Befriending uncertainty


Having just returned from one journey into the unknown (visiting Sweden for the first time), I am preparing to enter the unknown once again as I pack for a residential Tavistock working conference that starts today.  Having been through this experience before, I am torn between excitement about what I will learn, and a profound sense … Continue reading Befriending uncertainty

What I learned from speaking at TedX


Last year, while browsing my LinkedIn feed I came across TedX Pretoria’s call for speakers.  On the spur of the moment, I decided to nominate myself, never really considering the consequences if I was actually accepted.  A couple of weeks later I received the email that my nomination had been successful, and promptly had a “what were you … Continue reading What I learned from speaking at TedX

The soft stuff has become the hard stuff


The Gallup State of the Global Workplace report was released recently, containing employee engagement results per country.  The results are generally pretty dismal,  an indictment on the prevailing cultures in our organisations. For sub-Saharan Africa, the report states: In most sub-Saharan African countries, formal employment for an employer is still relatively rare; many residents work at subsistence … Continue reading The soft stuff has become the hard stuff

Building the adaptive core of your organisation


A discourse that has been gaining prominence in business nowadays is around adaptive and resilient organisations.  Some of the world’s leading business thinkers like Prof Gary Hamel are making the case for adaptive capacity as being critical for businesses today.  In this HBR article the authors speak of Adaptive Advantage as the new competitive edge.   Similarly, resilience has been … Continue reading Building the adaptive core of your organisation

One sure-fire way to poison your culture


Sometimes I come across ideas in business that are just so counter-productive that I really cannot understand how they ever became accepted practice.  One such idea that I’ve seen wreak havoc on corporate culture is the so-called Forced Ranking performance assessment process (or as Jack Welch termed it “Rank & Yank“). In virtually every company … Continue reading One sure-fire way to poison your culture

A great story needn’t be long


People often think that a story has to be long  and follow a particular structure in order to have impact or be memorable.  This belief often inhibits us from sharing our stories, but it is simply not true.  Sometimes, the best stories are really short little anecdotes.  I came across this one in a recent … Continue reading A great story needn’t be long

Don’t allow others (or yourself) to should on you!


I’ve been reflecting on how often we allow other people’s (and society in general’s) ‘shoulds’ to influence our choices and even our identity.  Now I have to say up-front, some ‘shoulds’ are legitimate, for example, everyone should respect life and not go around murdering other people, and it’s probably best not to cheat on your … Continue reading Don’t allow others (or yourself) to should on you!

The restorative power of meaning


In an article in the Time magazine (26 June ed), Joe Klein writes poignantly about how regaining a sense of purpose through public service is helping US military veterans and returning troops to find their way again.  Some of these men and women suffer from severe PTSD, others are simply struggling to cope with the … Continue reading The restorative power of meaning

The tyranny of the moment


Warning!  This post doesn’t contain 7 steps or 12 ideas, nor is it the ideal 600-800 word length … “The greatest tragedy in using speed as the answer to complexity and the complexities of a work life, is that very soon we cannot recognize anything that is not travelling at the same velocity as we are. … Continue reading The tyranny of the moment