Nick Obolensky experienced a day on the farm with Raising the Baa in its beta-stage days and his academic insights were particularly reassuring and helpful to the co-founders Chris and Caroline. Whilst the co-founders met through having built international teams of independent business owners, not unlike a franchise, the majority of our careers were in shepherding and marketing. Not the most obvious segue into corporate team building some may say!
In this second series of SheepDip podcasts we’re in conversation with some of the most inspiring minds in the field of learning and development. We’re asking for their thoughts and tips on growing and developing teams, especially within this volatile and fast moving business world. In this episode we are in conversation with Nick who is currently locked down in China, one of two bases for his organisation Complex Adaptive Leadership (CAL) and the title of his book on the same subject.
Nick remembers well the challenge of herding sheep and significantly the analogies for teams who work in VUCA environments. As he explains in our conversation, VUCA stands for Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous and is a term coined originally by the military and since adopted by business schools.
Underpinning all of his discoveries from his time with Raising the Baa, Nick felt that it proved through real live action how the more complex and uncertain the environment, the more adaptive leadership and team working approach is required. Listen to more of his reflections in this short video, recorded immediately after the event. The circumstances of 2020 have caused almost every business to experience uncertainty and volatility, making the need to know how to lead in such territory to be essential.
Nick’s organisation CAL has helped many multi-national and small fast-growing businesses to reap faster results with less stress on the leaders. He touches on their approach and illustrates a couple of successful case studies in our conversation.
We trust you find this to be another most insightful interview. It is conducted by Caroline Palmer, Top Dog at Raising the Baa and Chris Farnsworth, the shepherd behind the accidental business concept of team building with sheep.
Enjoy – and thank ewe for listening 🙂
The Leadership Report by Nick Obolensky – Boosting Virtual Team Performance. This LinkedIn article expands on many of the points made by Nick in this podcast and provides critical questions to ask in relation to 8 key team principles when leading a virtual team.
Connect with the speakers via LinkedIn:
Caroline Palmer – Top Dog and Co-Founder, Raising the Baa
Chris Farnsworth – Head Shepherd and Co-Founder, Raising the Baa
Nick Obolensky, Founder of Complex Adaptive Leadership Ltd