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Newsletter Spring 2018

Newsletter Spring 2018

Open Day

Newsletter Spring 2018You and a colleague are invited to join others for an Open Day at High Trenhouse 10.30am – 3.00pm on Tuesday 1 May 2018

Especially relevant for facilitators/coaches/consultants, internal change agents and line managers.

Come and enjoy a visit to High Trenhouse – a day in the country to discover how using an exceptional facility can enhance your work. Explore new concepts with new colleagues.
Chill out and refresh yourself.


10.30 Welcome and refreshments
Introductory Talk by John Varney and discussion
“Design for Deeper Learning”
Lunch and informal chats
Guided tour and/or optional walk.
15.00 Depart

To reserve your place click here.

Newsletter Spring 2018Forthcoming Open Events

As well as many corporate programmes, this year High Trenhouse is again proving popular with organisers of a broad spectrum of open events. Yoga, health, wellness and reflective retreats are all on the menu, as is painting and, of course, walking. Recess College returns yet again with a ten day personal development programme. On a more technical theme, Museums and Resilient Leadership return for another of their powerful programmes. Anyone wanting to make good use of time away at weekends and bank holidays will find something of interest. Do take a look and book early because these open events fill up fast.

See our events page for open programmes.

Thought piece – The Leaders Are Us

By John Varney – Centre for Management Creativity

Having developed leadership in client organisations for more than 30 years I have come to understand leadership as that quality which guides the flow of energy towards common purpose.

However, when you look at the literature on leadership or listen to speakers, it is clear that leadership is often conflated with management. Indeed the media go further, in that they often identify senior managers as the leaders – the two words manager and leader are interchanged freely. An unfortunate consequence is that everyone who is not called a leader is consigned to the role of follower, denying them their leadership capability. This happens because of our dominant paradigm of hierarchical, control and command organisational structures on the one hand and on the other, our predominantly fragmentary mode of thinking incapable of grasping organic wholeness.

Newsletter Spring 2018Everyone is capable of leadership. Indeed in any transaction between humans, someone is providing leadership at every moment, hopefully in a desirable direction. Thus leadership passes to another person, freely flowing like a stream. Who is providing leadership is unimportant. What matters is that the system responds. This phenomenon is seen most readily in self-directing teams. In fact it is almost commonplace outside of control and command hierarchies. We are all familiar with it in various aspects of our lives. Why, then, do we fall into the linguistic trap of identifying leadership with so-called leaders?

Because of this trap we consign ourselves to waiting for these mythical leaders to step forth, little realising that they are us. If people can suspend their habitual way of thinking, they will discover their own leadership capability and be better able to play their part in sustaining the flow of energy towards their chosen purpose.

It is tempting to suggest that the word ‘leader’ be banned. We can see the phenomenon of leadership not as a personal attribute but as a systemic quality in which all participate. Look carefully and see what would change if you take the “leader” word out of any text and rephrase it to talk about “leadership”. The effect can be magical.

Newsletter Spring 2018Wildlife

There has been snow on the ground for much of the last few weeks. It is rather pretty – not enough to seriously inconvenience us but the wildlife are not too happy. The snow can be magical as a recording medium and in it we see the tracks of many birds, especially the moorhens that live with us. We can also trace the movements of mice and rabbits, hares and stoats and more particularly deer. A couple of Roe deer seem to have adopted High Trenhouse as their winter feeding ground which is a bit tough on our smaller trees. Still, what a joy it is to catch a glimpse of all these creatures from the dining room window!

Our clients say

“A warm welcome and homely atmosphere. A nice change from the usual corporate experience. Great walks on the doorstep” Participant on What if? programme

“A unique setting that provides a basis for creating exceptional results” Engineering Manager – Yorkshire Water

“First class location, first class accommodation, first class food, first class staff” Professor of Corporate Communication – University of Huddersfield

We need your help!

Much work has been done to the High Trenhouse website to help people discover it in their Internet searches. Please take a look and tell us what we can do to improve it further.

It would be great if you could let us know what keywords and phrases you use when searching for venues for Team Development workshops or any other events.

Please let Bernadette know what you search for.

We have published this short guide on ‘Nine Steps to a successful off-site leadership retreat’. Would be glad to receive your feedback so we can improve it.

Helping palliative care

Newsletter Spring 2018Herriot Hospice Homecare is a charity providing support to enable people to end their life at home. To help them raise funds we are delighted to donate a self-catering weekend at Bennett ‘s at High Trenhouse to be auctioned at their annual dinner in March.

If you are not among the bidders you can still enjoy self-catering at Bennett’s at High Trenhouse.

Call 01729 830322 or email Sue for details.

For a future generation

At the request of Founders4schools John Varney will be talking to students at The Holy Family Catholic School in Keighley in March about the interesting story of how High Trenhouse became a leading centre for management learning.

New article in the April issue of the HRdirector issue 162

Newsletter Spring 2018John Varney’s latest article for the HR director magazine, on Collaborative Achievement, explores links between teamwork and leadership. It highlights the stark contrast between mechanistic teams and the more organic teams that replace them. Are you sure which kind you are after and how to set about it?

Previous articles. John presents informal talks to professional groups on a wide variety of themes. Please get in touch if you would like John Varney as a speaker.

A weekend workshop for facilitators

26-28 October 2018

Join a small and friendly group and enjoy a weekend of relaxation and reflection and explore informally with peers the thinking that shapes our world; work and play, personal and family, social and political.

Newsletter Spring 2018

  • Theme talk and discussion
  • Relaxation and guided visualisation
  • Conversations and Dialogue
  • Visual thinking and Logovisual Thinking
  • Some togetherness and some solo
  • Local walks and excursions
  • The comfort and joys of High Trenhouse

Whatever your profession, role or position, this refreshing event will enrich your leadership and bring more value to your work.

Cost £295 (inc VAT) per person in single en-suite accommodation includes meals and refreshments from dinner Friday evening to Lunch on Sunday.

For further information or booking see

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