For you, new and popular

An edit of newly added resources and those proving consistently popular among our partners' teams.
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Book Club: New Methods for Women — With Sharmadean Reid MBE
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Raul Aparici on mitigating impostor syndrome
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Kate and Catherine on pausing, for conversational space
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Kate and Catherine on intentional listening
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Kate and Catherine on questioning well
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Worksheet: Time Blocking
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Kate and Catherine on the coaching opportunity
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Matteo's coaching reflections
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Kas's reflections on listening and questioning well
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Time Blocking, and bringing some colour into your calendar
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Worksheet: Owning Feedback
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Making the case for situational flexibility as leaders
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eCourse: Difficult Conversations
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Mentors, Sponsors and Champions. With Abi Adamson
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Effective Allyship. With Abi Adamson
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What's your Privilege Pledge? With Abi Adamson
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Diversify your feed. With Abi Adamson
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Privilege reflections. With Abi Adamson
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Mindful toothbrushing. With Dr. Sam Akbar
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Anchor dropping. With Dr. Sam Akbar
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5,4,3,2,1 — a mindfulness technique. With Dr. Sam Akbar
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Urge surfing. With Dr. Sam Akbar
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Everyday mindfulness. With Dr. Sam Akbar
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Making room for emotions (and the weather). With Dr. Sam Akbar
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Letting go of emotions. With Dr. Sam Akbar
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How do you notice your thoughts? With Dr. Sam Akbar
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A coaching conversation around strengths
Confidence Ecourse
eCourse: Confidence Mastery
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Daniel Goleman's Six Leadership Styles, explained by Louise Hedges
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eCourse: Mastering Delegation
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eCourse: Time Management and Prioritisation
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eCourse: Get SET with your Goals
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Perspectives on privilege, with Abi Adamson
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Neurodivergent Perspectives. Lexi Keegan in conversation with Dr. Anne Cockayne
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Neurodiversity know-how: The Spiky Profile explained
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Neurodiversity explained, with Dr. Anne Cockayne
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Neuroinclusion at work: Thinking about adjustments
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Neurodiversity know-how. Autism with Dr. Anne Cockayne
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Neurodiversity know-how. ADHD with Dr. Anne Cockayne
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Neurodiversity know-how. Dyslexia with Dr. Anne Cockayne
Micro-learning: Setting Better Boundaries
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eCourse: Practicing a Coaching Approach
Finding fortitude, and follow on experiments
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eCourse: Conscious Inclusion
Seven things to avoid when writing at work
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Share genuinely useful feedback with the BID model
Solve problems before they happen with pre-mortems
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Five tactics for influencing those more senior
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Five powerful questions for adding impact and insight to your next interview.
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Try out the CAR technique, and upgrade your understanding when interviewing someone.
Good Qs
Smart ways to frame questions in your next mentoring session
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Try the 5 Whys to invigorate your problem solving and add depth to your decisions.
Allyship CP
Course Pack: Effective Allyship, with Abi Adamson
Course Pack: Voice Gym. Building your vocal confidence
A three minute mindset exercise, to support a coaching approach
Try this deep listening exercise for deeper connection and better conversations
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Experiment with the BRAIN model for confident decision making and problem solving
Discover the impact a five minute favour can have on your relationships, and network building
Homework for Life: A ten-second daily ritual for noticing, capturing and practicing stories
Course Pack: Storytelling
Do Story
Practical storytelling principles from Bobette Buster's book — Do: Story
Evolve your 'inner mentor' — a short reflective exercise to focus your development, and the ways you can better support others
Experiment with a Springboard Story to communicate your change idea, and take people with you towards it.
N Ngrab
Course Pack: Natural Networking
Tone Policing - What it is, why it's unhelpful and how to helpfully notice it.
Coaching Criticism
Find the Coaching in Criticism. Things to try when feedback doesn't quite land
4 Ds
The 4Ds. A practical framework for acknowledging microaggressions
Mindful breathing — the foundation of focus and flow
Channel that fly on the wall. Try some purposeful self talk to mitigate moments of doubt
Add some friction to your most common distractions
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Build belief by recognising small wins — Try a 'Done List'
Silent Meeting
Make your next meeting a Silent Meeting
Can If Go
Immediately build your confidence, with a 'Can-If' statement
To Think
Don't forget to diarise thinking time — experiment with a 'To Think' list
Smarten your approach to setbacks, by trying out a Setback Story
Get clear on control with a Clarity Clap
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Everything I Know about Life I Learned from PowerPoint — What we learned and where it led...
How to be a meaningful mentor, insights from a purposeful podcast
If Then New
Design (and share) your If > Then statements, for a purposefully prompt towards action
Practice the principles of persuasion from 'Godfather of Influence,' Robert Cialdini.
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Six steps for finding focus and flow, with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in mind
Course Pack: Making Time
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Great questions to ask in coaching conversations, 1-1's and other curious contexts

Experiment with a Springboard Story to communicate your change idea, and take people with you towards it.

In The Leaders Guide to Storytelling, Stephen Denning introduces the idea of a Springboard Story. It offers a way to communicate a complex idea and connect people to it in a way that will build belief and inspire action. Here we share an example of a Springboard Story, and some simple steps to follow if you'd like to develop your own.

A helpful example

In The Leaders Guide to Storytelling, writer and consultant Stephen Denning shares his own example of a 'springboard story', told to colleagues when he was working at the World Bank. His goal was to better implement knowledge management and communities of practice across the organisation. Stephen wanted to 'spring the listeners to a new level of understanding'.

Read the example below, before we deconstruct its different elements and consider how we could apply them to our own story of change.


Let me give you an example of how knowledge management is working in practice. Just a few weeks ago on the 20th of August, the government of Pakistan asked our field office in Pakistan for help in the highway sector. They were experiencing widespread pavement failure.

The highways were falling apart, and they felt they couldn’t afford to maintain them. They wanted to try a different technology, one that our organisation has not supported or recommended in the past. And they wanted our advice within a few days.

I think it’s fair to say that in the past we would not have been able to respond to this kind of question within this time frame. We might have proposed to send a team to Pakistan. The team might send the report to the government, and eventually — perhaps three or six months down the line — might provide a response. But by then it would be too late, and things would have moved on in Pakistan.

What actually happened was something quite different. The task team leader in our field office in Pakistan sent an email to contact the community of highway experts inside and outside the organisation, one we’ve been building over time, and asked for help within 48 hours. And he got it.

The same day, the task manager in the highway sector in Jordan replied that, as it happened, Jordan was using the same tech and with very promising results. An expert in our Argentina office was working on a report on the topic and was able to share a preview and some relevant genealogy. And shortly after that the head of the highways authority in South Africa, a new outside partner, chipped in with their experience.

So now our task manager in Pakistan was able to go back to the Pakistan government and say ‘this is the best that we’ve been able to put together for you in 48 hours’, and open a conversation about how we can adapt that experience elsewhere.

And now that we’ve discovered that we as an organisation know something about a subject we didn’t realise we knew anything about, we can incorporate that into our growing knowledge base so that anyone in the organisation can tap into it, any time from anywhere. And what if we could open this up to everyone outside the organisation via the web. Imagine the kinds of conversations that could kick off.

The main elements of a Springboard Story

Do you feel Stephen included all the elements below in his knowledge sharing story? How might he have better dialled some up?

The story includes the date and place where it happened
The change idea being communicated is clear
The story is based on an actual example where the change was successfully implemented
The story is told from the point of view of a single protagonist
The protagonist is typical of the audience
The story suggests what would have happened without the change idea
The story has a positive tone and authentically happy ending
The story is told in a punchy fashion

Being clear on the time and place

The first point in those listed above is a really important one. Stephen explains that in storytelling the little things can make a big difference — and that, when telling a springboard story, being really specific on the timing of things happening is critical. It signals to your listeners that 'this story really happened!'

Compare, "I'm going to tell you a true story..." with "In June of 2019 I was asked to investigate the opportunity to open an office in New York..."

Some reflection questions

Stephen shares these helpful prompts for keeping our Springboard Stories on track, and helping them stick in minds.

What is your change idea?
Who is your audience?
What action do you want your audience to take?
Think of an incident where the change idea has been successfully implemented, at least in part
In that incident, can you find a single individual who is similar to your audience and could be the protagonist of your story?
Does the story have an authentically positive ending for the protagonist?
Will the audience see it as an authentically positive ending for them?
Does the story fully embody the change idea? If not, can it be extrapolated so that it does?

Practice makes perfect

Once you've a version of your Springboard Story you feel good about, you can start to share it. Read it out loud to yourself (here's a nice short film on that point) first to check it sounds natural and authentic to you. Strip out the jargon, keep it simple, get feedback as you go and polish it over time.

And we experiment with the Springboard Story in our Leading with Stories workshop. You'll find future dates for that here.

More Resources