Tag: Context

Cayman and Connecting

Connecting in Cayman

So, I’m coming home to Cayman once again for the week of December 9th.

CONNECTING is my Context for this trip (see “Setting your Personal Context“).

I’ll be connecting with my sons and with friends, and with clients for various projects and meetings. Cayman is and always will be home to me, so it is also a general sense of connecting to Cayman, of being and feeling “home”.

I’ll have some space in the diary that week, so if something I’ve written in my daily blogs or #OpenLeadership posts has connected to you, or if you’ve looked at the #BeMoreYou page and would like to meet to explore that with me, email me to set up to meet, or even go virtual and set up a thirty-minute call online.

PS the photo above is theReef resort, part of my life since conception in the late 1990s, and still connected to the people and the place and take “staycations” there with my boys often.

Let’s talk

Book your 30-minute meeting here.

Ed Percival and his Cayman legacy

Ed Percival
The late, great Ed Percival

This week in Cayman I find myself musing on Perspectives, on Legacy, on Context, all as I am here with my own Context this week of CONNECTION. After two meetings early in the week with a current client and a past client, I find myself thinking of the legacy of the great Ed Percival on Cayman and how he shifted Perspective and Context for a significant number of Cayman’s leaders.


Context creates clarity and focus

Context creates clarity and focus

This week I had a half-day meeting with a client leadership team in Cayman. With a lot happening for them, they were feeling a little “scattered”. After talking through a download of much of that in some detail, we elevated the conversation and arrived at a Context (and three Themes) to set a focus and direction forwards for them.

Context creates clarity and focus, as well as energised individuals, teams and businesses to take action in an aligned and engaged fashion.

So, how do you arrive at such a Context?


Climate Crisis. Reduce, Rebel, Now.

Climate Crisis Strike
Great Thunberg outside the Swedish Parliament
starting her school strike, September 2018


One year ago this week Greta Thunberg sat, alone, outside the Swedish parliament, to begin her Climate Crisis strike. One year later, literally millions joined her across the world.

Crisis was the one word to change everything. From Climate Change, to Climate Crisis.


This was the one-word Context developed by a North American client of mine several years ago. They were, at that time, number six in their mature market, yet they chose the word Best.

One word. Always one word. 

Distil your Context to one word and then you can use the Cascading Leadership model (align, engage, enrol) and the entire organisation will get behind that, an immeasurably powerful force.


Business Strategy Coaching – a simple secret

strategy coaching

What if I could give you a secret to elevating your business strategy that takes less time, costs less, whilst at the same time engaging and energising your top people?

The secret starts with believing that the answers to elevating your strategy already sit within your business. More specifically, within the knowledge and experience of your own people.

Once you come from that belief, how to unlock the optimum and highest value strategy?

Simple. Hire a business strategy coach rather than a consultant.


Without Context, Data is simply Noise

Without Context, Data is simply Noise

Data = Noise
Data + Context = Information
Experimentation + Error = Experience
Information + Experience = Knowledge
Knowledge + Humility = Wisdom

Recently Fergus Connolly posted this on Twitter. I love following learnings on elite performance in sport and Fergus is an absolute leader in this space.

Love his distillation here, and particularly the first level.

Any current or past client reading this will likely give a wry smile when I say that Context is everything.

Without Context, Data is simply so much noise.

Context is the lens you use to view the world, your business, anything.

What’s yours?

PS my Context in writing daily is to share learnings around #OpenLeadership. As we are now well over 600 posts, sometime soon I will create a section on the site capturing and distilling some core models and themes developed and shared over that time.



Take a look at the right forearm of this swimmer. One word, written in marker pen:


This photo popped up this week as a Facebook memory for me from several years ago when this particular swimmer was at an international meet looking to make a time that would qualify them to go to and swim for a leading university.

In short, they wrote the word CLARITY on their arm to give the focus on what they were there at the meet for. On a one-week team trip overseas, everything came down to one four-minute swim.

That swimmer wanted that reminder of the absolute CLARITY they would need in order to succeed. This was their Context, their lens through which they viewed everything on that trip, at that swim meet.

When I work with individual clients, one of the most frequent “key learning” clients share at the end of each meeting with me is that it gave them CLARITY.

The same day I saw this Facebook memory I had a regular ninety-minute meeting with a client. As we began the meeting they told me they were really stuck on how to move forward with a business strategy. At the end of the meeting, they reflected that they now had CLARITY on the way forward.

Where might you benefit from more CLARITY? Who is helping you with that?

PS The swimmer made the qualifying time. Years later, they continue to be clear on their direction and focus in life.

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 to 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.