The quiet month

In the good old days one could usually rely on August to provide a steady stream of seasonal silly stories. The long, hot month served up nothing but ephemeral flotsam and jetsam which could happily be ignored.  One could set aside newspapers for a few weeks in the sure knowledge that nothing of significance would settle on the idle hills of summer.  This year is different.  We are now, it seems...

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How to change Executive Pay

How to change Executive Pay How to change executive pay?  These words are, frankly, less of statement preceding a solution than a plaintive cry.  We have arrived at a point where pretty much everyone agrees that there is a problem.  However, it’s a bit like London house prices where everyone recognises the issue but no one is prepared to make the first move and shave £200,000 off their ask...

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Storytelling and European debate

  As the Euro referendum debate hots up, both sides are in full storytelling mode.  And this means storytelling in both senses of the phrase: that of offering compelling visions of an In/Out future, and telling stories of the wild, exaggerated, porky-pie variety.  Many people, including seasoned campaigners and commentators, feel that this campaign is both far too negative and characteris...

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Lonely at the top

Who wouldn’t want to be a CEO.  It’s a role that comes laden with extras: status, authority, power and money.  And for those at the very top, there’s the chauffeur-driven car, and even perhaps a private jet whisking you between Davos and some other gathering of the great and good.  Not only does the job provide recognition of one’s special qualities of leadership but it also gives a plat...

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Changing one’s mind (again)

Much of my business life is spent coaching and supporting people through change, both personal and professional.  One of the many reasons people seek me out is because I’m viewed as being someone who is comfortable with change; somebody who is able to navigate complex, uncertain and ambiguous environments where events seem to be constantly upsetting apple carts.  And it’s true.  Too much cer...

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Back to School

Don’t you love September? I’ve always found its arrival a time for contemplation.  With over half the year gone, it’s now downhill all the way to Christmas and the next set of New Year’s resolutions.  The days are getting shorter, the cricket whites are put away, and the rugby season kicks off.  In other words, it always feels like the start of another school year.  And that’s why the...

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Independence day

Many of you know, thanks to LinkedIn’s algorithms, that I have now been an independent consultant for four years.  In fact, a number have written their congratulations.  It does indeed feel like a time to both celebrate and to reflect. So here are some thoughts as well as some tips on the subject. When you first tell people that you are going independent you tend to get a variety of responses....

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The Power of Notworking

Working long hours seems to be the norm. Lately we heard from the CEO who was confronted by his daughter with a list of all the important occasions in her life that he’d missed due to work commitments. We also heard of the extraordinary culture of long hours at Google, including a four-hour conference call every Sunday to “prepare” for the Monday morning meeting. Recently I came across an ess...

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Stand up for change

Illusory superiority is the cognitive bias that makes many of us feel that we are better than other people.  There are, for instance, more drivers who rate their driving as being above average than there are drivers.  It’s sometimes called the Lake Wobegon effect after the fictional town where, in Garrison Keller’s immortal words: "…all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, an...

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Looking but not seeing

One of the most extraordinary aspects of modern life is just how much of our attention is dominated by electronic screens.  Be it smart phones, TVs, tablets or desktop computers, these devices play a disproportionate amount of time in our lives.  We use them for working, socialising, learning and for entertainment; in fact, such is the ubiquity of these screens that working, socialising, learning...

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