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...
Team work, leadership and the Rugby World Cup
It was Bill Shankly who famously said that football was not a matter of life and death. It was, he added, more important than that. I’ve never really understood the round ball game; I don’t see why they can’t just pick the ball up and run with it. Well, the arrival of the rugby world cup means that for the next five weeks...
Adults at work
One of the most fulfilling of my many roles is mentoring. I act as a, often unofficial, mentor to a number of people and have done so throughout my career. Giving people the confidence to see issues differently is, I like to think, one of my key strengths.
A number of recent conversations have all had a common theme and have led...
The true nature of leadership
I recently took part in a discussion about leadership. A top research organisation was presenting some initial findings of whom members of the public considered to be leaders and what they thought the characteristics of leadership actually were. Many of the usual suspects, like Churchill, figured highly as well as a few less like...
Time to find other ways to engage
As the conference season for UK political parties draws to a close some are beginning to wonder whether they have now passed their sell-by date. What was once a cross between rah-rah events for the faithful and serious policy-making forums has now become little more than made-for-tv events that take place in front of an audience of...
Asking not telling
Giving advice is an art form in its own right. Knowing what to say requires a mixture of wisdom and diplomacy and a high degree of emotional intelligence. People ask others for advice everyday and few, whether consultants, counsellors or friends, are usually backward in coming forward with ideas and suggestions. In fact, tellin...