Constructive Dissent

Conflict is not the enemy at work, but complacency, mediocrity and unvoiced dissent certainly are!
Here’s how Constructive Dissent turns workplace conflict onto innovation and improvement.

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Resistance is Futile – Four Lessons from the Borg for Leaders on Great Organisational Change

Leadership has got way too soft and it’s time to challenge that. And make resistance to change futile!

 It’s time to challenge the soft, human-centric leadership models that have come to dominate the corporate world. And make resistance to change futile!

This iconic line from Star Trek’s Borg isn’t just for sci-fi fans like me; it offers a radical perspective on leadership and organisational change.

Are you brave enough to consider that the Borg, often vilified as the epitome of oppressive conformity, might just have it right?

Here are four lessons all leaders could learn from the Borg on how to do great organisational change:

🔵 Collective Conformity instead of Emphasis on Individuality

Traditional wisdom tells us to celebrate individual strengths. But what if, like the Borg, we focused on collective goals? A united team can often navigate change more effectively than a group of individual stars.

How to Do It: Align team objectives with organisational goals and encourage collaboration over competition. Regular team meetings can help synchronise efforts and ensure everyone is contributing to the collective objective.

🔵 Centralised Command instead of Democratic Leadership

Democratic leadership is praised, but it can slow down decision-making. The Borg’s centralised command ensures quick, decisive action, a crucial advantage during organisational shifts.

How to Do It: Streamline decision-making processes and clearly define roles and responsibilities. A centralised communication channel can help disseminate decisions quickly and efficiently.

🔵 Rational Efficiency instead of Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is vital, but it can sometimes cloud judgment. The Borg’s rational, efficiency-driven approach eliminates emotional bias, making for more effective change management.

How to Do It: Use data-driven metrics to evaluate the impact of changes and make adjustments accordingly. Encourage team members to focus on outcomes rather than emotional attachments to previous ways of working.

🔵 Unified Obedience instead of Employee Autonomy

Autonomy is empowering, but during significant changes, a unified approach may be more effective. Like the Borg, consider the value of a team moving in lockstep toward a common goal.

How to Do It: Establish clear guidelines and expectations, and ensure everyone is on the same page through regular communication. Use team-building exercises to foster a sense of unity and shared purpose.

Embrace the Opportunity!
Are you ready to assimilate these Borg-like qualities into your leadership style?

Share your thoughts and let’s start a conversation on redefining effective leadership during organisational change!

A first-aid backpack on the ground in a forest setting with mountains in the distance. Used as a metaphor for applying the principles of Dr ABC to managing high-pressure decisions at work

The Dr ABC of Managing High-Pressure Decisions – an Emergency Response Guide

A while ago in preparation for some volunteering, I took one of the best training courses I’ve ever experienced, the Outdoor First Aid course at the UK’s national outdoor centre at Plas y Brenin.

Amongst other things, we learnt the Dr ABCDE structure of first aid.

And during a recent coaching session we used that structure to help manage a seriously high-pressure decision that my client was facing.

First, here’s a reminder of my notes from that course:


  • Danger: Ensure safety for yourself, bystanders, and the casualty from further harm.
  • Response: Check if the casualty is responsive or unconscious.
  • Airway: Check if the casualty’s airway is open and clear.
  • Breathing: Monitor if they are breathing normally.
  • Circulation: Look for signs of life such as pulse, movement, or coughing.
  • Disability: Check again for unconsciousness, possibly caused by a neurological injury or condition (e.g. check pupil response).
  • Exposure: Expose and examine them for other hidden injuries, and ensure they are not getting cold.

If you need to manage a high-pressure decision at work, here’s my first-aid guide, using the principles of Dr ABC and applying them to great leadership:

D – Danger – assess first before acting:

  • Assess the situation and potential risks before taking action.

R – Responsiveness – ask others for their response, seek allies and advice:

  • Seek input, feedback, and advice from others to gather different perspectives and insights.

A – Airways – open up your choices about how to deal with the high-pressure situation:

  • Explore a wide range of options and possibilities before narrowing down choices.

B – Breathing – monitor the progress and vitality of the decision-making process:

  • Continuously assess the progress, outcomes, and indicators of the decision to ensure it is on the right track.

C – Circulation – take decisive action and stay committed to the chosen course:

  • Follow through with the decision, implement it effectively, and dedicate the necessary resources and effort to make a significant impact.

D – Disability – evaluate the potential drawbacks and unintended consequences of the decision:

  • Assess and monitor the potential negative effects or limitations of the decision, and be prepared to address them proactively. Learn from what’s happening.

E – Exposure – identify hidden risks and protect against unfavourable external influences:

  • Be aware of potential risks or obstacles that may not be immediately apparent, and take measures to mitigate or avoid them. Protect the decision-making process from unfavourable external factors.

What else comes up for you, when you’re faced with managing a high-pressure decision at work? What do you need to take into account?

How do you manage high-pressure decisions and what can we learn from a first-aid approach? Click To Tweet

Closing the Gap: My Opinion on Conquering Imposter Syndrome at Work

Unmasking Imposter Syndrome: my view on how to close the gap between reality and undefined standards – and conquer self-doubt together.

10 Steps for Leading Through a Crisis

Leading through a crisis requires a unique set of skills. Here are my top 10 practical insights to steer your team through tough times.