Professor Beverly Alimo-Metcalfe, founding director of Real World Group, which helps organisations hone leadership and culture to drive sustainable superior performance, advises the use of the acronym CIA — but in reverse.


‘A’ stands for being totally honest with colleagues about what we have to ‘Accept’ in relation to a goal or target and explaining why.

‘I’ stands for ‘Inviting, Influence and Ideas’ — engaging colleagues actively in co-designing the best way to achieve the goal — how can we achieve it in a way that makes sense to us?

‘C’ stands for what I/we need to ‘Change’, to make this happen in the way we have co-designed the action plan.

The same technique can be used to deal with everything from disengaged individuals to a complete cultural makeover, Alimo-Metcalfe says.

‘C’ also stands for celebration. Alimo-Metcalfe suggests: “Celebrate good performance. At the start of each meeting team members can each say something positive, and at the end of the meeting say one thing that they will do differently. It promotes self-efficacy and increases team potency.”