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EP:11 – A Conversation with Neil Scotton

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Neil Scotton is an award winning Coach, Writer and Consultant and also a co-author of the acclaimed book “The Little Book of Making Big Change Happen”. Neil is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA), an NLP Master Practitioner and a Professional Certified Coach (PCC with the ICF). In 2011 he founded The One Leadership Project with Dr. Alister Scott, an organisation that enables teams untangle complexity, unlock innovation, bring people together, clarify strategy, provide structure and strengthen self-belief by unleashing passion. They do this in a very real way.

Show Notes

Podcast episode summary:

This particular episode spoke to the human condition that craves connection and the need in people to connect with their world, communities, organisations or work places and themselves in a meaningful sense of oneness. Neil shared his own philosophy, his passion for human transformation and the conditions necessary to make big change happen. He shared that catalysts are those who make big change happen often. They often have far greater impact than their job title says they should. because And to keep themselves effective and in good shape they surround themselves with 3 teams; a work team the doers, a support team often comprised of family and friends and a team of influencers. This episode is packed full of ideas, questions and Neil’s model the 5+1 for teams as well as a parting challenge. Listen and be inspired.


Noteworthy points of discussion

  • Neil made the journey from Chartered engineer working on building large cryogenic plants and pressure systems to working on human transformational change. He described how his own epiphany on leadership happened as a works engineer
  • Great leadership is not about being great but bringing the greatness out of others. We know this – we simply forget
  • Important to ask the right question – not look for the solution
  • The One Leadership Project where enables big change to happens focuses by focussing on cultivating a one-team mentality in a and one organisation mentality recognising their impact on one planet and one future. For this to happen, it’s important for leaders to be at one with themselves. Part of the human condition is to be in pieces have many parts to ourselves, and those parts do not always agree or get on. Neil and Alister work at the relational level with all members of the team both as a collective & on an individual level
  • Catalysts very often surround themselves by 3 teams, a doing team, a support team and an influencers team
  • Importance of engagement on teams. Often by asking the question “What do you stand for?” can yield energy and passion for the work. Organisations have to ask if there is anything standing in the way of people being able to think for themselves to enable the leader with-in
  • 5+1 model for team leadership means 1. Having a Purpose that is clear and compelling, and is connected to the team’s everyday meetings, 2. How the team works together. Think about the John Adair Venn Diagram. How much time is focused on task, the team or the individual? 3. How are you engaging with others, your stakeholders? 4. Culture and how do we embody work? And 5. Results, are the  results the team is making connected to their stated purpose
  • More appreciation needed on teams to evoke flow and forward momentum. Think in terms of working beyond self. When teams can think beyond self, great stuff happens
  • Important to reveal the team to itself, the dynamics but also the stuff that is going on. “What’s going on here” is a great question to help the team see their reality and get out of the trance of everyday stuff
  • Neil shared practices that he and Alister routinely do on teams, pair work, reflective practices, ERA, Encouragement, Recognition and Reward helping people get good at giving and receiving appreciation
  • Neil described the ways learning does not happen well in organisation and how their approach is integrative and often light touch
  • Neil is impacted by our ecology and the world in which we live. He is keen to share his help others explore their thoughts on the big systemic issues we are facing, and find their part in having the effect they want. His thought leadership piece for Coaching at Work will be headed The Earthquake, The Chasm and The Puzzle
  • Finally, by way of an anecdote Neil shared how we are all human, wanting to be heard, to be safe and to give back. When you meet people in a human way everything changes


Resources: the following include the resources we alluded to over the course of our conversation

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