Inner Skills

 International Centre of Excellence
Supporting the application of Landscape of the Mind worldwide

About Landscape of the Mind


Landscape of the Mind is a new approach to some of the critical issues which challenge individuals and organisations.

These include:

  • Readiness for change
  • Leadership in turbulent and unpredictable conditions
  • Enhancing innovation and resilience
  • Reaping the Divergence Dividend

The vast body of research into human behaviour has focused strongly on the stable, relatively immutable aspects of people ( via the core concept of “personality” ); and is tied to a limited “either/or” logic.

This has lead to significant neglect of those aspects of human being which are intrinsically flexible, innovative, and emergent.

Ironically, these are precisely the capacities which organisations are looking for in managers and executives.

Click here to read an article about divergence, a key area of the Landscape of the Mind model

What is Landscape of the Mind?

Landscape of the Mind (LoM) is a model, method and metric specifically designed to illuminate and develop exactly these gifts, and to support navigation in turbulent and unpredictable conditions.

Using an innovative electronic profiling method, LoM moves beyond static typologies, to describe and work with the unfolding processes between people, and how these affect the quality of work outcomes.

Based on complexity principles, LoM is scale –neutral. So it is possible to explore the dynamic interactions between individuals, teams and organisations, and social ecosystems, in different circumstances, and over time.

The dimensions of difference identified by LoM include knowledge, experience, logic, intuition, feelings, values and imagination. But all directly related to work contexts and results.

Significantly, the implications are intensely practical : the impact of these inner skills, as they are called, on effectiveness at work is probably the most important finding from our research.

Readiness for change

Landscape of the Mind provides an easily accessible framework for mapping organisational change readiness from macro to micro levels.

It does much more that this, as it can be used to design a way forward which takes specific account of the exact circumstancese in a particular case.  It also involves participants actively in the design process, leading to much better engagement with and commitment to the necessary changes.

Leadership in turbulent times

Navigating in uncertainty

People get promoted in organisations because they have managed operational delivery well.  But leadership roles at every level require more than simply managing operational delivery on a larger scale.

Critically, leadership requires the capacity to navigate in uncertainty and complexity – and this relies on completely different inner skills to those which underpin operational delivery.

Landscape of the Mind can map these requirements and provide a framework for comparing “where we are” and the inner skills strategies we’re currently using, with “where we want to be”, together with clear indicators of the strategies we will need to get us there.

Enhancing innovation and resilience

A key aspect of innovation and resilience, is flexibility, but being “more flexible”, like  “improving communication” doesn’t actually tell you  much about how to do things differently. In addition, it runs the risk of encouraging people to throw the baby out with the bath water, losing what is relevant and useful about how we currently do things.

As well as providing a detailed picture of current strengths and any gaps, biases and blindspots, LoM provides sign posts and stepping stones to enhance flexibility in a controlled way.  Change can be trialled and results evaluated, building up gradually to comfort with enhanced innovation and resilience to change.

Reaping the Divergence Dividend

One area of intense interest to clients is the work we have done on the divergence dividend. This arises when hidden human resources which exist in all organisations, are identified and supported – allowing organisations and individuals to reap the benefits.

From the Landscape of the Mind perspective, there is no question of the scope for relevant gains to be made – improving satisfaction for individuals, and also results for organisations.

The “divergence dividend” is the benefit (often but not always financial) which accrues to an individual, team or organisation, as a direct result of applying divergent inner skills.

It depends crucially on integrating:

  • Enhanced individual confidence and competence


  • Changes in the organisation’s culture to sustain and support individual/team divergent contributions.

The co-evolution of these two aspects creates a self reinforcing momentum which can then be applied to issues other than the original focus.

The dividend from the project should more than cover its costs, unless some other gain is chosen.

” It is not about getting better at squeezing the lemon until the pips squeak – but about enabling the pips to contribute what they’re really capable of – which is more rewarding for them, and much better for the organisation” – Kate Hopkinson

About Kate Hopkinson

Kate HopkinsonKate Hopkinson is Director of Inner Skills, a company she set up in 1995, which offers management and organisation development consultancy drawing on her innovative methodology, Landscape of the Mind. She has worked with a wide range of household names, from blue chip commercial companies, to the public sector and not-for-profit organisations.

In 2000 she was invited to join the Complexity Research Group at LSE, where she is now a senior research associate.

Her film on Landscape of the Mind, made in collaboration with LSE, has been very well received. With many real world case studies and practical examples, the film also includes evidence of LoM’s effectiveness, and the findings of a neuro-cognitive pilot study carried out with the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience.

As well as running Inner Skills, Kate has been CEO of a not-for-profit organisation, and served for 6 years on the board of SAFERWORLD, an NGO concerned with international security issues.

In addition to articles and papers, she contributed the “inner team” section to the best selling “Personal Management Handbook”, and has contributed a chapter on inner complexity to a forthcoming handbook on the application of complexity science in organisations.  A draft of the chapter is available to download here

A member of the British Psychological Society, she is a designated expert on cognitive science for the European Union.