Our normal day to day working life or even just life itself can leave us feeling mentally confused. When we find ourselves so caught up in the whirlwind we often cannot see the wood for the trees.
In this fast-moving mental state, our brains are very capable at using past experiences to make a decision. In these situations, we make decisions intuitively and mostly this works okay. The more successful experiences we have built up over time in a particular field, the better our decision making will be when we face similar challenges in the future. That’s why experience counts in business. READ MORE
When I ask business owners the above question, they’ll often ask me what I mean. So I qualify the question with another one. I ask them:
“Could you go on holiday for four weeks, have no contact with your team whilst you’re away and know that the organisation can still thrive?”
Mostly the answer is a resounding “NO!” READ More
I’m sitting here at five AM, reflecting on my family’s recent journey as my partner and son sleep fitfully upstairs. After a month of planning and preparation we packed all our belongings into a trailer along with our yellow Labrador and set off for a new destination abroad. We had a dream just like Martin Luther King did. ‘Who dares wins’ they told me in the Special Air Service and we did. We dared and we worked and we failed. After six months of work and discomfort, just as we were about to launch our new project, the partners pulled the metaphorical carpet from beneath us, and pulled out.
So here I am sat in the darkness, feeling the huge responsibility of protecting my family. We’re homeless, we’re dreamless and considerably poorer as a result of this adventure. I still have hope though. READ More
The Oxford English dictionary announced after much discussion and research, that the word of the Year for 2016 was post-truth.
It described post-truth as an adjective defined as
‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief’.
The word post-truth has been around for decades, but its usage spiked recently as a result of the Brexit referendum and the US elections. These two events combined with other daily news makes us all wonder if our environment, economy and society will survive. READ More
The story goes that Einstein was daydreaming about travelling on rays of light and this led to his famous theory of relativity. But you don’t find many leaders asking their team to daydream. Leadership that unlocks the creative potential of a team requires some courage. It’s easier, one could argue, for giants such as Google to set aside 10% of their employee’s time for creative thinking. This strategy has reaped big rewards for Google but smaller firms struggle with doing this.
Creativity takes time and it also means letting go of control which is another challenge for some leaders.
So imagine these scenarios. A group of Bankers are sat in an office and they are wondering how to extract more money from the public so they can all claim bigger bonuses. So they come up with what they believe is an ingenious solution. They wrap up some dodgy debts into some triple ‘A’ packaging. The rest is history, the effects of which are still reverberating around the world today.
Let’s take another meeting. A group of corporate leaders thinly disguised as politicians say to themselves:
“Let’s start a war in the Middle East, using a recent terrorist attack to unite public opinion, because we’re bound to win quickly and we’ll get all the contracts to rebuild the place and make gazillions.”
We all know how that’s still playing out. READ More:…
“The biggest paradigm shifts happening right now are ironically the increasing awareness of the existence of paradigms…”
In his Book ‘The Structure of Scientific Revolution’, Thomas Kuhn wrote that advancement was not evolutionary but rather a “series of peaceful interludes punctuated by intellectually violent revolutions” when “one conceptual worldview is replaced by another”.
These ‘paradigm shifts’- a term Kuhn created – are best thought of as a transformation driven by agents of change. Examples of change agents through history include the invention of mechanical automation, electrical technology and more recently the digital revolution. The next paradigm shift, known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, will probably be the advance of ‘Smart’ technology which will unleash the potential of communities.
Paradigms themselves are useful as filters for problem solving and decision making within a particular system. They represent the existing worldview. But as Kuhn observed, clinging to the wrong paradigm means you can miss the blindingly obvious. Read More:
Watching the Olympics, I’m reminded of the fact I should go out and do more exercise. At the moment I resemble the couch potato character ‘Denis’ played by Simon Pegg, in the movie ‘Run Fatboy Run’. In the movie Denis attempts to prove to the girl he jilted at the alter, that he can transform into somebody worthy of her attention again, by running in the London marathon.
There is a great scene in which, after many exhausting miles shuffling along the dark streets of London, Denis suddenly hits a brick wall. In his delirious state Denis can’t quite understand what the wall is. The wall symbolises the marathon runner’s wall or ‘the bonk’. It’s a stage when the glycogen stores in the liver and muscles are depleted and the runner literally runs out of energy. To continue the runner must rely on other types of physical and mental processes to continue because the mind and body unanimously want to quit.
I think this is a great metaphor for entrepreneurs who get to a certain stage in their business life cycle….. READ More