The beginning of a journey of exchange and shared learning


Didier Marlier

September 03, 2009

From Disruption to Engagement

We support leaders as they navigate through significant strategic and cultural changes.  We are united by our values of Expertise, Courage and Generosity. Our network operates across the world.

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The beginning of a new adventure, Didier gets blogging…

Each of my pieces of work provides me with rich learning (see our April 2009 book “Engaging Leadership”) and I was always a bit frustrated not to be able to share some of the post work reflections. This blog is here for that.

As my friend, Media Futurist and provocative thinker, Gerd Leonhard would say: “Tomorrow, content will come for free”. M.I.T. has already understood this a few years ago and put all its course material (content) freely on the web. In my job, it is not the content which makes a difference but the process, the way we deliver and design engagement around a new strategy, organization, culture or post-merger integration.

So this blog also intends to be a place of… GENEROSITY where I hope to share with you (and encourage you to do so as well) thoughts, ideas, explorations etc…

Thank you for joining, best regards

Didier Marlier


  1. Michael Newman

    Taking Didier’s lead, I thought I’d share my recent experience of applying themes from the Book in real situations. In the last two weeks I have been explicitly using the Three Agendas in workshops with two newly formed Management Teams, each with significant global challenges. A very brief summary of how I have posistioned the 3 Agendas is as follows: “Generally leadership teams, out of habit spend most, if not all, their time on the Intellectual Agenda. This is because objectives, targets, facts and data are concrete and easy to discuss. It is likely that their performance is measured on these things, and as individuals they have been rewarded for strong intellectual leadership by promotion and status. Use of their Behavioural and Emotional capacities may well be sound, but is often sub-conscious, or it may even be a blind spot. Whatever the cause, it is rare to find Ethos and Pathos explicitly on the agenda of Management Teams”.

    I started with both teams by paying strong attention to the Ethos; the Behavioural Agenda. Feedback, challenge, support and review of business discussions and simulations all contributed to significantly and rapidly improved meeting discipline, quality of dialogue and the co-creation of clarity. Interestingly, and without planning it, it became clear that as people were giving each other more respect, space and attention (as opposed to talking over each other and fighting for space) the Emotional Agenda introduced itself. Individuals were noticing and labelling flips in energy in themselves and others, whilst also disclosing frustration, anger or irritation; emotions were not being buried or suppressed by the dominance of Logos.

    The message is clear: When you pay honest attention to behaviour as well as content, people will broaden the emotional space (see Losada et al); they will open up. Uncomfortable as this may be for some, this is evidence of strong progress in a team: It should be acknowleded and celebrated. The emergence of the Emotional Agenda may feel like a distraction, and a diversion (and may well be just that in some cases), but it should not be an excuse to abandon progress on behavioural change and retreat to the comfort of the Intellectual Agenda.

    For newly forming teams to experience at first hand the interplay between Logos, Ethos and Pathos was powerful learning about the need to pay attention to 3 rather than 1 Agenda.

    Michael Newman

  2. Gaulia

    Great idea, great future! A new kind of globalization: the knowledge one! To build a new world based on a sustainable dimension we need more innovation, more knowledge and more communications between think thankers as Didier Marlier and others students, professionals and authors. I will be following this blog for sure!

  3. didier

    Thank you Michael and Gaulia for being the first historic members of this Blog;) Gaulia, I must admit YOU inspired me with your high quality blog!!! Thank you Michael for the Depth of your comment. Best regards


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“Engaging Leadership” has been written for leaders who are about to engage their organisations in change."

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