I was part of a fascinating discussion recently, hosted by WatsonHelsby, at which the author Martin Thomas took us through the thinking behind his new book 'Loose'. The basic premise is that many organisations are still suffering from the delusion they can control what people both do and think. The book had particular relevance to ...
‘Where is the life we have lost in living’, asked TSElliot in The Rock. It is extraordinary how the frenetic pace of life seems to leave so little room for thinking. Leadership, both at work and as a parent, can seem an endless cycle of tasks to be completed and things to be done. Doing has become synonymous with living; and ...
Trust, privacy, and control
The twitterisation of society continues apace. US covert action and super-injunctions have found themselves outed on the ubiquitous chatter blog. There seems no escape from it. Indeed, many of you will have come to this blog via that channel. It all seems very new, as if the foundations of traditional communications are being...
Most people would agree that something has gone wrong with the levels of pay enjoyed by senior executives. Certainly, it would seem that the remuneration for top people is not in line with public sentiment. Anyone who has ever been to the annual shareholders meeting of a large business will know just how vexed an issue it is. The...
Leadership without a title
At the church in the village where I live is a plaque which commemorates Thomas Howard Esquire, son of the Honourable Sir Robert Howard, and grandson of the Right Honourable Thomas, Earl of Berkshire, who died on the fourth day of April, 1701. I’ve often wondered why Thomas Howard (assuming that it was him who chose his ow...
Dante’s Inferno and change consultants
I’m currently crawling my way through Dante’s Inferno (in English, obviously) and have just met those souls doomed to walk forever with their heads facing the wrong way. Walking forward but facing backwards, these are the futurologists; those who were so presumptuous as to try and foresee and foretell the future. Con...
Rogue reporters and how to fix society
The furore over phone hacking in UK has produced much righteous indignation, much of it from journalists. Watching some of them pontificate with faux anger reminded me of Captain Renault as he closed down Rick’s bar in Casablanca: “I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here.” The truth, as one wag put ...
Ozymandias and the hacking scandal
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on th...
Riots in London and the economic crisis have resulted in the predictable cry from opposition politicians for the leaders of the country to cut short their holidays and “get a grip”. Aside from the rather puerile nature of such demands (is it any wonder that so many people hold politicians in such low regard when politics seems ...
‘Tis the season to be jolly
It’s been a funny old August. The weather has been cooler and the rain has been heavier. Not depressingly bad but neither spirit-raisingly good. And at the same time our usual silly season of a light-hearted news agenda has been replaced with economic doom and gloom, international conflict, and riots. It’s all been rather...