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Don’t write the U.S. off just yet – How the TIDES of Change model can help assess the future of the world’s largest economy

“Many business leaders will realise, soon, that they are underinvesting in North America” says Joel Kurtzman a leading figure in the U.S. on the future of business. Joel founded the Booz & Co magazine Strategy+Business and is also a senior

The greatest challenge facing the future of business, requires your attention now.

Peter Menzel, is an award winning photographer, takes photographs of people posing next to their possessions taken out of their home and piled high on the pavements. The pictures paint a vividly clear picture – we live in a Material World,

What the UK storms can teach leaders about gaining advantage from disruptive forces

We are living in unprecedented times. The storms lashing the UK coast are the worst in living memory and the costs to the economy are in the region of £14b and growing as the weatherman reports two additional storms approaching.

Five reasons why addressing the “perversions of capitalism” will give you a competitive advantage

“The present state of affairs is really a perversion of the proper working of capitalism. It is all wrong to have millionaires before you have ceased to have slums…If we do not find some way of correcting that perversion of

The growing power of protest

On the 28th August 1963 civil rights campaigner, Martin Luther King, led thousands of people on a march to America’s capital, Washington DC. There he gave a speech that inspired and paved the way for equal rights and changed the
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The Enneagram, A Tool For Self- Observation

The French philosopher, Marcel Proust, said that the true journey of discovery does not consist of searching for new landscapes, but in having new eyes I loved that quote and agree with him. We have all heard that saying when

Keep your hands off my genes

And now an entry from the case files of the totally bleeding obvious: Yesterday the Supreme Court of the USA finally agreed – unanimously – that genes cannot be patented. In a stunning example of corporate over reach, a variety
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Leadership: The Right Trap

There is a trap that leaders should work to avoid. Yet ironically, it is a trap that ensnares many a leader and one that they enter into willingly. It is the trap of being right. Being right? Isn’t that what
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Blogging the ‘Not So Smart’ Way by Jeff Bullas

I was really looking forward to reading Jeff Bullas’s ‘Blogging the Smart Way’ that I had downloaded. I was sure that there would be some worthwhile insights and some fresh lessons to be learnt. He did a pretty convincing job
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Toxic Leadership: Recognising the signs

Toxic leadership always ends badly but it doesn’t start that way. Toxic leadership (as is the case with any from of leadership) requires followership and to assume that at the outset the followership knew what they were in for is
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Toxic Leadership: Recognising the signs.

Toxic leadership always ends badly but it doesn’t start that way. Toxic leadership (as is the case with any from of leadership) requires followership and to assume that at the outset the followership knew what they were in for is
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One Day Without Shoes

Tuesday 16 April is the TOMS ‘one day without shoes’. TOMS, founded in 2006 by Blake Mycoskie in Santa Monica, California is a shoe company with a difference. The company designs and sells shoes based on the Argentine ‘alpargata’ design
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What Oscar Pistorius And Lance Armstrong Can Teach Us About Needing to Win

As the world turns its attention to the story of Oscar Pistorius and the tragic events that unfolded on Thursday 14th February 2013, with the death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, one cannot help but lament the let down that

What every business leader can learn from the horsemeat scandal

The food and retail grocery industry is reeling from the horsemeat scandal, which displays a number of consumer trends and sentiments that can be associated with competitive advantage in the Connection Economy.  The most important one is not that there

When will they learn that we live in an age of transparency?

This is a bit of a nerdy blog post. Or as we say in the UK, I am being an anorack. But I’ll declare that I am a fan of Elon Musk, of Tesla, and a media skeptic (all will

Global warming deniers need to face the facts (and the heat)

One of the key trends that my team and I track is the environment. There is no doubt that changes in our physical world, and our responses to them, are huge causes of disruptive change right now. When I do

Global warming deniers need to face the facts (and the heat)

One of the key trends that my team and I track is the environment. There is no doubt that changes in our physical world, and our responses to them, are huge causes of disruptive change right now. When I do
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China and Ethics Matter: Two Bottom Line lessons for Leaders Everywhere

Two headlines in the Business Report caught my eye this morning. The first had to do with China’s economic performance.  Later today I am flying to Guangzhou, China for a day’s work with London Business School on the Nestle Leadership
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China and Ethics Matter: Two Bottom Line lessons for Leaders Everywhere

Two headlines in the Business Report caught my eye this morning. The first had to do with China’s economic performance.  Later today I am flying to Guangzhou, China for a day’s work with London Business School on the Nestle Leadership

Still the very best thing we could do: End extreme poverty in a generation

For the last few years, I have been involved with The Global Poverty Project, a charity with the goal of seeing the end to extreme poverty within a generation. They support the work of other charities, of advocacy groups and

Still the very best thing we could do: End extreme poverty in a generation

For the last few years, I have been involved with The Global Poverty Project, a charity with the goal of seeing the end to extreme poverty within a generation. They support the work of other charities, of advocacy groups and
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Shale Gas – the greatest disruptive technology facing the world of work

“The shale-gas revolution in America has been as sudden and startling as a supertanker performing a handbrake turn… the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that the United States will become the world’s largest oil producer by 2020, outstripping Saudi Arabia

What are teachers worth?

At the start of another school year here in South Africa, there are once again rumours that teachers in the highly politicised government teachers’ unions might go on strike to demand more pay. This is just crazy. Teachers’ hefty salaries

Nine 2012 stories that will change the world in 2013

Yesterday, the Common Dreams blog ran an excellent piece by Sarah van Gelder on nine key trends that started last year and will continue to impact the world this year. Most of these are disruptive forces, and chime well with

Nine 2012 stories that will change the world in 2013

Yesterday, the Common Dreams blog ran an excellent piece by Sarah van Gelder on nine key trends that started last year and will continue to impact the world this year. Most of these are disruptive forces, and chime well with

If America was really serious about the economy, it would end the ‘war on terror’

I’ll be upfront: I hate war. These simple three words were etched in my mind forever as I stood in front of Gallery Room 3 at the open air memorial to Franklin D. Roosevelt in Washington, DC (see picture). In

If America was really serious about the economy, it would end the 'war on terror'

I’ll be upfront: I hate war. These simple three words were etched in my mind forever as I stood in front of Gallery Room 3 at the open air memorial to Franklin D. Roosevelt in Washington, DC (see picture). In
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If America was really serious about the economy, it would end the ‘war on terror’

I’ll be upfront: I hate war. These simple three words were etched in my mind forever as I stood in front of Gallery Room 3 at the open air memorial to Franklin D. Roosevelt in Washington, DC (see picture). In

The Kids Aren’t Playing Around Anymore

For a few years now, our researchers at TomorrowToday have been predicting what Generation Y might do when they grow up. This generation was first dubbed “The Millennials” by Neil Howe and William Strauss (see this book, for example), and

The Kids Aren't Playing Around Anymore

For a few years now, our researchers at TomorrowToday have been predicting what Generation Y might do when they grow up. This generation was first dubbed “The Millennials” by Neil Howe and William Strauss (see this book, for example), and
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The Kids Aren’t Playing Around Anymore

For a few years now, our researchers at TomorrowToday have been predicting what Generation Y might do when they grow up. This generation was first dubbed “The Millennials” by Neil Howe and William Strauss (see this book, for example), and
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When you strike Generation Y, you strike a rock

On the 9th August 1956 South African women marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria in order to protest against the Pass Laws (legislation that required Black African people to carry an identity book which gave them permission to live

The Future of the Olympics: who’s the best mutant? or human 2.0?

As the Olympics once again start their quadrennial celebrations of human achievement and athletic accomplishment, we look forward to a few weeks of extraordinary stories and celebrations. On the basis of past experience, it’s likely that some competitors will be
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Those who think they have power tend to abuse that power

This thought could probably apply to many different people in many different parts of society, but right now my brain is fixated on the nauseating stench coming from the banking industry. From Barclays colluding with central banking authorities to manipulate
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Barclays and ABSA get the lesson: ‘culture matters most’.

Under the title, ‘Ramos fights on all fronts’ (Business Times 15/7/12), ABSA Chief Executive, Maria Ramos, tells parent bank Barclays of the concerns she has about their banking culture. She has every right to be concerned. When Barclays bought a

Banksters – the most recent crisis explained simply by The Economist

I’m a subscriber to The Economist. This week I am absolutely loving their cover on the banking crisis: “Banksters” is the one word title, with a wonderful image. This week has definitely been a bad one for banks, and Bob

Banksters – the most recent crisis explained simply by The Economist

I’m a subscriber to The Economist. This week I am absolutely loving their cover on the banking crisis: “Banksters” is the one word title, with a wonderful image. This week has definitely been a bad one for banks, and Bob
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Visualising the retirement age crisis around the world

Most countries in the world are in the process of gradually pushing up their retirement age. France’s new President is doing the opposite right now, but that won’t last and the French will soon have to increase retirement age once again. There is
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Women and Mentorship Programmes

‘Women in Leadership’ has probably been a focus of discussion for decades and no doubt it has looked different in different eras through out history. However, I think that now, in the new world of work, more than ever that
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Do no harm: why banks continue their agonising, slow death plunge

It seems too easy, and almost cliched these days, to bash the banks. And yet, astonishingly, just when you think you’ve heard the worst of it, some new piece of information comes to light that shows just how sick and
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A Woman’s World Beckons

Steve Pinker, Professor of Psychology at Harvard, famously wrote that ‘behavioural science is not for sissies’ and I agree. Although I wish somebody had alerted me to this fact before I embarked on a four-year long Sociology degree aged 19.
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A Woman's World Beckons

Steve Pinker, Professor of Psychology at Harvard, famously wrote that ‘behavioural science is not for sissies’ and I agree. Although I wish somebody had alerted me to this fact before I embarked on a four-year long Sociology degree aged 19.

Scott Thompson of Yahoo should resign – not for lying, though

Scott Thompson is the CEO of Yahoo, a position he has held since January, after moving from PayPal. An activist shareholder recently discovered that Scott has falsified his CV and bio, claiming to have a BA in Computer Science when

Scott Thompson of Yahoo should resign – not for lying, though

Scott Thompson is the CEO of Yahoo, a position he has held since January, after moving from PayPal. An activist shareholder recently discovered that Scott has falsified his CV and bio, claiming to have a BA in Computer Science when
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The Communication Revolution

In the 21st century I think we are all acutely aware of the significance of communication. It is all around us, in so many forms: face to face (both verbal and non-verbal or our body language), written, in various forms
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What’s the cost of a Glass Slipper?

The subject of women at work is fascinating and can be explored endlessly, because it is so nuanced and complicated and of course can be overlayed with culture, socio-economics, geographic location, generation, religion, education levels; and different eras in history
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What's the cost of a Glass Slipper?

The subject of women at work is fascinating and can be explored endlessly, because it is so nuanced and complicated and of course can be overlayed with culture, socio-economics, geographic location, generation, religion, education levels; and different eras in history
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When I Grow Up I Want To Be Miss Universe

I am not sure if that is what Jenna Talackova thought when she was growing up as a boy names Walter in Vancouver, Canada, but that is what she has been fighting for a chance to be – Miss Universe

Next steps for the future of women’s equality

I was watching some women’s sport last weekend, and then followed the controversy around women in the heart of golf at the Masters this weekend. There were a number of stories that intertwined to remind me again of how unequal
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What Sport Can Highlight for Conversations on Gender

One of the things I am interested in is why women seem (generally) to earn less than men for the same kinds of jobs in similar industries with relative standards of qualifications. I think whenever one asks questions around gender

Show me the science: the weird world of climate change

We live in a world where even straight forward facts are disputed, distorted and used in fantastical ways by those with political agendas. The 24 hour news cycle seems capable of turning sound bites into facts, and then running with

Reimagining Capitalism – as Principled, Patient, and Truly Social

Polly LaBarre has written an excellent and thought-provoking piece on the Harvard Business Review blog (thanks to Pete Laburn for alerting me to this). It is becoming increasingly clear that unfettered, free market capitalism is a discredited system. Communism was

Reimagining Capitalism – as Principled, Patient, and Truly Social

Polly LaBarre has written an excellent and thought-provoking piece on the Harvard Business Review blog (thanks to Pete Laburn for alerting me to this). It is becoming increasingly clear that unfettered, free market capitalism is a discredited system. Communism was

Insider Trading is legal for US Senators: unbelievable corruption at the heart of US government

At the heart of capitalism is a set of rules that govern how economies work – they make the whole system function. One of the pillars of capitalism is the understanding of an efficient market, which requires that everyone in
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You Wonder How These Things Begin?

Where does one’s socialisation start? Does it begin with one’s parents or primary caregivers? Do you unconsciously observe their codes of behaviour and emulate that growing up, thinking that is normal? Does it get added to at school and then

Too Big to Fail: The Need for Leaders to Remember

Imagine a workforce that takes initiative, accepts responsibility for their work, their learning and their company. Imagine an environment where there is energy, goodwill and a shared camaraderie. Image! Anybody who thinks that this isn’t desirable, who thinks this impossible,
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In This Week of Love…

… I decided to Blog about love as a kind of ode to love, which I think in our fast-pace ever-changing world of chaos is all too easily overlooked. Do you believe in love? Do you believe in true love?
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Am I am Actress or am I Real?

Have you ever been asked this question? (well, if you are a man you may have been asked if you are an actor). I was asked it yesterday morning and certainly it has got me thinking. Let me paint the
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What Having A Social Conscience Can Do For Your Brand

In January 2012 Wimpy decided to try a completely new type of advertising. They launched what they called their ‘Braille Burgers’ public relations campaign. What the campaign did was set out to write, in seseme seeds on the top of a

Capitalism in Crisis

The FT has launched a provocative new series called Capitalism in Crisis. At TomorrowToday we’ve been pointing this out for the past ten years and helping leading companies find solutions. We are excited that the general mass media is at long
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Teaching Generation Why?

At the start of a new academic year in South Africa, I thought it would be a good idea to give teachers some things to think about for teaching Generation Why successfully. However, many of the observations can be applied

America in 2012 – an important, and scary year lies ahead

It was Abraham Lincoln who said, “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” I am not one of the doomsayers about America’s future. I think
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The Last 48 Hours…

… Sounds like death row, but no, in fact it is the day before the last day of 2011. This is the time of year where some people feverishly organise nights out, parties, get togethers, perhaps even fireworks. They haul

Christmas card etiquette in a digital age

It used to be an art form. Sending Christmas cards, that is. You had to select just the right card to portray the right message: not too wintry if you’re southern hemisphere, not to secular if you’re religious (or vice

Today, a Day of Reconciliation

On the 16th December, South Africans have the day off work. As a nation we are very good at public holidays, having 12 in total every year. Unlike in some countries in the world, where only civil servants and banks
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That Which We Need to Know About Life and Work We Can Learn From Sport

From the United Nations to Schools to Non-Government Organizations sport has been recognized as an extraordinary way for people to learn to become better people. Not only is sport a physical and mental activity, but it is an emotional one

Preparing to Leave: An Essential Reminder to Leaders Everywhere

The countdown has started. Of course there are many ‘countdowns’ as kids grow up, but this one is perhaps the biggest whilst they remain under your roof and in your fridge. The one I am referring to, of course, is
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Using Social Media To Market Your Brand: The Ups and Downs

The Twittersphere is a buzz with comments on the tweets put out my @DurexSA last week, which at best were lame and thoughtless and at worst were incredibly insulting to both men and women; and all this on the eve
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Thoughts of a Mind-traveler

It is Thursday evening and I am tired. I have had a full-on week and it’s not even finished yet. I am sitting at Durban airport waiting for my flight back to Johannesburg. My blogging day at TomorrowToday is a
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A Leadership Lesson from The Velveteen Rabbit

One of my all-time favourite stories is Margery Williams’ The Velveteen Rabbit, the enchanting story of how a toy rabbit becomes real. Like most good children’s stories, it holds valuable lessons for adults as well. The story helps us learn
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What difference does one man (or woman) make?

Nelson Mandela, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Sir Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Mahatma Gandhi, Hitler, Stalin, Queen Elizabeth I, Alexander the Great, Plato, Sophocles, Aristotle, Shaka Zulu, Napoleon III, Robert Mugabe, Saddam Hussein,
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“It’s not important”: Leadership and Integrity

The mobile phone had been stolen. It was the end of the world – well, certainly the end of all meaningful existence. Replacement costs were high and money in the bank was low. Hadn’t we told him to save for
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A brief primer on #occupy and the 99% – what’s going on, and why it matters

I am sure you’ve been following the news of protests around the world. The OccupyWallStreet protest that started a few weeks ago spread this past weekend to other capitals with protestors clashing with police in places such as London and

A brief primer on #occupy and the 99% – what’s going on, and why it matters

I am sure you’ve been following the news of protests around the world. The OccupyWallStreet protest that started a few weeks ago spread this past weekend to other capitals with protestors clashing with police in places such as London and

A brief primer on #occupy and the 99% – what's going on, and why it matters

I am sure you’ve been following the news of protests around the world. The OccupyWallStreet protest that started a few weeks ago spread this past weekend to other capitals with protestors clashing with police in places such as London and
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What horses can teach us about ourselves; and how we can apply this at work

I am a horsey person; and I come from a long line of horsey people. I ride as often as I can; and each time that I do I am inspired and amazed at the magnificence and humility of my

Lesson for bankers

The current global crisis continues to heap pressure on banks around the world to listen to customers. Whether it be service, product design and development or fees customers are becoming increasingly vocal about their bank. On the product development front

Let’s build a better world: Clem Sunter the futurist on Karl Marx the visionary

A few weeks ago, Clem Sunter, South Africa’s most well known scenario planner, wrote a very interesting article for News24. It got me thinking, and I have come back to it again and again, so thought I’d share it with

Let's build a better world: Clem Sunter the futurist on Karl Marx the visionary

A few weeks ago, Clem Sunter, South Africa’s most well known scenario planner, wrote a very interesting article for News24. It got me thinking, and I have come back to it again and again, so thought I’d share it with

Let’s build a better world: Clem Sunter the futurist on Karl Marx the visionary

A few weeks ago, Clem Sunter, South Africa’s most well known scenario planner, wrote a very interesting article for News24. It got me thinking, and I have come back to it again and again, so thought I’d share it with
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The best way I know of to connect in a connection economy.

I spent from 8 in the morning until 6 in the evening every day last week wallowing and delighting in an incredibly inspiring workshop on coaching using the Enneagram. For those of you who are not yet familiar with the
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How Beer Can Offer Insights into Gender Difference

I read a few months ago I came across a YouTube advert from Carlsberg Copenhagen which portrays their latest beer offering to the market – especially the female market, a beer called ‘Copenhagen’. With the number of women who drink

Noam Chomsky reflects on 9/11, a decade later and America’s Imperial Mentality

Noam Chomsky is one of my favourite thinkers and commentators on geopolitical issues. As we remember the events of 9/11 2001 a decade on, he has turned his formidable focus onto how 9/11 changed the world and America’s position in
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How the World Has Changed…

I am sitting in Hackney, London, writing this Blog, two days before it shall be published. Why, because on Friday when you read this I shall be on an airplane flying somewhere between Dublin, Amsterdam or Johannesburg (yup that’s my
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How to Liberate America from Wall Street Rule

David Korten is an amazing thinker. His book, “The Great Turning” (Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com) is a remarkable vision of where we find ourselves in history, and what we should be doing in the next century. He, and a whole team

How to Liberate America from Wall Street Rule

David Korten is an amazing thinker. His book, “The Great Turning” (Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com) is a remarkable vision of where we find ourselves in history, and what we should be doing in the next century. He, and a whole team

Where are the jobs you promised: Universities sued by Gen Y graduates

This is a story I should not have enjoyed. I have many friends and family in higher education, and many colleagues whom I respect and admire, including two who have founded colleges. I know it’s a tough gig, and generally

Where are the jobs you promised: Universities sued by Gen Y graduates

This is a story I should not have enjoyed. I have many friends and family in higher education, and many colleagues whom I respect and admire, including two who have founded colleges. I know it’s a tough gig, and generally
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Manipulation Vs. Cultivation

As the relevance of psychologyin business strategy continues to gain momentum I am most struck by how predictably irrational we are responding to this new found level of awareness.  There has been so much talk over the past year about
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A Person Who Listens to Horses Can Talk to People

In an age where we have to be able to talk to people; and all sorts of people, my feeling is that we can learn a lot from horses. Most people find them intimidating, because of their physical strength, but
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Why People Over 45 Need Mentoring

In a world that has seriously changed and is continuing to change at an exponential rate, lots of ‘unthinkables’ become normal everyday. One of the biggest shifts in social behaviour over the last 30 to 50 years has been this

What type of society stops valuing teachers?

I come from a family of teachers. My sister, a few cousins and some uncles and aunts are all teachers. An uncle, an aunt, a cousin and my father have all been head teachers. An aunt founded a school. My

What type of society stops valuing teachers?

I come from a family of teachers. My sister, a few cousins and some uncles and aunts are all teachers. An uncle, an aunt, a cousin and my father have all been head teachers. An aunt founded a school. My

Definitive proof that the government (and music industry) are too far behind

Today, the UK Parliament will pass a bill that finally makes it legal for you to make copies of your own CDs and DVDs and rip them onto your own computer for personal use (read BBC report here). You might
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Gladwell, Cobain, Winehouse, birth, death and 27

If you’ve read Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers, then you’re probably familiar with one of the ideas he suggests around being born in a certain era, a certain generation, or even a certain month. When you’re born counts, says Gladwell. Some
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To Shape or be Shaped!

I am profoundly struck by the urgency for us to elevate our mindfulness. Regardless of what you do or what your interests are, we all need unimaginable clarity. If we allow technology to understand how our minds work better than
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Happy Birthday Madiba – 93 years old today

Today is Nelson Mandela’s Birthday. 93 years old. The only person that the United Nations has dedicated a day to. 18 July is known as Nelson Mandela International Day. How does one even begin to reflect on who he is,
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My Public Apology to Chris Anderson

This is a formal and public apology to Chris Anderson. Chris has a sense of humour, and I got caught out. Chris is one of the main drivers behind TED, and he’s also a co-author of The Email Charter. A week or

A recovery can’t fix everything that’s broken

In a recent Harvard Business Review blog, Umair Haque (author of The New Capitalist Manifesto: Building a Disruptively Better Business – buy it at Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com or Kalahari.net) wrote a provocative piece. I agree with his underlying premise: the economy
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Rethinking Capitalism – paring profits with purpose

Michael Porter, the Harvard Business School strategy guru says that strategies of the future will be led by companies that serve communities and understand the deep underlying needs of the communities that buy their products. Coined Creating Shared Value (CSV)

10 recommendations for a 100% renewal future

The WWF in collaboration with Ecofys has created a brilliant report presenting a provocative scenario, set in 2050, of a world run entirely on renewable energy resulting in incredible global cost savings and improved standards of living. By 2050, we

Africa in the world: Corruption is not just a developing world issue

At the moment, I am engaged in some significant research that will hopefully turn into a book and presentation sometime mid 2012. I am looking at the potential of sub Saharan Africa in the next two decades, and identifying the
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Africa in the world: Corruption is not just a developing world issue

At the moment, I am engaged in some significant research that will hopefully turn into a book and presentation sometime mid 2012. I am looking at the potential of sub Saharan Africa in the next two decades, and identifying the
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Are we eating ourselves to death?

More and more individuals today are heavier than their moms or dads or even their grandparents at what time they were the same age. It might be realized that obesity is a worldwide problem and it is indeed a very

How expensive should Kindle books be?

A simple question today: how expensive should an electronic book be? I don’t mean books written for the e-book format; I am thinking of electronic versions of books originally published in either soft or hardcover. Should the electronic books be

Facebook – of all companies – should know better

We say it over and over again on this blog and in our presentations and workshops: we are living in a new era of ultra transparency. You can’t get away with things, you can’t hide information, you can’t fool your

Facebook – of all companies – should know better

We say it over and over again on this blog and in our presentations and workshops: we are living in a new era of ultra transparency. You can’t get away with things, you can’t hide information, you can’t fool your
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One last word on Hyundai

For those of you who read my Blog post at www.tomorrowtoday.co.za written on the 22 April on customer service, which referred specifically to my experience buying an ix35 from Hyundai, I thought I would provide you with an update three
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When all is said and done, who is Warren Buffett?

One lady or gentleman is about to walk the suspension bridge in the world of investing. In Omaha, Nebraska, the headquarters of one particular investment firm is buzzing. The alpha male, having valiantly grown his pride, is on the way
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All little girls grow up dreaming they will marry their prince

One little girl got to grow up and marry her prince who is also a real Prince. That little girls name is Catherine Elizabeth Middleton. I think Prince William and Kate’s (as she is affectionately known by the global media)

Why the world wants (sub Saharan) Africa’s oil

In his 2007 book, Untapped: The Scramble for Africa’s Oil (buy from Amazon.co.uk or Kalahari.net), John Ghazvinian suggested that there were at least six reasons why Africa’s oil is really “good” oil. Of course, any oil is good oil these

Why the world wants (sub Saharan) Africa's oil

In his 2007 book, Untapped: The Scramble for Africa’s Oil (buy from Amazon.co.uk or Kalahari.net), John Ghazvinian suggested that there were at least six reasons why Africa’s oil is really “good” oil. Of course, any oil is good oil these

Why a little discrimination might be useful

On the BBC news this morning there was a short report about concerns that the UK tax agency (Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs) has sent threatening letters to elderly people demanding that they pay their overdue taxes. The letters say
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Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?

On Wednesday 13 April 2011 in Fiksburg, the Free State, South Africa, a service delivery protest turned ugly and an unarmed man named Andries Tatane, a breadwinner and father, was allegedly beaten and then shot with rubber bullets by members

Exploitation of Natural Resources

Pete Laburn, one of this blog’s contributors and an associate of TomorrowToday, is one of the clearest thinkers on strategy we know. He’s developing a new talk on the key issues facing the world and business leaders today, and what
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A David v Goliath lesson from The Cloud (@BantamLive and @ConstantContact)

My colleague, Graeme Codrington, beat me to the punch with his post last week (Incomprehensible business decisions that alienate customers) about Constant Contact and their decision to put Bantam Live on ice for a period of time (a long period of time) while

A deeper consciousness: What Knut’s death might teach us about the life choices facing us soon

Just a few days ago, one of the world’s most famous animals died. Knut was a polar bear who was born in captivity at the Berlin Zoological Garden. Rejected by his mother at birth, he was raised by zookeepers. He

Incomprehensible business decisions that alienate customers

Every now and again a company does something that is so incomprehensible, so mystifying, that it blows my mind. I have had two such experiences in the last week, and have to tell someone about it – if for no

Incomprehensible business decisions that alienate customers

Every now and again a company does something that is so incomprehensible, so mystifying, that it blows my mind. I have had two such experiences in the last week, and have to tell someone about it – if for no

Wall Street: Aiding the Economic Recovery, or Strangling It?

The latest TIME magazine carried an interesting and thought-provoking piece about how the best and brightest of America’s scientific minds (mathematicians, engineers, scientists, and the like) have been lured to the world of banking. It also makes the point that
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Popsters versus Hispters: the Millennial divide

As sub-cultures pose a potentially serious threat to the long-term survival of traditional culture (along with cultural imperialism, immigration, the loss of language and various other global phenomenons) it is important to consider the growing divide that is, well, growing

Apocalypse Now? Or Media Meltdown?

I have deliberately not followed the news much over the past few days. Not because I don’t care what is happening in Libya or Japan, but because the 24 hour news channels do not seem to be able to provide

Apocalypse Now? Or Media Meltdown?

I have deliberately not followed the news much over the past few days. Not because I don’t care what is happening in Libya or Japan, but because the 24 hour news channels do not seem to be able to provide
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What we can learn about Millennial Kids from Justin Bieber

If you are over 30 and battling to understand the mind set of your pre-teen child, or post-teen employees, then I strongly suggest you check yourself in to your local cinema for a couple of hours and watch ‘Never Say
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I must be seeing things: Individually plastic wrapped bananas

I must be missing something, because I could not believe my eyes. In a world that is becoming increasingly concerned about the environment and trying to reduce packaging, waste and the use of plastic in particular, Del Monte and Chiquita

The Meaning of the 21st Century

One of the most important books I have read in the last year is James Martin’s “The Meaning of the 21st Century” (Buy it at Amazon or Kalahari). The subtitle explains: The Megaproblems of the 21st Century. You can hear
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Time changes our perception of what gender, gender roles and gender identity means.

I came across an article entitled Are Women the New Men? which prompted some interesting questions for me in a time of constant and rapid change.  I believe both men and women are becoming more conscious of their gender identity;

Africa’s mineral wealth – The most important development opportunity of the next two decades

Originally published on our South African company blog in August 2010, and updated here in March 2011 One of my personal passions is trying to work out how developing countries, especially in my home continent of Africa, can help their
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Where is the line between media and reality?

I read an article this week, ‘At 50, Ken is Sexy Again‘, from Time. It reminded me of my fascination with Barbie since I was at university doing gender studies. As a child I wanted a Barbie and thought of

Trust

What makes some retailers successful while others fail? The answer of course has many reasons but one key word that successful ones are associated with is “trust” Top retailers want to be trusted and therefore place a premium on it.

Battling cultural imperialism (a critical issue in the new world of work)

I was both amused and amazed to see this tweet a day or so ago: When will China become civilised? Chinese court confirms sentence on US man http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12502111 The news report referred to is about a Chinese-born American citizen, Xue

Battling cultural imperialism (a critical issue in the new world of work)

I was both amused and amazed to see this tweet a day or so ago: When will China become civilised? Chinese court confirms sentence on US man http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12502111 The news report referred to is about a Chinese-born American citizen, Xue
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The importance of balance

I was sitting in a coffee shop staring out over the ocean in a windy Cape Town reflecting on a debate I had just with a client about the significance of blue chip companies having to accommodate change in order

People in politics

I was standing in a check-out line of a grocery shop the other day scanning the magazines and sweet selection as one does, when my eyes rested on something extraordinary. A picture of John Bercow’s wife, Sally, draped in a
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It’s difficult to make money legitimately when you’re a pirate at heart

Time posted a fabulous article over the weekend, ‘The Men Who Stole the World‘. A long-ish read (4 pages) by internet reading standards, but well worth the energy and focus required to concentrated on one thing for the amount of
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It's difficult to make money legitimately when you're a pirate at heart

Time posted a fabulous article over the weekend, ‘The Men Who Stole the World‘. A long-ish read (4 pages) by internet reading standards, but well worth the energy and focus required to concentrated on one thing for the amount of

How to give your staff bad news

I am a big fan of FT journalist Lucy Kellaway. Her column in the Financial Times is a joy to read (I subscribe to the FT, and also download her column as a free podcast in iTunes). Her primary interest

Space Junk – a very real future problem

A growing problem is pollution in space. Not only is the junk itself an issue – even more concerning is that no-one seems to want to clean it up, and no-one is taking responsibility for it. This could have catastropic

China is going green

I am very confident in my prediction that China will be considered to be the greenest nation in the world by the end of this decade. Too often, the “middle kingdom” is seen as a smoky dragon, intent on industrial

The Games Golf Plays

I must be honest when I say that discussing the pros and cons of golf is not something I ever imagined I would do. In fact I am almost hoping that nobody I know reads this because they will think

UK’s Bribery Act and taking the moral high ground

This past week, the UK government said that they were putting on hold the introduction of the UK Bribery Act, which would make it illegal for UK companies to offer bribes when dealing with foreign companies. The Act was due

The cost of women in the workplace

For the first time in social history women are more likely to be financially responsible for either themselves, their family or their extended family than ever before. Not just women, but mothers now make up two-thirds of primary or co-breadwinners

Time for remorse and apology for banks is past – or is it?

Yesterday, Bob Diamond, Barclays Bank’s CEO came before a parliamentary committee in London. As part of his submission, and when talking about banker’s bonuses and salaries, he said that the time for “remorse and apology” by banks over their role

Kindle, digital rights management and clippings limits

My business partner, Barrie Bramley recently wrote a report about how digital readers are changing his reading habits. I too started using a Kindle in 2010, and have enjoyed it. Much more than I thought I would. There are frustrations,
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My top story of the year: The reaction to the reaction to Wikileaks

This is the week for all of the “reviews of the year” features on UK TV and radio. They can be a bit tedious. But every now and then one of them captivates me, and in a few minutes reminds

My top story of the year: The reaction to the reaction to Wikileaks

Updated on 30 December 2010 This is the week for all of the “reviews of the year” features on UK TV and radio. They can be a bit tedious. But every now and then one of them captivates me, and
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South African bosses are richest – and most generous – in the world

Three recent surveys all combined in my inbox last week, and their confluence draws an interesting picture of the richest South African business people. The heading of this blog is slightly misleading. South African bosses are not the richest in

What does the British media not understand about the Coalition government?

The British media are giving Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats a hard time at the moment. Today it is specifically about the Parliamentary vote about increasing university fees which took place this afternoon. What does the media not understand

50 Facts That Should Change the World

The book by this name, by Jessica Williams was published in 2004 (Sep) – you should not be able to read these facts and stay the same. How you choose to respond is up to you – but you can

Relearn to Relate

This article was first published by Graeme Codrington in 2004, and has now been updated to reflect the post-recession realities of our new world of work. The world is changing. We all know that. But what is it changing to?
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Nine key workforce trends for the next decade

How the next few years will shape the future of the workplace in unprecedented and astounding ways. I was recently asked to contribute to a discussion about the most important forces that will shape the next decade of work. I

Nine Reasons Why You Must Improve the Environmental Performance of Your Business

Whether or not you’re convinced by science and media reports on global warming, there is no doubt that our planet is under pressure at the moment. Things must change, and the governments of the world – not to mention increasingly

Warriors of the Rainbow

This is a beautiful piece of writing sent to me by a friend of mine Elke Blodau, which I’d like to share with you. As we emerge from a number of business crisis maybe, just maybe it’s time to rethink

Two women, two murders, same verdict – very different global responses

This past week, Virginia USA executed Teresa Lewis – the first woman to be put to death in the USA in a century. Teresa had admitted to hiring two men to kill her husband Julian and stepson Lewis in 2002
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Reflections on Grameen Bank

A friend of mine, Samantha Braithwaite, just returned to South Africa from an adventure in many parts of the world. The last stretch spending time with the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. Her final update of her trip arrived this morning

Africa votes more, but struggles to grow democracy

Thabo Mbeki proudly announced at the start of his presidency of South Africa that this century would be “Africa’s century”. That may or may not be true (and China and India would have something to say about it, too), but

When People Reckon It’s OK to Cheat, by Dan Ariely

Dan Ariely, professor, author and behavioural economist, is someone I have found in recent months. His research is fresh and his insights interesting. He is the author of the best selling “Predictably Irrational” (buy now on Amazon.co.uk or Kalahari.net). He

Cell C may need more than (Trevor) Noah’s Ark to get them out of this one?

I’m sure it started out as a great idea at CellC Marketing HQ? The mobile phone industry has a mostly terrible name when it comes to customer service. Lines drop all the time, prices cripple you, data crawls regularly and

Do we Twitter because we’re human, and are we human because we Twitter?

Last year I read ‘Born to Run‘. If you’re a runner, or would like to be, and haven’t read it, then do yourself a favour, it’s a goodie. At the end of the book the author suggests that Homo Sapiens

Do we Twitter because we're human, and are we human because we Twitter?

Last year I read ‘Born to Run‘. If you’re a runner, or would like to be, and haven’t read it, then do yourself a favour, it’s a goodie. At the end of the book the author suggests that Homo Sapiens
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The most important development opportunity of the next two decades

One of my personal passions is trying to work out how to help developing countries, especially in my home continent of Africa, can help their people out of debilitating poverty. I believe it is possible. It is certainly desirable at
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Are Most Big Corporates Really Psychopaths?

RANT ALERT. Most times I try to be a dispassionate researcher of the new world of work. But sometimes I just can’t take it anymore. Today is one of those days… Almost every day I pick up a story on

BP might fix their well, but big industry is still broken

As I write this, BP have capped their gushing oil well in the Gulf of Mexico (although they still need to complete tests on the cap – read the news here). At last! But the crisis is, of course, nowhere

Barack Obama rants against technology and releases Apps at the same time

Just a few weeks ago, America’s President ranted against technology. This surprised me because he is the first President to keep his mobile phone (it’s a Blackberry), made extensive use of the Internet (including social media) in his election campaign,
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A Looming Crisis: World Water Wars

People go to war when their way of life is threatened. I have written before about the many issues we face in the coming years that threaten our way of life. These include global warming/climate change, pollution, pandemics, nuclear bombs,
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Scottish journo doing SA proud by showing @SkyNews and @emmahurd how it’s done

A few years ago I met Martin Geissler (@mmgeissler). He’s a dad from my daughters school. He’s the Africa Correspondent for itv news. According to Wikipedia: ITV is a public service network of British commercial television broadcasters, set up under the Independent Television

The beautiful game: Is it just me?

Is it just me or have football players taken acting lessons? The FIFA World Cup has been littered with theatrical dives and players going down as if they have been poleaxed by a Mike Tyson hook when in fact replays

America’s (ongoing) dependence on (foreign) oil

The BP oil spill provides an opportunity for America to turn inward and think about it’s dependence on oil to make its economy work. Environmentalists have been saying for years that this is a cause of great harm to the

America's (ongoing) dependence on (foreign) oil

The BP oil spill provides an opportunity for America to turn inward and think about it’s dependence on oil to make its economy work. Environmentalists have been saying for years that this is a cause of great harm to the

BP’s record – not just an oil spill – and a lesson for us all

In March 2007, a blog entry I wrote received quite a lot of attention in the South African press. In it, I suggested that certain industries had the potential to get themselves into a lot of trouble if they chased

BP's record – not just an oil spill – and a lesson for us all

In March 2007, a blog entry I wrote received quite a lot of attention in the South African press. In it, I suggested that certain industries had the potential to get themselves into a lot of trouble if they chased

China starts to wake up to sustainability (be afraid, very afraid)

About a year ago, I wrote a blog about China and environmental sustainability. It was something Thomas Friedman had written about how he thought America would be able to benefit from the future need to clean up China’s pollution. I

Some hidden gems from our archives – valuable reading!

This blog has been running since 2003, and has nearly 2,000 individual entries. At one level it is a living library of the “new world of work”, captured as it emerges around us. I have recently taken some time to
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Great Conversation between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates

I’m sure this has done it’s rounds, but I got it today and spent a fair amount of time recovering from an aching stomach. Very clever storyboard of images, wherever and whoever it originated from? Thanks to Conference Speakers International

Synthetic Life created – this changes everything

I have been predicting it for some time, and today it was announced! J. Craig Venter runs the company that first sequenced the human genome. Now, his team has created what they’re calling synthetic life. They’ve actually created an entirely

PodCast Update – Nine Business reasons to go Green

We’ve just added a new PodCast to the TomorrowToday feed. Graeme Codrington discusses Nine Business Reasons to go Green for your organisation. Not only are we impacted by an environment that requires us to change our behaviour, but we have a younger

Personal Details – Are we opening up or locking down?

I’ve come accross a couple of interesting articles in the last week. They’ve not all focussed exclusively on ‘privacy’, but they’ve mentioned it somewhere. What has me interested is that they’re not all saying the same thing. In fact they’re

Geoengineering – part of the solution for a warming planet?

I am convinced by the science: our planet is warming up. This appears to be part of a natural cycle that has flowed through the planet’s history. But it also seems very clear to me that human activity on the

WTF Goldman Sachs

Most of the time I am able to be even keeled and calm about most things. I have had occasion in life to be in tough, crisis and challenging situations, and have a reputation for being cool, calm and collected.

Why the UK needs a Jon Stewart

I really don’t like how the UK media (especially radio and TV) do political interviews. The journalists are exceptionally and unnecessarily antagonistic, and seem much more intent on tripping up their interviewees than finding any facts or truth in the

Why Haiti’s tragedy is Africa’s tragedy too

I am a columnist for BizCommunity, and write for them about once a month. My latest contribution reflects on international aid, and why Haiti’s tragedy is a problem for Africa. Haiti has done a remarkable job of ensuring that it

PodCast Update – Radical Proposal for Executive Pay

Graeme Codrington recently wrote about a ‘radical proposal for Executive pay‘.Here’s an exert from the post: A century ago, executives earned anywhere between 3 and 20 times what the average worker in their factories earned. According to research by global

After healthcare reform – quick predictions for the path ahead

This started as a note on my Facebook status update last night, as I watched the historic vote in the US in favour of healthcare reform. I truly believe this is a step in the right direction for America. But,

What you could get away with… if you were a corporation (by Jon Stewart of The Daily Show)

The Daily Show, by Jon Stewart, is one of my TV habits. It’s a satirical news show, that specialises in showing up the political and corporate establishments for their hyprocrisy. Their staple diet is to take sound bites from the

Lessons from Kraft shutting a Cadbury factory

Today, Kraft executives came before the British Parliament to answer queries about the closure of a Cadbury’s factory near Bristol with the loss of 400 jobs. The reporting on this by the news media is sloppy and sensation-seeking. Kraft is

A Radical Proposal for Executive Pay

Everyone agrees that something must be done about executive pay. One of the major contentious issues emerging out of the financial crisis is the way that senior executives and manager, especially in the financial industries, are remunerated. These days, executive

Facebook killers?

Today, the UK press is full of headlines about Peter Chapman, the rapist and murderer sentenced yesterday to 35 years in jail. He has been labelled the ‘Facebook Murderer’ – and that really irritates me. He connected with unsuspecting young

New climate change research verifies human causes

Since the so-called “Climate-gate scandal” that erupted just before the Copenhagen conference last year, journalists and those denying human causes for climate change have felt quite good about themselves – as if the “Climate-gate scandal” had vindicated their position. If

Gen Y are not a pushover

Miranda Devine is a Sydney Morning Herald columnist, and recently wrote an excellent piece on Australia’s Gen Y (young people now in the teens and early 20s). She had just witnessed a group of 400 of them grilling Kevin Rudd,

I don’t trust you

I don’t trust you! Well it’s not exactly that, it’s just that I trust you less, if the Edelman TrustBarometer is accurate in it’s 2010 report. As The Next Web summarises: Mainly that the trust in global business has risen

I don't trust you

I don’t trust you! Well it’s not exactly that, it’s just that I trust you less, if the Edelman TrustBarometer is accurate in it’s 2010 report. As The Next Web summarises: Mainly that the trust in global business has risen

Tesco launches world’s first zero-carbon emission store

Tesco sometimes takes a few knocks in the press. Most recently for not allowing people wearing pyjamas into their stores and another for asking a father, for safety reasons, to leave a store because he was balancing his six-year old

Tesco launches world's first zero-carbon emission store

Tesco sometimes takes a few knocks in the press. Most recently for not allowing people wearing pyjamas into their stores and another for asking a father, for safety reasons, to leave a store because he was balancing his six-year old

Invictus The inspiration of Nelson Mandela

Although the movie Invictus is only released in cinemas this coming weekend I was fortunate to get an early viewing this past Saturday and for me the film is simply brilliant. A week ago I’d decided to read Nelson Mandela’s

Mandela’s release is announced – 20 years ago today

1989 was a momentous year all around the world. I wrote about it last year, as each month we rolled through the “twenty years on” anniversaries of everything from Tiananmen Square (June), the Ayatollah’s funeral chaos in Iran (June), hands

Good leaders share the pain with their teams

This coming year is likely to see continued difficulties in most companies. Recovery is on its way, but it will be slow, and profits are likely to be low. In this environment, many companies are going to ask staff to

2010 will be an important – but bad – year for green business

Cop15, the global conference in Copenhagen last year, produced about as much as anyone could have expected (a lot less than was hoped) – a fudged solution that requires much further discussion and negotiation. And in the UK, the CRC

Death and Twitter make for a horrid exchange

Yesterday, in South Africa, Manto Tshabalala Msimang died from a liver complication that had been plaguing her for some time now. She is a former health minister, and her time spent in that role was fraught with controversy because of

Who owns the moon?

This is not a frivolous question. China is making great strides towards a presence in space – as is India. Russia, the UK, the EU and the USA are already there. And it’s not all about national pride and the

Seth Godin on How to protect your ideas in the digital age

I have never done much to try and protect my intellectual capital. Some of my friends who are in the same profession – authors, speakers, consultants – agree with me, and others think I am nuts. My view is that
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TIDES of Change: the five trends disrupting business in the next 5 years

Updated in May 2010 Download a copy of this article in PDF format – right click here. The contents of this article can be presented as a keynote or a workshop for your team. Contact our UK or South African

The James Martin 21st Century School – understanding the future

I am a huge fan of James Martin. Not the celebrity chef. Nor the inventor of the aircraft ejection seat. Nor any of the other famous James Martins. I am a huge fan of James Martin the futurist and author

The Hand of God – Part 2.

I watched in horror last night has one of the world’s finest footballers, Thierry Henry cheated in order to secure his country’s participation in FIFA’s World Cup next year. His blatant handball allowed France to score the goal that broke

Cleaning up the game (ban Henry from World Cup, and boycott Gillette?)

For the last few years, there has been a lot of talk about corporate corruption. It can probably be traced back to Enron, and the spate of corporate scandals that emerged at about the same time. More recently, the economic

Nike’s considered sustainability programme

Nike has some aggressive sustainability targets. Nike CEO Mark Parke believes that corporate responsibility is no longer a staff function at Nike. It’s a design function, a sourcing function, a consumer experience function, part of how we operate. Lorrie Vogel

Nike's considered sustainability programme

Nike has some aggressive sustainability targets. Nike CEO Mark Parke believes that corporate responsibility is no longer a staff function at Nike. It’s a design function, a sourcing function, a consumer experience function, part of how we operate. Lorrie Vogel

It’s (still) good to be good

One of the trends we’ve been tracking for some time is the rise of the ethical consumer. This growing group of customers do not simply look at your product or service through the traditional lessons of price, availability and value

The future for banks and a better way to pay bankers

POSTED 10 November 2009; UPDATED 11 November 2009 One story is going to run for the next 3-5 years at least: how to fix the banking system. The big media headline grabbing story is how to regulate bankers’ pay. It

The military needs to change

In our latest presentation, “After Shock“, we talk about the five drivers of disruptive change that are shaping the new world of work. One of these is institutional change. The institutions of the world are the pillars of our society

What it means to “be British” – a response to Nick Griffin

Like 8 million other Britons, I watched BBC’s “Question Time” on Thursday night. Nick Griffin, the head of the British National Party (a right wing party who restrict membership to white’s only and want to keep Britain “British” – by

Halliburton, rape and mad Republicans

I cannot tell you how much I wish I was wrong. A large part of my job is to try and track trends – especially those issues that will shape the new world of work. Every now and again our

Star Workplace Article

I was published in The Star (South African newspaper) earlier this week on ‘diversity’. I’ve had a few requests from people who wanted to read it, but couldn’t find it online. Our PR company (SimonSays Communications) scanned a copy and

Now it gets interesting – music industry, file sharing, Lily Allen and Dan Bull

For a while now, we’ve been using the music industry as an example of an industry that has not understood the radical shifts taking place in the new world of work. Our new presentation, After Shock, focuses on the five

12 ideas that’ll have you thinking a little differently

I picked this link up off of Twitter (@tomorrowtodayza if you’d like to follow us). It’s from Wired and it’s a list of 12 counter-cultural ideas from various ‘experts’ in a variety of fields. If anything else it’ll certainly have

12 ideas that'll have you thinking a little differently

I picked this link up off of Twitter (@tomorrowtodayza if you’d like to follow us). It’s from Wired and it’s a list of 12 counter-cultural ideas from various ‘experts’ in a variety of fields. If anything else it’ll certainly have

The emergence of Neuromarketing

Traditional market research has it’s limitations when one considers the influence of the ‘observer’ on the ‘observed’ when attempting to understand people’s true thoughts and feelings on the product/brand/service being researched. If we could just get into their heads to

Be the Change You Want to See

Watching last night’s Champions League play-offs proved to be a disheartening experience for one particular incident I witnessed. It was in the game between an impressive young Arsenal side and that of Celtic. The game loaded in Arsenal’s favour following

Competing rights and freedom claims

In a world of increasing complexity, we will continually need to deal with competing claims and rights (and the flip side, too, of responsibilities). America, as the sole superpower, must currently find a balance between “bringing freedom to the world”
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How (not) to do business like Jack Welch

Since leaving GE, Jack Welch has refused to retire gracefully or quietly. He has continued to stay vocal and keep his profile in the media, especially by writing and disseminating business advice. I suppose one shouldn’t begrudge him this –

Nine Reasons Why You Must Improve the Environmental Performance of Your Business

Whether or not you’re convinced by science and media reports on global warming, there is no doubt that our planet is under pressure at the moment. Things must change, and the governments of the world – not to mention increasingly
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Affirmitive Action is Dead in South Africa – or is it?

Sipho Ngcobo wrote an interesting article on Money Web this last week, reflecting on the reality the African National Congress (ANC) faces around service delivery, or lack of it, in South Africa currently. He suggests that the pressure the ANC
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The Bruno Movie – unhelpful cultural analysis

OK, so maybe the title of this post is a bit over the top. But the new movie from Sacha Baron-Cohen (aka Ali G, aka Borat), which portrays him as a gay Austrian television presenter, has the stated aim of

Can I help you pack Sir?

An amazing article appeared in the Business Day on the 8th July 2009. It was a Business Day interview with the former Anglo American deputy chairman, Graham Boustred, 84. It was an interview at his request in order for him

The 100 Euro Note

Received this via e-mail today. Would anyone care to comment…..? “It is the month of August, on the shores of the Black Sea. It is raining, and the little town looks totally deserted. It is tough times, everybody is in

The Meaning of the 21st Century

One of the most important books I have read in the last year is James Martin’s “The Meaning of the 21st Century” (Buy it at Amazon or Kalahari). The subtitle explains: The Megaproblems of the 21st Century. You can hear

How to cut costs and keep your employees

The million dollar question I hear you sigh as you see the subject of this blog. Let’s face it, there are no easy answers, no silver bullets and certainly no one-size-fits-all approach to cutting costs and keeping a high people-morale

PWC “Millennials at work” survey

The “Millennials at Work” research to be published by PricewaterhouseCoopers later this year is based on survey responses from over 4200 graduates in 44 countries (click here to see last year’s survey). The headline results include some interesting insights into

Reducing carbon by charging companies in the UK

Are you prepared for the Carbon Reduction Commitment? This is the title of an article about Britain’s plan to force companies, organisations, institutions and authorities to reduce their energy usage over the next few years. Many organisations don’t know that
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A billboard made of money – it cost a billion dollars!

Zimbabwe has been so messed up by Bob Mugabe that their currency is worth nothing. Literally. For the last year or more, bank notes have had expiry dates on them. When these expire the money is useless. Actually, because of
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Incorrect Thinking in the Financial Crisis

Jim Cramer, Jon Stewart

The day I saw the future of the News

This is synchronicity. I had just finished posting my previous blog about Bernie Madoff and the biggest fraud of the downturn (although that’s debatable, really). Then, I watched the recording I had made of Jon Stewart’s Daily Show from earlier
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The other side of the Madoff scandal

This past week, Bernie Madoff pleaded guilty to one of the largest frauds ever perpetrated. It is estimated to total $ 65 billion. Thousands of people have lost millions of dollars each, and many have lost their life savings. Even
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Learning from History

I am a student of economic history, and love seeing the patterns that a study of history reveals. Amadeo Peter Gianini was born in 1870 in California, the son of Italian immigrants. His first occupation was as a produce dealer

A question of Trust: Most Trusted Brands – really?

Honesty, integrity, trust, respect and probably customer service. Ask any corporate company what their “company values” are and you’ll almost certainly get this list (assuming the person you ask even knows). It’s so generic as to be useless, and certainly
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Cancer free baby is born

The first baby in the UK tested before conception for a genetic form of breast cancer has been born. For some time now, we have been predicting that it will become the norm to attempt to use our growing understanding

Is there value in sharing strategy consultants with your competitors?

McKinsey is one of the most prestigious and respected management consulting companies.  They help solve strategic issues that keep senior management awake at night.  Their audience is generally the movers and shakers of corporate leadership who play a fundamental role in shaping

Managers, ethics and a commitment for the future

In the wake of the world financial crisis, the analysis of “what went wrong” has started. Not surprisingly, one of the first groups of people singled out is managers. Here are some excellent thoughts from The Economist and the Harvard
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Put that in your iPod and er, listen to it

Here’s an interesting battle going on in the music industry, with Apple ‘threatening’ to close doors to iTunes, the dominant force in sales of digital music. (BBC has the full story) If word gets out that music publishers are trying

The Power of Imagination

JK Rowling gave the 2008 graduation address at Harvard. You can read and watch it here. I think it’s excellent, focusing on the benefits of learning from failure and imagination. This section is the best for me: Unlike any other
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Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

I was sent this short email about Russian writer and Nobel laureate Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn who died on Sunday, aged 89. I thought I’d share it. His outspoken criticism of communist totalitarianism earned him many years of imprisonment in Stalin’s infamous

Activists and companies can co-operate

The Economist recently ran a fascinating little piece on how activists and companies need to work towards a common outcome and goal. Read it here (subscription may be required) – or an extract below. It may be idealistic, but it

Good with Money

Our global research has long been indicating that companies who concentrate more on who they are and less on what they sell will gain the competitive edge over their competitors. The “who you are” is defined by the values a
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Olympics, controversy and you

The Olympic torch has left Athens, Greece on its traditional torch run around the world until it eventually arrives at the Beijing Olympic stadium during the opening ceremony. Right from the first day, it has been met with something that

Personal Ethics in the Corporate World

How do you confront the moral tensions inherent in corporate life and come out with your ethics intact? Elizabeth Doty writes for S+B (Strategy and Business), and has written an excellent articles on the topic, followed up by an online
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The world’s worst products

The world’s worst products, as voted for by Consumers International. Coca-Cola – for continuing the international marketing of its bottled water, Dasani, despite admitting it comes from the same sources as local tap water. Kellogg’s – for the worldwide use

Why Ethical Consumption is Taking Off

Dr Graeme Codrington’s latest presentation is called “Hannah’s Rules” which alerts companies to an essential emerging trend: the ethical consumer. In this article, he explains WHY ethical consumption is such a growing trend. Why Ethical Consumption is Taking Off By
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Home Depot pays out big time – for what?

This isn’t new news, but as I was doing research into Executive pay packages, I picked up this info from earlier this year. On 3 January 2007, Bob Nardelli (once in line for GE top spot) left Home Depot, where

CO2 Neutral products are becoming “fashionable” but are new product launches enough to target the “ethical consumer”?

ibuyeco, a new eco-friendly car insurance scheme that offsets 100% of customers’ CO2 emissions for the duration of their policy, was launched in the UK at the end of April 2007. The company has just started a strong above the

CO2 Neutral products are becoming "fashionable" but are new product launches enough to target the "ethical consumer"?

ibuyeco, a new eco-friendly car insurance scheme that offsets 100% of customers’ CO2 emissions for the duration of their policy, was launched in the UK at the end of April 2007. The company has just started a strong above the

Beware the Rise of the Ethical Consumer

A new generation of “ethical consumers” are starting to demand more than just great products and services at fair prices – they also increasingly require transparency, environmental care, social responsibility, diversity and a host of other characteristics in the companies
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Some wisdom from Warren Buffett

I received this in an e-mail today…. There was a one hour interview on CNBC with Warren Buffett, the second richest man who has donated $31 billion to charity Here are some very interesting aspects of his life: He bought

URTrmn8d – Sacking employees by text message

Here’s an old story that I just picked up. Mainly from the humour list, Top5. See below for the funny side of this. Over 2,500 people learned they’d lost their jobs when the British Amulet Group fired them by sending

Exploring business’s social contract: An interview with Daniel Yankelovich

A founding father of public-opinion research explains why shareholder value isn’t enough. I found this in my archives recently. It is dated 2007, and comes from the McKinsey Quaterly. I have no idea how I got it. It is an

Wikipedia: Are you who you say you are?

A few days ago, a senior Wikipedia editor was “outed”. Essjay, as he was known, had claimed to be a professor of religious studies. In fact, his name is Ryan Jordan, and he is a 24-year-old college drop-out. An interesting
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Buffett on Bosses

Every year at about this time, Warren Buffett, the world’s most legendary (and richest) investor, makes his annual letter to shareholders public. As always, the 2007 letter is a good read (its labelled “2006” because its a report about last

Religion and marketing

One of the major trends we have been tracking for some time is the rise in the influence of religious beliefs as a driver of people’s values and behaviour. A MarketingWeb article on the issue (extracted from Nilewide) puts it

How Rich Are You?

How rich are you? How do you stack up with the other 6 billion inhabitants of the planet? Now, you can find out exactly, and you will be amazed. If you can read this blog entry, then you’re rich. Seriously,

Cost cutting for competitiveness – really? What about executive pay!

In yesterday’s Star newspaper’s Business Report, there was an article on how Beacon, a sweet making division of Tiger Brands, had had to face up to stiff Brazilian competition. For example, by shaving just 1mm off each sweet’s wrapper, they
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Cutting Costs reaches its event horizon

A nice article in the Economist, 18 Jan 07, entitled: “Browne out“, looks at the departure of BP’s boss, Lord (John) Browne. He has been in charge since 1995, and his tenure coincides with some huge changes in the industry.

WH Smith closes pension fund

Today, it was announced that WH Smith, the UK retailer, would close its company pension fund and restrict it only to existing members. This would mean that over the next few years, the pension fund would decline and eventually die

Imperial Ambitions: Conversations on the Post-9/11 World

Just before going on leave I picked up a couple of books to read while I was away. I’ve never read a ‘Noam Chomsky‘ (apparently he’s one of those must read human beings before you die) and found this one,
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Fat Cats march on in 2007

The last few years have seen obscene payments made to CEOs. The gap between what the top managers earn and what labourers in their factories earn has never been as wide as it is today (unless you go back to

MILLENNIALS PLAN TO REWARD OR PUNISH COMPANIES

If the results of a recent study are true, then Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) needs to become a priority for companies and fast. A research study by the strategic planning and consumer insights division of AMP Agency shows that 61%

Larson not laughing

Gary Larson, creator and cartoonist of The Far Side © recently sent me an email. Now, under normal circumstances, I would have been ecstatically thrilled at this. The man is one of my heroes, and his self-imposed retirement from drawing

Would You Work for Halliburton?

The Devastating Effect of not Taking “Bright Young Things” Seriously. Halliburton History In the midst of all the corporate scandals and alleged shenanigans across the globe in the past few years, the name of Halliburton features quite prominently. This is

Learning from the poison chalice – Understanding leadership in an information age

Physicist, John Wheeler suggests that information may be the basic ingredient of the universe itself. In an ‘information age’ it certainly becomes a key indicator for both organisations and leadership alike. Recently there have been a few high profile stories