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YQ 2012 Issue 05

The Relationships Issue

In this edition... 04

That’s What Friends Are For Rachel Robinson argues that personal rapport lies at the heart of every great business relationship.


On The Map The explosion of social media has highlighted the intricacies of our business and personal networks. But what does it all mean? Neil Jacobs and Naira Musallam investigate.

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Never Knowingly Out-Manoeuvred Charlie Mayfield, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, on the competitive advantages to be had from building a fairer employee relationship.


Sashaying Between Silos Don Minnick’s tips on how to build a thriving organisation-wide team.


Wie Geht Es Ihnen? Our international correspondents offer some eye-opening insights into the subtleties of relationships around the world.

The Art Of Lying Are accomplished liars more intelligent than other people? Sam Gilpin investigates.


Coach Trip Georgia Samolada explains how to add the human touch to your mentoring skills.

Bank On Us Rachel Short shines the spotlight on how a radical leaders’ relationship programme, devised by YSC, is being made to count at a leading global private bank.


Inside YSC Office openings, product innovation and other news from YSC.

Editor: Sam Gilpin Publisher: Matthew Sinclair Executive editor: Gurnek Bains Consultant editor: Jane Lewis Contributors: Clare Morse-Brown & Nicholas Hastings Production executive: Nicola Graham Graphic design: Simon Fincham Additional support: Fiona Page Feedback: please send feedback including ideas for future articles to Subscribe: for a complimentary subscription to YQ, please register your details at

Welcome to YQ by Gurnek Bains

About us... At YSC our mission is to release the power of people. We do this by combining industry leading psychological insight with a thorough understanding of our clients’ business needs. We work with clients across their entire talent lifecycles including: recruitment, induction, development, the identification of potential, internal selection, role change, measurement and departure. Our key client offerings include 1:1 assessment, team development, executive coaching, organisational consulting and the measurement of change.

Often in consulting you wonder why clients choose to work with you. In an effort to get under the skin of this, our US office recently conducted a survey of our clients on the reasons that they chose to work with us. An overwhelming recurring theme was that clients really valued the quality of the relationships we’ve built with them, the sense of genuine personal connection, as well as our preparedness to have difficult conversations in order to do the right thing. We were pleased but not surprised by these results. The world is essentially a relational place, yet sometimes in business we can forget this obvious truth. Brilliant strategies and great processes can help companies do well, but it is relationships that lubricate the wheels that drive a business. It is great relationships that allow big companies to act small. Relationships are therefore the subject of this issue of YQ. Rachel Robinson makes the case for why relationships matter, and gives an example from GSK, the global pharmaceuticals company, where the personal bond forged by two participants on a YSC leadership development programme cracked a particularly tough business challenge. Appropriately in the age of Facebook and LinkedIn, Neil Jacobs and Naira Musallam focus on networking, and the challenges of maintaining the right balance in building broad and deep connections. Georgia Samolada gives her insights into how strengthening relationships can make

you a better coach. Don Minnick provides tips on how to foster connections across your organisation to get over the ‘silos’ that often get in the way. For our international perspectives, we asked our consultants around the world to describe what it takes to form great relationships – an indispensable guide for any aspiring global citizen. For this edition we cast the spotlight on one of our private banking clients. Rachel Short provides the highlights of an innovative global leadership development programme that we have been running to improve the quality of leaders’ relationships. Finally, we are honoured to welcome onto ‘the couch’ Charlie Mayfield, the Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, a highly successful retailer and the UK’s largest employee-owned organisation. He talks about what it is like to lead an organisation in which you are accountable to more than 70,000 colleagues and how the Partnership focuses on building long term relationships with its customers. We hope you enjoy this issue – as always, please let us have your thoughts and feedback.

Gurnek Bains is the Chief Executive of YSC. T: +44 (0) 20 7520 5555 /


Just connect:

Why relationships matter in business

by Rachel Robinson

Human beings are wired for friendship, so why not put that to good use in business? Here Rachel Robinson outlines how forging close connections with colleagues can spark exciting new ideas – and provide solutions to the most apparently intractable problems.


It is now known that people with strong effective networks and contacts have better immune systems, lower stress levels, are fundamentally happier, and – perhaps most importantly – live longer than those lacking them. Likewise, from a business perspective, there are very clear benefits for organisations that pay attention to relationships: people who have friends at work have a much greater degree of satisfaction than those who do not. It is estimated that friendship at work boosts satisfaction by 50% and good relationships also increase engagement. One of the questions in the widely-used Gallup employee engagement survey is: “Do you have a best friend at work?” The reason it’s included is that Gallup has found that having a best friend at work leads to a seven-fold increase in engagement – a startling difference. But aside from friendship and satisfaction, such close alliances have very clear hard benefits. The first is around creativity and this works in three ways. Firstly, when people come into close contact with others, innovation often follows: by combining skill sets, there is a peak opportunity for something new to emerge. Secondly, and

related to that, people are more likely to take risks, and experiment with new ways of thinking, if they feel confident, supported and can safely trust the other person. Thirdly, two heads are invariably better than one when tackling complex problems. Bringing two people’s knowledge and experience together almost always leads to a better result than if an individual is working on an issue alone. Relationships can also increase the speed at which your business functions. People respond twice as fast to emails from those they know well than to missives from comparative strangers. Other research has shown that employees with the most cohesive relationships are 10% more productive than others.

People with strong effective networks and contacts have better immune systems, lower stress levels, are happier, and – perhaps most importantly – live longer than those lacking them.

In the past, relationships have not played a very prominent role in business conversations: there has been some focus about team-working but very little attention on relationship skills. It is almost as if wanting to have relationships, or focusing on relationships, has been seen as ‘soft’ – and being dependent on other people a sign of weakness. However, maintaining contact with others is actually a fundamental, innate motivating driver for human beings. We have a deep need for close social relationships. Over the last twenty years an increasing body of evidence and research has emerged to support this view, demonstrating just how important relationships are to us as humans.

So all these are fairly clear and quite significant business benefits. And it is therefore no surprise that, during the course of researching Meaning Inc (2007), we found that all the exemplar organisations we studied had one thing in common: a ‘relational culture’, where relationships were valued, considered important, and where people put effort into developing and maintaining good quality ones. Following on from that research we worked with Diageo, the global premium drinks business with whom we have a long-

standing partnership, to find out what it takes to create great relationships. That formed the basis of our Relationships Model, which I explore in the following case study focusing on another one of our clients, GSK.

How to make it happen Case study:

What happens in your organisation when you reach a major impasse – when you come across a meaty business problem that, no matter what people do, doesn’t seem to get fixed? In our experience, the most common responses are along the following lines: bring in a new MD (and fire the old one); restructure the organisation (often centralising or decentralising – whichever was done last); or call in the management consultants (sorry!). There may, however, be another solution. Deborah Waterhouse is one of those leaders who is hard to forget. Her passionate, direct style means she positively buzzes with energy. Having joined GlaxoSmithKline in 1996 as a Brand Manager, she is now their Vice-President and General Manager for Australasia. Within Deborah’s remit is a small manufacturing unit based in Australia. While she has responsibility for the commercial arm of the business, the manufacturing aspects are managed by GSK’s Manufacturing and Supply business. This dual ownership resulted in problems in maximising the unit’s performance and getting the most value out of it for the business. GSK had been grappling with the conundrum of how to manage this unit to best effect for years. In 2010, Deborah started GSK’s Enterprise Leadership Development Programme – a two-year programme aimed at developing the organisation’s future leaders, which 05

Deborah raised the issue of the Australian business when they met again on the second residential element. As she puts it, “Jonathan and I were able to have a very robust conversation about what we did and didn’t like about how the operation was currently being run.” Deborah recalls, “Both Jonathan and I are pretty forthright, honest people, and with that level of honesty, we were able to establish deep, deep trust. We knew that we would never, ever do anything that would damage the other. It hadn’t been possible to solve the problem in the past because people were suspicious and didn’t see the

opportunity in any of the solutions; they just saw it as taking on a problem. We had complete trust.” Both left the residential with a commitment to work on the problem. They generated a range of possible solutions and evaluated the risks. There was no simple answer to the issue, but together with Fabio Landazabal, Deborah’s manager and another member of the Enterprise Leadership cohort, they came up with a way forward. They created a new approach to the structure of the business and agreed how it would be managed going forward. GSK is now much happier with the way the operation is being managed – and feels strongly it was the right decision. In three weeks, Jonathan and Deborah created a solution to a six year-old problem. Jonathan and Deborah’s story is an example of just how powerful personal connections can be for a business – and illustrates what we at YSC have found to be four key aspects of any successful relationship. Trust and candour are essential. Jonathan and Deborah’s relationship was characterised by a high level of trust, borne out of their

People who have strong relationship skills tend to think the best of other people and to be less hierarchical in their approach – they recognise the value in people, regardless of their position


People who have the most cohesive relationships are able to find the words to convey what they really mean in a way that others can hear.

YSC designed and now help to run. It was on the first residential element of Enterprise Leadership that Deborah met Jonathan Box, GSK’s Senior Vice-President for manufacturing in North America. They clicked instantly. Jonathan shares Deborah’s humble, straight-talking style and is known for his integrity and focus on doing the right thing. He’s a good person to know when you’ve got a complex issue to solve – people who interact with him often comment on his down-to-earth appraisal of issues and his solution-focused approach.

ability to talk openly and honestly about what they feel. They’re both known for their ability to say it as they see it, and their integrity. We’ve found that the strongest links are often forged when people care enough to say what they really think – even when what they say might be difficult to hear. People who have the most cohesive relationships are able to find the words to convey what they really mean in a way that others can hear. They’re also true to their word. They can be counted on to deliver and follow through on their commitments.

Genuine respect – A key to a successful relationship is genuine respect for each other. Jonathan and Deborah instantly clicked when they met – they rapidly saw the value in each other, and it was this connection that enabled them to have an honest conversation about the problem. People who have strong relationship skills tend to think the best of other people and to be less hierarchical in their approach – they recognise the value in people, regardless of their position in the business. Understanding and empathy – If talking candidly is important, so is listening. Deborah and Jonathan reached a solution quickly in part because they listened carefully to one another and identified the issues that were blocking a solution. Taking time to understand the value that others bring, and their perspectives on an

ongoing basis, is crucial to relationships. The people with the strongest skills go beyond just understanding what others are saying: they are able to feel what they are experiencing. They are able to ‘walk in the shoes of others’. Positive intent – Jonathan and Deborah approached the problem with the desire to solve it and create a solution that worked for both of them. People with strong relationship skills have an optimistic outlook. They approach issues with a belief that a solution can be found and see the opportunity ahead of the problems. They avoid having a transactional approach to relationships and instead focus on the benefits of collaboration. So, next time you’re faced with a seemingly intractable problem and can feel your frustration levels rising – ask yourself: do I need to pull the trigger and make a radical organisational change? Or do I need to bring about a shift in the relationships I have with the other people involved?

Rachel Robinson is a Director, based in YSC’s London office T: +44 (0)20 7520 5555 /

The YSC Relationship Model


Research compiled by Clare Morse-Brown

“The most important single ingredient in the formula of success”, observed Theodore Roosevelt, “is knowing how to get along with people”. The following snippets of research demonstrate he was almost certainly right.. . • As early as the 1940s, researchers became aware that long-term emotional deprivation in children causes them to become prone to disease and even death. (Spitz, 1945) • In the 1960s and 70s, studies revealed that supportive relationships with co-workers directly reduce levels of perceived job stress and reduce the effects of job strain on cortisone levels, blood pressure, glucose levels and number of cigarettes smoked. (Lazarus 1966; French and Caplan, 1972) • Throughout the 1990s it was demonstrated that: – People who form secure attachments value, and are more satisfied with, their work and their co-workers . (Hazan and Shaver, 1990) – Social support plays a major role in reducing levels of burnout. (Melamed, Kushmir and Meir, 1991) – Performance can be increased by positive social interdependence and group cohesion. (Mullen and Copper, 1994)

– Social complexity enriches cognitive growth. (Dunbar, The Social Brain Hypothesis) • Within the last two years it has been found that: – Identifying with a work group leads to affective convergence (peoples’ emotional state become more similar) which, in turn, leads to greater willingness to engage in organisational citizenship behaviours. (Wisse and van der Flier, 2010) – An inability or unwillingness to build relationships is a key reason why some leaders, globally, fail. (Right Management, 2011) – Companies with higher levels and better quality of cooperative and trusting relationships have been shown to be more successful; those able to maintain these relationships over time are also better performers. (Fink and Kessler, 2010) Clare Morse-Brown is a Research Consultant, based in YSC’s London office T: +44 (0)20 7520 5555 /


Finding meaning in networks

by Neil Jacobs & Naira Musallam

Interpersonal relationships are vital arteries of any successful organisation. As greater demands are placed on leaders to build and expand their networks, we risk losing depth in relations. Instead of networking for networking’s sake, it’s time to focus on the quality of human connections, say Neil Jacobs and Naira Musallam. We are all familiar with the meteoric rise of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, which have become some of the biggest phenomena of our time. Knowingly or unwittingly, these sites have their origins in social network theory and analysis. While this terminology has evolved comparatively recently, the concept of exploring and analysing the interconnectedness of people and societies has been around for centuries. As far back as the late 1300s, IbnKahldun, the Tunis-born historian and sociologist, referenced sanad – the network of teachers across time and space who guarantee the transmission of quality knowledge – when he was tracing the history of education and asabiyyah, the notion of social cohesion. 08

Getting to know your network Formal and informal networks, relationships and connections are significant and powerful vehicles for getting work done in organisations. All staff need to be able to navigate the system and function successfully in a corporate environment where interdependence is key to achieving goals. Put simply, business gets done through relationships. As Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, sums up: “A cardinal principle of Total Quality escapes too many managers: you cannot continuously improve interdependent systems and processes until you progressively perfect interdependent, interpersonal relationships.” Network analysis is a potent tool for understanding and driving value through organisational connections, and providing a tangible picture of networks. Research and practice increasingly demonstrate the value of using it to identify high performers and teams, influencers and innovators. Indeed, more and more companies are using their analysis to enhance organisational performance, decision-making, team effectiveness, leadership, innovation, and talent identification. The findings can be striking.

Fast forward to today, and it is widely acknowledged that networks and networking skills play an important role in the success of companies. The global, multinational nature of many businesses adds to the complexity – further reinforcing the need for people, teams, departments, processes and systems to be connected. In fact, the complexity of an organisation can be measured by the degree of interdependence in the system: the greater the degree of interdependence, the more complex the system. Add to this constant dynamic change and the matrix just got even more complicated to traverse.

Before you can understand the nature and quality of a relationship, you need to understand yourself and those around you. As Rob Cross, an expert in social analysis, observes: “Those who do well early but then plateau – too often think they are going to succeed on their expertise. While they can do this early on, the problems we have to solve at all but the most junior levels are too complex, multifaceted and time-boxed to get done on individual brilliance. People have to have strong networks that they continually develop to be successful over time.”

Relationship credits... and debits However, with the rise of network analysis and the emphasis on networking skills comes the risk of focusing on the number of connections, rather than the quality and depth. Leaders who build wide networks with no substance are in danger of earning the reputation of being political, manipulative, agenda-driven or contrived. We need to bring the focus back to developing relationships that are real, meaningful and genuine. Time and again studies show that people with strong and deep interpersonal relationships are, on average, happier, more satisfied, more motivated, live longer, have higher self-esteem and report living a more meaningful life. Relationships of substance are not a ‘nice to have’; they’re a must-have. So how do leaders overcome the challenge of needing to be well-networked while having trusted and authentic relationships? The starting point is self-awareness and insight into others. Before you can understand the nature and quality of a relationship, you need to understand yourself and those around you.

Think of relationships as a bank account. To establish relationship credit, you need to make ongoing deposits. Behaviours such as being true to your word, helping others, giving your time, listening, sharing ideas and showing willing are all examples of investments into the relationship account. Conversely, withdrawals from the relationship account include broken promises, abuse of power, criticism, anger, defensiveness and shutting others down. Deposits into the account build trust, a core requirement for great relationships. On the other hand, making a withdrawal, especially when the account is empty, often creates tension and mistrust. While there are differing points of view on the ratio of deposits to withdrawals, the average figure is 5:1; that is, every five investments into the relationship creates the tolerance for a withdrawal. However, a significant withdrawal can leave a relationship permanently damaged. Finally, don’t wait until you need something from someone to build the relationship, make the investment upfront. Frame your interactions in terms of ‘how can I grow this relationship’ rather than ‘what can I get from this person’. This is the path to creating meaning in networks.

Neil Jacobs is a Managing Director and Head of YSC Americas. Naira Musallam is a Research Consultant, both are based in YSC’s New York office. T: +1 212 661 9888 / /


What does it take to build great business relationships around the world? We ask consultants in YSC’s global offices...

England – In England we are proud of our

Americas – Americans have been mixing

business and pleasure for years – typically becoming fast friends in and outside the workplace and finding commonality in both personal interests and levels of expertise. In US business, a dose of healthy competition also goes a long way – sometimes to the detriment of organizations that pride themselves on being collaborative cultures. At times, the ‘work hard, play hard’ competitive environment feels challenging and exhausting – affecting the quality and depth of interpersonal relationships. The best relationships, in my experience, are built through generosity: when two people find it in their hearts to share a kindness and expect nothing in return. Proving a level of skill and competence, holding high standards of success, and exhibiting a strong work ethic are values Americans hold dear and typically earn respect with colleagues. But being able to talk sports, the arts and/or bake an apple pie are widely recognized as the key to anyone’s heart!

Dominic Cottone is a Senior Consultant, based in Chicago.


multi-cultural society and strive for relationships based on mutual respect and tolerance – taking care not to cause offence. Those more used to open, straightforward relationships can experience our way of combining ironic understatement, coded feedback and self-deprecation as downright frustrating. Why do these people not say what they mean? How come “Not bad” translates not just to “I don’t really like your idea”, but also to “I really like it”? Why does “If you have time, could you possibly do this for me” actually mean “I want it now”? Get beyond this and you will find that, at best, the English are loyal and principled: business relationships, built on mutual liking, trust and humour, can endure for years. Indeed large and complex networks exist precisely because they aren’t too difficult to maintain. We understand you don’t want perpetual dinner invitations or chatty emails. Little and often works well for us.

Jane Anderson is a Director, based in London.

Scotland –

Throughout Scottish history there has been a desire to strive for greater national independence. 1999 heralded the beginnings of devolved government and, in 2011, the Scottish Nationalist Party secured an overall majority – the first in the history of the Scottish Parliament – on a promise to secure an even more independent Scotland. In this context, and against a grim economic backdrop, we approached the Minister for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth to explore how we could act as a partner to support the country’s leadership and change agenda. The dialogue is ongoing, but we believe we’ve laid the foundations for what will hopefully prove long-lasting relationships – thanks to a combination of credibility (based on the experiences and expertise we bring) and a shared sense of purpose (we believe we can help make a meaningful difference). Both are highly important in a culture where it typically takes time to build trust. June Boyle is a Director & Head of YSC Scotland, based in Edinburgh.

Netherlands –

Strangers to the Netherlands may find it remarkable that many children call their parents by their first name – as do students their teachers, and subordinates their bosses. Yet this is typical of how relationships work here. In social life as well as in business, the Dutch prefer dealing with each other on an equal footing. We value openness, genuineness and candid, ‘to the point’ communication – relationships are conducted on the basis of equity, balancing give and take and judging others primarily on the basis of what they do, rather than who they are. If you want to open doors and build excellent relationships, the use of status or hierarchical power should be avoided at all times; an informal and unassuming style is much more effective. Because we’re often reluctant to compliment one another, and therefore deprived of praise, giving upfront recognition often works amazingly well – provided of course that it’s truthful! Jurgen Hell is a Director & Head of YSC Netherlands, based in Arnhem.

Germany –

There’s an element of truth in the popular notion that Germans are keen on content and rules, and can come across as formal and serious. A really good indicator is the phrase: “How are you?” Elsewhere, this is often an invitation to small talk. We tend to ask the question only when we’re really interested in the emotional or physical condition of the other person (“Hi, how are you?” – subtext: “it’s not contagious is it?”). Germans like to come to the point quickly without wasting valuable time. We see this in our interactions with clients. Initial meetings tend to move almost instantaneously into conveying content, knowledge and expertise – with little or no time spent on informal chatting. Once convinced of our credibility, however, that professional relationship evolves and informal topics and shared personal information become an important part in the establishment of a longterm and trusting partnership. Ira Ottmann is a Managing Consultant, based in Ratingen.


Relational Coaching

Show Some Heart by Georgia Samolada

The latest whizz-bang techniques and theories are all very well, but a strong relationship is at the heart of effective coaching, argues Georgia Samolada.

Coaching is increasingly seen as a major component of a leader’s development. Business leaders are frequently encouraged to develop themselves by working with an executive coach (often from YSC...). However, those same leaders are invariably expected to act as ‘coaches’ with their own direct reports, helping them grow their capabilities to meet constantly changing challenges. In a progressively more complex, uncertain and diverse world, any coach is likely to spend time thinking about the best approaches and latest coaching techniques. Do they feel sufficiently equipped to work with such a variety of people, organisations, cultures and challenges? Fortunately, a lot of recent research and thinking in both psychotherapy and coaching practice suggests that it is not the plethora of tools 12

that you have in your armoury – but your ability to form a close ‘working alliance’ with your coachee that makes the difference. In recent decades there has been a paradigm shift in the field of psychoanalysis called the ‘relational turn’. This suggests that human relationships are central to understanding the person in their context and in relation to the other, rather than as a separate entity that exists independently. Psychologist John Bowlby’s influential attachment theory suggests that our primary motivation is relational: infants have an innate drive that leads them to bond with an attachment figure – usually, but not always the mother. Relational theories also argue that we internalise early relational experiences with our parents and other

authority figures – and that these influence our experience of others through our lives. For example, a manager’s difficulty to assert himself with authority figures at work may well be rooted in his childhood experience of his relationship with his father. Perhaps unsurprisingly then, the ‘working alliance’, or the quality of the relationship between psychotherapist and client, appears to be closely related to the success of different kinds of therapy. Amongst other studies, this was supported by a review of meta-analyses by Eric de Haan in 2008 (a systematic review of the sum-total of different pieces of academic research). This demonstrated that when assessing the effectiveness of therapy, there is a negligible difference between approaches –

in other words, the therapist’s professional orientation matters little to the client’s success. Important factors were found to be: • The quality of the relationship between client and therapist.

• Who the client is – and how positive and oriented to change they are. • Who the therapist is.

• External factors to the client, such as how much support they have. The therapist’s warmth, empathy, understanding and authenticity, their own mental health and stability, and their ability to communicate at a deep level with the client, were all cited as significantly more impactful than what they actually did in the sessions. Leading psychotherapist Irvin Yalom talks about an exercise when he and his client wrote their separate experiences of the same period of therapy. He was amazed to find how few of his therapeutic interventions connected with the client: “We valued very different parts of the session. My elegant and brilliant interpretations? She never even heard them. Instead, she valued the small personal acts I barely noticed.” This is not to say that technical skill and training doesn’t matter, but rather that the relationship acts as the catalyst which determines how useful an intervention will be. Unfortunately much of the training and reading in coaching places too much emphasis on specific techniques and interventions and much less on the quality of the relationship and the process of awareness and change on the part of the coachee. ‘Relational Coaching’ argues that change takes place when the person being coached changes how he or she participates in relational patterns. Thus, at the heart of relational coaching is the relationship between coach and client. Change happens because the coach helps the coachee to understand their relational patterns and identify different ways of being. Heightening their awareness gives them more choice

about how to interact with the context in which they find themselves, and how to build more constructive relationships with others. The quality of this relationship is therefore the most important contribution that the coach makes to the client’s learning and development. If the client experiences the coach as being respectful, genuine, warm, empathic and supportive, it helps him feel accepted and ‘met’ rather than judged, blamed or ‘missed’. This creates a safe psychological space and enables the client to explore their experiences openly and to accept challenges rather than rejecting them. Most importantly it facilitates the act of coaching becoming truly collaborative – working together towards a shared goal. Taking a relational approach would also require the coach to pay attention to the relational patterns that emerge between themselves and their client. By naming a pattern or dynamic that is emerging in the here and now and inquiring nondefensively into its nature and meaning, the coach and client are able to uncover how this is reflective of relational patterns within the organisation or the client’s

relational style, and how they participate in maintaining these. The coach’s subjective experience therefore becomes a means of experiencing and interpreting the unconscious processes that take place in the organisation. The coaching relationship becomes the ‘bridge’ between the coach, the coachee and the organisation. By working in this way – being aware of and prepared to interpret the relational dynamics of the coaching relationship, and by heightening the coachee’s awareness of their own relational patterns – the coach can help the coachee understand and resolve challenges they face in their organisation, thus advancing their personal and professional development. It is therefore important as a people manager or executive coach, that you pay much more attention to the nature and quality of your relationships and worry less about the specific tools or interventions that you use when trying to help others change. Georgia Samolada is a Director, based in YSC’s London office. T: +44 (0)20 7520 5555 /

Top tips for coaching in a relational way: 1. Create a safe and trusting environment where the coachee can reveal their true thoughts and feelings. 2. Try to see the world through the coachee’s eyes – maintain a genuinely open mind. 3. Notice the impact that the coachee is having on you, be aware of your own feelings, reactions and interpretations and explore them as appropriate with the coachee. 4. Pay attention to the here and now in the room and draw the coachee’s attention to how they are relating to you. 5. Help the coachee understand their patterns of relating to others and challenge the assumptions that these patterns are based on. 13

On the couch with . . .

Charlie Mayfield

Chairman, The John Lewis Partnership

YSC has been working with the John Lewis Partnership since 2008, supporting the organisation in a number of areas, including running a high profile Board development programme.


The John Lewis partnership model is widely praised – cited as key to everything from customer service to resilience in recession. But if it’s so good, why haven’t more companies followed suit? The prevailing view of business ownership, particularly in the UK and the States, has come to mean a joint-stock company listed on a public stock exchange. There are unquestionably benefits that flow from that, but I don’t think it’s the only way to run a company. I passionately believe there should be greater plurality of ownership in the economy. We are one model – which I happen to think is a very good one – but it’s not the only one. You’ve got lots of different forms: co-operatives, mutuals, employee-owned businesses, family-owned businesses, traditional partnerships...

Do you think the current financial shock will encourage different thinking? It’s certainly made people alive to the issues. There’s greater awareness both of the need for moderation of some of the models we’ve been taking to an excessive level – and greater plurality; this could be a good thing for stability. I think there has been an erosion of public trust. The danger is that we end up in a situation where people feel that any large organisation is somehow suspicious or bad. Was John Spedan Lewis’s decision to form the Partnership in 1928 a pragmatic or a principled move? A bit of both. He was in his early twenties when he started running Peter Jones and he had a tempestuous relationship with

an incredibly autocratic father, so there was an element of wanting to stand back from him. But he believed passionately that it was better to run a company from the principle of fairness – and that the way other businesses were being run was unfair to the point that it would threaten their survival over time. I don’t think it was a flash of inspiration: the idea started forming in his mind when he was laid up after a riding accident in 1910 and then a number of events, including the 1917 Russian Revolution, probably built his conviction and sense of urgency about its validity. What are the upsides of the model from a commercial point of view? That it is extremely resilient. We’re not vulnerable to shortterm thinking. Our model means we are absolutely committed to long-term plans. Probably the key element of our resilience long-term is the continuity we establish with our people. Because they’re Partners not employees? Definitely. They have much more buy-in. Financially, the bottom line is that they get a Partnership bonus dividend. But there’s an emotional connection too. That sense of ownership has seen John Lewis through some rocky times. What does that relationship mean for how the business is led? I am completely accountable. I have to go in front of the Partnership Council, an elected

body of 70 councillors, twice a year and they can ask anything they want about any aspect of our business – and they certainly do. Does the Council have teeth? Can it actually influence strategy? Definitely. The only way the Chairman can get sacked is if the Council votes for it. That has never happened – but it doesn’t mean the Council is a damp squib. On the contrary, it hasn’t happened because it has been so effective.

We’re not interested in the size of the sale you make on that day, it’s about the lifetime value of the customer

The John Lewis Partnership is one of the UK’s longest lasting and most successful retailers, made up of 35 John Lewis shops (29 department stores and 6 smaller ‘at home’ shops), 272 Waitrose supermarkets, an online business, a production unit and a farm. The John Lewis Partnership is also the UK’s largest employee-owned organisation: its 76,500 permanent staff are all Partners in a business with annual gross sales of over £8.2bn. Charlie Mayfield is Chairman of the Partnership, overseeing the Managing Directors who run the two main businesses.

Are there any downsides to that democratic culture? There’s a risk of not generating enough urgency for change. There have been times when the Partnership has become complacent and introspective – almost taking refuge in its differences as a reason not to respond to what’s going on around it in the outside world. Introspection is a real enemy for us and we have to work hard to


Charlie Mayfield

How have you avoided it? My whole mantra is that the Partnership is not just a nicer way of doing business – it is fairer, it is nicer – but it must be a better way of doing business because otherwise, ultimately, we fail. That’s the way the market works. We’re either better as a result of those differences, or ultimately those differences will become a burden to us. People talk about this being a great place to work. But I say: you know what? I’m really glad, it’s fantastic..... but it’s not nearly enough. John Lewis is ‘a temple to Middle England’. True? I don’t think so. We’re a brand that appeals to lovers of great food, style and service. Nonetheless, you seem to have a particular connection with the British public. How did that come about? There’s always been a warm personal relationship between customers and the Partnership. But it was a local one. The great change is that we’ve become much, much larger. We’ve gone from an original Partnership of 500, to 80,000, but we’ve maintained the original focus on offering genuine service and good advice. Nobody gets paid commission, that’s very important. We want customers to talk to someone 16

who knows what they’re talking about – who will advise them objectively. We’re not interested in the size of the sale you make on that day, it’s about the lifetime value of the customer – a hackneyed phrase, but crucial to us. That’s why our focus on giving our Partners more fulfilling employment – and investing in benefits, training and leadership – is so important. The poise and professionalism of even your youngest customer-facing Partners is often remarked upon. Is there a magic formula? Some of it is osmosis: when a 17-year old arrives, he/she sees those behaviours being modelled from day one. But we work really hard at recruitment, especially regarding attitude. We’re looking for people who are driven, but team-oriented – someone who isn’t going to go off and be a complete out-andout hero all on their own. How has working with YSC helped? Businesses do well because they build capability in the long run. Where they go wrong is that you can have the most capable organisation in the world, but if those capabilities become irrelevant – they’re just costs. That’s where leadership comes in. YSC has helped us gain a more objective view of the competencies, both personal and professional, that are needed to deliver the values of the Partnership [to fit a changing world]. Understanding their

Our model means we are absolutely committed to long term plans. Probably the key element of our resilience long-term is the continuity we establish with our people.

avoid any sense of that, though I don’t think we’ve fallen into that trap for many years.

Is the group’s ‘national treasure’ status the reason you haven’t expanded abroad? We’re not in a great hurry to go international, partly because we’ve still got plenty of opportunities to exploit in the UK. But we’re thinking about it for the future. We’re starting by offering John Lewis internationally online. It will teach us a lot – in a year’s time we’ll have a much better sense of the underlying demand for, and awareness of, the John Lewis brand. Many retailers have failed because they’ve indulged in retail imperialism: thinking they can just export their formula for success in the home country. Any other reasons? Because of our philosophy of sharing profits with the people who make them, we’re in a different position from other companies. My absolute desire would be to see those people becoming Partners. What we have to figure out is to how to make that happen in an economically advantageous way. A lot of Indian businesspeople I speak to are fascinated by the partnership model, because India is developing very quickly, but very unevenly. They recognise that economic growth is beneficial to everyone in the country – and capitalism is a

great way of driving growth. But they’d like to find a fairer form of it. You have an army background, how did that shape your views on leadership? It was a brilliant experience for me. I was given loads of responsibility, probably before I was ready to have it. I remember thinking: all my mates are at university (probably drinking...) and here we are in Northern Ireland. You grow up and you slightly sink or swim. The great thing about the army is that it provides a fantastic support network. I was extremely lucky to work with some brilliant non-commissioned officers. You don’t get respect just because you’re an officer – the antithesis in fact. You have to earn it. People misunderstand the army because they think it’s all about command. There’s an element of that, but actually it’s all about relationships. You have been described as “a charming zealot”, true? That’s for others to judge.... But I like potential and ideas and taking a future view of things: I always find it more exciting to talk about opportunities. My job when I joined was business development. It was very clear to me that our customers were going to want to shop online. What’s actually going on is that people are using technology to completely change the way they live their lives. That creates a very different dynamic, which

People misunderstand the army because they think it’s all about command. There’s an element of that, but actually it’s all about relationships. you either take advantage of, or you become a victim of. Do you get stressed out? Generally no. But I do think a lot about where we’re going and how we’re performing – and whether I’ve done a good enough job. I sleep pretty well generally. But a job like this is never finished. You never gain completion. It’s always pushing on to the next thing. What makes you bad tempered? What really gets to me is when people are disingenuous. I’ve got no problem with disagreements – that’s fair dos. But I get extremely cross when I basically think we’ve agreed on something, and then someone presents it in a different way. You start off in life a bit naive, don’t you? You think everyone does the right thing all the time – and then you become a little more savvy and realise it’s not quite like that.

own strengths and weaknesses clearly helps people with their personal development. But the YSC programme has also enabled us to articulate more clearly what they’re aiming for.

Are you the same person at home as at work? Yes and no. I’ve always kept the two quite separate....On holiday I always turn my BlackBerry off. I think that’s really important. Because even if you take a quick look, your mind goes straight back to work. ....But there are perhaps similarities in terms of your long-term approach to gardening? Yes, I’m still persevering with my asparagus bed. I decided the reason it wasn’t being productive was that it wasn’t getting enough light. So I took the executive decision to give the bay tree a major haircut. We’re into about the sixth year now, and I had three spears last summer. Next year is going to be the big one....

Charlie Mayfield spoke to Jane Lewis, YQ’s Consultant Editor


Mexico –

In Mexico, ‘mi casa es tu casa’ (my house is your house). This much-quoted phrase hints at the strong sense of national pride drawn from making others feel welcome and included. Friendship and camaraderie play a vital role in business relationships, where affection and a sense of closeness are felt quickly. For those working cross-culturally this is often enchanting, but can cause tension since the desire to maintain a friendly, light-hearted tone sometimes prevents difficult issues and conversations from surfacing. As we see through our assessment work with leaders, where the (much respected) hierarchy also comes in to play, it can frustrate attempts to get candid, constructive feedback from teams. Trust is highly valued and personal loyalties are a big part of organizational life. That’s sometimes challenging for those from cultures where loyalty to the organization is king, since it translates to more value being placed on relationships in the long term, than on business. Steve Van Zuylen is General Manager of YSC Mexico, based in Mexico City.

South Africa – There are very specific

contextual factors that make building business relationships in South Africa difficult. The country’s multi-cultural, multi-racial, multi-class, multi-economic complexity is not always easy to understand and manage. The inequity of the Apartheid past has caused people to become quite untrusting, and defensive of what’s theirs: their company, their community, their networks etc. This isn’t easy to break through, especially for non-South Africans. South Africa has only just developed its unique identity and is highly protective of it – hence the aversion to internationals who profess to know ‘the way that works’. The secret to developing great relationships is agility, persistence and really connecting with people on a personal level. It is important to influence and ‘sell’, rather than ‘telling’ people what to do. You’ll also need patience to deal with a vast array of ambiguity and the ‘slowness’ of making things happen as so many different factors play out.

Gizelle Williams is an Associate working with YSC’s office in johannesburg.


India – What does it take to form great relationships

in India? Time – and openness. Time with people, getting to know them beyond their business cards and formalities, is at the essence of building good business rapport. People value deep personal connection and meaningful conversations around what is important in their lives, as well as what is important in yours. Since coming here from Houston to head up our Mumbai office, I have been asked questions that have been surprising, enlightening, and unnerving – sometimes at the same time. Reaching out to ask for help when you need it enables others to help you, which is seen as more of a gift than an imposition (unlike in many Western cultures!). At the same time, trying to operate as quickly as possible is seen as unnecessary and even rude. So if you want to build key relationships in India, spend some time and be open to the experience!

Karen West is a Director & Head of YSC India, based in Mumbai.

Hong Kong –

In Chinese culture, having a sense of belonging to a group, conforming to its norms, and maintaining harmony among its members – is more important than asserting individual preferences. Building lasting and trusting personal relationships is therefore key to business success. The first step prior to closing any deal is always to establish some level of personal connection. That’s why people devote plenty of time and effort to guanxi – the art of relationship development. Harmony must be maintained at all costs and ‘saving face’ is critical: causing embarrassment can be disastrous for both parties involved. Unlike the West, where straight-talking is a business virtue, Chinese communication is typically indirect and non-confrontational – getting loud or aggressive is a sure way to jeopardize a relationship. If you have to bring up an unpleasant topic, never do so in public and always convey your message in ways that maintain the other’s self-respect. Peggy Lam is a Senior Consultant, based in Hong Kong.

Australia –

‘Mateship’, according to Wikipedia, is ‘an Australian cultural idiom’, embodying equality, loyalty and friendship. The concept pervades all forms of relationships, including business ones. Strong working relationships are typically built on a foundation of easy-going directness. This sometimes gets us into trouble when working cross-culturally: we can fail to recognise the need to show overt respect and to sugar-coat our often blunt messages. We’re not big on respecting status or hierarchies and, indeed, rebel against any imposed limits to relationship building. Yet questions of loyalty and friendship are so high on our radar that they form part of our official citizenship test! One reason why the current Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, is unlikely to lift her popularity ratings is that she breached the ultimate code of mateship – loyalty and friendship – when she ousted her predecessor Kevin Rudd. Australians struggle to separate mateship from trust, even in the realms of business and politics. Angela David is a Director & Head of YSC Australia, based in Sydney.


Practical Tips

Becoming One Team: How To Make It Happen

by Don Minnick

Many organisations only discover how to work seamlessly across departments in times of crisis, says Don Minnick. That’s a missed opportunity. Here he explains how to join the dots to create a sustainable advantage – in good times and bad. A couple of years ago, while running a series of executive team development workshops for one of our global clients (focused on helping senior managers lead their own teams more effectively), we were struck by a recurring theme. Executive after executive made the same point: that although the company CEO wanted them to operate as a single organisation, in practice, it was frustratingly hard to do. Thus, while we were providing tools supporting leaders to make their own teams function better together, we did not have any specific advice to offer on how to make the larger team – i.e. the whole organisation – work as a collective.


We investigated this issue further. Initially, the culprit seemed to be ‘silos’ – those rigid functional boundaries that interfere with communication and true collaboration across the organisation. But as we looked at other businesses, it became apparent that silos themselves were not the problem. In fact, as organisations grow it becomes important to separate into smaller units such as divisions, departments, functions and teams. This separation gives focus, specialisation, and ownership – offering the promise of greater efficiency and effectiveness. All too often, however, as businesses separate into discrete units, there is a high and unintended cost. Instead of leverage and growth, there is increased conflict and unnecessary complexity. This can quickly lead to damaged brands and reduced service.

Ironically, many organisations discover that they only work together seamlessly when they are facing a ‘crisis’ situation. The real issue then, is one of sustainability. How can practices that contribute to collaboration in times of emergency be maintained during ‘non-crisis’ times? The challenge is to create an organisation that captures the benefits of focused business units and the opportunities that come from effective teamwork and partnering across functional boundaries. To increase business effectiveness it becomes critical to begin to drill holes in the silos – to open doors and windows so that collaborative working practices can flourish. Over the past 20 years, organisations have become increasingly successful at building teams. What they have not done so well is to build partnerships across teams. But the

fact remains: in an interconnected world, in large, highly-matrixed organisations, the fundamental business unit is not the team. The fundamental business unit is the partnership across organisational boundaries. When studying our portfolio of clients we noticed distinct differences in the capabilities distinguishing those organisations which think and act as one team, from those which are unnecessarily and resolutely siloed. It wasn’t because people in these latter organisations are malicious or overly competitive. Rather, it more often boiled down to the fact that they simply didn’t know what to do or how to do it. To this point we have been able to identify five practical principles that lead directly to thinking and acting as one organisation-wide team.

Connect Around the Big Picture

Confront the Reality

Identify the superordinate goals that cannot be achieved by individual units, teams or functions, but can only be reached by collective action. This shared understanding happens only if everyone has ‘read the whole play’ and not just memorised their own lines. The most important one-team question becomes: “What’s best for the business?” Failing to do this leads to business units or functions pursuing separate agendas.

This involves having the courage and business commitment to tackle the tough conversations: dealing with the reality openly and genuinely, not putting an overly positive spin on when things get tough, and sharing rather than hoarding information. The bottom line: “Do we have the courage to tell the truth to each other… the truth as it is, not the truth as we wish it were?” Failing to do this leads to a culture of avoidance and denial.


Create the Conversation This requires getting the right people in the right forums communicating directly with each other. Sharing and building on ideas needs to become the norm. There can be no blanket dismissal of, nor automatic criticising of, alternative views. Enlarging rather than stifling conversation converts this from an idea into a reality. Failure to do this leads to inflexible thinking and silenced critique.

Capture the Knowledge Co-operate in the Work This is about building trust with each other around the work to be done. Planning and prioritising together, treating others in the organisation as equal partners, not as competitors, and sharing resources openly. The key skill here involves turning ‘spectators’ into ‘players’ where everyone takes responsibility for fixing the problem. Failure to do this leads to individual leaders protecting ‘their turf’.


Capturing the organisational learning that comes from action, and harvesting that knowledge, creates high-value ‘organisational memory’. When companies make this an on-going practice through regular after-action reviews and ‘lessons learned’, a repository of organisational wisdom is created. You need to examine all the outcomes, successes as well as failures. Failure to do this leads to repeated errors and a lack of shared understanding on where value is generated.

Don Minnick is a Managing Consultant, based in YSC’s Houston office. T: +1 832 431 3050 /

Media Reviews What to Watch

by Sam Gilpin

Catch me if you can... Are accomplished liars more intelligent than other people? And how do you catch them out? Sam Gilpin conducts his own investigation into the psychology of lying. Lie to Me (Fox TV) & The Mentalist (CBS) Detective stories and psychology have a rich history: from Freud’s interest in Sherlock Holmes to Jacques Lacan’s essay on The Purloined Letter. Two recent American prime-time television series tap into this interconnection. Lie to Me centres on Dr. Cal Lightman (played by Tim Roth), the head of a consultancy specialising in using body language analysis to uncover lies, and thus solve murders, track down missing children, and the like. Lightman is a fictionalised version of the leading American psychologist, Paul Ekman, who has carried out pioneering work in the field of identifying gestural patterns which are common to all humans (for an accessible introduction to his work, read Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink). When we lie we ‘leak’ information, sometimes in the form of ‘micro-gestures’, facial expressions which reveal our true feelings even though they appear for fractions of a second and can only be seen on slow-motion video footage. The Mentalist is less rooted in science, but more light-hearted in tone, and has had greater success with American audiences (it is into a fourth series, whereas Lie to Me was cancelled in May 2011 after three). Patrick Jane, the ‘mentalist’ (played by Simon Baker) is a former fraudulent psychic whose television appearance discussing a serial killer led directly to the death

of his wife and child. He now works at the California Bureau of Investigation as a consultant, solving cases as a means of tracking down their murderer. Jane uses the techniques of a skilled psychological manipulator: close observation of body language, and the creation of elaborate scenarios in order to elicit confessions from guilty individuals. According to the promotional material of The Mentalist, Jane ‘reads between the lies’. Lightman, meanwhile, ‘sees the truth’. So, why this fascination with dishonesty? In his fascinating recent book, Deceit and Self-Deception: Fooling Yourself the Better to Fool Others, Robert Trivers argues that there are evolutionary advantages to lying and self deception, noting that, in children, there is often a link between intelligence and deception. He refers to research which shows a strong correlation in primates between the relative size of their neocortex and how often they deceive. Intriguingly, research has also revealed that as the size of social groups grow, so the neocortex of primates grow – with the higher-ranking monkeys having the largest ones. So, this raises the possibility that successful lying may be important not only for getting away with murder, but also for managing relationships and maintaining social status – the bread and butter of life, especially organisational life. 23

Human, Connected & Cosmopolitan

Client Spotlight by Rachel Short

A venerable financial institution that has always prided itself on the quality of its customer relationships is reinventing itself for the 21st century. Here Rachel Short outlines how YSC has worked with a global private bank to make relationships pivotal to success.

Background – tradition and change It all started with great relationships, between two organisations but also between two people. The organisation was responding, like all financial services providers, to global economic turbulence. However, other strategic changes were also afoot. As one of the UK’s most venerable private banks and with a heritage of integrity, probity and discretion – it was approaching change on just about every front. There was a new leadership team, a new strategy, a new structure, and new brand values. Most critically, it had plans to implement a new deal for clients which would rely on differentiated service based on really understanding the needs of different customer groups. 24

YSC had been the bank’s preferred partner for executive assessment for a number of years, but clearly fresh thinking was needed to help the bank’s leadership team succeed in delivering its ambitious change agenda. The spark came from an innovative and far-sighted Head of Leadership and Talent – someone with whom I have had a strong professional relationship for many years, based on our passion for leadership development and a shared tendency to speak our minds.

implementing change. Now the need was to convert this knowledge into confident and inspirational leadership on the ground. Our key client contact is well connected within the bank and outside of it. Her extensive research identified clear development needs for the bank’s leaders:

The leadership need – intelligent relationships

– building the next generation of cultural leaders

Previous leadership development activity at the bank had been successful in giving senior leaders a theoretical understanding and knowledge of methodologies for

– strategy-critical focus – adapting to a fast-changing, dynamic environment – getting more out of people in missioncritical roles

– clear purpose in line with the bank’s refreshed values. Her solution was an integrated approach to leadership development with a focus on

intelligent relationships. This was also a key plank in the business strategy around engaging its customers.

The programme – speaking the truth Our client took a pioneering approach by engaging YSC as a thought leader in the psychology of relationships. It wasn’t how YSC had previously been positioned in the organisation, so there was a bit of work to do to help broaden perceptions. The initial programme YSC devised – with a core focus on managing and improving the quality of connection and communication with what is important to people – succeeded in prompting personal change for those participants who took part in the pilot, which started to win over some of the doubters. Based on the pilot, YSC designed three oneday workshops for global roll-out with a three-monthly follow-up to track personal change. This took place between June 2011 and November 2011 and involved 209 senior leaders taking part. Each workshop was bespoke and based on an eclectic mix of YSC’s and independent cutting-edge research. YSC and our client’s Head of Leadership & Talent worked in genuine partnership throughout, sharing ideas and co-creating the content to meet the needs of the audience. The key factor underpinning the programme was building more confident leadership through better quality relationships – with self, colleagues, clients and the organisation. The focus was on replacing ingrained patterns of belief and habit with new, unfamiliar ways of being. YSC developed a completely tailored approach for the bank with an emphasis on softer, more subtle and sophisticated ways of helping people lead through challenging times in order to combat their own and others’ fatigue around change.

A big focus was on the psychology of communication: what attracts people to listen and what keeps them listening? Other exercises included ‘deathbed conversations’, encouraging people to articulate their real feelings about change, and finding ways of saying what they need to say rather than what they feel safe saying. Indeed, a common theme throughout the programme was around helping people deepen a sense of connection in their relationships through the quality of their interactions and so enable them to really speak the truth (an issue that many organisations struggle with).

The outcome – starting to make the change Like all great relationships, it’s been a journey. The success of the project has seen a culture shift which has confident leadership and honest conversations as its core. Inevitably, not everyone ‘enjoyed’ the experience! Sometimes people struggled to articulate the positive rather than the negative, and some had difficulties speaking so frankly in front of colleagues. Feedback overall was positive with delegate comments that included:

“Great workshop, with real long term development ideas as well as some quick wins on improving my communication.” “ I feel able to resolve issues quicker and more satisfactorily for all parties concerned.” “I am going away with plenty of ideas and a clear case for putting them into action.” “A really useful course for people who are future leaders of the business.”

What we learned – Gandhi was right Many organisations are running on empty in terms of change fatigue. This programme was partly about getting people to recognise that Gandhi was right – individuals need to be the change they want to see in the world. The little things count – people have the power to make incremental change within organisations through building more intelligent human relationships. As the bank’s Head of Leadership & Talent concluded:

“Confident leadership requires the ability to have open and adult conversations – based on mutual trust and respect. The programme that we partnered on with YSC certainly stretched us, especially at the buy-in stage. But early indications suggest we’re starting to see changes in the way our leaders interact, both with one another and more widely across our business.” Rachel Short is a Director based in YSC’s London office T: +44 (0)20 7520 5555 /


Inside YSC By Matthew Sinclair


Office Openings

Mexico City (opened July 2011) Ideas and innovations that we’re currently working on: Arrival Leaders: Identifying and developing talent in rapidly developing economies. Maneuveragility: A model and measure of game changers in organisations. Network Analysis: Identifying potential using network analysis and situational judgement.

The Naked Leader: Personal leadership impact and authenticity. Leadership Resilience: Taking confident leadership to the next level. Accelerate Asia: Powerful and immersive leadership development programme, targeted at leaders in Asia.


Led by Steve van Zuylen, former Head of Learning for LatAm with HSBC. Our formal launch event takes place at the British Embassy Residence in February 2012.

Sao Paulo (opened January 2012)

Led by Elaine Saad, former Country Manager with Right Management – Brazil, Elaine is spearheading our entry into South America.

Melbourne (opening May 2012)

Responding to increasing client demand in Australia, our Melbourne office opens in May 2012. It will be led by Claire Fitzgerald (transferring from YSC Edinburgh) and Natalie Livings (transferring from YSC London).

Leadership Changes for 2012-13

Andy Houghton returns to London to lead YSC’s UK operations after 6 years leading YSC Americas Neil Jacobs (based in New York) takes up the mantle of General Manager, YSC Americas. Paul Ballman switches from leading YSC’s UK operations to leading both YSC Asia-Pacific (based in London) and YSC View, our offering aimed at middle managers.

We re hiring! Business Psychologists – All Regions As a result of continued client demand for our services we are currently recruiting across all geographies. At YSC our mission is to release the power of people. We do this by combining industry leading psychological insight with a thorough understanding of our clients’ business needs. We work with clients across their entire talent lifecycle and our key offerings include individual and team assessment and development, executive coaching, workshop design and facilitation, organisational consulting and the measurement of change. Our clients include some of the world’s best known brands as well as government bodies and non-profit organisations. We pride ourselves on having an exceptionally high level of client retention including a number of clients with whom we are still working, more than 20 years after first partnering with them. As a global company we are a collegiate organisation with 14 offices in 11 countries and 200 staff (of whom 115 are client-facing consultants). We have recently opened new offices in Mexico City and São Paul and a new YSC office will open in Melbourne in May 2012. Our culture is built around genuine relationships, collaboration, hard work, a drive towards exceptional results and confidence to work with ambiguity. As a candidate you will have a proven track record of success and significant relevant business experience. You will also have the capacity to work with clients at the most senior levels in a

relaxed yet professional manner. Your post-graduate qualification may be in Psychology or a related discipline – but above all, it will be your commercial edge, combined with a deep insight with regard to individuals, teams and the culture of organisations, that will set you apart. If you are a dynamic individual with a passion for developing and delivering exceptional results for clients and creating meaning for individuals and organisations – we’d love to hear from you. Please send your CV/resume and a covering letter, based on the geography you are interested in, to: (UK & Hong Kong) (Australia) (Germany) (Netherlands) (USA, Mexico & Brazil) (India) (South Africa) Please note: you must be eligible to live and work in the country to which you are applying. For more information about our story, products and services, please visit

New York Houston


San Francisco

Chicago Arnhem




Opening May 2012

São Paulo Now Open



Hong Kong Ratingen

Mexico City

At YSC our mission is to release the power of people. We do this by combining industry leading psychological insight with a thorough understanding of our clients’ business needs. We work with clients across their entire talent lifecycles, including: recruitment, induction, development, the identification of potential, internal selection, role change, measurement and departure. Our key client offerings include 1:1 and team assessment, executive coaching, organisational consulting and the measurement of change.

London Tel: +44 (0)20 7520 5555

San Francisco Tel: +1 415 520 3260

Edinburgh Tel: +44 (0)131 228 7940

Mexico City Tel: +52 55 9172 1458

Ratingen (Germany) Tel: +49 (0) 2102 892690

São Paulo Tel: +55 11 3521 7085

Arnhem (Netherlands) Tel: +31 (0) 651348517

Hong Kong Tel: +852 2804 6006

New York Tel: +1 212 661 9888

Sydney Tel: +61 2 9252 3332

Chicago Tel: +1 312 477 0560

Johannesburg Tel: +27 11 684 2952/3

Houston Tel: +1 832 431 3050

Mumbai Tel: +91 22 6671 9917/8

Releasing the power of people Printed on recycled paper © YSC Ltd. 2012. YSC is the trading name of Young Samuel Chambers (“YSC”) Limited. Registered in England at 50 Floral Street, London, WC2E 9DA. Company Number 2402857

YQ5 - The Relationships Issue  

YQ Magazine, from YSC.

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