New Book in the process of being written

29 04 2013

Following the success of ReEnergizing the Corporation I am inspired to write more. The focus of the next book is getting more from organisational change, maximum impact, maximum engagement and maximum chance of success. We are in early stages at the moment, but we have had some great contributions from colleagues and friends, sharing their stories of success and at times the challenges of change. Keep an eye on the blog and the website for regular updates.


ICEAW Special Report on Leadership

21 01 2013

Just a short post to link you to the latest publication for the ICEAW who asked for a contribution on leadership and talent. You can see the pdf of the article on my website  just download the pdf to see the latest thinking.



Highest road in the world and thinking at altitude

25 09 2012

This year we took a different challenge on… driving to the highest motorable road in the world in the Indian Himalayas. At 5602 metres,  Khardung -la is higher than Mount Everest base camp.  The trip itself was awesome, driving from Narkanda to Leh on a road that is only open 4 months of the year to supply the military and where landslides close the way almost every day. It’s a battle to keep a single muddy track passable and a one where the edge of single track is a drop of between 300 -500 m without any barrier.

Altitude does some great things to the landscape – the sky was more blue than at any time I can remember – the clouds whiter. The rock and mountain scenery is stunning – it takes your breath away every corner you turn.

What was also impressive was the tenacity and spirit of the Indian road workers – never giving up on their Herculean task.  Each day armed with little more than hand tools, and the occasional vintage bulldozer, they would repair the previous nights damage and sort out a passage for the waiting supply lorries and occasional tourists. They slept at over 12,000 ft, eating a basic diet of bread and veg curry with a sprinkling of dust – which pervades every gap and chink in the clothing.  Yet as we passed they always smiled and waved – maybe not so many westerner drive in India, maybe our dirty faces caked in dust amused them, maybe they just thought we were mad – but it was heartening to see people with so little seemingly so content and openImage. As observers we cannot know what they really think about their harsh life conditions, but they chatted, smiled and worked well with each other on their task – clearing the road again. Maybe we have something to learn from them…. when we moan about our mundane days or our Herculean task…. my challenges seem pale in comparison.


Rome awaits – Jonas and Mark speaking on Innovation

24 01 2012

In February Mark and Jonas are working with a large group of  senior managers from a  global building materials company on innovation. It’s not what you make that matters but the way and ways of making both the product and business. We expect to challenge their thinking in terms of how to do business better and different in a market that is massively affected by an economic cycle or downturn. They are doing the right thing, change themselves before the competition do or the market demands it.

It’s better to change on the upwards slope of the curve or somewhere near the apex rather than in the tail spin of decline. We expect to push them to think differently and take control of their future in the industry. Should be fun !!


India trip is go !

2 11 2011

Just a link for all those who sponsored us to see the trip day one photos. We will update as we go internet access permitting. Developing capability in the kids of India , as part of the sponsorship. We meet them for a game of football in two days.


see your logos on our car trailing through south India!/profile.php?id=619995946

Collaboration , not as easy as it seems

24 10 2011

I have just recently run a session on a strategic leadership programme for a collection of government departments. I can’t say which ones but recent changes in funding, threat and resources have meant they really do need to collaborate much more. The programme is breaking ground, in that it’s been set up across departments, the first of its kind. Well that seems a bit obvious to me and to many of readers I assume to share training and development opportunities . However to the UK government, working together is policy; creating the forums for collaboration is, it seems, not.

So what makes good collaborative working at the senior level? Well its more than an edict or policy saying they must. Good collaboration starts with individuals deciding they should, then acting. No amount of policy or direction from the top will break down years of individualization and socialization into strong cultures. What it takes is for individuals to become emotionally engaged in the process, through a shared need, a realisation that there is real benefit in a collaborative approach, and the courage to act on that thought.

We ran a simulation, a game, unfortunately human instinct kicked in and the default settings of competitive behaviour ensued. What was interesting was the debriefing  discussion and how difficult it seems to be  to establish enough trust to collaborate in the first place. Well  ladies and gentlemen servants of the government, we really can’t wait for you to love each other, the economic crisis and the state of threat currently enjoyed by our country from those that wish us harm is too high for you to delay. Collaboration is the future of really effective performance, particularly where special talents are scares and consequences of failure so high.

I really do hope the programme works in the long-term, but currently it is one of the few forums for real inter government agency interaction, it’s a small but vital step in the right direction.

Lazy thinking

12 05 2011

It’s so easy to be lazy, so easy to put off what should be done today, so easy to let things be… even when you think they are not so good, not so well thought out, not so productive. I am the same, I think about things, but don’t take the action when I am the most frustrated or feeling  most irritated by the ideas I have.

What’s the solutions I wonder? It’s not beating your self up for not being so pious or proactive that you act every time, but it might be escalating and exploring the thinking process until you are so so so so very  frustrated you have to act. Thinking clearly  is not so easy and it takes time to do well…. time being  something so valuable we waste it with junk tv and poor newspapers, but something that given space will improve our decision-making exponentially.

Take the time to think, and then make decions to nonconform, not accept things as they are but as Bertrand Russell suggested, be the unreasonable man and make the changes to the circumstances you find and make them  fit  you, make things change, make a difference …. don’t get caught out by lazy thinking and fit to what exists just because we are too idle to dwell and ponder properly.   All progress is dependent on the unreasonable man, or woman, or transgender …. you know what I mean, just don’t take the easy way out, think more and think clearer about what matters and whether it’s business, family or something important to you …. don’t be lazy !!