Next Level: The past informs the future

In 1916, Henry Ford in an interview with the Chicago Tribune said that ‘History is more or less bunk.  It’s tradition.  We don’t want tradition.  We want to live in the present and the only history that is worth a tinker’s dam is the history we made today.’ Students of history learn about cause and effect.  Although Ford had the …

The Receptionist

I know this might seem a bit strange, but I really like sitting in reception areas.  It seems that other people regard them a necessary inconvenience but I find them fascinating places.  The flotsam and jetsam of the world pass through.  You get members of staff, some with their cheery comments to the receptionist and others, heads down in their …

Protagonists of change 1: The Activist

Do you have a difficult challenge to overcome? Do you need to take action now? Do you want someone who will persist until the goal is achieved? Then you want … an activist. Before we go any further, these are not ‘enthusiasts’, you’ll have to wait for them in a future blog.  Activists are quite different. Let’s imagine your ship …

Magna Carta

There are specific times in History that cause a paradigm shift, where the established rules are changed and the way we live is substantially improved.  June 1215 was one such time.  The Magna Carta was an agreement between the Barons of Medieval England and King John.  It was signed at Runnymede near Windsor Castle.  In it were a number of …

The ‘hard of hearing’ leader

I don’t want to make excuses but when you lead an organisation it is so hard to ‘hear’ the important information that gets sent your way.  Some people get hundreds of e mails, with everyone in the organisation adding you to a ‘cc’ list often to cover their backs rather than taking responsibility for their own actions.  Then there’s the …

The Communication Spectrum

How do you want to be communicated with?  What is your preference?  What about your colleagues?  Have you ever asked them what they prefer?  Or your customers?  The point is that we are all different, and communication is very important to us.  In fact it is rare to go into any organisation and ask people what really needs to be …

How far would your customers go for you?

Let’s take Saturday as an example.  It was a routine Saturday and like many others I was destined to go shopping.  A visit to the supermarket was crowded as usual but most of the items on my list were where I expected to find them.  I bought fuel for my car at my local filling station and headed home.  As …

If…

This is one of my favourite coaching techniques.  When someone is stuck in their mindset and feels unable to find a way forward; they cannot see alternatives or can’t ever see themselves achieving what they want, this question often unlocks their door.  Simply ask: ‘If you could, what would you have to do?’ You say you want to run a …

Mohands Karamchand Gandhi (1869 – 1948)

The scale of Mahatma (great soul) Gandhi’s influence needs to be viewed from the perspective of the time.  India was ruled by the British and included what is now Pakistan and Bangladesh.  There were deep spiritual divisions especially between the Hindus and Muslim populations and the caste (class system) was inextricably set, dividing the rich from the poor.  From this, …

The Art of Appreciation

Welcome to another eclectic Friday blog where I can write about more unusual ideas. Whilst I am interested, like many people, in a good cup of tea, this is actually about the appreciation of art.  One aspect of the Japanese Tea Ceremony, as developed and refined over the centuries, was the selection of pieces of art presented by tea-masters to …