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The Linklaters Ideas Foundry

Welcome to the Linklaters Ideas Foundry — the podcast in which we explore the tips and tricks required to thrive in an ever more complex and changing work environment. From creativity to collaboration, from leading others to looking after ourselves, join us each month as we unpick the art of working together in the 21st century organisation.

Episode 10

Good Intentions

Speakers: Dr Rob Archer and Ian Rodwell

The New Year is a time for good intentions, but how can we develop high-performance routines that both work and last beyond the dreary days of January? Who better to ask than Dr Rob Archer, a psychologist specialising in helping organisations and individuals build resilience, improve mental health and sustain high performance. In this episode we explore a range of topics including the difference between good and bad stress, the dangers of flat-line working, the benefits of setting boundaries and the secrets that businesses can learn from athletes. So if your New Year’s resolutions are to gain more focus, energy and balance (or simply to listen to more podcasts!), then this episode is definitely for you.

Episode 9

If on a Winter’s eve…

Speakers: Paul Lewis and Ian Rodwell

…you find yourself snowbound and in need of a good read to pass the time, then listen to Paul Lewis, Linklaters Managing Partner, talking about the books that have shaped both his career and his ideas on leadership, motivation and the role of a lawyer. In this festive special, we discuss, among others, All that glitters: the fall of Barings, Quiet, Eleven rings and Drive — and, stepping out of the world of business, we also explore the poetic influence of Dylan Thomas and Catatonia’s Cerys Matthews.

Key sources for this episode include:

  • John Gapper — All that glitters: the fall of Barings
  • Nichola Dunbar — Inventing money: the rise and fall of Long-Term Capital Management
  • Dan Pink — Drive: the surprising truth about what motivates us
  • Phil Jackson — Eleven rings
  • Susan Cain — Quiet: the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking
  • Martin Seligman — Flourish
  • Dylan Thomas — Under Milk Wood
  • Cerys Matthews — Myfanwy (from the album, TIR)

Episode 8

Crafty Tales

Speakers: Ben White and Ian Rodwell

Many of us wistfully speculate about trying something completely new. Could we/should we forsake the day job to follow our passions and enthusiasms? Well, Ben White is someone who did exactly that. With a whole drawerful of ideas and business plans, he stepped away from the roles of private practice lawyer and then in-house counsel, to found the collaborative legal community, Crafty Counsel. In this episode, Ben talks about the lure of being an entrepreneur, the key things he’s learnt (and would maybe have done differently) and why he’s (not entirely) giving up on the idea of a Chilean distillery. For anyone thinking of setting up a business, in whatever field, Ben’s experiences are essential listening.

Episode 7

‘The Summer Special’ - Being artful

Speakers: Susannah Tresilian, Caitlin Shannon and Ian Rodwell

What can our organisations learn from the creative worlds of stage, screen and radio? It’s the key question we discuss in our first Ideas Foundry ‘Summer Special’ where we’re joined not by one guest but two — Susannah Tresilian and Caitlin Shannon from The Leadership Collective. Combining coaching and leadership consultancy with acting, radio production for the BBC, screenwriting and stage direction, Susannah and Caitlin share insights on how skills normally associated with the Arts can make a difference to every organisation. So, if you have an interest in managing pressure, retaining authenticity, nurturing ideas, and developing colleagues with poise and compassion, then sit back (or go for a walk!) and listen. Beach not provided…

Episode 6

The lawyer, the coach and the big decision!

Speakers: Elodie Michaud (founder of Dare&Grow) and Ian Rodwell

Many of us try to bring a bit of coaching ‘magic’ into our day-to-day leadership practice. But what happens if you love coaching so much, you want to devote your life to it? In this episode, Ian talks with Elodie Michaud, a former lawyer in the Linklaters Luxembourg office who now runs her own coaching business. We discuss Elodie’s first steps into coaching, the extent to which lawyers make great coaches (or not…) and how she coached herself through a life-changing decision. So if you are keen to learn more about the art of coaching — or perhaps you are contemplating your own career move? — then Elodie’s story will no doubt both instruct and inspire.

Key sources for this episode include:

  • Alison Temperley – Inside knowledge
  • John Whitmore – Coaching for performance
  • Dave Stachowiak – Coaching for leaders (podcast)

Episode 5

Out of office

Speakers: David Pearl (an innovator in business, the arts & social change and the founder of Street Wisdom) and Ian Rodwell

Hybrid, agile, blended — new and exciting ways of working have proliferated over the last two years. And this change has gone hand-in-hand with fevered discussions about the future of the office and how best we connect, communicate and create. In this chat with the ever-fascinating David Pearl, we explore the fate of the humble meeting, ways to create connections at a distance — and how walking away from the screen and into the world outside can spark inspiration and life-changing ideas.

Key sources for this episode include:

  • David Pearl – Wanderful and Will there be donuts?
  • Street Wisdom

Episode 4

Getting creative — thinking off the leash

Speakers: Ali McBurney and Ian Rodwell

Do you ever think that you’re just not creative enough? That being creative is a skill that only a few are blessed with? If so, join us as we debunk a few myths. In this episode, we discuss how creativity is for everyone — whatever your job or role. If you can find ways to do things better, faster and more elegantly, then you’re being creative. We’ll explore what stops us being creative (and how we can sidestep those barriers), look at ways to spark our imagination and explain why thinking like a tortoise may not be such a bad thing.

Key sources for this episode include:

Episode 3

Go slow to go fast — leading in complexity and change

Speakers: Dr Sharon Varney and Ian Rodwell

We often say we live in a ‘complex’ world. But what does that really mean — and how can an understanding of the intriguing world of complexity theory help you lead and perform in a world where change is the only constant? In this episode with Dr Sharon Varney (author of Leadership in complexity and change), we unpack what complexity is (and isn’t), share some practical advice on thriving in a complex world and reveal why, strange though it sounds, going slow can really help you go fast…Curious to learn more? Then take a listen.

Key sources for this episode include:

Episode 2

The art of cross-cultural working

Speakers: Wenying Li and Ian Rodwell

Anyone working in global organisations, or with clients, suppliers and partners around the world, will know about the challenges and rewards of operating across different cultures. In this episode, we discuss why cross-cultural competence is important and how it can help you in your career. We also explore the key research on cultural dimensions and leave you with some practical ideas that you can immediately put to work.

Key sources for this episode include:

  • Erin Meyer – The culture map: breaking through the invisible boundaries of global business
  • Geert Hofstede – Cultures and organizations: software of the mind

Episode 1

Digital wellbeing — or how to be ‘smart’ with your smartphone

Speakers: Nicola Raw and Ian Rodwell

Is your phone the first and last thing you check every day? Do you find yourself constantly reaching for your phone, or worse still, feel uncomfortable when you’re without it? If so, this is the episode for you. Join us as we explore what digital wellbeing is and why it is so crucial to both our work and non-work lives. We delve into the effects of social media on our cognitive processing and look at some practical ways to ensure we are in control of our devices — and not the other way around.

Key sources for this episode include:

  • Matthew Walker – Why We Sleep
  • Catherine Price – How to break up with your phone
  • Ward et al. (2017) ‘Brain drain: The mere presence of one’s own smartphone reduces available cognitive capacity’, Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, 2(2).

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