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For many of our clients, taking the time to reflect on their organisations’ leadership is one of the most valuable aspects of working with Lockstep.

Most businesses run at full throttle, with deadlines, projects and client deliverables taking precedence over almost any internal connection time – it is a competitive world out there, and keeping clients happy and engaged is foremost on most leaders’ minds. 

When teams do stop and take time to learn, reflect and then re-engage, their contribution seems different – more thoughtful, more purposed and more directed towards a common goal. Stepping away from the daily grind and reflecting is one of the key things we encourage all leaders to do. As an organisation which holds integrity and meaningful connection as two of our core values, we practice what we preach. 

Each month, we host our Practice Development Day (PDD), where our full team of 16 practitioners come together and participate in a day of both professional and personal learning, sharing and connecting. 

These days give us an opportunity to cement our sense of belonging to a team of like-minded colleagues, they allow us to hold ourselves and each other accountable to the work that we do and the clients that we serve. We laugh a lot when we’re all together – taking our work seriously and ourselves lightly. We’re not afraid to have tough conversations because we care deeply for each other’s overall wellbeing – both personally and professionally. 

‘For me as a leadership practitioner, PDDs have immeasurable value in the attention that is paid to their quality and their inherent expectation of deep reflection. I have come to embrace them for the accountability that they demand of me in my own leadership and quality of how I ‘show up’. Annie Hanekom, Senior Associate.

The value these days add to our organisation cannot be measured – they’re in our diaries a year in advance and we really feel it when one or more of our colleagues is missing due to an unavoidable workshop, or personal commitment. 

It isn’t easy to maintain the ritual of taking time to reflect on your leadership practice after a programme or project has ended. The value gained, however, is enough that we suggest you implement a regular practice that works for your business or leadership team. 

Getting buy-in from the team may take some time but the key is to ensure everyone has a clear understanding of the purpose of the day and the outcome you want to achieve. It needs to become an integral part of your business’ rhythm driven by the most senior leadership so as to help the broader team embrace the opportunity. 

A few things to consider for your team:

  • Introducing this as a monthly lunchtime gathering to discuss new innovations in your sector; 
  • Ask one or two people to review a relevant book they’ve found useful;
  • Encourage a junior team member to lead a discussion about something that impacts the whole business and mentor them on how they could solve for these challenges. 

Sometimes, we invite external experts to discuss relevant topics such as resilience, strategy design and performance management. We often share knowledge about what has or has not worked with specific clients, brainstorm new ways of working and examine our personal leadership beliefs and practices. 

There are myriad ways to stop and reflect in a way that directly benefits your business and, most importantly, contributes to your company culture. 

If you’d like to discuss how stepping back and reflecting can add to your organisation, feel free to connect with us on leadership@lockstep.co.za and we would be happy to discuss what might work best for your team. 

Carryn Ortlepp

Carryn Ortlepp

Carryn Ortlepp is the Chief Operating Officer at Lockstep. She leads the support team in creating a solid base to work within at Lockstep. Her experience as a leadership practitioner means she is able to weave together both her business knowledge and deep understanding of Lockstep’s work, ensuring the business is set up to best serve the team of associates and the clients. Carryn believes that work should be a place for people to showcase their true abilities and connect with others who share a similar purpose. Carryn started her career with a degree in Organisational Psychology and is qualified as an Integral Coach.

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