Articles

A friend advises a business which keeps getting distracted by new opportunities before the old ones have a chance to take root. He calls it “shiny object syndrome”.And while each business area will have their version of shiny objects, it’s a term I have used to describe the way organisations...

It was a shambolic few weeks in Uber land. And the task they faced was one I refer to as turning around the Titanic with a paddle.That’s what trying to change an organisation’s well-entrenched culture can feel like — not impossible, but hard to do. And one reason is the...

It started with a conversation: Me: “You don’t need to exceed expectations, just do what you say.”Them: “So, under-promise and then over-deliver.”Me: “No, set expectations, whatever they are and meet them — that’s it…”I recommended they read the Harvard Business Review article ‘Stop Trying to Delight Your Customers’, and while the...

In the laboratory, scientists take a rigorous approach to growing cultures.Aware the environment around them has many species that can pollute early efforts, they maintain sterile equipment and scrupulously clean workspaces. They use the right media to optimise growth (plates, test tube or liquid), ensure the ideal temperature to promote...

Purpose is the new black. Every time I turn around I see a new headline or article on the topic. We are a ‘purpose-driven company’ is pasted across the websites of organisations.I should be doing cartwheels.Purpose has been central to my message to organisations about their identity and brand result...

I have a confession. I’m a podcast junkie and the ‘Waking Up’ podcast with Sam Harris is among the cornucopia of series I listen to.In one episode, Harris talked to author and NY Times columnist David Brooks about his book The Road to Character, and when they delved into promises...

I’m a voracious reader and always on the lookout for titles to add to my reading list. It’s particularly nice when that reading connects with the enduring question about how to achieve a brand result.The book, in this case, is Deep Work* by Cal Newport. And while the headline gives...

Following a trail of thinking on promises, I landed on “The Toxin Puzzle”, a thought experiment paper by Greg Kavka. The article explores the relationship between intending to keep a promise and acting to keep it and presents the following problem:“… The billionaire will pay you one million dollars tomorrow morning...

An organisation’s brand is a result. But what  elements contribute to the achievement and how do they relate to each other? This is the question I explore every week in my writing and every day in my thinking.In the formula I developed to answer those questions, purpose and values make up...

Of course, the quote is more popularly known as ‘you can’t have your cake and eat it too’ — which, of course, you can. History shows sources for both, and in the context of values, the reverse order ‘you can’t eat your cake and have it too’ makes sense. Because holding your...