Ikigai

Do you know about the concept of Ikigai?

At Sladen Consulting you hear us talking a lot about being and acting in your ‘sweet spot’. In work and in life.

Take some time and draw your own Ikigai diagram and think about these four qualities?

Which of them are overlapping in your personal diagram -see our first picture?

What sits in the centre point where all 4 overlap?

What does it mean to you if certain areas do not overlap at all with one of the others – very much like in our second example?

Is there something you can and want to consider or change?

Grab a friend or colleague and talk it through.

Ikigai is the Japanese concept that means your ‘reason for being’. ‘Iki’ in Japanese means ‘life’, and ‘gai’ describes value or worth. Your ikigai is your life purpose or your bliss. It’s what brings you joy and inspires you to get out of bed every day.

The Westernised interpretation has used it more as a method of finding your ‘dream career’. The associated Venn diagram helps to visualize this concept by showing these four main overlapping qualities: The centre point where all four circles overlap is your Ikigai.


Creating a 'zing'!

Vision is NOT just a sentence plus an emotive photo.

It’s a picture and aspiration in the ‘mind’s eye’ that is a beautiful place in the future. A place that is rich with detail, colourful and vibrant.

It tells ‘micro stories’ and shows what people are doing, how they are feeling and what they are saying.

The picture answers the questions:
Why I should go there?
What can I do to support?
What will it be like?
How does it make me feel?

It draws people in, makes their knees shake, creates an emotional feeling – we also call it ‘zing‘!

These visions take time and collective thought and healthy debate to create and this week that is exactly what we have been doing.

Get ready for the big reveal of our Sladen Consulting Vision and Strategy picture in a few months!! We are tirelessly working on it with a brilliant internal team!


The Power of Visual Thinking and Visual Working

Wow! The power of visual thinking and visual working! We have been busy delivering in Geneva this week in a wonderful sparkling coworking space called #SpacesWorksCh.

An engaging, highly interactive, thought provoking, action oriented, intense full day workshop with a senior leadership team.

We discussed, debated, and created clarity through the formats we used and the combination of facilitation and scribing.

The result – a fulfilling, efficient and impactful day and a happy client.


Work Life Balance

The simplest 3 words ‘Work Life Balance’ that mask the complexities that we call Life.

What’s your secret to balance? Is there one?

With inspiration from our friends at Corporate Rebels


Sladen Bottles on Tour

It’s a sign of summer here in Europe; our Sladen bottles are on their travels again! We love seeing where they go and to know that some of the hardworking Sladen family are taking a well-earned break.

Rest assured we are not all on holiday!  If you need any support from the team please do get in touch.


Elephant in the Room

Today we are spectators in the ‘business zoo’.

Addressing the elephant in the room is not always easy and many people tend to shy away from it – AND it can completely change the energy, dynamic and quality of collaboration in a team – and by this increase team effectiveness once the controversial or critical issues have been surfaced and solutions jointly initiated.

In the Sladen family we have an inflatable elephant as our companion that we regularly use in workshops and larger events.

When did you recently have a candid conversation in your team that was revealing and what was the outcome?


Virtual Headshots

Rebellious headshots! Would you expect anything else from Sladen Consulting?

Here is a small selection of our wonderful Sladen Family and a showcase of the outstanding creative results we achieved by working with the exceptionally talented Anne Thomas on this fun project. Some Family members had such a good laugh with Anne while shooting that it was difficult to get the professional picture done.

Our challenge was to get new headshots of 60 team members based across the globe. We knew we wanted high quality professional headshots, but we also wanted to show the Sladen Family when they are off duty and in their happy places! We are delighted with the results which you can see by visiting our Crew page here on the website.

See if you can guess our various passions…


Chief of Staff

In her past Sonja Skopp was a Chief of Staff (COS). She would never have imagined to have the privilege of having one herself one day.

At the end of this month Julia Stephenson will have been in this role for Sladen Consulting for 90 days – supporting Richard Colley and Sonja Skopp (we still do not know why she has been mad enough to raise her hand for this adventure!).

This is to give Kudos and show appreciation to Julia for having absorbed this role in such a brilliant way.

Being the confidant to Sonja, Richard and our ‘Hub team’, being the communicator linking the leadership team and the broader organisation, being an integrator that connects dreams, theoretical ideas, work streams and the reality as well as being a first alert system having her eyes and ears everywhere to pick up the vibes of the Sladen family. It is about juggling many balls!

Sonja very much loved to be a COS and we know that Julia does as well. We could not be in a better place to shape the future together!


Lessons Learned

We have been reflecting this week, as we do regularly, embracing lessons learned and best practices. Why are lessons learned so important?

It’s rather like going to the dentist. We know it’s good for us, it may be painful, but out of it comes a feeling of freshness and confidence that we have done a good thing that will be felt long into the future – rather like ‘lessons learned’.

How do we do it?
– Connect with the team to collect data and prepare for reflection
– Reflect on what has been done well and how it can be improved (and we do this continuously)
– Act and follow up on action items
– We also add a bit of the ‘Sladen Way’ to the process, asking rebellious questions as we go

Why not add lessons learned to your next meeting agenda?


Welcome our new Project Managers

Wow! What a start to the week here at Sladen! We are delighted to welcome three fabulous Project Managers to the Sladen Family.

Virtual onboarding is well underway and today we are introducing them to the Sladen Way: Involvement, Sustainability, Human Potential, Mutuality and Rebelliousness.

WELCOME Ali AlamLynsey Archer and Katie Sinclair – we are so looking forward to getting to know you and working with you. Thrilled to have you onboard!