Free Guides

Free Guides

Here is a selection of free leadership guides that illustrate some of the working methods we use in our consulting. You are welcome to download and distribute these for non-profit purposes only. Please ensure that you credit Consult J Barrett and the individual authors.

1. Containment – Finding The Right Psychological Space For Change

A key lesson from psychology is that productive work is healthy and containing for people – it produces a virtuous circle where the satisfaction of being stretched and of doing a job well inspires people to show even more initiative in their roles. Many leaders I have worked with know this instinctively from the passion and energy that they bring to their jobs, but they sometimes struggle to generate that same passion in their staff. At a time of austerity when staff are overwhelmed but organisations most need them to innovate and absorb rapid changes, how can leaders create the right psychological environment, so staff can rise to the challenge?

2.  Time To Change – Getting Better Value From Your Consultant

Have you ever commissioned a piece of change consulting for your organisation with a great deal of enthusiasm, but then found yourself utterly frustrated by the relationship with your consultant, and deeply disappointed by the poor results at the end of the contract? Organisations don’t always get the best value from their consultants, so in the current climate of austerity it is essential to rethink the way organisations contract with consultants to support their programmes of change. Here are my thoughts about how organisations can invest their limited resources most effectively, so clients and consultants can enjoy a richer, more stimulating, and ultimately more effective working relationship.


3.  The CEO & Chair in Crisis – Positive Steps for Recovery

A good relationship between CEO and Chair is essential to the success of all voluntary sector organizations, but this is hard to get right. If the CEO and Chair do not stay tightly aligned, tensions between them can escalate into a breakdown in their working relations. On the other hand, if they work constructively with their differences, this can give the organisation a powerful boost. This toolkit is published by ACEVO for CEOs whose relations with their Chairs have reached crisis point, to help you identify what options you have for restoring your working relations. It is also useful for CEOs who want to manage tensions before they escalate into a crisis.

4.  Managing Change Effectively

If leaders want to introduce major changes into their organisations they need to really getting to grips with the complex, messy and exciting emotional life of their organisations so they can channel people’s energy into the change efforts. This article starts by reviewing some theories of change, presents a model for understanding organisational dynamics, and ends with practical considerations for implementing a change programme.

5.  Flashpoints in Flames

How is it that in some organisations people can demonstrate immense compassion and social awareness to their service users, but not towards their colleagues? What do you have to do to create a supportive office environment? This article uses a case study to illustrate some of the issues that are at stake in managing agencies that provide care to vulnerable clients.

6. Turning Rivalry Around

For organisations to maintain healthy workplace dynamics they need to pay attention to potential undercurrents of rivalry. Rivalry can arise unconsciously even within close working relationships, and can be highly destructive. On the other hand, if rivalry is well managed it can also be turned around to release fresh energy into the organisation.

7. Understanding Client Cultures

If your company provides a specialist service to other organisations it is essential to pay attention to the dynamics operating in your client’s organisation, otherwise you can find yourself in hot water. On the other hand, by making sure you understand the client’s organisational culture, and by imagining the world from your client’s perspective, you can open doors to new opportunities for your business.