Tag: Context

Be Curious


So this week I flew across 7 time zones to a city I’d never visited before. I had the next morning free, so decided to walk around the city, taking this photo on my way.

I chose to adopt a context of CURIOUS, to absorb and learn about this place and what makes a city of one million “tick” in what appears to be a pretty remote location globally.

I then took that attitude of curiosity into every conversation, every interaction over the next two days.

It is amazing how open and warm people can be with you when they sense you are truly open, curious and listening.

What might adopting a conscious focus on being curious bring to you and your leadership?

PS curious about which city this is ?


Ma – thinking about the space between


Ma is one of four Japanese terms for space, space being a concept that, it feels, is given much more focus in Japanese culture than in the West.

Today is Friday, January 4th and it feels to me to be a “space between”, where people have turned their minds back towards work after the holiday season, yet at the same time it still can feel like a “space between”.

Today some musing on space and then a learning from a client just before I wrote this, on what this can be used for to benefit you and your business. (more…)

Context and choosing your team

dream big get shit down

Am working on building a tribe to work on a brave and different project that looks at business and leadership through the lens of beauty.

Thanks to Susan Aktemel for posting this on Twitter the other day. I saw Susan speak at the Entrepreneurial Summit at Gleneagles this past April and her passion and purpose for business with purpose was inspiring!

The diagramme also gives me an opportunity here to share a learning. (more…)

How clean are your communications?


image from a SlideShare deck from OneFish TwoFish called

“How to communicate values without telling people to ‘live the values’ “

So, yesterday I wrote: “Be rid of Brilliant Jerks“. I didn’t say “Fire your Brilliant Jerks”.

So, how can you be rid of brilliant jerks without firing them, particularly in this world where hiring and firing can be a minefield laden with so much employee legislation, policies, procedures, protocols?

My answer? Lead your organisation rigorously based on values (ie where values are not just words framed on a wall or on a website!), then brilliant jerks will leave of their own volition, you won’t need to fire them.

In fact, keep reading my daily posts, as I’m going to keep riffing around this as feel like I’m on a role, and coming soon will be a post on “no fire” policies and companies that have successfully put this at their core. (more…)

A Trust Story – Netflix – Context, not Control

In 2009, Netflix published the now famous “Culture Deck”, 120 slides, a manifesto for the revolutionary culture created at Netflix.

Sheryl Sandberg famously referred to this deck as “the most important document ever to come out of the valley”.  It is still available to view and very much worth reading in full.

So. what is so special about the Netflix culture, and, now that this 2009 deck has been updated and abbreviated to 10 pages of prose, what can I synthesise and distil for you in a post of no more than two pages of prose?


New Year – Your “Why” comes before setting goals

why rooted in purpose

Every year so many of us set New Year’s resolutions, a to-do list of HOW we are going to do things differently. As we also know, the vast majority of such resolutions are not carried through. Hmm.

This year, consider reflecting first on WHY you want to make a change. If your WHY is powerful enough, it will carry you through the tough times that you will inevitably face if you seek change.

Let me carry that a little further. When is the last time you really took time at the start of the year to be clear on your “WHY“, what drives you as a human being? Not WHAT you want from life or HOW you intend to get there, but WHY that is important to you?

I wrote on Christmas Day in “Father Christmas asks – What’s your Centre?” about finding your centre, finding your WHY.

One other element to this is to look to understand the WHY of others, and to recognise that your sense of their WHY may not align with their own. To this I give you a parable : (more…)

Why humans will always stay ahead of AI

“May you live in interesting times” 

A little research attributes this to Sir Austen Chamberlain in 1936, soon before his brother was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and had to do the best with the tools he had to politically address the challenge that was Adolf Hitler. Suffice to say that he had limited success, as his brother had somehow unconsciously predicted with what has since been embellished to be called “the Chinese curse”.

So, we definitely now live in interesting times. Things are changing faster than ever and we won’t be able to cope at all with current leadership models. (more…)

Story time. The hat that caused chaos


photo : Cayman Compass

Chaos ? A hat ? Yes, a hat. Not even a hat, a latex swim cap.

Trouble, you say, what do you mean trouble ?

Chaos ! International incident ! (well, nearly 🙂 )

Pull up a chair, I’m going to share a story in writing I’ve told many times. Perhaps it has evolved in the telling to a legend, I’ll leave that for you to say. (more…)

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