Critical Friends

My word, it’s tough being an itinerant chronicler of the peccadilloes of the business world. I had a blog all prepared ready to be uploaded this morning and, as is my custom, gave it to my wife to get her opinion.  I’ll spare you the painful discussion, but she didn’t like it.  

I’m always at pains to distinguish myself from glossy self-help authors, so I’ll spare you the cloying description of the mutual respect we have in our marriage which led me to bin my latest meisterwerk without a protest (but just wait till the next time she goes out without locking the back door).  Nevertheless, it was a sobering reminder that if you ask someone’s opinion, you’d better make sure you’re prepared to act on the consequences.

Inviting criticism is not for the faint hearted. Indeed, the last time I asked a client for feedback, he told me he was surprised I’d never had my crooked teeth fixed.  (Hmmm, I’m starting to...

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A Cautionary Tale

One of my mother’s great achievements during my childhood, apart from her penchant for singing obscure music hall songs, was being able to recite from memory Hilaire Belloc’s poem ‘Matilda, who told lies and got burnt to death’.  She would repeat this feat on an almost weekly basis, which accounts for my strong moral core, and my nervous tic. 

Belloc never wrote any poems set in an organisation – about time something was done about that…

Cautionary Tales For Managers (with apologies to Hilaire Belloc)

No. 1: Samantha, who refused to delegate and was ‘disappeared’


Samantha Tamsin Thornton-Briar
Was a corporate high-flier.
Hand-picked from University
Her progress through the hierarchy
Was rather quick, I have to say.
Succession planning paved the way
For her to be divisional head
(“And well deserved” - so HR said).


Now something that is clear to all
(At least to those people who scrawl
Their own notes in the...

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More Than One Label

The only thing consistent about today’s highly driven business world is that it is not consistent. Technology is replacing human beings faster than you can say “artificial intelligence.” Digital technology is constantly changing the workspace in amazing new ways. Increasing globalism has made it more likely that we will talk to someone in Saudi Arabia before lunchtime than we will the guy down the hall at the office - that is, for organizations that still have an office, given the fact that increasing numbers of company employees are working from home. With these always-increasing changes in the organizational environment, a new kind of business consultant is needed, one that is multifaceted and able to not only “think outside the box,” as the saying goes, but is willing to turn the box inside out if needed! Into this vacuum steps the polymath.


So what is a polymath, you ask? “Polymath” is a 17th-century Greek word used to describe...

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The Symbiosis of Business and Nature

This coming weekend – weather permitting – take a stroll in Nature, your favorite park, or work in your garden, and learn a few key points about business.

Clear your mind, take a deep breath of fresh air, and just observe. Watch the interactions between humans, young and old, in the outdoors. Watch the dogs, and the children, as they frolic in the park; watch people jog, run, bike and walk their pets. Carefully observe their faces and their mannerisms as they all spend time in nature.

It’s been reported in the business press that a number of progressive Silicon Valley firms such as Microsoft and the like often meet outdoors for brain-storming sessions. There is a reason for that. Being outdoors opens up the world and affords people a fresh perspective that can lead to vital new ideas.

Isaac Newton’s theory of gravity was developed as he sat outdoors beneath an apple tree and devoted his thoughts to the mysteries behind a fallen apple.

Now shift your focus to...

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Leading From the Back

The most exciting and innovative ideas about leadership and organization are coming from the forests.

For a lot of us living in the big cities and suburban areas, most of our minutes and hours spent walking outside are by passing by the concrete jungle of stores, shops, restaurants and cars.

Well sometimes we take on the route for Botanical Gardens, Parks, Campouts - but all of these are limited in exploring nature. And then there’s Netflix, National Geographic and Discovery Channel. But still, not a lot are able to fully explore nature and it’s wonders - the Plants, Insects and Animals freely wandering about in their natural habitat.


Nature is definitely an incredible tool to learn and development leadership and management.


What is Biomimicry?

Biomimicry is the imitation and development of what naturally occurs in nature into human-centered products, experiences, and design. The tiny hairs of a Gecko’s feet that allow them to climb vertical surfaces...

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The Highest Form of Leadership: Collaborative, and Values-Based Communication

“True humanitarian leaders care enough about humanity to search out the needs, problems, and solutions for people in need. They find something that inspires them but also serves others.

“It’s always about the people.” 

                                                                                                - Dr. John Demartini

Life is sales. Every day we attempt to persuade, cajole and encourage people – big and small – to cooperate with us in an endless number of...

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Seven Habits For You to Incorporate in Your Psychology if You Wish to Create Wealth for Your Family

  1. Have a vision for your family wealth creation

The secret to creating and growing wealth for your family is to have a big enough reason why you want to do it. The desire to grow and create wealth to buy more things is not a good enough reason, although wealth does make it possible to buy more things. A bigger reason does make it more worthwhile. You can choose to create and grow wealth for your family to give them the best as well as to make the world a better place. Imagine how fulfilling it will be if you, like Bill and Melinda Gates through their foundation, focus on increasing health conditions worldwide. James Hughes, author of “Family Wealth” says “A family can successfully preserve wealth for more than one hundred years if the family governance and practices are founded on shared values that express the family’s differentness.” This can only be done if someone is creating and holding the vision for the family – a vision for a hundred...

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How do you make your money last for generational impact?

Maintaining family wealth over generations can be challenging and there are so many obstacles on your way to wealth preservation. Ilze Alberts, wealth psychologist and behavioural strategist for families is sharing mental and behavioural strategies in 5 parts.

Part 1: “From shirtsleeve-to-shirtsleeve”

Many family wealth creators are ignorant about a proverb called “from shirtsleeve-to-shirtsleeve” or they might be aware of the proverb, but are uncertain about a strategy to transform it.

In Japan, the expression goes, “Rice paddies to rice paddies in three generations.” The Scottish say “The father buys, the son builds, the grandchild sells, and his son begs.” In China, “Wealth never survives three generations.” Around the world there are many variations on this theme, all used to describe the tendency of the third generation of a family to squander the wealth obtained by the first generation.

 According to studies,...

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Seven Keys to a Successful Relationship

When you are in a good spell in your relationship, you usually think it’s great to be in a relationship. You feel you are one of the lucky ones who can "live happily ever after." If you are in an unhappy spell in your relationship, you quickly feel your life is a nightmare, and you wish you could change your partner. Most people want to be in a happy permanent relationship or to be happily married.

Here are the seven keys I believe lead to a successful relationship:

  • Love your partner for who he or she is

Everybody wants to be loved for who they are, and nobody wants to be criticized for who they are. We each have our own unique set of values or priorities or things that are important to us. Nobody has your set of values or preferences, and that is what makes you unique. There is nobody like you and nobody like your partner. You got attracted to your partner for the way they are the same as you AND for the way they are the opposite of you. Paul and Arlene, a couple married...

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The Ideal Time for You to Ask for Referrals

One of the most effective and efficient ways to increase your sales is with referrals. 

Why?  Because when someone comes to you via referral they have the majority of their buying decision made – making your sales conversations more helpful to your potential client and profitable for you.

When you are looking for ways to increase your referrals, you may overlook the important detail of when you are asking for referrals.

“When you ask” includes the timing within your sales cycle and the timing within your sales conversations. Be sure to include these critical elements when you are looking to increase the number of referrals you are getting.

Timing is important because if you ask for referrals too soon or too late, you reduce your chances of getting referrals (worst case scenario) or you make it harder for you to get referrals (best case scenario).

Have you asked for a referral too soon? 

There are signs for you to read from your clients...

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