate experts in the executive search and leadership consulting industry we build leadership teams for our clients every day. Learn more about TRANSEARCH International and our wide-ranging approach to leadership acquisition and management assessment.

A crisis demands, more than ever, that to be a successful leader is to...

A crisis demands, more than ever, that to be a successful leader is to:

  • Employ the head - Essential short-term actions must not take away from the compelling need to formulate the data/information and strategic insight demanded to put the business back on course as quickly as possible.
  • Empower the hand - To fully acknowledge the scope and impact of the crisis, craft a caring and meaningful response, act decisively, recognise the organisation's role as part of a wider community… and do so at lightning speed.
  • Engage the heart - Investments in teams and cross-organisation collaboration pays off. People, regardless of level, unite behind a common purpose. The support for working remotely builds on and further develops knowing that you are part of something special. No one gets left behind.
  • Enrich the spirit - Put empathy front and centre of everything the organisation does and communicates. People need to be able to see the first glimmering light of an early dawn.

Insights from "Are You The LEADER They NEED?" (PDF) by John O. Burdett, Leadership advisor to TRANSEARCH International.


As passionate experts in the executive search and leadership consulting industry we build leadership teams for our clients every day. Learn more about TRANSEARCH International and our wide-ranging approach to leadership acquisition and management assessment.

Free Online Courses for Leadership Development

Spending more time at home can be an excellent opportunity to gain knowledge and develop skills. Explore free online courses for leadership development. The following are available from OpenLearn by The Open University:

There are many more free online courses for leadership development available, including from the following:


As passionate experts in the executive search and leadership consulting industry we build leadership teams for our clients every day. Learn more about TRANSEARCH International and our wide-ranging approach to leadership acquisition and management assessment.