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Creating Deliberate Calm with Aaron De Smet

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Some people are better at adapting to changing circumstances, yet this is a skill we can learn. Our brains want to revert to that which is familiar and comfortable, yet what is already known may not be what is necessary to move forward. Aaron De Smet and Kevin talk about Deliberate Calm, a practice developed to give leaders new skills to learn and lead. This doesn’t mean less change. It means we are better prepared for change, and the training we have is relevant to the situation.

Key Points

  • Aaron discusses the adaptability paradox. 
  • He shares the elements of deliberate calm. 
  • He talks about radical accountability and shares advice to create calm teams.

Meet Aaron

Aaron de Smet
  • Name: Aaron de Smet 
  • His Story: Aaron De Smet is the co-author of DELIBERATE CALM: How to Learn and Lead in a Volatile World with Jacqueline Brassey and Michiel Kruyt. He counsels leadership teams as they transform their organizations to improve performance, organizational health, speed, and agility. He is also an expert on organizational design, corporate culture, leadership development, team effectiveness, capability building, and transformational change. He serves clients across several industries, including agriculture, biotechnology, chemicals, energy, financial services, and healthcare.
  • Worth Mentioning: Aaron, who writes frequently about organizational topics, has published many articles in McKinsey Quarterly and elsewhere. He is a member of the master faculty of the Change Leaders Forum and of the Organizational Agility Forum, which he helped establish. He has also led McKinsey’s thinking on organizational health and was on the teams that developed the Organizational Health Index (OHI), OrgLab, and Influencer. He has a Ph.D. in social and organizational psychology from Columbia University, where he specialized in organizational dynamics, culture, human resource management, leadership effectiveness, and strategic change.

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