How can we help?

September Newsletter

Hello friends

Work has changed forever.

Where we work, why we work, when we work – it’s all changed.

Or has it?

What about the way we work – how much has that changed in your experience?

How has your leadership changed?

This month Andy, Pip and I look at this challenge from three perspectives.

Andy’s been reading again and wants to talk about “People of Tomorrow” from a fabulous book called ‘Dancing at the Edge’ by Maureen O’Hara and Graham Leicester.

Pip takes a personal look at what it takes for a self-confessed control freak to adapt and learn how to create from chaos.

And I share some guaranteed ways to help teams work smarter not harder.

One thing is for sure – we are all in this together so let’s keep helping each other learn and grow.

We’d love to hear from you about your experiences of working in 2022.

Tony, Andy and Pip

The “Living Teams” Team


Dancing at the edge

Calling people of tomorrow – your world needs you!

By Andy Denne

“Stay hungry, stay foolish and don’t settle?”

Steve Jobs said that.

It’s a demand to always grow and transform yourself.

Growth and transformation is simultaneously both internal (psychological) and external (behaviours and actions).

Yet it is hard – because the psychological pull towards security, satisfaction, expertise is so strong it is almost irresistible.

We have an insatiable desire to know.

And yet – we know so little.

I’ve been much inspired by a book on this subject called “Dancing at The Edge” by O’Hara and Leicester.

It’s full of awareness and encouragement on the competencies and skills we all need to learn for navigating our turbulent times.

The fundamental premise of this work is that we have to change ourselves and become what they call “People of Tomorrow” if we are to succeed in whatever comes next.

We face deeply uncertain times.  We are going to all need to be our best. Now more than ever we must understand how to rise together to meet the very real challenges we face.

And here’s how we at Living Teams can help you transform to be “People of Tomorrow”

In all our work with teams we embody these core beliefs about personal transformation

  1. You cannot get better at the competencies required today without experience.Learning comes from being “in the arena”.
  2. You cannot get better without practicing the “dual action”. Being in action AND simultaneously observing yourself “live” in action.
  3. You cannot learn these new required competencies alone. They are experienced in direct relationship with other.

At Living Teams – we and our clients – are on the constant journey to discover the path towards the transformative response.  We know the future is uncertain and we and our clients actively embrace that and grow and transform in the face of the challenge.

We are all gardeners, cultivators, shepherds of the amazing human spirit and capacities that lie within each other.

We invite you to join us on the path, enjoying the wilderness, helping each other meet the future and in so doing grow and transform together. Sometimes it’s terrifying, it is always a stretch, and by golly it’s worth it!

If you want to learn more about how you and your team can embrace the future with courage and optimism – join us on the journey of becoming “People of Tomorrow”.

Contact us if you’re hungry , foolish and not prepared to settle.


Saying ‘Yes’ to mess

By Pippa Handford

How often does your day ‘go to plan?

We are living in very uncertain times.

Dealing with unprecedented amounts of change.

For a lot of us that feels incredibly messy.

Most of us like some kind of order and structure. We like our routines and find efficiencies in sticking to them.

As a self-confessed control freak, I am definitely one of those people that finds chaos and mess a bit tricky!

I thrive on making plans and lists and I love being organised!

I look after the diary management for the team here at Living Teams so arranging meetings is an essential part of the job and I’m fine with that.

Since the pandemic though I am finding I have to devote a huge part of my day to rearranging meetings!

Nothing seems to stick!

I’m learning that I have a choice to make.

I can let the frustration rule my day or I can learn to say yes to the mess!

I am slowly learning to embrace and accept that (for now) this is the ‘new normal’.

I am very fortunate to be guided in this acceptance by Andy and Tony who often point me to see what can be learned from nature.

Look at how the systems in nature adapt and grow in the ‘wild’.

Nature always finds a way.

In these uncertain times we are all having to adapt to the changing nature of business and it feels like a wild ride at times!

Trusting the process just like nature does seems to be a good option.

How do you manage to say yes to mess?


Working smarter not harder

By Tony Barton

We thought it might be useful to share some tips on how to work with your team during these uncertain times.

But first, here are some of the signs of uncertainty we’re seeing in the teams we work with seen through the lens of Head, Heart, Body and Spirit.


·       Lack of time for clear thinking.

·       Too many competing goals – confusion

·       Too many meetings back-to-back – exhaustion


·       A yearning for some breathing space and clarity

·       Deep concerns for the planet not far below the surface

·       Questioning meaning and purpose


·       Tired – need more sleep and rest

·       Trying really hard to keep it all together – at work and at home

·       At a tipping point


·       Resilient yet more fragile than before

·       Keeping it together for the team

·       Wishing and hopeful

The most common mistake we see in response to these challenging times is a desire to work harder, longer or faster in order to keep up with the insatiable demands of corporate life post pandemic.

It doesn’t work.

Here are some initiatives that you can all take that in our experience – do work – both in a virtual setting and in person.

Leaders set the scene – they ‘bring the weather’

    • Bring your real self to meetings – doesn’t always have to be sunny!
    • Check in with people – how are you really – show you care for each other
    • Create more space for how you want to work as a team.

Dare to have some fun and play

    • Try simple improv games like ‘one word story’ to create new possibilities
    • Shift the energy – use your bodies, they get bored sitting around all day!
    • Never underestimate the power of play in creativity – dare to play – take a risk – lighten up.

Stop trying to do it all

    • Determine the real priorities – what you say YES to and what you say NO to
    • Stick to your priorities for at least a week (only kidding!)
    • Talk as a team about how to say ‘NO’ to non-priorities – stick together.

Connect as people – it’s an investment that pays dividends

    • Connect on non-work stuff – just ask the questions and listen to the answers
    • Find out what’s going on at home – share your stories – we’re all struggling underneath the surface
    • Open up – we’re all vulnerable…it’s how we connect as humans.

Up periscope!

    • Take a look at what else is going on in the world of work and share ideas to inspire each other and learn and grow together – share TED talks / HBR articles
    • Discuss geo-politics
    • Talk about real stuff that matters to us all even if we pretend it doesn’t.

Pick one or two of the ideas above and try them out next week and see what happens.

Let us know, so we can share your experiences with other teams.


Screenshot 2022-09-29 at 18.16.40

Living Teams Rock Moments 

“Dancing in the Dark” by Bruce Springsteen

We love the lyrics “you can’t start a fire without a spark” . . . what’s the spark inside of you?


We hope you found something useful in this month’s edition for your team.

Our mission as you know is to ‘bring life to teams’ and that has never been more important – we need healthy, alive teams to be at their best to tackle today’s challenges.

And that requires some new ways of both being and doing.

You know what happens if you do what you’ve always done – so try something new today and bring more life to you and your team.

By the way – if you’ve read this far…thank you…and we’d love to hear a few words from you about what you find useful about these newsletters.

Feedback helps us grow too!

Take care and keep dancing!

Tony, Andy, Pippa and all the coaches at Living Teams

The “Living Teams” Team