How leaders ensure the best ideas are never missed with Dr. Richard Claydon

candid craic collaboration organisation performance productivity Mar 28, 2021

In this Candid Craic, the tables get turned, and Richard Claydon gets grilled on his work by two previous interviewees, John Dobbin and Geoff Marlow.

We explore how Richard employs dramatic metaphors and insights to explain the conditions of contemporary knowledge work, why, thanks to neuroscientific findings, it is becoming an increasingly relevant way to sensemake organisations, and why it is more useful for delivering value-creating diversity than the mainstream D&I discourses.

John tests Richard on the relevance of the work, asking why the CEO should care about a dramatic interpretation of organisational life, leading to an examination of the dimensions of knowledge work: an exploration into why so few people are being productive in digitally-transforming organisational conditions; and a call for greater levels of collective organisational play.

We then look at how people perform the various roles they have at work and beyond, including the challenging ambivalence they experience when role expectations clash, how irony can be employed to mitigate the experience, and how people behave and act differently when performing front and back stage organisational roles. This takes us into a deep dive into the dimensions of the organisational self, in which Richard argues that personality traits have been massively over-emphasized in mainstream organisational thinking at the expense of role adaptability and storytelling, to the point that people are frantically trying to hold onto a limiting, static sense of self rather than fluidly developing multiple versions of self that can perform multiple roles with elegant sophistication.

Geoff probes Richard on his experience designing the tactics module for the PC game Football Manager, and how that has extended into the collaborative practice at EQ Lab. We close be looking at how leaders can adjust their performance to ensure the best ideas are never missed, and how much extra value could be added if organisations fully embrace the potential of the dramatic lens and improvisational performance.

00:20 Just what is it that Richard does?
02:20 The Dramatic Lens on Knowledge Work
05:46 Contested Perspectives on Organisation
12:26 So What? Why should the CEO care?
18:36 Making the Collective Organisational Play more Productive
21:27 Ambivalence, Irony and the Organisational Self
26:48 Frontstage and Backstage Work
31:18 Liminality and the Pragmatic Third Way
34:39 How to understand the Organisational Self
43:50 Richness of Life Experience: Tactics, Forums and Video Games
53:00 Extended Intelligence & the Collaboration of Equals
54:30 Leadership, Power Dynamics and Dramatic Conversations
1:00:44 The Nine Trillion Dollar Question