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Back from Burnout: Recovery is Possible

16 May 2020

Back from Burnout
Recovery is Possible

A personal story of recovery from burnout. Written in a frank and sincere manner, Lynne describes her personal experience in six short chapters. At the end of each chapter the health professional involved provides a description of what was happening at the time and how their specific intervention supported her journey.

Seeking Alternatives

07 May 2020


She sat in disbelief as the Chairman of the Board quoted numbers and explained that the millions the company was making was insufficient and therefore, he had no choice but to terminate her current contract worth a few thousand. For him, what was important was to protect the profit margins of the company and possibly his own personal standing, including the planned golf day. She was expendable. Neither party at this discussion where aware of the virus yet to come.

As with many, the business is now in lockdown. The workforce of over 500 people are at home...

Overwhelmend by depression and despair

27 April 2020


Many people are reporting feeling depressed right now. It is the “new normal” in a completely unfamiliar world. Both introverts and extraverts report this feeling. Introverts recharge their energy by being alone, still, and having time to think. For those introverts that are lucky enough to be in their safe-havens’ away from the frenetic energy of others, this has been a time for reflection, awaking and re-alignment with purpose. But even these lucky ones amongst us miss the company of others. Mankind is gregarious by nature. Have you ever...


24 April 2020


Lockdown! This is a serious challenge to manage today. We have to cope with a household that is full, with nowhere to go. Nowhere to expend the energy that is quickly becoming pent up. The need to go to the shops and stock up with supplies looks like running the gauntlet.

One of the saddest things we have witnessed over these past months is the frenzied hoarding behaviour of people. It is explained away as coming from the need to gain some control, to mitigate risk and to ensure the survival of the self. But is that all we are? Just in survival, responding...

Dynamic Organisational Energy

17 April 2020

Multi-levels of Dynamic Organisational Energy
Lynne Derman and Nicolene Barkhuizen
Abstract—Companies benefit from the positive dynamics of an energised workforce because, under these circumstances employees work well together, relationships are supportive and inspiring, and information is freely shared. Organisational behaviour theory sees the functions of an organisation as a multi-level system. It is a dynamic system composed of multiple subsystems and parts, which in turn interact with each other and the environment. To truly capture the essence of the complex...

Working in a Lethargic Environment?

17 April 2020

Working in a Lethargic Environment?

Broadening our understanding of energy can open a whole new world of possibilities to the individual, and organisations, writes Dr Lynne Derman.

Johannes is unable to sleep. He accepted a new job six months ago at a well-known company that would provide him with the opportunity to lead his own project management team. He believes he is ready to do this with his track record of people management skills, experience and a lot of personal energy. Johannes has spent the time to get to know each member of his team and put in...

Hierarchical to Agile Team Based Management

17 April 2020


Managerial Enablement for Change: A South African Business Case on Hierarchical to Agile Team-Based Approach

Lynne Derman

NWU Business School, North–West University, South Africa (Mafikeng Campus)

Managerial Enablement for Change: A South African Business Case
on a Hierarchical to an Agile Team-Based Approach

Agile methodologies are used to drive change in information technology (IT) projects worldwide...

Flexible and resilient, are we taking it too far?

12 December 2018

Load shedding in South Africa again. The jokes are flying around. The guy in Pick n Pay says “Us South Africans can do this, we are flexible and resilient, it’s no problem for us”. But are we? Just how far can we push the human system before there is a failure?

We live in a world that is convinced that companies need to work twice as hard just to maintain their current market position. The effect is that work targets and goals, and performance standards keep increasing; more and more is demanded. Under pressure to produce financial results that can attract good credit ratings,...