Care to Act? A Covid-19 response

I first came across Patagonia the company around three or four years ago. A bright yellow book caught my eye in a bookshop. On the cover, in bold black and green writing, was the luminous title: ‘Conscious Capitalism – liberating the heroic spirit of business.’ Patagonia is a case study in the book (yes, the book cameContinue reading “Care to Act? A Covid-19 response”

In search of perfection #betterleaders #betterworld

In his book “Lift as you rise”, Bonang Mohale describes leadership as ‘creating movement and influence’. This definition is resonant with Conscious Leadership, one of four tenets of a conscious business design, which, contrary to popular belief, is proven to deliver vastly superior financial returns (see the Firms of Endearment Studies). The other tenets ofContinue reading “In search of perfection #betterleaders #betterworld”

The story of Lego Serious Play

The story of the Lego® Serious Play® method, now widely applied in small and large organisations globally, is an interesting one. The LEGO Company, despite being in the business of creativity, decided that the manner in which it developed its own strategy was decidedly uncreative. In addition, the company was facing huge pressures as video gamesContinue reading “The story of Lego Serious Play”

Thriving through chaos – what does it take?

It is not possible to predict the future with much accuracy. So says Nassim Taleb, whose deep and considered work concerns problems of randomness, probability and uncertainty. Exposure to unknowns is amplifying and our world, calibrated by rapid rates of change and technological advancement, seems increasingly complex. While some individuals appear to relish change andContinue reading “Thriving through chaos – what does it take?”

On the heels of social capital

Some groups are more than the sum of their parts. They go beyond ‘performing’, beyond achieving financial targets, beyond balancing stakeholder needs. Despite our best efforts to create perfect teams, a large number remain best on paper, an elite collection of IQs, track records, qualifications, agreeableness and inspiration, mostly as individuals. Others amalgamate to deliverContinue reading “On the heels of social capital”

Leaders: manage your stress footprint for those around you

‘Balance is becoming increasingly rare and perceivably impossible to achieve in today’s world. Despite technology making our lives easier, we appear to have far less time.’ – Richard Sutton The highly energetic biological state of stress is an adaptation that has served us well. It has provided humans with possibilities to flourish through shifting andContinue reading “Leaders: manage your stress footprint for those around you”

On habits (and leadership)

Your life today is essentially the sum of your habits. What you repeatedly do (i.e. what you spend time thinking about and doing each day) ultimately forms the person you are, the things you believe, and the personality that you portray. – James Clear, Atomic Habits. A significant chunk of our waking time is spentContinue reading “On habits (and leadership)”

Power as autonomy in the digital age

We are perhaps most familiar with a conceptualisation of power as influence, one of two types of power investigated in a 2016 study reported in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. The power of influence expresses a desire to control others. It can also involve taking responsibility for others. A second type of power, power as autonomy,has little to doContinue reading “Power as autonomy in the digital age”

Four types of purpose for organisations

With uncertainty comes a desire for something to believe in.  Managers are not loyal to a company, or a boss. They put their devotion and allegiance to those values they believe in and find satisfying. ‘Something to believe in’ is immune to fads, and provides hope for a future that has less clarity than mostContinue reading “Four types of purpose for organisations”

Machines, puzzles, humans and magic

The world has never moved this quickly, yet it will never again move this slowly.  Exposure to unknowns will amplify. When situations are unfamiliar it may be best to approach them as curious mysteries, rather than attempt to solve them as puzzles based on a logic that worked before. Think about first principles, encourages Peter Thiel, authorContinue reading “Machines, puzzles, humans and magic”

From zero to one

It is easier to copy a model than to create something new. But fine tuning old lines leads to dead ends. The more we compete through ‘match and beat’, the less we gain. The world has never moved this quickly, yet it will never again move this slowly.  Exposure to the unknown will amplify. Machines already performContinue reading “From zero to one”

A new mandate for business and leaders

The WEF has issued a triple investment imperative: invest in reskilling at-risk workers, upskilling the workforce generally and in building learning centres in organisations. This is in preparation for the looming Fourth Industrial Revolution, a revolution that has become terribly fashionable in business parlance of late. One would think that 4IR seems quite distant fromContinue reading “A new mandate for business and leaders”

IQ alone makes for a poor 21st century leaders

Whilst we have long prized Analytical Intelligence or IQ, research by developmental psychologists Kegan and Gardner has paved the way for a much richer understanding of human capability. An addition to IQ, we have the relatively well-known but less well-articulated EQ, or Emotional Intelligence. Alongside EQ are the further Systems Intelligence (appreciating how systems comeContinue reading “IQ alone makes for a poor 21st century leaders”

Work: a matter of social choice

Technological innovation does not drive social change. Rather, social change is usually driven by decisions we make about how to organise our world. These are the words of economic historian Louis Hyman. They remind us that the nature of work is a matter of social choice, the result of multiple decisions by us – companiesContinue reading “Work: a matter of social choice”

Digesting creativity, innovation & purpose

#CREATIVITY Creativity is connecting things. “Technologies connecting to social movements. Industries converging. Bringing together disparate groups into a more powerful whole. Connecting the right message to the right medium. This is what great innovators have done for all time.” We can be prosumers or makers. We can do more than consume what others make. In this wayContinue reading “Digesting creativity, innovation & purpose”

11 notes from #Leaderex2018

1.   Design is everything. Design solutions that matter. 2.   With digital platforms, we sell value exchanges. 3.   Young people are more likely to open bank accounts through their social media platforms (this is about trust). 4.   The biggest issue for banking is business model disruption. Payments are being commoditized. The industry will be defined by a race to theContinue reading “11 notes from #Leaderex2018”

A clever fusion of cutting-edge tech and deep human respect

South Africa’s expanded unemployment rate has risen from 6m in 2001 to 9.6m in 2018. With these significant unemployment figures looming large, it can be challenging to keep a positive outlook. Until you pay a visit to Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator. Harambee means ‘we win when we pull together’. If you don’t know them, HarambeeContinue reading “A clever fusion of cutting-edge tech and deep human respect”