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 !!


Target One Reached – Many thanks to you all

12 05 2011

After a fantastic response from people we have achieved our first target for the charity drive in Southern India. Many many many thanks to you all. I know when times are tight giving is harder  – but you have and we are very impressed by your generosity.

As many people who know me would attest to, I am quite goal driven so I think it’s only appropriate to now set a stretch target to aim for, not because I think what you have raised is not significant, but the charities can only operate when they are consistently funded and what will be a challenge for us is nothing compared to the difficulties that the children who benefit from both endure day after day.

So we will keep the donation site open and we will pester, advise, encourage, bully and badger our colleagues, clients, friends, family and even strangers into helping raise more…. so our new stretch target is £ 5,000….

Karma Enduro 2011 – driving & development

14 03 2011

Well now the year is ending, at least the business year in the UK, It’s time to think of new challenges to undertake. This coming year we, Mark and Kath Wilcox, will take on the Karma Enduro 2011, starting on October 30th. A well established adventure trip driving 2000kms through the Southern Indian landscape in a 1950’s design Ambi, the cute name for the Hindustandi Ambassador, or to you and me of the right age, a Morris Oxford !! Not an easy journey but one worth while to take a different path than the one most followed and raise some funds for a few good causes. There are two core charities for the Event, Adventure Ashram, and Rainbow Trust. You can visit their sites and see what they  do for children in India and the UK. We will also be raising money for another cause closer to home in Cumbria, but are still deciding the best cause. So watch this space for updates, sponsorship opportunities and other good stuff. All the costs of the completing the trip, and the initial donation to the two charities  of around £2850, is being donated by ourselves, but we want to raise more for the 3 charities… add to the adventure with us. Anything you give or pledge to us will go 100% to three good causes.

Just think you could have your company  logo, personal  mugshot or your  signature adoring this little beauty as it winds it way down from Goa to Cochin, with local radio, local tv, web and blog visibility. We are selling places on the car…. be there with us in spirit and get photos to put on your website and office wall. contact Mark at for details.

Don’t take life for granted, be part of something worthwhile….

Viral ideas in the organisation

25 01 2011

Recently we have been doing some assessment for a large engineering organisation. Our first involvement was with a graduate recruitment process for a global leadership programme. This assessment process , which we helped design and refine is now gaining a good reputation in the business. As a result, we have gained some more senior assessment work driven not by HR, the normal route to these things, but from senior line managers. Again the process is a success, given they are engineers, a demonstrable success. What is interesting to watch is how the process is spreading, gaining traction, getting developed and moving into areas of the business that were reluctant, resistant and really not interested in the past with objective and expert assessment of talent. Success it seems has many fathers …. there are now a number of senior managers across the organisation wanting to be associated with the projects, started in the graduate arena and now spreading their tools and language elsewhere…. some the same people that were definitely not going to accept the idea when initially approached.  What can we learn from this? One valid demonstration of results is worth a thousand words of selling.

So we now have a sea change in the organisation, getting to critical mass…. external senior post being assessed, their talent pools being assessed and their understanding of what drives performance being developed across line management and across a willing but less than influential HR team …the train has left the station!!

Frozen Thinking – defrosting the mind

22 01 2011

iceI am sitting in my office overlooking some beautiful frosty hills pondering about why some simple ideas or , at least to some of us, obvious truths are not taken up more widely.  The frozen landscape gave me inspiration, its not that the ideas are not good, its the fact that people’s minds are frozen in what they were taught as young managers or young professionals.  As Machiavelli commented hundreds of years ago, its not getting new ideas accepted that’s the problem, but making people let go of old ones.

If you think that most   managerial courses have content agreed and put into the curriculum decades ago,  showing Maslow as ‘the theory’ of motivation,  using Taylorism as an example of ‘the’ one best way  and using people like Jack Welch as icons of good leadership. The world has move on and many managers have taken their training, done their classes and set their ideas in permafrost. Management trainers and business schools, out side of a few world class ones, recycle, reuse and reduce their ideas to a common denominator of the famous few – Taylor, Maslow, Kotter, Porter et al. Getting different results means doing things differently and those ideas need to be researched, tested, adapted and applied – now – not in ten years  time when every one else is starting to get on the orchestral travelling transport vehicle !

So what is the glycol for the grey matter? Here’s my manifesto for the mindful-

  1. Read more about your profession – and it’s top players  – who are the gurus?
  2. Research your industry – globally – ask yourself if you were setting up now, where would you be based?
  3. Find out what makes you feel uneasy about your competitors – and learn from it, what would make your competitors unhappy about you ?
  4. Read at least 12 management books a year and locate 10 good ideas from them – not all will be any good – breadth and depth
  5. Do something that makes you feel uncomfortable  at work – a project where you are not the expert – be wiser  from learning !
  6. Go to a conference about which you know nothing – find a nugget of wisdom from a different domain
  7. Network with interesting people – not just from your industry – most  innovative ideas come from inspiration elsewhere
  8. Help someone else learn to do something to a level of expert – teaching makes us better at doing

Don’t get frozen thinking, keep the stimulus flowing, put some anti freeze in the faculties – be a fresh thinker – it’s being fresh that creates the flavour !!

David Ulrich in Barcelona

30 11 2010

I recently attended a short session on Leadership with David Ulrich in Barcelona.  Here’s just a few notes on what I saw and heard from the guru of Hr and Leadership. I was hoping for a few new insights and was not disappointed but at the same time not  overly inspired by what he said. Don’t get me wrong, he said a lot of good, sensible, well presented and pertinent stuff, but nothing new is how I felt leaving the venue ( a spectacular if noisy cable car tower).

What was reconfirmed by listening to David ,and the invited guests comments and responses to his sometimes pointed questions, was that  leadership is all about meaning creation. For him, and for many of his guests, the need for leaders to inspire confidence by being able to help their teams, their staff and employees generally, to understand their roles and the situations they were in at work, was the primary contributor to affluent work places.  He also gave me a blinding insight into the obvious, but sometimes it’s needed for all of us, when he stated HR  only do four things ; talent, teams, build leadership and manage performance.  Given that doing these well are critical to a successful buisness I think the case for HR being a strategic player in the business was made with one flip chart…. maybe thats why he’s a guru; the ability to say something clearly and with insight that others sometime mis or make overly complex.

A good gig for all the right reasons, sun shine, insight and a fantastic view !

New Business and New Focus

3 11 2010

Well its been a while since I posted but in the gap there has been a lot of change… taking my own advice to some extent and refocusing on the core activities. S0  here is  Change Capability Consulting Ltd. We are  now launched, to deliver change more consistently , more effectively and globally.  It seems that the demand for assistance with People, Strategy and Performance is increasing and a business with a focus here will thrive and add value to the client.

There is no doubt that the global financial downturn hit some businesses but the market for good quality change assistance grew.  As a response to that demand my  new business will focus on exactly that, the delivery of change assistance, from strategy to implementation.

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