Lindsey Masson is a GameShift Thinking Partner and Linds is quite simply one of the most experienced and accomplished change professionals you could ever want to meet.
Her works takes many forms, from one-to-one coaching to team development and organisation-wide interventions. Whatever the form, at its heart will be high quality relationships. Linds is not someone who “turns up and does a gig”. She’s not going to do a TED-talk or a keynote. She is 100% focused on working alongside people to become the best they can be.
A snapshot of Linds’ work will help to see what this looks like in practice.
Linds often takes on coaching assignments around complex change and strategy projects. One example is where she was working with a group of change leaders in corporate functions across a pharmaceutical company. She worked one to one, helping them to take the time and space to reflect on their practice, on the impact of their work. Linds helped her clients to pay close attention to the impacts of the work “live”, during the process, to see how changes in their actions impact the leaders around them. This work, fully live, embedded in the reality, totally alongside, sets up the conditions for better outcomes all around.
Linds adds to this a further layer of attention. She focuses the collective impact, working with the whole as well as the individual, and catching sights, “the threads and echoes of collective learning” that is utterly vital in change.
Linds is an engineer by background, with experiences in high tech and safety critical engineering, including aeronautics. She brings to her consulting work an engineer’s rigorous assessment of whether something is safe, whether in essence it is going to fly. This means that Linds will turn down work where she’s not satisfied with the nature of the engagement.
What’s key for her are questions about the boundaries and intention of the work. The work “must be free to engage with the real needs of the people involved. It’s got to be relational and it’s got to be alive”. The work must have, she says, enough juice “to bring about change, to shift something – the capacity to “bring about change by allowing the different parts of a system to shift in a way that allows something to flourish”.
This doesn’t mean she only works under “ideal” circumstances, far from it. The coaching she’s been giving to support for hospital directors through the challenges of the covid crisis one example of that. A further example is her work supporting the development of psychological safety and a “speak up!” culture in a Japanese based global telecoms venture that has grown by acquisition. Most of its staff are now outside of Japan. Linds has been working with the CEO and senior team to create the space for listening and new kinds of conversations. It’s been demanding work since the cultural barriers have been high. The determination of the leaders, along with Linds skilled guidance, is already paying off.
Linds has also led some of the best executive education work around – directing several award-winning projects. “As long as the work is in service of real change, in which people are being supported and challenged to lead differently because the organisation is genuinely moving into new territory”
Linds frequently coaches senior women leaders. “One of the most important aspects of strategic change is embracing the kinds of difference that make new forms of outcome possible” Linds reflects, “and you don’t get that from having the same people always around the same tables”.
Linds’ engineering background in male dominated teams makes her aware of the mechanisms of power and authority, with inclusions and exclusions. She works with exquisite skill in helping difference to play its fullest role in creating better organisations and better outcomes. People, especially people who are not clones of the dominant leadership, often find they have to judge where to go fully along with a system and where to hold back. They face a live inquiry into the “choice to persist or desist”. Linds knows this situation well – and is an exceptional coach and facilitator because of it.
Real work, sleeves rolled up, in service of something that matters. That’s where you’ll find Linds.
She cares about relationships and time. About turning up for the people around her, paying attention to what is going on, beyond the surface. Always curious and exploring more.
Linds gives the world a gift – she creates space and time, challenge and support, the essential ingredients for allowing real change to come about.
If your world is shifting, Linds may just be exactly the Thinking Partner you need alongside you.