8 December 2022, 9:15am


Working with leading coaches, psychologists and business leaders, Professor Damian Hughes has identified the STEPS process, which explores the psychology of leading high performing teams.

He outlines what it is that makes particular ideas and stories stick in our minds. He shows how reframing our understanding from ‘how clever are you?’ to instead asking, ‘how are you clever?’ can have radical effects on the everyday language we use. He will demonstrate how The Generation Game improves our ability to communicate and how directors convince movie executes to invest large sums of money in a project based on one simple line of information.

By showing how we can use strategies like the ‘The Curse of Knowledge’, the ‘Velcro Theory of Memory’ and ‘Curiosity gaps’ we can all adopt simple ideas to make sure that we can lead our teams and colleagues to deliver consistently high performance.

This session covered:

  • Simple: Finding the core of your message. Determine the single most important message and then use a high concept pitch to drive behaviours.
  • Thinking: Creating time and space. We spend approximately 95% of our time using our basal ganglia, the part of our brain that loves routine and habits. We will learn how to break the pattern of predictability – and get ourselves to engage our thinking brain - by using the gap theory of curiosity.
  • Emotional: Contain then explain. If people care, they will act. We will look at methods of creating emotional impact to engage with a team.
  • Practical: Help people understand and remember. Our brains do not easily retain abstract concepts. We will look at how we make our ideas concrete to provide a common turf of understanding.
  • Stories: Get people to act. Stories act as simulation and help guide people in how to act. We will look at how Pixar animators use a simple methodology to tell a story that can be translated into everyday use.

About the Speaker
Professor Damian Hughes is an international speaker and bestselling author who combines his practical and academic background within sport, organisational development and change psychology, to help organisations and teams to create a high performing culture.

He is the author of eight best-selling business books, including Liquid Thinking, Liquid Leadership, How to Change Absolutely Anything, How to Think Like Sir Alex Ferguson, The Five STEPS to a Winning Mindset and The Barcelona Way: Unlocking the DNA of a Winning Culture. His latest book, High Performance: Lessons from the Best on Becoming Your Best, has been a number one Sunday Times best seller. His work has been translated into ten languages.

He has also been nominated for the 2007 William Hill Sports book of the year award for Peerless, his biography of boxing great Sugar Ray Robinson. In 2009, he co-authored a critically acclaimed biography of boxing legend, Thomas Hearns in Hitman: the Thomas Hearns Story. In 2013, his latest biography, Marvelous Marvin Hagler became the UK’s best selling sports biography.

He was appointed as a Professor of Organisational Psychology and Change for Manchester Metropolitan University in September 2010.

He is the co-host of The High Performance Podcast, an acclaimed series of interviews with elite performers from business, sport and the arts, exploring the psychology behind sustained high performance.

He has served as a member of the coaching team for England Rugby League, Scotland Rugby Union and a wide range of international and national sporting teams.

His innovative and exciting approach has been praised by Sir Richard Branson, Muhammad Ali, Sir Terry Leahy, Sir Roger Bannister, Tiger Woods, Jonny Wilkinson and Sir Alex Ferguson.

About the Collaborative
We are an influential partnership, formed from cross sector organisations in the North West. We represent the NHS, health and social care and local government to bring you a range of collaborative masterclasses.

By combining our unique specialisms, the collaboration explores innovative thinking with expert speakers, to provide cross sector knowledge sharing for leaders across the North West.

The collaborative is made up of the following organisations:

  • Advancing Quality Alliance (AQuA),
  • Mersey Internal Audit Agency (MIAA)
  • NHS North West Leadership Academy (NHS NWLA)
  • North West Employers (NWE)
  • North West Association of Directors of Adults Social Care Services (ADASS)
  • Innovation Agency, the Academic Health Science Network for the North West Coast


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