Claim your seat at our upcoming webinar – Tomorrow’s World Today

Access TomorrowToday’s most requested keynote presentation when Graeme Codrington hosts our upcoming webinar and uncovers the disruptive forces shaping the world today. Learn how to respond in order to face the future with confidence. This session looks at the future,

The 80 billion dollar reason for joining a remarkable movement powering business as a force for good

Join now and make a meaningful difference Here are some headlines from this story – $5 billion in illegal payments – 80 Brazillian politicians under investigation including current and former presidents – 16 countries on 4 continents caught up –

Live Webinar: Future-Focused Leader’s Toolkit

Discover the 6 new skills and habits that future-focused leaders need Webinar: 6-7pm UK / 7-8pm SA time, Tues, 3 October Your host: Graeme Codrington There are six key new skills and habits that future-focused leaders need to develop if

Bill Gates says the world is getting better not worse. Should you believe him?

“I woke up this morning,”  writes Bill Gate “and, like most days, I read the news. It’s grim. Hurricanes in the Americas have killed dozens of people and displaced far more. Mexico is recovering from its most powerful earthquake in a

Words of wisdom from Peter Drucker

Peter Drucker’s, the founder of modern management, greatest impact came from his writing. His more than 30 books, have sold tens of millions of copies in more than 30 languages, came on top of thousands of articles, including a monthly

Organisational Culture: The secret that is hidden in plain sight

The capacity to lead depends on trust. As a leader keeping trust alive is your primary responsibility for without it, you cannot lead. Trust is the air in a healthy organisational culture; it is the very currency of leadership. This

Does your killer business idea lurk amongst the stuff that sucks!?

  The story of a company that grew from zero to $200 million in three years. As markets go, it would be difficult to identify an industry much more mundane and uninspiring than mattresses.  It is dominated by two companies Tempur-Sealy

In the media: CNBC International and CFO Magazine

In the past month, Graeme Codrington has had two high profile media appearances. At London’s Fleet Street studios of CNBC International, Graeme was interviewed by Carolin Roth on her Street Wise segment on 10 August. The second half of the

7 Great steps and 7 Great achievements that arose from a wondering mind

After months of intense mathematical exercises, Albert Einstein decided to give himself a break from the work one night and let his imagination wander about the concepts of space and time, say Guenther Knoblich and Michael Oellinger in The Eureka

Why facts and logic are not enough to win your next big business pitch

Paul Cummins is a ceramic artist who lives in the city of Derby, the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. He came across a poem written by an unknown fallen British soldier, it read: “The blood-swept lands and seas of red,

Every person should read: Capitalism the Apple Way vs. Capitalism the Google Way

Whichever company’s vision wins out will shape the future of the economy Precursor to what is an absolutely essential read for the future The dilemma for the C-Suite at the helm as they look towards a rapidly changing future is

A Cautionary Message to the Elderly

Reading of a Somerset couple’s disastrous attempt to replicate the famous Dirty Dancing move (the one where Patrick Swayze lifts Jennifer Grey above his head as she leaps into his arms) ended up with them both in hospital, got me

How to learn new skills required for your success in the future of work

Watch the video below to discover the 5 key things you need to do in order to learn a new skill within 20 hours. Join our free community of like-minded, future-focused individuals developing their skills in order to understand what

Why competitive advantage has shifted and the three driving forces changing everything

Three shifts are re-orchestrating many of the important components of competitive advantage, they require every leader’s attention SHIFT 1: THE POWER of SOCIAL “Through this new technology, people are now empowered to express their grievances and to follow people they

How to be a learning organization that provides meaningful leadership development for the future of work

Some years ago I asked a friend who was responsible for some of the most successful TV adverts in South Africa – she was the advertising agency’s account manager for a fast food brand – what made the adverts so

Are you ready to catch the next wave of innovation? (Part 2)

According to Bloomberg, a financial data and media company, by late 2015 global corporations held over $15 trillion in cash and cash equivalents – a staggering fourfold increase over the previous ten years. “The Cannibalised Company”, a special report by

Tuesday Tip: Three simple ways to get more from your business reading

 In the video, I share three key ways for you to get more out of your business reading. Audible – listen to your books if you can’t read, or battle to read. And listen to them speeded up to get

Habits & what’s on in the Future of Work Academy in July

There is no shortage of helpful information available these days to help you succeed in the future of work. The Economist and Harvard Business Review provide excellent content along with numerous other institutions and publications for anyone keen on sharpening

Are you ready to catch the next innovation wave? (Part 1)

Innovation can be viewed as a process involving a series of discrete break-through inventions followed by incremental improvements which eventually leverage the full potential of the initial invention. It goes like this: Entrepreneurial start-ups experiment with their energy, time and capital, they

Got an great business idea, pitch it in sub-zero water

I’m working in Finland this week for a leading business school and their client a food and wellness company, and came across Polar Bear Pitching, Finland’s take on the BBC’s Dragon’s Den. Imagine standing on a thick ice pack, you

Barack Obama: Quester Leader of the Week

“While Mr. Trump has left Europeans despairing about the trans-Atlantic relationship, lectures his fellow leaders about paying more for NATO and ignores their pleas not to pull out of the Paris climate accord, Mr. Obama appears on panels with allies

Hiring soon: The top six Executive jobs of the near future

Anne Watson, writing in the UK’s Management Today newspaper, suggested yesterday that five new executive functions will soon find their way onto the Boards and Executive teams of large organisations. I agree and would add a sixth. CHIEF AUTOMATION OFFICER

The Importance of Perspective in Leadership

“Perspective is what enables each of us to transform the sum of our days into an epic journey. And it’s what improves our chances of together making the twenty-first century humanity’s best.” says Ian Goldin, ex-professor of global development at

Tuesday Tip: Turning Content into Action and getting ROI on Leadership Programmes

  The Problem: We send ‘our people’ on multiple leadership development programmes and the ‘higher’ up the organisation the more such programmes tend to focus on theoretical content and information. We then expect our people to ‘know what to do

We used to think big. Here’s why we need to again

We used to think big and have grand visions. It wasn’t that long ago that high-risk, big dream projects were the norm. In the 60’s and 70’s the Apollo programme brought humanity together and Project Mohole, an ambitious attempt to

Sleepwalking Through Leadership: Neglecting Story

  Margaret Wheatley has said that leadership is the simple act of stepping forward. Leading in today’s volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world – or what is commonly referred to as ‘VUCA’ requires a leadership response, unlike anything we have

We live in a remarkable century, but there is a problem

This century should be rather remarkable. We have the potential to end disease and poverty. We might decode ageing and live forever-young. Through the ever-growing power of genetic technology and bioengineering we could revive extinct species like the woolly mammoth.

Why there is nothing wrong with Trump quitting the Paris Climate Agreement, in fact we should welcome it

“Announcing his decision from the White House Rose Garden, Mr Trump said the Paris accord was an example of an international deal that hurt the US economy, and that he was fulfilling his “America First” campaign pledge to help American

What’s in the Future of Work Academy in June

Our June content for the Future of Work Academy is now live on the Academy’s website. Here’s a 6-minute overview from Graeme on what you can expect for the month. We have also reduced the monthly investment to the academy

Teenager dies as Audi and VW Group continually fall woefully short of Achieving Remarkable Things

George Cheese, 18, was “over the moon” when he got the position as an apprentice at an Audi car dealership in Reading, UK, but soon started coming home covered in bruises and had multiple holes burned into his clothes, says The

10 Principles for Leading the Next Industrial Revolution

S+B is one of our favourite resources at TomorrowToday. This is one of their best pieces in recent months, nicely summarised in a great graphic: The article that explains each of these ten points is pure gold. Read it here.

A Conversation – Ongoing Learning

A conversation on how to sustain learning… So tell me why you think learning is so important, I mean it is not like I don’t have enough to do right now? I’m part of this TomorrowToday Future of Work Academy

Tuesday Tip: How to get more out of your conferences

One of the biggest problems with taking your team or whole organisation away for a few days of conferencing is making sure you get a proper return on investment. Conferences can cost a lot, and that’s without calculating the cost

Free webinar: Protect your career from robots and algorithms

From doctors to news reporters, secretaries to drone pilots, jobs are evolving faster than ever before. Thousands of new professions are listed in LinkedIn every day, and every business magazine you read seems to have at least one article warning
The Future of Driverless Cars

Case Study from the Future : Driverless Cars

Our brains are designed to think about incremental change – one small step at a time, taking us into a foreseeable future. But some changes are exponential, dramatic and impact whole sets of systems around us. When we learn to

Achieve Remarkable Things – A thought-provoking paper by TomorrowToday Global

This century should be rather remarkable but it will not just happen, you have to create it. Ancient Greeks had two concepts of time, chronos and kairos. The former referring to the sequential progress of time; and, the latter, opportune

The Quest for a Great Computer in a Book

Every blog needs a story about Apple and here is one of ours, but it is not your average account. This is a story of a very young man, presenting his crazy idea at the 1983 International Design Conference in Aspen,

What’s in the Future of Work Academy in April

Our team is putting the final touches on April’s Future of Work Academy content. As always, it’s brilliant. The Academy provides resources to help you be successful in your career in the future of work. Here’s a video Graeme put

Tuesday Tip: Preparing Talent for the New World of Work

  One of the anecdotal points we often make in our presentations is that when children who are in junior school today enter the workplace in 15 years time, up to 30% of the jobs they apply for will be

Your view of the future shapes your world today

Part of the research I did to complete my Doctorate of Business Administration was looking at the ways a leader’s view of the future impacted their leadership style. It was very clear that the most successful leaders all seemed to

Save the date – Raising Young Talent for the New World of Work

If you are a parent, teacher, school principal, employer or in HR, then this event is for you. Don’t miss Nikki Bush’s Raising Young Talent for the New World of Work event on the 4th April 2017, at the Henley Business

Six Things you need to know to be a Future-Fit Leader

Currently I am engaged in a series of workshops for chief executives from throughout the United Kingdom. These are business leaders of businesses from a variety of sectors and with annual turnovers ranging from £90m to £4m and with staff

Tuesday Tip: What to read

Last week’s Tuesday Tip talked about creating a reading culture in your team. We’ve had a few people contact us and ask us: WHAT should we be reading? Of course, that’s like asking, “How long is a piece of string?”

Horse Play, Savvy Leadership

For over a decade, our team at TomorrowToday has worked with Carlene Bronner on her farm in the Midlands of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, to bring “Horse Play” to our coprorate clients. It involves getting a group of leaders to

Why we need feminism at work

My oldest daughter turned 18 yesterday. I have two other teenage daughters and a wife. In fact, I am the only man in our household, and I love it. Mainly because I learn so much from being forced to see

Tuesday Tip: Creating a reading culture

The Problem: Fit bodies, fat minds: My team aren’t reading…which means we might not be learning! “My team aren’t reading and I fear that will impact on our ability and need to learn” said a CEO to me recently. It

Leaders Must Have ‘Strategic Intelligence’

I am busy working with a client that is struggling to get innovation. They desperately want it, but are currently unable to let go of their existing corporate culture that completely squashes innovation. To succeed in the 21st century, most

Experiment more

Transcript If we live in times of deep disruptive change where what happened yesterday is unlikely to be repeated tomorrow, then one of the key things we have to do is to experiment more. Most organizations that I work with

Savvy Leadership: Learning from Horses

As I write this I am once again in the Dargle area located in the picturesque Midlands of Kwa Zulu Natal. It is a place that when created surely must have brought a smile to the Creator; reflection of a

Tuesday Tips: Do you see the benefit of the future of money yet?

    The Problem: One of the challenges I face when discussing the future of money with people and audiences is a sense of inertia and lack of perspective on the imminence of the change. Money as we know it

Three reasons why This Remarkable Century Needs You

There are three reasons why you might want to invest 5-minutes reading this article: The world is at a crossroads, the outcome of this century will be determined over the next 2-3 decades and will depend on the action of people like

Two Books Every Leader Should Read

Book One: Uncommon Sense, Common Nonsense By Jules Goddard & Tony Eccles The tag-line subtitle to this book is, ‘Why some organisations consistently outperform others’. – a title that no doubt will spark immediate  interest in the casual passer-by. However

Now is the time to achieving remarkable things, again

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has,” said Margaret Mead a cultural anthropologist. TomorrowToday recently launched the Achieve Remarkable Things  series of presentations and

Invitation: Free Webinar on How to be More Innovative, 16 Feb 2017, 9am GMT

“What we need to do is always lean into the future; when the world changes around you and when it changes against you… you have to lean into that and figure out what to do because complaining isn’t a strategy. ~

Developing Leaders: A Leadership Pill

I once watched the movie ‘Limitless’ which explored the concept of a pill that leads to acutely enhanced awareness and performance. Obscure facts tucked away in the recesses of one’s subconscious become accessible; patterns hidden by details become clear and
Tuesday Tips

Tuesday Tip: Practical advice on building adaptive intelligence

Following on from Keith’s newsletter article last week that looked at how to develop greater adaptive capacity in your team we thought it would be useful to use today’s Tuesday Tip to provide you with a practical action item to move

Enabling Foresight and Strategy: Spotting the Disruptors Before They Arrive

      Enabling Foresight and Strategy: Spotting the Disruptors Before They Arrive It has always been the task of the leader to think strategically and spend more time than their team looking at the horizon. That is still the
Adaptive Leadership

How to develop greater adaptive capacity in your team

The leadership challenge is how to ensure that your organisation, your team has a deep adaptive capacity. It is ensuring that adaptability is part of your very DNA as you navigate the volatile, uncertain and complex future. In order to

Leaders who hear the music

One of my favourite quotes is that of Friedrich Nietzsche who once wrote, “Those who were seen dancing, were thought to be crazy, by those who could not hear the music.” Hearing the ‘music’ is an important leadership attribute and

Tuesday Tip: Jack Ma’s three 30’s

Jack Ma, the CEO of Alibaba the worlds largest online retailer, spoke of three 30’s at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2017. Focus on the next 30 years of technology integration Pay attention to people who are 30

Recommended Reading: Best Business Books

The latest edition of The Economist has a cover article about lifelong learning being one of the most important things you can do to survive in an age of automation. A crucial part of lifelong learning is reading. I hope

Why bother with what matters most? Trump and authentic leadership

In TomorrowToday we have two capstones in our approach to leadership, namely: (1) Leadership is always context specific and, (2) You lead out of who you are. Context always defines leadership and a lot of the work we are invited

Tuesday Tip: Crowd control

The Problem: The situation is that you are facilitating at a conference or simply coordinating a large meeting in which multiple table discussions are taking place. The problem is trying to regain the group’s attention without speaking over the noise

Janus: A god for Leaders

Janus was the Roman god from whom we derive the name we give to the first month of the year – January. Janus was the god of beginnings and endings and was often found at the entrance of a building

Take your broken heart, make it into ART, says Meryl Streep and she lambasted Donald Trump

Meryl Streep, an actress who has achieved remarkable things, “slammed Donald Trump, honoured her late friend Carrie Fisher and praised a room full of Hollywood “outsiders” while accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 2017 Golden Globes” says Rolling Stones

VIDEO: Generation X reflects on the Millennials

One of my favourite commencements speeches of this past year was presented at Grinnell College by British novelist, Zadie Smith. She reflects on what she, as a Gen Xer, was thinking and planning when she graduated College back in 1997.

Remarkable World? It does not feel that way.

        There are very distinct signs that humankind has entered the dawn of a new golden age of technology, a new Age of Discovery, one that has the potential to have as great an impact as the

Seven (important) Leadership Lessons from Santa

Let’s be honest, the fat guy in the red suit is one impressive leader! He never misses a beat, has expectations to meet that would cause even President Zuma to step-down and he gets reindeer to fly. Which reminds me:

10 Leadership Lessons from Santa

Ho, Ho Ho…it’s that time of year again when the tinsel comes out, trees get decorated and dietary regimes along with turkeys get stuffed. The old guy with the impressive beard comes out from his reclusive lair to both delight

Three Things Good Leaders Should Be Asking Santa

Looking for some leadership tips from Santa? Of course only good leaders get to ask Santa for anything, bad leaders’ Christmas stocking is likely to be empty! So what would a good leader want from Santa for the journey marked

Tuesday Tip: Fit bodies, fat minds

The Problem: Fit bodies, fat minds My team aren’t reading…which means we might not be learning! “My team aren’t reading and I fear that will impact on our ability and need to learn” said a CEO to me recently. It

The Times and Raconteur’s report on The Future CEO

In The Times newspaper in the UK, Raconteur published a superb insert on “The Future CEO”, focusing on the future of leadership and senior leaders within organisations. It is an excellent read, and available for free download here: http://bit.ly/FutureCEOTimes The

Knowing what to do when you don’t know what to do

We know that the world we live in now is not just experiencing an increasing speed of change; it’s clear that change itself has changed. It’s now disruptive, exponential and turbulent, in every area of society from politics to economics,

Book Review: Leading in a Changing World

Many thanks to Deanne Earle from Change Through Action for this most recent book review on Graeme and Keith’s Leading in a Changing World leadership book. A reminder that we are able to customize the books to include a foreword

Leading Difference Differently

Understanding the journey of different ‘from’ to different ‘for’. In the past, similarity worked. This was how the world worked. Teams, even entire organizations, worked based on people who were like you. It was easy; it felt comfortable. You began

Google’s Nine Principles for Innovation Can Be Used by Everyone

In his book on innovation, “Robert’s Rules of Innovation II: The Art of Implementation“, Robert F. Brands, provides many examples of the practices that have led to cultures of innovation in a variety of different companies (see his book on

Your Leadership Style Might Need To Change: A case in point

The sports world news has been punctuated by stories of pending leadership changes in F1. Bernie Ecclestone is due to step down as the FI Chief and the McLaren team has just parted company with founder of the modern team,

10 Top Tips to Keep Learning

An ‘adaptive challenge’ is defined as, ‘knowing what to do when you don’t know what to do’. In today global context leaders are increasingly facing more and more adaptive challenges. In an adaptive challenge learning becomes a fundamental ingredient in

How to change history

Gustavo Gutierrez once said, “Those who change the course of history are usually those who pose a new set of questions rather than those who offer solutions.” Gutierrez, born in Lima in 1928, is a Peruvian Dominican priest who is

Write drunk, edit sober…good advice for leaders?

“Write drunk, edit sober” is something Ernest Hemingway allegedly once said. I think it is good advice, except maybe for alcoholics! The kind of writing that tends to inspire me is writing that has passion, flow and somehow captures grand

Tuesday Tips: Leading diversity

The Problem: Leading diversity (difference) is amongst the most complex and difficult of all challenges that leaders face. How can you lead difference in such a way that the benefits of diversity can flourish? The Solution: Difference takes many forms

Four Daily Habits for Smart, futurefit Leaders

The right leadership habits lead to the right leadership practices. It is a law of life general. There is a lot leaders are ‘told’ they should do in order to be effective leaders and the leadership ‘to do’ list becomes

Why Trump’s win holds so many important lesson for leaders

On the 20 July, the day the Republican Party nominated their president elect, I predicted that Donald Trump would win. Here is what I wrote: Donald Trump has a better than not chance of winning. Actually I’m going to predict that

Four things to get right if you want to ‘win the war’ with Gen Z

Gen Z (those born since 2000) is rapidly becoming your new market and will soon become the next generation knocking at the door of your company. They are unlike any previous generation because they have grown up in a world

Tuesday Tips: Working out what is relevant about FinTech for you and your business

One of the things we often hear from people who attend our presentations is: “I hear about ‘stuff’, but I don’t have the time to follow up… that is why I’m glad we booked you so you can cut through the
FinTech and the Digital Disruption of Financial Services ebook

TomorrowToday Global Announces Official Launch of Compelling New FinTech Financial Services White Paper

Industry Specialists at TomorrowToday Global Unveil a Timely New White Paper Entitled “FinTech & the Digital Disruption of Financial Services” This hard-hitting new position paper, researched and created by a team of top multi-industry veterans, is a definitive industry analysis

Getting the measure of leadership development programmes

“Education is what survives when what has been learnt has been forgotten” is something that B.F. Skninner once said. One has only to apply that insight to one’s own ‘education’ to fully appreciate just how correct Skinner was in that

Humans Need Not Apply (that includes you)

Automation is one of the most important themes in any discussion about the future of work. But just how much of our work can computers actually do. And excellent video was recently released which explores just this question, and supplies
relearning

Tuesday Tip: Learning to write…again.

The Problem: My team have stopped learning in ways that I think will impact on our ability to thrive into the future. We seem too content, too complacent and don’t seem willing to challenge ourselves with the learning mind-set and

So far so good: What should leaders be measuring?

Having the wrong metrics in place is a little like the person who fell off a 10 story building only to be heard to say as he passed each floor on the way down, “so far so good”. The old

Tuesday Tips: What to do when the rules just don’t apply anymore

The Challenge The rules for success in the past often don’t apply in today’s world. We’ve built business rules, procedures and policies that worked in the industrial and information age but are no longer applicable in the digital revolution. Many

In A Doom-Laden World Here is the Reason Why You Should Be Optimistic.

In a recent 60-Minutes interview with Donald Trump and Mike Pence, Lesley Stahl said, “I don’t remember the last time we’ve seen a world in this much chaos,” to which both candidates enthusiastically agreed. This is not surprising after all

Let’s Move to Mars!

Let’s move to Mars! Elon Musk and his team at SpaceX are not joking. And they’re not wild-eyed dreamers either. Yesterday, Elon addressed a crowd at the International Astronautical Congress in Mexico, giving details of how his company plans to

Tuesday Tip: The Future of CV’s (Resumes)

My oldest daughter has nearly finished her schooling and is looking for some summer work. In the first job that she applied for, they asked for her CV, her resume. She came to me and asked me how she should

Tuesday Tip: Dealing with a sexist team

The Problem I think my team might be sexist …what can I do? You may have been made aware of the presence of a subtle (or maybe not so subtle) sexism within your team / organisation, and now need to

Three questions to answer before you ‘dive in’.

I recently came across a wonderfully insightful Calvin and Hobbes comic strip. The two protagonists were excitedly trying on some snorkelling goggles proclaiming that this newly acquired equipment would now enable them to stay underwater indefinitely, see all kinds of

Tuesday’s Tip: Making learning stick, making change a reality

How to reinforce the message of your recent conference to help change those mindsets and actions within your teams, and enable on-going learning. The problem: Your investment into your conferences or leadership away days are not producing a return. You take

On Leadership: What the Hell’s Going on?

In a hard hitting and sobering Rolling Stone article titled, ‘The Point of No Return: Climate Change Nightmares Are Already Here’ there was a quote that stood out as being highly relevant for leaders. The context was the plight of the

The Silence Class: Learning Adaptive Leadership for the New World of Work.

For a moment I thought he was going to hit me such was his anger and frustration. It was an interesting experience and one I’m not sure I could have coped with had it occurred when I first embarked on

What not to learn from Sir Alex and Manchester United

I have just watched a documentary titled, ‘Sir Alex Ferguson: Secrets of Success’ – on the leadership lessons to be learnt from Sir Alex Ferguson, the legendary former Manchester United manager. Now, as one should always declare one’s biases, it

The Problem: Finding time to be a good leader seems to be a big issue.

Our team spends a lot of our time facilitating leadership development programmes. Companies around the world send their top people on training courses to help them step up, be more productive and become better leaders. One of the biggest complaints

Latest Tomorrow Trends Podcast now available

Join our team for 30 minutes to listen to our latest episode of the Tomorrow Trends podcast – we’re confident that it’ll be 30 minutes well spent, learning new ideas, thinking a little out of the box and some inspiration

The ‘Flying Housewife’: Sexism and five things men can do to ‘wise-up’

In the 1948 London Olympics Dutch athlete, Francina “Fanny” Blankers-Koen, a 30 year-old mother of two, won four gold medals and was the most successful athlete at those Games. She retired from athletics in 1955 after a stellular career that
Tuesday Tips

Tuesday Tips: Something different to try – in order to grow as a leader

In one of the ‘Leadership Lessons’ in our Future Fit Video Series (A series of practical exercises to grow your skills as a future-fit leader), Keith provides some insights around change being the constant context for leadership. Keith speaks about how ‘unrelenting global change

Retaining your Talent

By Nikki Bush and Raymond de Villiers Retaining talent is becoming one of the most pressing points of pain in human resources today. Young, high performing individuals seem to have developed a wanderlust. They get bored quickly and are always

3 Essential shifts that leaders need to make to lead effectively in a changing world

In the course of my work I am often asked the question, ‘what do I / we need to do in order to thrive in the future?’ Of course that question comes in multiple formats but essentially that is the

Hacking DNA: Customise your baby.

For the first time ever scientists can change, discard and rearrange the DNA of nearly any living organism, including you and me. Think about the consequences of being able to do this: From the elimination of certain diseases to saving
Tuesday Tips

Tuesday Tip: Getting your team to ‘think like a futurist’ – to see the bigger picture

The problem: All too often team meetings become routine, centred on the usual operational issues and well…a little boring. The need to get our team members to (what we in TomorrowToday call), ‘look out the window’, to see the bigger

Managing Talent Meaningfully

by Nikki Bush & Raymond de Villiers Talent management, as a discipline, has seen a shift over time to managing resources instead of managing people. In amongst all the processes and procedures surrounding human resources today we have lost the

How to keep and engage your customers in a world of digital integration

It’s clear to anybody who engages with customers (and employees) on a regular basis that they are a new breed! Customers today are changing dramatically. Part of it is because we live in a digital age where there’s more connection,

The challenge of working on the business not just in the business

For entrepreneurs the challenge is always how to work on their business and not merely in their business. This duel role that is required of most small business owners is extremely taxing and difficult. Those that are able to grow
Tuesday Tips

Tuesday Tip: Why you should embrace failure

Historically we have been taught that failure is unacceptable. We have translated this perspective into a view that treats failure in the workplace as a cost or liability. Consequently, we have created cultures where failure is hidden, rather than one

Millennials: Motivated by meaningfulness and Impact

In my book Quest: Competitive advantage and the Art of Leadership in the 21st Century, chapter 2 tells the story of the millennial generation being a generation of questers on steroids. This generation is driven by having a positive social

Become a Talent Magnet

By Raymond de Villiers and Nikki Bush We need to start marketing our organisations differently if we want our talent attraction efforts to work because young talent isn’t looking for a job, they are looking for an experience. Recruiting talented,

We predicted the demise of Yahoo three years ago

One should not indulge too often nor too deeply in “I told you so” moments. But as news that Verizon has acquired Yahoo broke, I couldn’t help but think back to a post our team wrote in March 2013, a

Would your people strip naked and paint themselves blue?

Recently some 3 200 people from throughout Britain and beyond gathered at 3am in the city centre of Hull to strip naked and be painted blue. You might be thinking ‘only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday
Tuesday Tips

Tuesday Tips: Too much “blah, blah, blah”…

The Problem: Too much “blah, blah, blah”… Far too often in meetings and conversations there is too much talking. Words spoken without much thought and sometimes, without much meaning. All too often it means that those we should be hearing from,
talent engagement

Engaging your young talent

By Nikki Bush and Raymond de Villiers Statistics across the board increasingly indicate that people are disengaged at work. They come to work and do their time. They turn up but they are not invested in what they do. Talent

When is the news not the news? – a question for leaders

As a Futurist and someone passionate about what it means to be a FutureFit leader, getting the news is important. In today’s saturated multi-media world getting the news is beyond easy as more often than not the constant news flow

Donald Trump and BREXIT prove it’s never been easier to challenge the impossible. So why aren’t you?

At just past midnight (GMT), on the 20th July, Donald Trump clinched the Republican nomination for US president. When Donald Trump announced his intention to run for president, many people dismissed his candidacy as a joke. Seems that Trump is having

Tuesday Tips: Where to go to see the future

The Problem: I know I need to look at the future, but where should I go for my information? Before we answer the question, let’s be clear about why we need to do this. Everyone needs to be future-focused these

[VIDEO] How to do meetings better

Almost every client I’ve ever worked with has confessed that they don’t do meetings as well as they would like to. I think this is a universal complaint. We could – and should – do meetings better. But thinking about

Elizabeth Holmes, the Story of a Fallen Quester

At the age of nine, Elizabeth Holmes, an innovator and entrepreneur, wrote to her father saying: “What I really want out of life is to discover something new, something that mankind didn’t know was possible.” It was clear from the

Brexit: Resetting the Clocks

The Church fete. A quaintly British institution seems a fitting context in which to write about Brexit and add even more words on a divisive a subject already weighed down by words, some smart and others not so smart. As

Elon Musk’s Top Secret Masterplan: Part 2

Markets reacted positively yesterday to Elon Musk’s tweet that he would reveal a second Top Secret Masterplan for Tesla this week. Shares for Tesla Motors responded strongly and closed 4% up. Here’s why. Elon Musk is a quester leader. His quests have

Tuesday Tip: Getting things that matter most done

The Problem: Getting things that matter most done Most of us struggle with not just getting things done but getting a balance between the things that have to be done and the things we would like to get done. The

Perversion of the Proper Workings of Capitalism

“The present state of affairs is really a perversion of the proper workings of capitalism. It is all wrong to have billionaires before you have ceased to have slums. Capitalism has done enormous good and suits human nature far too

Blue Marble: Young, Urban, Wired and Hot.

On 7th December 1972, Apollo 17 astronaut, Jack Schmitt took a picture of the earth from 45 000km that has become known as Blue Marble. It was a remarkable picture of the planet and one that captured the imagination of

How will we feed 10 billion people by 2050?

By 2050 nearly 10 billion people will inhabit our blue planet and it will take 100 billion land animals to provide them with enough meat, dairy, eggs and leather goods. Maintaining this herd in terms of space, water, biowaste and

Tuesday Tips: Redefining talent and high-performance for our modern world of work

The Issue We need to redefine talent and high-performance for our modern world of work. 30 years ago the most important people in our organisations were defined by the amount and type of information they were custodians of. Information was

How to succeed in a changing world – What leaders can learn from the BREXIT

How can Great Britain fix great problems, contribute significantly to the progress of the world and be a great nation? These are good questions, aren’t they? By answering these questions, the politicians on both sides of the BREXIT debate would

Tuesday Tip: How to listen to podcasts while driving or at the gym.

A podcast is essentially a radio show that you can get on the internet, so you can listen any time you want.  You have two options: You can listen to a podcast through a website. Or, you can download a

Why do we believe things are impossible?

There are good reasons behind believing some things are impossible especially when they have been built into the societal or organisational psyche. Greg Satell, a Forbes journalist and unconventional thinker explains, “We spend a good portion of our lives learning

Disruptive Change: The Marching Tune for Leaders

In TIDES of Change TomorrowToday identifies five major disruptive change drivers shaping the new world of work. Understanding change is important if we are to engage with both the threats and opportunities that change invites. A brief synopsis of the

What to do with boring, predictable meetings

The Problem: Boring, predictable meetings Your team meetings are the same old, same old. The routine has become somewhat boring, predictable and dull. This is impacting on the content and discussion and something needs to be shaken-up. You sense that a

Here’s what Elon Musk knows about The Big Competitive Shift

We are here to put “dents in the universe otherwise why even bother” said computer pioneer and maverick Steve Jobs. For the past four decades, however, precious few businesses have been dent makers, preferring rather to focus incessantly on short-termism,

The future just got… well crazy

Every now and then I get really frustrated that I won’t be around the see ‘the future’. As someone who labels himself as ‘a futurist’ that might make little sense but, thinking about the future and being present in the

The holy cows, hamster wheels & not-so-deep dives of staff surveys

One of the things that gets in the way of fostering a healthy culture in large organisations is the very thing we implement to address culture: annual staff surveys. Although well-intentioned (we do after all want to know how our people

Destination Defines Destiny

Ernest Shackleton’s Trans-Antarctica expedition of 1914 – 1917 is one of the most incredible adventure stories of all time. When the great explorer advertised for men to join his expedition this is the advert he posted: Men wanted for hazardous

Thinking about the future at the 2016 CFO Awards

The spectacular CFO Awards Conference and Gala Dinner took place on 12 May 2016 at Summer Place in Hyde Park, Johannesburg. Keith Coats was one of their keynote speakers – below is an excerpt from the full article that appeared

A leadership lesson from a shoelace

Every now and then life gives us opportunity to say, “thank goodness that wasn’t me!” – understanding that but for some quirk of fate, it could so easily have been ‘me’. What is regarded as the most epic of all

Why the most successful disruptors day dream

“All people dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make

They had to know: The most important three words in your organisation

‘Never Again’ is the inscription inscribed in five languages at the Dachau Concentration Camp memorial site a short distance outside Munich. A visit to such a place is not easy yet is entirely necessary. This is a place where man’s

Developing Future-Fit Organisations: Four essential DNA focus areas for developing high-performing people and healthy communities

As the world becomes increasingly complex, and people have to handle more and more stress and change, our team at TomorrowToday has been drawn back time and again to a remarkable framework for the development of high-performing people and healthy

Here is how you create the future

The 21st Century has the potential to be humankind’s greatest century. Indeed, innovations over the next four decades have the potential to dwarf the innovations of the past 200 years. But this version of the future will only become true

The problem with small rules

Very often, in highly compliant environments with a juggle of ‘small rules,’ there is a serious risk of getting the ‘big stuff’, the important stuff, very wrong. Even companies with great processes are vulnerable if they don’t understand how the

What is the Leading Resource in the World? Here’s a Clue: It is Not Money.

“What is the leading resource in the world? It is not money,” says Mike Milken founder of the Milken Institute, a global think tank, “the major asset in the world is the productivity of individuals.” So the billion-dollar question has to

The Leader’s Most Important Task

One of the most important leadership responsibilities (and skills) is to be able to understand the broader context and interpret what this means for his or her business / industry. Leaders are leading in a time of acute global challenges:

Tuesday’s Tip: Be Curious

We are often asked what the most important skills that we need to be successful in the future. Our, perhaps unexpected, answer is “to be curious”. The willingness to think about the world, to ask questions, to explore… are all

[Video] Why we battle to deal with change (a keyboard analogy)

In a world of disruptive change, most people are battling to keep up. Some even actively oppose change. In this 6 minute video, Graeme Codrington of the TomorrowToday Global team, gives an analogy that might help you and your team

Surviving the Storm: The Goodwin Sands Warning

South Foreland is site in Dover, England. It is a place that can lay claim to some unique history for it was here, way back in 1858 that the first ever electric light was illuminated, long before Thomas Edison first

Incrementalisation – A strategy for those who don’t want to succeed spectacularly

Incrementalisation (n) ~ a strategy seeking incremental gains delivered through increased efficiency and effectiveness − does not mean you will fail dramatically, but you are certain not to succeed massively either. Being creatively conservative is not a formula for constructing a
Tuesday Tips

Meetings – getting some to talk less & others to talk more

The Problem Losing your marbles: Meetings – getting some to talk less & others to talk more Getting balanced participation in meetings can prove elusive. Some team members like to talk – and do; others hardly talk, but should. How

Talent: Companies just don’t get it and the consultancies are to blame.

I recently sat through yet another mangled explanation as to how a company (let’s call them ‘Company Y’), this time in the financial sector, was planning to attract and retain ‘talent’. It wasn’t the first but I hope it will

…And to think it all started with some spare time at Waterstone’s!

When it comes to learning…what gets you excited? Hold that thought whilst I backtrack a little… I had arrived early for a meeting at Waterstone’s, the famous bookstore situated a stone’s throw from Piccadilly Circus in London. Getting there early
Tuesday Tips

The Path to Innovation – Do someone else’s job

  Innovation, Innovation, Innovation – It’s a big word at the moment. If you want innovation you have to give your people space to do different things… to innovate! Some companies give their teams one day in the week to

Respect: Vardy, vardy I say unto you, Roy’s got it horribly wrong!

There has been a lot of publicity and no shortage of opinion concerning Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy’s sending off against West Ham United. England manager, Roy Hodgson has come out publically in support of Vardy, exonerating him of the dive

Welcome to the Future: When ‘Gut Feel’ counts for nothing

There is a lot to be said for ‘gut feel’ or intuition and in select aspects of leadership practice more and more emphasis is being placed on intuition. William Duggan’s excellent book, ‘Strategic Intuition,’ being a case in point.  However,
Tuesday Tips

The gap between the ‘next generation’ of leaders & the current leadership practice.

The Problem – “Has my Boss heard this?” This is a commonly asked question on senior leadership development programmes and one that reveals a serious problem. There is often a disconnect between what the ‘next generation’ of leaders are being taught

A $1,000 to Do (Almost) Whatever You Want

“Last month, one of my employees invoiced the company $300, plus tax, for French lessons. Another one billed us for a $190 real estate course. And then there was the surprise bill for $82 worth of pottery making classes. I

Banking: The Real and Present Danger

The future of banking is problematic. Certainly the future landscape when it comes to banking is one that we know will not resemble that already travelled. In most industries this is true but for financial institutions this reality seems to

Developing Futurefit Leaders: Why use outside service providers?

When it comes to senior leadership or executive interventions an often-asked question is, ‘why do we need outside service providers?’ It is a valid question. In many instances the answer is, ‘you don’t’. However, there are situations where paying that

Design Disruptors: How Design Became the New Business Language

Over the past five years there has been a rise in the number of billion dollar start-up companies (often referred to as Unicorns – for example Uber is now valued at $51 billion and five years ago it was no where).

Advice from Graeme’s visit to Google HQ

It’s not every day that your colleague gets to experience Google’s HQ. Graeme is there with a client of ours (who is a major world partner with Google) as part of the Senior Executive Development programme. He got to run

Business leaders aren’t well educated – and what to do about it.

“Business leaders aren’t well educated”, said a Mentor of mine, an ex-Executive Director of an international wholesale chain during a recent conversation. As provocative statements go, that one is sure to rank near the top of the pile! But, he

The Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Age of Quests

“We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before. We

The Need to Stay Futurefit

Rapid progress is usually accompanied by greater instability. The impact of globalisation on our planet has reshaped, redefined and reordered almost everything. What this looks like and more importantly, what it means are avenues of inquiry that are neither simple

“CREATIVITY” A Framework for Thinking Like a Futurist

Having the CURIOSITY to explore  Being RESILIENT when everyone else says your quest is impossible Displaying an ENERGY that others find inspiring and uplifting  Being ADAPTABLE when someone identifies a better plan than yours Having the TENACITY to keep on trying  Being INNOVATIVE and unafraid to fail

Leadership Development Programmes: Get your head out the sand!

Here’s a thought: when it comes to your leadership development programmes…don’t measure the programme, measure the outcomes. Most programmes require that the participants rate the content, the delivery and in some cases, the ‘stuff’ that surrounds the learning experience. The

Cisco’s John Chambers on the digital era

Last year, Cisco’s CEO, John Chambers become its Chairman. When he became CEO of Cisco Systems in 1995 the world had only just entered the digital age. About 18 million American homes were online, but only 3% of users had

Is this the corporate model of the future?

The Rise of the Benefit Corporation Small changes in the corporate code can change the world and on April 13, 2010, Governor Martin O’Malley made history in the US State of Maryland when he passed a law creating a new type

Want to be futurefit? Three necessary leadership skills

In a recent Business Report there was an article by Wayne Houghton titled, ‘Digital transformation key to being relevant in the next decade’. There were 10 skills that were identified as necessary for the future workforce. The list included three

The Power of Meaningfulness (Video)

The belief that what you are doing will deliver meaningful benefits to the world − be it on a global scale or at a macro level, with customers, colleagues or family − is an extremely important and powerful quality of

The Rise of the Quester Intrapreneur

Quester intrapreneur, n. 1 A person who works inside major corporations or organizations to develop and promote practical solutions to social, ethical, operational or environmental challenges where progress is currently stalled by market and business failures. 2 A person who applies the principles of

Are we witnessing the death of innovation and the end of growth?

As disruptive forces go, the end of economic growth, would have a tsunami impact on businesses, organisations and countries. We tend to think of economic growth as normal, something we’ve lived with forever and we expect its continued benefit. Downturns are

Generation Y and the Quarter-Life Crisis

In this short video, Ray gives an overview of what we mean by the Quarter-Life Crisis… Not the mid-life crisis, but not very different from it either!   If you’re looking for a more in depth overview of Gen Y

Lessons in Leadership and Competitive Advantage

What if, in a changing world efficiency and effectiveness are no longer the bastions of competitive advantage? What if, what modern organisations need is more hare and less tortoise? As the CEO of industrial giant GE, Jeff Immelt says, “Ten

Leading and Living Through Transitions: Three Instructional Paradoxes

“Write something that connects to FutureFit” was the unambiguous instruction from our eZine Editor and if there is one thing I have learnt in writing it is that you listen to what your editor says. So, there was little room

Is Leila Janah the most inspirational and exciting leader in the world?

When Leila Janah was very young she wanted to be an ocean explorer. Her hero was Jacques Cousteau and the exploits of the famed French undersea explorer on board The Calypso captivated her. Fascinated by the ocean and the creatures who lived

The Power of Impossible (Video)

Today’s competitive rules are different from previous periods. Strategies that focus on reducing costs and building efficiencies will be less effective than those which are based on offering products and services in more innovative ways. Established companies are being put

On Leadership: How to build resilience in your company or team

What CEO wouldn’t wish for a ‘resilient company’? In the prevailing economic conditions, resilience might just be the most important of characteristics for any corporation or organisation. If resilience isn’t part of one’s DNA then chances of surviving the future

How to destroy a legacy in five words

This is a man who has had an unparalleled sporting career, is revered in his country of birth, has given generously to friends and causes alike, has consistently been well-mannered, humble and a role model. Yet all of this is

Technology shouldn’t scare you – just use your experts

[Transcript] One of the biggest things that often hold companies back from embracing new technology, social media and developing apps is that the senior leaders are not very confident on these platforms. At one level that is understandable, but maybe

Leading Difference: 7 Questions Leaders Need to Ask.

Anthropologist Kate Fox in her wonderful book, Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour, makes the following point: The principal effect of globalization, as far as I can tell, has been an increase in nationalism and tribalism, a

Authentic Leadership: 7 Questions to be asking

In TomorrowToday we believe that one of leadership’s most important markers is that of authenticity. Of course most would immediately nod their heads in agreement but on deeper reflection it might be challenged, as surely there are times when leaders

Benefits of a questing culture

Keith Yamashita, a consultant who has worked with greats like Steve Jobs and Starbuck’s CEO Howard Schultz, says they figured out the one key thing every “ great leader knows. “First, you must have the belief that what we are doing will

Websites to make you smarter

Inc magazine just published a really excellent list of 30 websites to make you remarkably smarter. We often talk to our audiences about “switching on the radar” and making sure that you lift your eyes beyond the next horizon. These

Orthodoxies are your biggest enemies in disruptive times

Mark Twain once said “It’s not the things you know that get you into trouble, it’s the things you think you know for sure that just ain’t so”.  Those are orthodoxies.  Orthodoxies are patterns of thinking and behaviour that lock

Leadership Development: Finding a better way

A lot has been written and said when it comes to leadership. It is a topic that attracts multiple perspectives yet somehow definitive clarity as to what it is and how it is best practiced, proves illusive. In their book,

Are your leaders fit to lead?

Are your leaders at every level of your organization able to engage, develop and inspire their teams and people? We suspect they know the theory but are poor in implementing it. We notice that leadership programmes do a good job

How you can get your teams to work differently and see into the future

Ask new questions to new people Companies often don’t realise their research is stuck in a rut. They run the same focus groups and ask the same questions of the same people year after year. Broaden your horizons and ask

The challenge for Boomers who lead the younger Gen X and Gen Y generations.

Boomers have been very successful, but the problem now is a new workforce starts to emerge into the workplace and the rules and regulations and the methodologies that have been so successful in the past are not working as well

Required: A change in mindset to Lead in a Changing World

In an ever-changing world, leaders are often frustrated that they can’t mobilize their teams to adapt quickly enough to change. Leaders often feel the horizon of their strategic plans rushing ever closer, resulting in decision making that often feels closer

A Framework for Building Competitive Advantage

“So overwhelming was the response to my appeal that it seemed as though all the men of Great Britain were determined to accompany me,” said adventurer and explorer Ernest Shackleton following the placement of his newspaper advert: “Men wanted for

Reflections on Deloitte 2016 Global Millennial Survey

Since 2013 Deloitte has conducted an annual global survey looking at the status of Millennials in the workplace. These surveys can be viewed and downloaded: 2013 Global Millennial Survey 2014 Global Millennial Survey 2015 Global Millennial Survey The survey for

Initiating a new order of things

It was Machiavelli who wrote, “There is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle than to initiate a new order of things”. Yet, for the most part, this is exactly the

Digital Natives and Rules

[Transcript] Some older generations often complain that the digital natives don’t follow the rules. There  is a viral video doing the rounds on the Internet of an exam invigilator who has called time on the exam. A young man walks up too late

100-day plan for Building a Questing Culture

Questers look at the world differently. They examine markets and rather than think how can I create a better product, app or service; they look at complete systems, and identify what is broken. This is a subtle but important difference.

TEDx Talk on the Future of Leadership in the 21st Century

TomorrowToday Global’s founding partner and Chief Exploration Officer: Dean van Leeuwen, had the privilege of being invited to talk at TEDxUNic at the end of 2015 on the topic: The Future is… Dean chose to speak on the power of the leaders’ quest

Apple is losing its sparkle. Here is why.

Apple, the iconic tech giant has been the world’s most valuable listed company for nearly 5 years, largely thanks to the sale of over 700m iPhones. Just today (27.01.16) Apple announced the biggest quarterly  year-on-year results by a public company

Future-Fit leadership: Getting rid of the rubbish

Strategy has often been confused with efficiency. If your ‘strategy’ is to be ‘efficient’ you have the wrong strategy. Efficiency is today nothing more than an organisational hygiene factor; when it comes to securing a competitive advantage, efficiency is necessary

The Future of Banking: Blood in the Water

Every single institution and profession is under attack from the disruptive forces that are reshaping the world in a manner that is as relentless as it is unstoppable. The change frontiers are both ‘out there’– be that new frontiers in

[Invitational Leadership] Bringing out the best in others

 One of the biggest leadership questions is “How do I bring out the best in others?”.  “How to bring out the best in those for whom I had the responsibility for leading.” It’s a good question to be asking! I want

Smart Leadership: Going beyond ‘Just a spoonful of sugar’

“This is what we storytellers do, we restore order with imagination. We instil hope again and again and again” is something Walt Disney said to P.L. Travers in convincing her to sign over the rights to her Mary Poppins in

Don’t ask your kids what they WANT TO BE when they grow up but WHAT PROBLEMS DO THEY WANT TO SOLVE

The people and organisations who will be truly successful in the 21st century will not be those who develop a slightly better product or service than what already exists or the next best dating or social media App, but those who

The Business Benefits of Diversity

When we think of diversity and inclusion in our organizations there are two things that we normally think about and both are problems. The first is that we tend to think of diversity only in terms of women and culture,

“Sometimes it is the people who no one imagines anything of, who do the things that no one can imagine.”

Over the festive break I watched The Imitation Game; the story of Alan Turing, the inventor of the computer and the man who cracked the Enigma Code used by the Nazis during the Second World War, to encrypt messages. Cracking

7 things you need to know about being the Boss.

So you’re now a ‘Boss’ to someone. Congratulations! It promises to be an interesting and no doubt challenging journey and there are a few things that you should be aware of as you assume this new responsibility. Before you start,

Signposting 2015: Colouring by Numbers

Were I to colour the picture of my year by numbers it would look something like this: 131 flights (45 international and 86 domestic). That equates to 24 days (a ‘day’ being 24 hours) of my year was spent in

How one mans love for wonky veg is changing the world

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstal is a celebrity chef on a quest to reduce food waste and has embarked on an audacious journey to cajole grocery retailers into buying and selling what he calls “wonky vegetables.” Here is why Hugh has embarked on

Going Unplugged: A Case Study & A Dare

“The business was still there when I got back” was the ah-ha revelation of John, a senior retail operations leader who dared go on holiday for two weeks without his cell phone. “In fact” he added, “my staff have grown
Seeing the Invisible

Seeing the Invisible: Shedding light on our blindness

It has been said that we ‘don’t see the world as it is but rather we see the world as we are’. This is very true and it also happens to be the first step along the pathway towards emotional

New Business Book – Leadership & Strategy: Quest – Competitive Advantage and the Art of Leadership in the 21st Century, written by Dean van Leeuwen

What if we could empower people everywhere to have the courage and conviction to do their small bit or big bit to change the world? What if through the power of quest we created a culture where people believed they

Gender and Success: Not the level playing field one might assume!

In Sheryl Sandberg’s excellent book, Lean In – Women, Work, And The Will To Lead, she writes of an experiment done in 2003 by Columbia Business School professor, Frank Flynn and New York University professor Cameron Anderson. Their experiment was

Seeing the Future – and it’s VR

VR – Virtual Reality will be the next generation’s Facebook. Just as 3-D printers are now starting to be serious disruptors, having moved from the ‘sci-fi’ edge, so too will that be the trajectory of VR. With the launch of

Reverse Mentoring

One of the ways TomorrowToday has helped senior leaders to make a real connect with the young people in their teams is to suggest a concept of reverse mentoring. ‘Reverse mentoring’ is simple – you ask young people in your team

What if, you create a culture where people believe they can make a difference? You could change the world.

What if, through the power of quest – Knowing your destination; inspired by the possibility of achieving the impossible; and, in doing so delivering meaningful benefits; we could empower people everywhere to have the courage and conviction to do their

WHAT MAKES THE DIFFERENCE IS A WORLD WHERE CONSTANT ADAPTABILITY IS THE NORM?

“If you find what you do each day seems to have no link to any higher purpose, you probably want to rethink what you’re doing.” says Ronald Heifetz, the Founding Director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School

“Nigger Lover”: Badge of Honour

Today’s viewpoint offers perspective on yesterday’s form. It doesn’t usually make for comfortable viewing. Looking back reveals past prejudices, biases and ‘truths’ that in the light of today, are revealed for what they are… wrongs, lies or for some, sin.

H&M – What were you thinking?

H&M, the Swedish fashion retailer, have certainly made an inauspicious entry into the South African market. In fact it is hard to imagine how they could have messed things up more than they have in making their splash! Firstly they

See No Evil; Hear No Evil; Speak No Evil: 3 Trends that (might) Surprise

Demographics are a strange thing. They single a shift from the centre and if you are not paying attention, that shift can create an imbalance from which it is hard to recover. Demographic shifts are usually perceived as slow yet

The rules for competitive advantage have shifted

Organisations wishing to thrive and gain competitive advantage over the next decades should focus on delivering meaningful benefits in a world that is struggling to sustain the growing demands of the 9.6 billion people that will inhabit our blue planet by

Ancient Wisdom, Modern Insights for Leaders

Four questions to ask when things aren’t going well. Recently I read of some ancient wisdom across many Shamanic societies that is used to treat depression, a sense of being discouraged or when disheartened. When those conditions prevail the ‘Medicine

The Challenge with Giving Feedback

A friend of mine recently attended the Global Leadership Summit and was enthusiastically sharing with me an excellent talk she had heard about giving feedback. It sounded as though the talk had been tailored to the audience and had covered

Adaptive Leaders Mind the Gap between Rhetoric and Reality

According to author Richard Dobbs (No Ordinary Disruption) in 1950 a company occupied its place on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500) for an average of 60 years. By 2011 that span had dropped to 18 years. More

We have totally screwed up

“We have totally screwed up,” said Michael Horn the American boss of Volkswagen in a public apology. “We must fix the cars to prevent this from ever happening again and we have to make this right. This kind of behaviour

What to keep and what to discard

The first video in our Future Fit Series  – a practical video series that provides insights and practical exercises to become a future-fit leader in a rapidly changing world. Click here for information on the full series, or to get your team

Back to the future: Lessons from Adidas and the John Lewis Partnership

We live and lead in a world where there is a relentless urge to be ‘future focused’ and futurefit. The need to understand and be ready for disruption in a ‘VUCA’ world – one that is volatile, uncertain, complex and

Tomorrowland Leaders – pulling the future forward

In Hacking Leadership, author Myatt wrote, ‘Great leaders don’t move towards the future, they bring the future to them – they pull the future forward. In TomorrowToday we talk a great deal about the need for leaders to be ‘futurefit’

Come to work every day as if it were your first day.

Adi Dassler, a cobbler by trade, who founded Adidas, once said, “Come to work every day as if it were the first time. This will prevent you being blinded by routine”. Routine and established processes that can be captured by

A Thoughtful Response to – Would you use Performance Enhancing Chemicals at Work

A recent article I wrote on performance enhancing drugs in the workplace received great interaction once it was published online. Andrew sent a personal message to me and it was so inline with the engagement that I was hoping for

Millennials Rising : The Next Age of Talent Development

For the last 8 to 10 years Talent Development has slipped to a secondary focus in the human capital psyche of organisations. Today, however, the development requirements of a new generation of talent is causing it to once again rise

5 things leaders need to be aware of in defining reality

Max Dupree has said that, “The first responsibility of leadership is to define reality”. In doing that there are some things to which leaders need pay attention if they are to be successful in defining reality. 1. Not everybody wants

Meeting with Jim Dator. Futurist. Legend

Recently I had the privilege to meet with Futurist Jim Dator of the University of Hawaii. Jim is renown in futurists’ circles and has left an indelible impression on the disciple of Futures. He has also appeared (as himself) on

Three Reflective Questions for Leaders

Recently I was asked to provide answers to some interesting questions for a legacy project of some sort. Here are three of the questions and the answers I gave. They are good questions. How would you answer them? Q1: What

Would you use performance enhancing drugs at work?

Cognitive enhancing chemical technology in the new world of work. When Lance Armstrong was bust for using performance enhancing drugs through most of his career one of his defences was that it was part of the racing culture of the

Quest to go to the moon

Fifty-Three years ago today on September 12, 1962, President Kennedy delivered his speech “We choose to go to the moon” before a crowd of 35,000 people in the Rice University football stadium, Houston, Texas. In this speech JFK introduced the audience

The Power of the Leader’s Quest – An Introduction to TomorrowToday’s newest leadership strategy book

We are excited to introduce our latest leadership strategy book call Quest. Please make a note of the scheduled publishing date: 23rd November 2015. To whet your appetite here is a short extract from the book’s preface. If you would

Want to be a futurefit leader? Three Questions to be answered

In a complex and increasingly changing and disruptive world staying ahead of the curve is not easy. This ‘staying ahead of the curve’ is what we in TomorrowToday call being ‘futurefit’. There is not much you can do about the

Leadership is a collective: A thought experiment to try

Leadership is a collective… it happens at every level, with everyone in every action and every activity. As a Leader, you are accountable to exercise leadership properly. Leadership has to be relevant. Leadership has to be willing to change with

Top 5 in the Future of Work (29 Aug 2015)

My top five best reads on issues related to the future of work this past week: Inclusive Leadership The Answer To Diversity In The Workplace, by one of our ex-associates, Buhle Dlamini Inc magazine: 3 Reasons Millennials Are Getting Fired

Brokers of Hope: Jonah and Joost, a study in life.

I am going to deviate substantially from my ‘usual article format’ and rather try to capture something that, as I watched it, moved me deeply. Something that caused me to reflect about life and life’s purpose; about the strange and unpredictable

On leadership: Wanting to hear

“You are not going to listen unless you want to hear,” said Denis, a friend, former colleague and mentor of mine as we met over a cup of coffee at our usual coffee shop – a convenient halfway point between

Silence: The most important gift for any leader?

The quietest place on earth is reputedly an echo-free chamber in Minnesota, USA. It absorbs 99.99% of sound. It is said that in the chamber one can hear your lungs breathing, you blood flowing through your veins and even you

Top 5 in the Future of Work (7 Aug 2015)

My five best readings on the topic of the future of work from the past few days are: Spotting the difference between a Baby Boomer and Generation Z – and why it matters for marketers One of my favourite management

The Problem with HR and what to do about it

The latest edition of Harvard Business Review (HBR) has as its cover story, ‘It is time to blow up HR and build something new’. It is a title that is sure to grab attention, especially if you happen to be

Starting with A, B, C to better Leadership

Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start…and for the older amongst you, you will now have images of Julie Andrews tripping through your head and that tune bouncing around that same space for the next

The Economist agrees with TomorrowToday, there are Enemies Within

“The best way to fight the enemy within is to treat your employees with respect. And this third principle is where many firms fail “says Schumpeter, The Economist’s columnist and expert on all things disruptive. At the beginning of 2015

Get rid of ‘best practice’ before it gets rid of you!

Business is not about best practice. The notion of best practice that has become accepted without question as conventional ‘management wisdom’ needs to be, well…questioned. As Dan Pink states, management was invented for a purpose and as such is not

Top 5 this week in The Future of Work (19 July 2015)

Here are the top 5 articles I have read in the last few days that shine a light on how the world around us – especially the world of work – is changing: Scientists are on the cusp of these

The technology ratchet by Seth Godin

I start most of my presentations and workshops these days by stating that I believe we’re living at era-change moment in history, where all the forces of change are combining together to create a time in history when history itself

What it will take to develop futurefit leaders

Having the opportunity to participate in several international leadership development programmes, I am concerned with the standard approach to leadership development. Much of leadership formation is seen primarily as a progamme rather than a process. The ‘progamme mentality’ drives towards

Why we do what we do at TomorrowToday Global

It’s easy to say ‘what’ we do at Tomorrow Today – we do keynote presentations, we do Leadership Development and consulting work, we work with Business schools and clients from around the world developing leaders, we do some great work!

Hearing God Thinking: Journeying Towards the New World of Work.

“In the beautiful complexity of a new universe that Einstein has shown us, I for one, have no doubt I can hear God thinking” – the words of Arthur Eddington, the British scientist, in the wake of him having proved

Do you have ‘enemies within’ holding your organisation hostage and preventing you from achieving legendary status?

Too many organisations believe their biggest threats come from outside but actually the most pressing issues faced right now are internal. Many organisations have out-dated DNA and are not ‘future fit’ or ready for the rapidly changing world. Discover if

Beware Leadership Colonialism: 5 ways to avoid it.

Over the past 10 years many companies have aggressively expanded their global footprint. If they haven’t, they are certainly thinking about it as the need to grow and create a presence in emerging markets becomes unavoidable. Many who have explored

The greatest fear in change

You may have seen the first video in our Future Fit Video Series (Leadership lessons for Adaptive Leaders). I’ve just uploaded the 17th video in the series for your viewing. The greatest fear in change. It’s a quick 2.36min video,

Top 5 reads in the Future of Work (16 June 2015)

Here are the top five articles I read on the Future of Work this past week: Companies run by women perform better The fruitless search for extraordinary people willing to take ordinary jobs How Self-Driving Cars Could Radically Transform Cities

Recording of our Live Google Hangout – Leading in a Changing World

TomorrowToday Global hosted a ‘Leading in a Changing World’ breakfast in Johannesburg on the 10th June 2015. The topic for conversation was ‘Leading in a Changing World’ and the team, consisting of Keith Coats, Graeme Codrington and Nick Barker, did a

You’re invited to our live Google Hangout – Leading in a Changing World

You are invited to ‘Hangout’ with us when Graeme Codrington and Keith Coats launch their new book and unpack ‘Leading in a Changing World’. Space has been limited for the physical event where Graeme and Keith will be unpacking ‘Leading

The fruitless search for extraordinary people willing to take ordinary jobs – by Seth Godin

Seth Godin is one of very few unmissable daily reads for me. His blog is great. And today he absolutely nailed it. The fruitless search for extraordinary people willing to take ordinary jobs When I write about linchpins and people

Top 5: This week in the Future of Work

Here are my five top reads of this past week. Each one this week is a classic. Take your time to go through these five – you won’t regret it. A set of slides from a presentation: The Generationally Intelligent

Leading in a Changing World available on Kindle

The much anticipated leadership book, co-authored by two global leadership experts and founding members of TomorrowToday, Keith Coats and Graeme Codrington is now available on Amazon. You can purchase the book here on either Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com. Perhaps a bit cheeky,

On Leadership and Learning

There is a lot of good leadership advice ‘out there’ and I have found that what tends to happen is the right insights find you rather than the other way around. In other words you may have come across some

Effective Influence and Connection

Clients regularly ask for tips and tricks on how they can connect with, and influence, Digital Natives. The foundation of this need is that they see a demographic group who see the world so differently to them that they don’t

Top 5 Reads this week on The Future of Work (22 May 2015)

Here are the top 5 articles I read this past week on the forces shaping our world right now, and how we should respond to them: The four global forces breaking all the trends – McKinsey on: The world economy’s

An easy way for leaders to learn

It is said that a good or effective blog answers a relevant question. That being the case, here is a question every leader serious about being futurefit ought to be asking: How can I learn? Pause for a moment and

The New Lemonade Stand – how to help your kids make piles of money (and what it means for your business and future)

For the last few months, I have spent many hours every week researching and writing a new book about the future of work and leadership (see advance information, including free download of chapter 1, here). In that time, I’ve seen

Top 5 Reads this week on The Future of Work (15 May 2015)

Every week, I list my top five reads of the previous few days, all focused on understanding the way our world is changing and how this will affect our lives. Enjoy this week’s list: Unless You Are Spock, Irrelevant Things

4 Factors to consider about CV’s when hiring Digital Natives

Historically a CV, or resumé, has been a useful tool to understand and to assess the ability of a candidate for a role. Increasingly, however, with Digital Natives this may not be as useful a tool. In the past there

Leaders are the Brokers of Hope

J.F. Kennedy once said that, “the problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by sceptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were”. And I am

New eBook: An Introduction to The Enemy Within

Our latest ebook has just been published digitally. It’s a short book, and an easy read, but presents the results of our research team’s strategic insights into the key issues teams and organisations are currently facing. The book is called:

VUCA – four organizational culture touch points for Digital Natives

  Digital Natives have grown up in a world that has been called the VUCA world. This is an acronym that covers four areas outlined below. V equals volatile U equals uncertain C equals complex A equals ambiguous There is

Curiosity and How to avoid the ‘How To’ Seduction

The statistics and our own research conclusively points to the fact that ‘how to’ headlines, titles and literature sells. (This being the case any article with not one but two ‘how to’s’ in the title ought to be a complete

Five workplace trends impacting the future of work in 2015

1. Increasing global integration and growing diversity The outlook for global growth is strong for 2015 and will continue to accelerate for the remaining decade and more. This is due to sustained growth in emerging markets, the falling cost of

Top 5: This week in the Future of Work (1 May 2015)

Here are the top five articles I have read this week relating to the changing world of work, leadership and disruptive trends. The sword, the printing press and the algorithm: Three technologies that changed the world Cisco’s CEO on Staying

The One Thing Leaders Cannot Ignore

The leader’s world is one that is busy, demanding and complex. Many leaders find themselves distracted to the point where they are no longer ‘present’. In this world there can be many ‘casualties’ as things get overlooked, taken for granted

What coffee are you offering? Engaging your workforce.

According to a worldwide study by Gallup [1], only 13% of workers, internationally, are considered to be “actively engaged” in their workplace. This leaves a staggering 87% either not engaged or actively disengaged in their work environment. Actively engaged workers, are

Five reasons why the Gen X – Gen Y divide is the next talent management bridge.

Generation Y are not just younger versions of Generation X. Generation X look at Generation Y and see themselves. Gen X don’t see themselves as old, so when they look at younger men and women they resonate with much of

The Future of HR, talent management and L&D

People are our most important asset. This sentence is a standard inclusion in almost every corporate annual statement. Many companies say this, but don’t deliver on both the promise and potential inherent in their people. The HR team are often

Learning life through the games we play

My son recently asked me about some shares that we have bought as an investment for him and his sister. He asked me why we had bought shares and not just put the money in a bank account. I explained

On Leadership: Disruption – Friendly Fire that doesn’t have to kill you

Friendly fire in a military context is often associated with tragic fatalities. However, it can also serve as welcome reinforcements, shift the momentum and win the battle. Disruption is ‘friendly fire’ and will either be the thing that kills you

A definition of leadership: ‘getting people done through work’

This past week I attended a lecture by leadership expert, Etsko Schuitema. Etsko is the founder of the “Care and Growth” leadership approach. He asked a room full of people to list the characteristics of the leader that we would

Tiny habits to integrate a new generation into the workplace

BJ Fogg has developed a behavior change model that is a useful point of reference to help organizations make the changes required to be effective employers of choice for generation Y and generation Z. The equation B= MAT summarizes the

The question every CEO needs to ask HR

There is the well-worn clique that, ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast every day’ but the reality is, it is spot-on. Organisational culture matters. It is within your culture – the way ‘we do things around here’, that your organisational DNA

[Video] Digital natives of 1989 entering the world of work

Technology is obviously a huge driver of change in our world. In addition to the raw computing power it is also the people that need to be factored in. A group of people called the ‘Digital Natives’ are now entering

What will the future of work look like?

In the future the workforce will be more connected, workers will be virtual, mobile and temporary, they will be global, multi-generational and diverse – older and younger, different sexes, cultures and beliefs working side by side. We know this, it

When Everything Changes: Succeeding in disruptive times 

The world is always changing – it always has been. But every now and again there are moments in history where all the forces of change seem to combine together to produce an era-defining shift. That’s what we study when

Digital native graduates – managing the next generation

How are you managing your new graduates? It is very easy to fall into the trap of doing things the same way –  doing what has always been done. The reality of today’s modern digital native graduates however, is that

Change: The Marching Tune for Leaders

In TIDES of Change TomorrowToday identifies five major disruptive change drivers shaping the new world of work. Understanding change is important if we are to engage with both the threats and opportunities that change invites. A brief synopsis of the

[Video] A generation with different attitudes, expectations and values

Today’s young people are not just younger versions of us! Generational Theory tries to explain why this is true by going back to when our value systems were formed in us (first 12 – 15 years of your life), and

Of course you need to change, everyone does

Credit Suisse, one of our major TomorrowToday clients, are currently welcoming new boss Tidjane Thiam into the chief executive hot seat. Thiam, formerly the head of Prudential, hails from the Ivory Coast and is a well-respected figure in the banking

Why is storytelling important in business?

What is your competitive advantage in the connection economy? In this 1 minute video clip, Keith (TomorrowToday’s Director of Storytelling) explains why storytelling in business is such an important element in forming relationships, connecting with people, and ultimately giving you a competitive advantage.

Play Well: A lesson for leaders when it comes to serious play

Who is the biggest tyre company in the world? You might be tempted to say Goodyear or Bridgestone but you would be wrong. In fact the biggest (or maybe the smallest) tyre company in the world is LEGO. Today, LEGO

Top 10 YouTube Channels for Leaders

Huffington Post recently published this list of YouTube channels that leaders should watch. With over 6 billion hours of video and thousands of channels, YouTube has something for everyone — even for those of us who want to become better

The Quest for Atomic Fusion: A lesson for leaders everywhere

When talking to Steve Cowley one is aware that you are in the presence of a great mind. Steve is one of the world’s leading scientists and is the CEO of the UK Atomic Energy Authority, Professor of Physics at

The Need for Leaders to be Future Fit: Why it is important and what it will take

I am guessing that we have all had sporadic but inspirational bursts of the desire to get ‘into shape’- to repel the advancing years and waistline and slay the beast. The outcome is usually to get to the gym or

Trust and Leadership

Michael Argyll was one of the best-known English Social Psychologists of the twentieth century. The eminent professor of psychology at Oxford University authored or co-authored over 44 books. As an academic he is best known for his studies on happiness and communication cycles.

Beyond titles and tag-lines: Bringing out the best in your team

It is an idea so simple, a suggestion so commonplace, it is hard to believe it can be something so overlooked or neglected. In their book ‘Organisations’ authors Bryan Bonner and Alexander Bolinger write about how to get the best

The faintest ink is more powerful than the strongest memory

The faintest ink is more powerful than the strongest memory’ is a Chinese proverb that I recently stumbled upon and is one that I believe captures an important point for leaders. It is a good reminder to leaders for two

Uncertainty: The new uncomfortable terrain for leaders

Smart leaders know that things are shifting. Shifting rapidly. Actually, I don’t think that you need to be all that smart as a leader to know this! The full impact and messy reality of globalisation, intertwined economies, scary fundamentalism, clashing

Because I’m awesome: A Gen Y perspective

Sitting at my regular coffee shop recently (some enviously refer to it as ‘my office’) I overheard the manager interviewing a young man (he must have been around 18) who was obviously looking for a job. After the usual back-and-forth

A Hitchhikers Guide to Leadership

“Have your article in by close of play tomorrow” I was abruptly informed and thus another deadline monster comes menacingly to life. What to write? How can I attempt to add value to your life as a leader? What is

Six Things you need to know about Leadership Development

As TomorrowToday we have the privilege to both design and participate in Leadership Development Programmes (LDPs) throughout the world. We work internationally with some of fineness business schools and blue-chip multi-nationals in this arena. We have seen a great deal:

Deep Games – Video Games for Grown Ups

Imagine a game where there are no evil monsters, deranged zombies or blood sucking aliens, no high-calibre weapons and most surprisingly no scorekeeping of any sort. Rather the game is an allegorical adventure that explores how we might understand and

Valedictory Speech 2014 for 13 year olds

I was asked to give a short speech at my daughter’s valedictory Leaver’s Dinner at the end of her Junior School year. Here is an edited version of what I said (I sprinkled this with some personal stories, humour and

Navigating Complicated Conversations

Despite so much focus on mindfulness these days, there are many ways in which we struggle to apply it, most of all with how we communicate.  When I coach executives about self awareness I am struck by how difficult it

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

Six Things You Need To Know About Leadership Development Programmes #6

As TomorrowToday we have the privilege to both design and participate in Leadership Development Programmes (LDPs) throughout the world. We work internationally with some of fineness business schools and blue-chip multi-nationals in this arena. We have seen a great deal:

Six Things You Need To Know About Leadership Development Programmes #5

As TomorrowToday we have the privilege to both design and participate in Leadership Development Programmes (LDPs) throughout the world. We work internationally with some of fineness business schools and blue-chip multi-nationals in this arena. We have seen a great deal:

Six Things You Need To Know About Leadership Development Programmes #4

As TomorrowToday we have the privilege to both design and participate in Leadership Development Programmes (LDPs) throughout the world. We work internationally with some of fineness business schools and blue-chip multi-nationals in this arena. We have seen a great deal:

Six Things You Need To Know About Leadership Development Programmes #3

As TomorrowToday we have the privilege to both design and participate in Leadership Development Programmes (LDPs) throughout the world. We work internationally with some of fineness business schools and blue-chip multi-nationals in this arena. We have seen a great deal:

Getting rid of email – here’s a company that’s done just that

Over the last few months I have begun to include a small section in some of my workshops on the clutter and “stuff” that makes work life a pain. Almost all participants identify meetings and email (and many add managers,

Six Things You Need To Know About Leadership Development Programmes #1

As TomorrowToday we have the privilege to both design and participate in Leadership Development Programmes (LDPs) throughout the world. We work internationally with some of fineness business schools and blue-chip multi-nationals in this arena. We have seen a great deal:

Six Things You Need To Know About Leadership Development Programmes #2

As TomorrowToday we have the privilege to both design and participate in Leadership Development Programmes (LDPs) throughout the world. We work internationally with some of fineness business schools and blue-chip multi-nationals in this arena. We have seen a great deal:

On leadership: If I don’t see you again, have a good life

“If I don’t see you again, have a good life” was how a participant on global leadership programme  in Guangzhou ended a conversation with me as we parted. The comment immediately resonated especially as it had been said with a

Leadership Reflection: Goodbye and Aloha

I am about to embark on another stint teaching in the East West Center’s renowned, Asia Pacific Leadership Program (APLP). This will be my 13th straight year teaching in APLP, a programme that is itself only 14 years old. There

Seven insights to help you become a great leader

The contemporary challenges facing corporate leaders are well documented. The context for leadership is one filled with complexity, ambiguity, volatility and uncertainty. They are challenges that aren’t going to go away or change anytime soon and if leaders hope to

A leader’s most important job

Discovery leaders explore new ways. New business and markets are created because someone found a better way to do something. Discovery is an adventure. Imagination, design and creativity are the lexicons of discovery. It is fleet of foot, nimble and

On Leadership: The real innovation needed.

Innovation has been a business ‘buzz’ word for some time now and has, in and of itself, become ‘big business’. Everyone wants to be innovative; everyone wants to be associated with the perceived benefits of innovation; everyone knows that they

Leader Fit

With all the demands that are placed on leaders in today’s World of Work, most are still struggling to cope with the complexity and change impacting their business, managing their own career and health as well as balancing their family

Millennials in the Workplace: an article on 60 Minutes

This 3 minute intro to a full 60 minute programme does a great job of identifying, and connecting with, some of the challenges that the Millennial generation bring into the workplace. They ARE different, and we will have to shift traditional

Leading in a Changing World

Much of the work we do as TomorrowToday revolves around this particular theme: leading in a changing world. We help leaders both understand and respond to an exponentially changing world. Leadership is always context specific and this is why leaders

The smart move is not to ignore China

I have the privilege to do repeated work in China. Frequent and regular trips have grown a respect, awe and amazement at what I see and encounter. My ‘Chinese experience’ and continuous education has fueled a deeper curiosity and appreciation

Blackberry: Time of death…?

John Chen, the CEO brought in to arrest Blackberry slide into oblivion believes that Blackberry has turned the corner and can be saved. In an article by Nic Fildes in THE TIMES Business (6 August) Chen was quoted as telling

Don’t trust Deutsche Bank…well when it comes to football at least!

Before the 2014 FIFA World Cup, analysts within Deutsche Bank developed a computer model to forecast the results.  The winners? Why, England of course. It should be pointed out that they were after all ‘foreign exchange analysts’ which might just

Leadership Magazine finds its inspiration from the TomorrowToday Message

In the July 2014 edition of Leadership, South Africa’s premier leadership magazine (it also happened to be their 350 publication – congratulations!) there appeared an article by Dr Rene Uys, titled ‘Connecting the Dots: the Connection Economy demands a paradigm

Future Fit: 30 Leadership lessons for Adaptive Leaders

So, what kind of leader do you want to be – and what are you doing to ‘get there’? * Watch the first video of the series below if you want to jump in right away. These are important questions for

Change is hard – I’ll be ready tomorrow

Having breakfast with a CEO recently and talking about organisational change, he came out with the memorable line, “change is hard – I’ll be ready tomorrow”. It wasn’t a personal reference but rather the unspoken response he seems to encounter

The Mindfulness Circle

Conceptually understanding the Cycle of Self is key to maximizing our potential.  It explains our “why”. Why we believe what we believe, why we think what we think, and why we do what we do.  We can leverage Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle to help

On Leadership: The not-so-simple matter of translation

Recently I had the privilege to attend a graduation ceremony. It was of course wonderful to see young people rewarded for years of hard work and was a forceful reminder of the importance of the academic contribution to our knowledge

The Self Cycle

I like taking notice of the patterns of my thoughts.  It’s not coincidence that my thoughts draw me towards experiences that reflect my thoughts.  Which also means that what I think about , both consciously and subconsciously, shape my experiences.

[Video] Driving Change in Big Companies

Leadership Lessons from the World Cup

The FIFA World Cup in Brazil, which began on 12th June 2014 and reaches its climax with the final being played on 13th July 2014, has enraptured much of the world, with breathtaking goals and exciting football. Are there leadership

[Video]: Keith Coats on leadership adaptability and resilience

Here is a recording from a presentation our resident leadership expert, Keith Coats, did on adaptive leadership, resilience and leadership development. It’s just an excerpt, so for the full context, we recommend reading details of The Connection Economy and Adaptive

On Leadership: Failure Guaranteed – sometime, somewhere, somehow.

There is a remarkable cricket statistic than not many who love the game would believe or even dream possible. Yet it is. Amongst all who play the game internationally, having your name inscribed at Lords Cricket Ground, the home of

Career Conversations

The world of work provides us with many choices. We can choose our employer and the duration that we want to work for that employer. We can choose to join the entrepreneurial trend and be our own boss. As flexible

Reclaiming the Village: 4 Lessons from the San Bushmen

In his amazing book Future Primal, Louis Herman, a professor of political science at the University of Hawaii-West O’ahu, articulates how we should respond to our converging crisis of violent conflict, political corruption, and global ecological devastation. Herman’s sweeping synthesis

China: “It’s not pretty but it’s the bloody reality”

I was listening to the head of a large multinational that have significant investments in China speak about the challenges and opportunities that is China. The one line that caught my attention? “It’s not pretty but it is the bloody

On Leadership: The glory of uncertainty

Leaders have traditionally been conditioned to be certain. Conditioned to know the answer and instill confidence in leading the way forward. After all, isn’t that exactly what good leadership is all about? Not necessarily. The problem with certainty is that

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,

On Leadership: Chiefs as thin as the rest

The San Bushmen have no ‘Chiefs’. Every Bushman is considered “chief” over himself – or herself. This is strange for those accustomed to a society governed by hierarchy. In the unique Bushman societal structure there was a balance between communalism

Meaning & Measurement: The M&Ms of leadership

There are two important aspects that all leaders cannot afford to ignore: meaning and measurement. Both are in dire need of being rethought given the context in which we find ourselves. Meaning is not derived from work. It can be

Leadership: The Glory of Getting Stuck

Momentum is important. It is important in sport, it is important in life. We are always encouraged to keep moving and ‘moving forward’ is the marketing tagline for one of Africa’s most prominent banks. Making progress, constant motion, pushing on…the

Followership: How to act the other 98% of the time, when we aren’t leading.

Companies and individuals around the world spend billions on courses, books, conferences, and symposiums to develop leadership skills. One thing every single person is though is a follower – everyone is responsible to someone else, or a group of others.

The Enemy Within

The best of strategies can be thwarted and undone by the presence of an enemy within the ranks. Even worse, an enemy within can sow the seeds that result in destruction and ultimate annihilation. As a company, you may well

Making Your Life Just a Little Easier (what we do at TomorrowToday)

“So, you’re like ‘Step Zero’ then, are you?”  We were doing some work a few years ago with the consulting arm of one of the Big Four accounting firms, and one of their team was trying to find a way

Another leadership lesson from the kids: Change the conversation

Our youngest, Sipho must have been about four years old at the time. He was duly strapped into the car seat in the rear of the car as was the norm and was on yet another endless ride with Mom

On Change: Blue cheese, tastier than ever!

In response to a client’s need to assist team leaders grasp and engage with some required internal change an old story was retold. The underpinning framework guiding the work that was done in Hong Kong and Singapore was that of

Succession Planning: 5 lessons from a fallen giant

Something had to stop Manchester United from continuing their dominant ways and it came from what many thought would be the most likely direction: when it came time to change the leader (manager). We all knew that Sir Alex Ferguson

Loyalty: Red and Blue on Merseyside and what we can learn about loyalty

As I write this I am sitting in quaint little coffee shop on Liverpool’s main street, one minutes walk from The Cavern where it all started for The Beatles. As I watch people walk by on what is a rare

Excuses for Complacency

It’s no secret that we at TomorrowToday are fans of Seth Godin, the author and business thinker. We often share his daily blogs internally and discuss them – they’re inspirational and insightful. Here’s one from a while ago that made

Three ways to deal with failure, by Seth Godin

Seth Godin is one of my favourite authors and business thinkers. I find his daily blog inspirational and insightful. Here’s one from a while ago that has really stuck with me. I think Seth is spot on with this insight,

What Keith is currently reading

What Keith is  currently reading ‘Future Primal – how our wilderness origins show us the way forward’ by Louis G. Herman His thoughts on the book? A ‘game-changer’. I think this book will become one of the most significant books

Leading in a Changing World: Four things leaders can learn from Postmodernism

If the world has changed then we need a new kind of leadership. The world has changed. Much has been said and written about change and the importance for leaders – wherever they might be, to adapt to the changes

GROWTH Innovation: A practical framework for development

In TomorrowToday we believe from experience and observation of clients around the world, and through reading and tracking innovation trends, that there has been an evolution in Innovation practice just as there has been in most other areas of business.

It really IS about your people – now, more than ever!

People are your most important asset! You know this, because your company’s annual statements include this sentence every year. But do companies really believe this? They’d better. Most of the efficiencies your company is hoping to achieve in the next

Horse Play – Learning about leadership

A repost, triggered by this article which appeared in the Skyway Magazine this month, of an article Keith Coats wrote a while back reflecting on our experiential leadership programme that we partner with Horse Play with in the Natal Midlands.

Rewriting the Rules: understanding the era we’re living in

It’s easy to think that maybe all we need to do to survive this crazy world we live in is just grit our teeth a little bit longer and wait for sanity to return. The madness of the election cycle

7 Things you need to know about being a boss

Keith recently wrote an article for HR Pulse where he shares with the readers 7 points that anyone assuming the new responsibility of ‘being the boss’ should be aware of. The following are the seven points he speaks to, and

The ‘Tea Trap’: The correct way to make a cup of tea

Apparently, the ‘correct’ way to make a cup of tea is set out in a 5 000-word report by the British Standards Institution. Of course this is ludicrous for all those outside of Britain itself, where correct tea making, is

How to change history

Gustavo Gutierrez once said, “Those who change the course of history are usually those who pose a new set of questions rather than those who offer solutions.” Gutierrez, born in Lima in 1928, is a Peruvian Dominican priest who is

People connect with a sense of purpose, says Markus Kramer

In this Video, TomorrowToday associate, international keynote speaker and ex-marketing director of Aston Martin, Markus talks about the importance of companies having a purpose that is appealling and relevant for their target market. Without an applicable purpose you can not

Leadership: Five things you need to do?

Writing in USA Today journalists, Alistair Barr and Scott Martin, suggest five things that Microsoft’s new CEO, Satya Nadella, needs to do. This advice includes, embrace the cloud; free its software from Windows; fix mobile; woo developers and focus. It

Four lessons in leading people as a young entrepreneur

Three years ago I started DigitLab, and with it I began leading people. I wanted to lead a team instead of manage them.  I believe that people are at their best when they are happy, challenged, inspired and a part

The four horsemen of mediocrity, by Seth Godin

Seth Godin’s blog today is superb. He is identified four key reasons that employees are disengaged, that productivity is declining or stagnant, and that companies struggle to innovate and develop. The four horsemen of mediocrity by Seth Godin Deniability–“They decided,

[Video] Keith presenting TIDES of Change

We live in turbulent times – that much is obvious.  We are living at a moment in history when all the forces of change are combining to produce an era-changing period.  The political, corporate, social and personal rules for success

Your next step: Thinking like a Futurist in 2014

It is that time of year again when everyone is having their say about the likely trends that will dominate or surface during the course of 2014. Recent editions of Time, Fortune and the Economist have all run lead articles

Understanding different generations and why this is important.

We are living in a world of paradox, and leaders need to start developing frameworks to deal with this paradox; frameworks of understanding. Generational Theory helps us understand the value systems of each generation. Values drive behaviour and understanding the

Facts: Much to do about nothing – or quite the contrary?

  ‘Facts’ like statistics, can either be very insightful or actually prove to be somewhat unhelpful. Consider the following 10 facts:  88% of plane crashes occur in the first three minutes or the last eight minutes of a flight (reassuring

[Video] Adaptive Challenges: Knowing what to do when you don’t know what to do

A short video clip [1.13min] from some work that Keith recently did with one of our clients talking about Adaptive Leadership. Leaders need to know what to do when they don’t know what to do. Leaders need to be learners, and

The Year of the Employee: Forbes’ predictions for 2014 talent, leadership and HR tech

Ian Turner, one of Duke CE’s top MD’s and leadership development programme experts gets credit for finding this interesting article and sending it on to me. There are some fascinating thoughts in Deloittes’ predictions for 2014, published in Forbes, as

Booz & Co’s Strategy+Business Best Business Blogs of 2013

The editor of Booz & Co’s Strategic+Business magazine and blog site selected his favourite business blogs of 2013. I like this list a lot – there’s some really valuable articles here. It’s an eclectic list, but well worth taking some

Five New Year’s Resolutions Every Leader Should Make (HBR Blog)

As we head into a new year, an article on the Harvard Business Review blog network caught my eye. It went beyond those pithy list type emails and Facebook status updates you get at this time of year, with some

The Ideas that Shaped Management in 2013

As we get the new year rolling, my eye caught an HBR article that reviewed some of the fresh management thinking from 2013 that really made an impact around the world (and in the Harvard Business Revie, of course). There

Seven ‘Leadership’ Lessons from Santa

Let’s face it, the fat guy in the red suit is one impressive leader. He never misses a beat, has expectations to meet that would cause even Zuma to step-down and he gets reindeer to fly. Which reminds me: do

Looking out the window: Four leadership insights from 2013

Currently I am on my last business trip for 2013. Soon it will be time for a short break before the travel begins once more in early January with a trip to Ecuador. By the time this trip is complete

How to be a better leader – practical steps and exercises

Last month, our colleague in South Africa, Keith Coats, started a series of blog entries aimed at helping people become better leaders. He has labelled the series “how to be future fit” and is providing daily, practical tools and exercises

You are mistaken Mr Friedman, there was a miracle.

It has been an interesting experience processing both the death and burial of Nelson Mandela from distant shores. Whilst I would have loved to have been home amongst ‘my people’ to fully enter into the emotion, celebration, mourning and expression

Humble Inquiry: The art of asking questions and why it’s a crucial leadership discipline

“If you leave today asking more questions than I give you answers, then I will consider today’s session a success” says Dr Graeme Codrington, TomorrowToday’s founding and international partner during his presentation on The TIDES of Change. An important leadership skill

How did things ever get so far?… It was so unfortunate, so unnecessary

This post is submitted by TomorrowToday associate Dil Sidhu, Chief External Officer at Manchester Business School These were the words spoken by the fictional crime family patriarch Don Corleone in the movie ‘The Godfather’ in reference to actions and counteractions

TomorrowToday: Welcome to our world

Imagine a company with no written contracts between the business partners; no offices; no underpinning capital; as much – or little leave as you want; measured by outcomes; no HR policies or any policies really – just sensible agreements on

TomorrowToday: Welcome to our world

Imagine a company with no written contracts between the business partners; no offices; no underpinning capital; as much – or little leave as you want; measured by outcomes; no HR policies or any policies really – just sensible agreements on

Talent Management: It’s a three-door problem

The magazine ‘Parade’ had a column ‘Ask Marilyn’ by the person with the highest recorded IQ (according to the Guinness Book of Records), Marilyn vos Savant. In 1990 Craig Whitaker of Columbia wrote in with a question that is known

Two important questions every leader should be asking.

Over the past month I have been writing a series on how to be a great leader – how to become an adaptive leader. In today’s context there is an urgent need to rethink the approach and practice of leadership.

So you want to become a great leader?

Transforming a good leader into a great leader means becoming an adaptive leader. In facing the future, it is the major leadership challenge that you and your organisation will encounter. Good leaders are hard to come by. Growing good leaders

Seven steps to creating a Vibrant, Unreal, Crazy and Awesome world

The acronym VUCA comes from military vocabulary and stands for volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous situation. Originating in the late 1990’s the term has infiltrated corporate and government organisations used primarily to generate emerging ideas and solutions in strategic planning.

Film director Joss Whedon on strong female leads

Joss Whedon, according to his Wikipedia entry, is an American screenwriter, film and television producer, director, comic book author, composer, and actor. He is the founder of Mutant Enemy Productions and co-founder of Bellwether Pictures. He is best known as

Businesses that are building sustainable competitive advantage by doing good for society (Case Study)

In an earlier blog I spoke about the “perversions of the proper workings of capitalism”. In my mind Capitalism is inherently good. The Capitalist seeks to find and address a need. They innovate, take risks and work out how to

Competitive advantage in the Connection Economy [video]

With the emerging Connection economy, the rules across the board are changing. Nothing new in this as this has been a pattern that has imprinted all previous economic transitions from that of the ‘Hunter-Gatherer’ to the ‘Information era’. In this

On Leadership: Riding Dead Horses

When you discover you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount. This ancient Sioux saying seems obvious enough; I mean who in their right mind would try to ride a dead horse, right? Well maybe not.

8 Blunders in How Leaders Think, by Mark Sanborn

A friend of mine, Mark Sanborn, is one of the world’s leading authorities on leadership, team building, customer service and change. I follow his work closely, and enjoy his writing and speaking. This past week, he put out a blog

Memo to leaders: The 3 questions you really need to be able to answer

Of course there are lots of questions that leaders need to be able to answer and really smart leaders know that the essence of leading in today’s context is more about asking the right questions than feeling they always need

Where Senior Leaders Should Focus Their Attention

As a team, we are often privileged to be asked to sit through senior leadership meetings at our clients. Right up to Board level, these peepholes into our clients’ workings provide valuable insights into the operations of our clients, but

Sleepwalking Through Leadership: Neglecting Story

Margaret Wheatley has said that leadership is the simple act of stepping forward. Leading in today’s volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world – or what is commonly referred to as ‘VUCA’ requires a leadership response unlike anything we have known

The Leader’s Challenge: Knowing What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do

Author Max de Pree has said that the first task of leadership is to define reality.  For many in leadership today, the reality is they don’t know what to do in a turbulent, complex and dynamic world. Leadership is not

African Leadership for Africa’s Future in a Globalised World

For Africa to be successful it needs to find models, methods and approaches that are uniquely suited to the continent and its needs.  As one of the world’s best travelled speakers and researchers (he visited 26 countries just last year),

On leadership: The secret that is hidden in plain sight

The capacity to lead depends on trust. As a leader keeping trust alive is your primary responsibility for without it, you cannot lead. Trust is the air in a healthy organisational culture; it is the very currency of leadership. This

Curious about failure: 6 things leaders need to keep in mind

One of the smartest things you can do as a leader is to be curious about failure. Sounds like the entirely ‘wrong’ emphasis doesn’t it? But let me explain what I mean. In business today there is a lot of

Tomorrow’s Leaders and what to do about it today!

In TomorrowToday we talk a great deal about the generations. Generational Theory is a framework we have shared in some 44 countries and I don’t think there can be any consultancy that can claim that kind of global footprint when

Miss America: Throwing down the gauntlet to leaders

The storm of abuse over the selection of Nina Davuluri as Miss America shows just how short America is in being the society and country Martin Luther King dreamt of all those years ago. The virile stirred up by Miss

How you see the cow might just determine your future!

There are three company directors on a train going to Scotland. One of them heads-up marketing, one is in Human Resources and the other is the Financial Director. Out the window they see a field in which there is a

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

The ART versus the SCIENCE of business.

Earlier this year I was privileged to hear Seth Godin speak in London. The talk was part of his new book promotional tour The Icarus Deception. In the book and during the talk Seth asked the question  “how high are you prepared

7 Terrible Management Fads That Just Won’t Die – from Inc.com

A few months ago, I read the Inc.com blog post on “7 Terrible Management Fads That Just Won’t Die”. I have spent some time thinking about it, and wanting to engage with it. It’s a provocative read, and challenges some

On Leadership: Difference matters

Recently Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech has celebrated its 50th anniversary. In the speech King found a way to further unlock America’s founding promise that, “All men are created equal” and have the right to “life, liberty

Leadership: Yada, yada, yada…

Recently I had the misfortune to be trapped in a room in which an executive was enthusiastically ‘rallying the troops’. I am sure he thought that he was doing a good job and that those present were being suitably inspired

Signpost Video: Executive Education and meddling clients

Today’s HR and L&D professionals are under immense pressure to deliver real return on investment to their businesses from executive education. But some of the ways they’re trying to do this are counterproductive. We know of many companies who have

7 Stats that change everything: What to be thinking about as a Leader.

Benjamin Disraeli once said, “There are three types of lies – lies, damn lies, and statistics”. Of course we know that statistics can be used to support multiple sides of an argument and as Mark Twain once observed, “Facts are

On leadership: Your next 10 moves, think carefully!

What is your ‘next move’ as a leader? Well, of course that would depend exactly on what it is we are talking about, but here would be a variety of topics – and some suggestions as to your ‘next move’.

Dear CEO, You have to be in it to win it (I’m talking social media, you dinosaur)

You’ll lose 100% of the shots you don’t take. You’ll find this pithy advice in almost every motivational book. But being a cliche doesn’t mean it isn’t true. You have to be in it to win it. In the business

The Future is leaving: how not to get left behind

By 2014, the percentage of companies that generate at least 30% of global revenue from emerging markets will increase by 82%.  The key to that statement is, ‘from emerging markets’. The global economic epicentre is shifting and the future looks

Mirrors, cameras, social media and cultural evolution – Seth Godin

Earlier today, Seth Godin posted an interesting piece on his blog about mirrors, cameras and cultural evolution. Read it at his blog or below. He points out that a few centuries ago nobody would have known what their “true” reflection

Bag Tossing, Rules and Leadership: A point worth consideration.

Stefan Kraemer is a happy and proud athlete. His throw of 24.21m was enough to see him win the gold in the World Cup in Bottrop, Germany. Right now you are desperately trawling your memory bank trying to locate ‘Stefan

Good news for animals…and vegetarians: but what about leadership?

In London scientists recently (5 August) unveiled the first purely lab-grown beef burger and tested it on a select group of tasters (sounds like a good job to have…for the most part at least!). It is seen as the end

Video: Four levels of institutional change

A brief overview of our team’s view of Institutional Change, one part of our TIDES model of the five disruptive forces shaping our world right now:   This video of Graeme Codrington was recorded by our good friends at Your

The Most Profound Tool For Growing Your Human Capital

Most businesses, organizations and institutions today recognize that necessity and benefit of harnessing their human capital. Due to the fact that the world has changed so much and because we are in a constant state of change, managers have to

The twin challenge that could sink your boat

In TomorrowToday we have had the privilege to have been involved with several profession service firms internationally – both in the accounting and legal spheres. Such institutions are always quick to inform you that they are different – different from

The Ashes debacle: Maybe Australia should have done their homework!

Australian cricket is in crisis and it is a situation that gift-wraps several important lessons for any executive team. Of course we are aware of the ‘homeworkgate’ episode with former coach, Mickey Arthur. Against the backdrop of poor results, Arthur

The Missing Soul of Leadership: Our Story

“Instead of telling our valuable stories, we seek safety in abstractions, speaking to each other aboutour opinions, ideas, and beliefs rather than about our lives” wrote Parker Palmer. He went on to say that,  “academic culture blesses this practice by

Why Leadership Development needs to grow a pair!

Developing leaders is big business. Developing leaders has become a victim of its own success in that there is little willingness to change the model that for years has delivered the success. This is incongruent with the message that business

Will you still have a job in 2025? The alarming rate at which jobs are being disrupted

A recent MIT Technology Review reveals an alarming trend. Since the early 2000’s and increasingly since the financial crisis of 2008, the levels of employment have decreased even though productivity has increased over the same period. Erik Brynjolfsson And Andrew

The Future is China; The Future is Now.

China is like a large building site. Well in truth, China is a large building site. Any visit to a Chinese city (and sometimes not even a city) there is evidence of building activity. From my hotel window in Guangzhou

What is a Disruptive Force?

A disruptive forces is not a force that results in incremental changes, improving products or services one step at a time. Rather disruptive forces result in a breakthrough or a step change that transforms society forever.  Sometimes the disruption is

Leading Teams: Two further considerations

“A team effort is a lot of people doing what I say” seems to be the approach of many a leader. Of course we all know that this is not how it should be but unfortunately, is often how it

War: The Ultimate Disruptive Force

Unless you have been locked in a cupboard it has been very hard to not be aware that the 69th anniversary of the Normandy Invasion of German occupied France on 6th June 1944 has recently passed us. Next year will probably

Making sense of sense-making

At TomorrowToday South Africa’s recent showcase in Sandton, our team asked the 60 or so business leaders who attended what their biggest organisational needs were right now. Nearly one third rated “understanding changing business contexts” as their most important business

The Neglected Work of Leadership

The practice of leadership has many important facets and nuances. Strategic formation and implementation is often regarded as the ‘most important of all leadership responsibilities’ and it certainly is important. Strategy almost always forms a core part of the curriculum

Leadership: Hearing the Music

I remember reading a story about Mark Twain in Leonard Sweet’s excellent book, Summoned to Lead. The story goes that Twain had a bad habit of swearing, a habit that offended his wife’s sensibilities.  Having failed on numerous occasions to

Is it evil to avoid tax?

Google famously has the slogan “don’t be evil”. They are however embroiled in a worldwide issue – is tax avoidance evil? Not only have Google been dragged into the fray,  but Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Starbucks and even famous individuals

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

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

It makes no sense but what to do about it?

In one of the many Leadership Development Programmes (LDP) in which I have the privilege to be involved, it is a requirement that I set the participants an assignment. No problem there as it is what would be expected. However,

It makes no sense but what to do about it?

In one of the many Leadership Development Programmes (LDP) in which I have the privilege to be involved, it is a requirement that I set the participants an assignment. No problem there as it is what would be expected. However,

Adaptive Leadership versus Authoritative Expertise

Leadership always occurs within a context. The type of leadership required – the leader that will be most successful – is that which best reflects the context within which it operates. If the world around us – including the global

Cut the crap and fine your Consultants.

My daughter has two Masters degrees, with her most recent one being achieved cum laude. Enough said. Parental squabbles persist as to the origins of such smarts. With these qualifications she is well down the pathway to being an academic

Why Sir Alex Ferguson Was Such A Successful Manager

Whether or not you are a Manchester United fan, it would be difficult to argue with the fact that as a business this football club has been massively successful, to say nothing of their success as a sports team. In

The Fergie Factor: A Disruptive Force

After 26 years in charge of Manchester United Alex Ferguson has finally decided to take life a little easier by moving to a new role as a Director and Ambassador for the club. At 71 years of age he wants

Why Sir Alex Ferguson Was Such A Successful Manager

Whether or not you are a Manchester United fan, it would be difficult to argue with the fact that as a business this football club has been massively successful, to say nothing of their success as a sports team. In

Generation Jobless: A warning to us all

The April 27th Economist ran a cover story about the ‘generation jobless’ – the global rise of youth unemployment. It is a serious concern for a number of reasons and one that could have long-lasting implications for both the global

Building innovative companies using the powerful disruptive force of the Connected Generation (Part 1)

Competitive dynamics are shifting and the rules for success and failure are being rewritten across almost every industry and every business function. Exciting new innovative business models are emerging every day and you don’t have to be a fresh upstart

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

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

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

10 Leadership Lessons for building a Quest from Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn

Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn is on a quest to create economic opportunity for the 3.3 billion people in the global workplace by matching skills with job opportunities. This is a bold and audacious quest and quests are a key element

Lean Back – 6 Post Macho Management principles

Several years ago the nature of management’s future was driven home to me in a flash, as I shared the stage with my co-author and business partner Dr. Martha Rogers. It was the heyday of the dot-com boom, and we

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

The Passing of an Icon

Whether you liked, loathed or are somewhere in the middle it cannot be denied that Baroness Margaret Thatcher will be known as a major figure in British history. The Britain that she took control over in 1979 was very different

Why current leadership development programmes are bound to fail

Leadership development programmes have become big business. Business Schools all around the globe serve as the default setting as to where to go when you want such a programme. However, There are early signs that this might not always be

Podcast: The Customer Experience Show – Secrets of Successful Multi-Generational Work Cultures

Dean and myself were interviewed by Michelle Romanica on the Customer Experience Show on Blogtalk Radio. It was a great show, with some fascinating insights into multi-generational workplaces. The blurb of the show says: In their work, Graeme Codrington and

Podcast: The Customer Experience Show – Secrets of Successful Multi-Generational Work Cultures

Dean and myself were interviewed by Michelle Romanica on the Customer Experience Show on Blogtalk Radio. It was a great show, with some fascinating insights into multi-generational workplaces. The blurb of the show says: In their work, Graeme Codrington and

Video: Fujitsu’s 21st Century Leadership series

Recently, I spoke at an evening function hosted by Fujitsu in London. The theme was: “Who’s in charge? Leadership in the 21st century workplace”. Liv Garfield, CEO of BT Openreach, and myself shared the platform and a panel discussion, and

Having FUN, the greatest force of disruption

How many people do you know, were caught out by April fool jokes this year? Seth Godin played one of the best practical jokes when he blogged that Amazon was launching Kindle Zero a free tablet for all Prime members.

Where to find success now

Seth Godin is one of our favourite thinkers and writers. We share many of his worldviews, especially that we are living in a period of transition from the end of the industrial age to the emergence of a connection economy.

Where to find success now

Seth Godin is one of our favourite thinkers and writers. We share many of his worldviews, especially that we are living in a period of transition from the end of the industrial age to the emergence of a connection economy.

Life and Perspective: A Letter to Rebecca

This was a letter penned some seven years ago on the arrival of  a very special little girl to a very special family – that of my colleague and friend, Graeme. I ‘publish’ it with their permission as I think

I want you in my office. Now. What’s really going on at Yahoo?

The biggest tech news so far this year has been an announcement by Yahoo that they want “all hands on deck” and that all work-from-home is being cancelled as from June. Irked Yahoo employees have leaked the memo that was

A Leadership lesson from Australian cricket: Do your homework

There have been all sorts of comments around the debacle that is Australian cricket at present. In short we are talking about a cricket nation, for so long accustomed to looking down on all others playing the game, now firmly

The power behind disruptive business models

It’s not technologies that disrupt, rather it is the business model that the technology enables that creates the disruptive impact. Digital music had been around as a technology before Steve Jobs and Apple leveraged it to create a new business model that completely disrupted

Smart leadership: The Power of Questions – A (Japanese) Story.

“You can eat an apple,” I said, and gave him the green fruit. It was as if he had seen an apple for the first time. First he just held it there and smelled it, but then he took a

Leading Diversity: three simple things you can do

Leading and managing diversity is not optional for the contemporary leader. It is also not as easily done as it is stated! Of course ‘diversity’ is as complex as it is nuanced and much has been said and written on

Leading Diversity: three simple things you can do

Leading and managing diversity is not optional for the contemporary leader. It is also not as easily done as it is stated! Of course ‘diversity’ is as complex as it is nuanced and much has been said and written on

From Dust to Dust: Making Conferences Count

This has been a subject that I have wanted to write about for some considerable time. Somehow though, I have been procrastinating as it seems, well… so mundane. I mean let’s face it, an article about the role and execution

Best beats good every time – something smart leaders know.

Although individuals in leadership, those at the top of an organisation, might discover what is good for an organisation, contrary to centuries of perceived wisdom they will never discover what is best. The reason is simple. It is because, as

Competitive Advantage: What matters most today and how we got here

The Connection Economy – Competitive Advantage:  What matters most today and how we got here By Keith Coats, TomorrowToday International Partner Competitive advantage has always existed and understanding the evolution of what constitutes competitive advantage in today’s context, is important

Charred Lullaby: A Lesson in Leadership

I want to share a hauntingly beautiful story with you. The source is E. Valentine Daniel, and is titled, Charred Lullaby. As you read it, contemplate what you understand and know about authentic leadership. The powerful story will doubtlessly invite

Three Things Leaders Can Do To Maintain Their Balance.

The captivating picture is of Licia Ronzulli and her seven-week-old daughter, Victoria. Periodically Licia would bend forward and gently kiss her sleeping daughter. It was an image that captured the media’s attention and was published worldwide. It was taken in

Improvising the revolution: Fail to win, like Steve Jobs

The Apple Lisa. The Newton. Macintosh TV. The Apple III. The Powermac G4 Cube. Steve Jobs had a brilliant understanding of how technology trends were developing, yet even he messed up fairly regularly and spectacularly (although he got better with

Improvising the revolution: Fail to win, like Steve Jobs

The Apple Lisa. The Newton. Macintosh TV. The Apple III. The Powermac G4 Cube. Steve Jobs had a brilliant understanding of how technology trends were developing, yet even he messed up fairly regularly and spectacularly (although he got better with

Practical ‘weapons’ in the war against flat-earth thinking

In my recent ezine article I wrote about how leaders needed to avoid the trap of ‘flat-earth thinking’. I suggested three things that could be employed in avoiding the trap, namely: Curiosity, courage and commitment. I went on to say

Are you a creator or a perfecter?

Seth Godin gets it spot on (as he normally does) with this insight from his blog last year. The question for you is simple: are you a creator, or are you in the business of perfecting what has been created?

Are you a creator or a perfecter?

Seth Godin gets it spot on (as he normally does) with this insight from his blog last year. The question for you is simple: are you a creator, or are you in the business of perfecting what has been created?

The Leader’s Magical Running Shoes

‘Man these shoes are fast…I can hardly keep up with them’ I thought as I tried out my new ultra light-weight Adidas running shoes for the first time. My legs were a blur as they pumped furiously just to keep

Are You Rude?

“Rudeness at work is rampant, and it’s on the rise.”  And apparently 98% of people have reported experiencing rude behavior at work…. 50% said they encountered rudeness at least once a week. In an HBR article this month, The Price of

We’ve been suckered! “there is no real difference between work and play – it’s all living” says Richard Branson

Richard Branson recently said “there is no real difference between work and play – it’s all living” How profoundly true this statement is. I spent yesterday speaking at the  excellent Business Leaders Group and the concept of where we work and

A Question to leaders: What do you love about leadership?

A somewhat unusual question I know but an important one nonetheless. Leadership comes with various pros and cons and the responsibilities associated with leadership can cast a long shadow and present a heavy load. Some talk about leadership as being

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

New ways of working – the revolution is still rumbling along

It was the early 1990s, and a new generation had started entering the world of work at just the time that personal computers were creating opportunities for significant change to the way the workplace functioned. Within just a few years,

The Leadership Trap of Flat Earth Thinking

It was 16 February 1600 and a crowd had gathered to watch Italian friar, philosopher, mathematician and astronomer Giordano Bruno being burnt at the stake having been condemned as a heretic. To go against the ‘truth’ as the church defined

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

Seth Godin: With great power comes great irresponsibility

We are big fans of Seth Godin. Today, Seth posted this short, but hard hitting and spot on analysis on his website. We agree entirely. Organizations tend to view “responsiblity” as doing the safe, proven and traditional tasks, because to

Seth Godin: With great power comes great irresponsibility

Our team recently hosted some of UK clients at one of Seth Godin’s live events in London. We are big fans, and loved the evening. Today, Seth posted this short, but hard hitting and spot on analysis on his website.

Video: Disruptive changes in the travel industry

In October 2012, I spoke at the ACTE (Association of Corporate Travel Executives) Annual European Convention in Rome. The topic of my 45 minute keynote presentation was “Leading in a Changing World”, and I outlined three key reasons the world

Video: Disruptive changes in the travel industry

In October 2012, I spoke at the ACTE (Association of Corporate Travel Executives) Annual European Convention in Rome. The topic of my 45 minute keynote presentation was “Leading in a Changing World”, and I outlined three key reasons the world

Leadership: What is your ‘flat-earth’ thinking?

I have always been interested in trying to understand our current context when viewed from a future perspective. Of course this is an impossible task until that is time travel makes it way into our reality! However in the same

Leadership: What is your ‘flat-earth’ thinking?

I have always been interested in trying to understand our current context when viewed from a future perspective. Of course this is an impossible task until that is time travel makes it way into our reality! However in the same

Video: Five forces shaping the future of business

This is my book project for 2013: The TIDES of Change. This is a look at the five most important forces that are causing disruptive change in the world right now; and, of course, how we should respond as individuals,

Forti nihil difficilius – In 2013 nothing is too difficult for the brave

Forti nihil difficilius translates as “nothing is too difficult for the brave.” This is the motto of the high school I attended and as mottos go it is a pretty cool one. I’ve always liked it but I never imagined

Leadership: The Obvious Question

I know that Christmas has come and gone and we are already rushing headlong into 2013 armed with untainted resolutions and expectations. Reality will meet us at some point but before this happens I do want to pose an important

Keys to creativity and successful organisational leadership in 2013

These are probably the two issues that will most affect your company’s value in the year ahead: creativity and leadership. You need to find where your company can grow, can improve and can enhance its value. And you need to

Keys to creativity and successful organisational leadership in 2013

These are probably the two issues that will most affect your company’s value in the year ahead: creativity and leadership. You need to find where your company can grow, can improve and can enhance its value. And you need to

Three Things Good Leaders Should Be Asking Santa

This is a blog post written by KEITH COATS, International Partner at TomorrowToday on the topic of LEADERSHIP in a changing world Of course only good leaders get to ask Santa for anything, bad leaders’ Christmas stocking is likely to be empty! So what

Your next CEO: insider or outsider? Filtered or not? (There is a right answer for you)

Ever since Jim Collins’ “Good to Great” came out a decade ago, it has been the received wisdom that the best CEOs are those that rise up through a corporation are better than outsiders who are parachuted in. But is

Three Things Good Leaders Should Be Asking Santa

Of course only good leaders get to ask Santa for anything, bad leaders’ Christmas stocking is likely to be empty! So what would a good leader want from Santa for the journey marked 2013? The leadership context is one of

Four Leadership Lessons from the Road Most Traveled

The curtain call on 2012 is almost due. It is the time to reflect on what has been and perhaps what might have been; it is the time to begin to contemplate what waits on the other side of 2012

Microsoft needs reinvention not improvement – and so do you

This past year saw Microsoft post it’s first ever quarterly loss. This was to do with a $6 billion write down of an investment, and wasn’t really a trading loss. But nevertheless it rang some alarm bells. In the digital

Microsoft needs reinvention not improvement – and so do you

This past year saw Microsoft post it’s first ever quarterly loss. This was to do with a $6 billion write down of an investment, and wasn’t really a trading loss. But nevertheless it rang some alarm bells. In the digital

VIDEO: Three new leadership skills

In this video, we outline a new ‘ABC’ of leadership: Adaptive Intelligence, a Balcony perspective and Conversations. These are three skills most leaders don’t have these days – and three skills they’d do well to cultivate.   For more on

VIDEO: Three new leadership skills

In this video, we outline a new ‘ABC’ of leadership: Adaptive Intelligence, a Balcony perspective and Conversations. These are three skills most leaders don’t have these days – and three skills they’d do well to cultivate.   For more on

Leading Diversity: the work leaders cannot ignore

One of the biggest challenges facing leaders today is that of leading diversity. It is also something that leaders cannot ignore, avoid or neglect – although many do. Diversity is a well-worn term and is often confused with variety. In

Leading Diversity: the work leaders cannot ignore

One of the biggest challenges facing leaders today is that of leading diversity. It is also something that leaders cannot ignore, avoid or neglect – although many do. Diversity is a well-worn term and is often confused with variety. In

Kittens, magnets and the power of teleworking

If we’d been working 100 years ago, most people would’ve worked on a farm or a mine; 50 years ago we would’ve been working in a factory, today most people in developed markets work in the knowledge economy and we

What is your industry’s iceberg?

There are numerous forces changing the shape and face of business today. We call the most important ones the TIDES of Change. TIDES is an acronym standing for Technology, Institutions, Demographics, Environment and Social values. Each forces has numerous, let’s

Lessons from the Titanic for future focused leaders

Have you ever wondered what you would do differently if you were a leader on the historic voyage of the Titanic?  A centaury later we are still gripped by the tragedy, the horrors and even the romance of the loss.

Four Titles I wish were mine: and four leadership challenges they pose

What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There is the title of Marshall Goldsmith’s book that details behavioural changes needed to get the summit of business. Goldsmith is an Executive Coach who I met at the Global Leader’s Conference in

Fly Emirates: How an Airline gets it right in all but one thing

November. Dubai. Emirates business lounge. ‘Home’. I do a lot of flying. It comes with the territory and let me say right upfront, travel is not as glamorous as it is sometimes made out to be! Any frequent flyer will

Fly Emirates: How an Airline gets it right in all but one thing.

November. Dubai. Emirates business lounge. ‘Home’. I do a lot of flying. It comes with the territory and let me say right upfront, travel is not as glamorous as it is sometimes made out to be! Any frequent flyer will

A Trait of Smart Leaders: Seeing With Your Ears – Listening With Your Eyes

How do submarines ‘see’? Well, everyone knows that submarines ‘see’ by using ultrasound…essentially submarines see by hearing, by using their ‘ears’. So should leaders. Social intuition is the term used to describe the ability to spot and read clues around

A Trait of Smart Leaders: Seeing With Your Ears – Listening With Your Eyes

How do submarines ‘see’? Well, everyone knows that submarines ‘see’ by using ultrasound…essentially submarines see by hearing, by using their ‘ears’. So should leaders. Social intuition is the term used to describe the ability to spot and read clues around

Video: Big data, infographics and the role of IT in a new world of work

I spoke at a conference for the German company, Haniel earlier this year. The audience was largely German and engineers, so I toned down my normal style (a bit of energy, a bit of humour) to suit them, but the

The Third Wave of the Digital Age

Last Saturday, I spoke at a TEDx conference in London.  The talk I initially scripted would have taken longer than half an hour – not quite TED style!  The talk I planned to give would actually have taken about 19

The Third Wave of the Digital Age

Last Saturday, I spoke at a TEDx conference in London.  The talk I initially scripted would have taken longer than half an hour – not quite TED style!  The talk I planned to give would actually have taken about 19

Leaders…attention! A vital lesson for all leaders from an unlikely source: the military.

“I might take a bullet to my head and so whoever takes my place needs to be better than me. I train and mentor others to be better than I am”. So said the Lt Colonel with whom I happened

Leadership Self-Awareness

I have yet to meet a leader that can effectively solve problems or conflict by way of assertion. In fact, assertion as a means to resolution is highly toxic to your organizational culture.  Assertion is like holding a beach ball

Seven big questions and seven big problems business leaders need to address

  Extensive research from TomorrowToday’s Strategic Insights Unit is revealing what makes companies successful in the new world of work. Our latest study illustrates seven big problems, seven big questions and seven big answers to enable leaders to build agile

Women need more than words (and binders) to succeed at work

For women to bridge the pay gap in the workplace and to find their way into boardrooms and senior leadership positions they’re going to need men’s assistance. This is not to patronise women, but simply a statement of the reality

TEDx talk on the Future of Work: your help requested

Next Saturday, 27 October 2012, I will be speaking at a TEDx event in London: TEDxSquareMile, The Future of Work: Power to Make a Difference. Please would you help me with three things. Firstly, if you can attend or know

The Goldilocks Principle: On Learning Leadership

Some years ago I asked a friend who was responsible for some of the most successful TV adverts in South Africa – she was the advertising agency’s account manager for a fast food brand – what made the adverts so

Neglected but Essential: The Work All Leaders Need To Do

Thinking about today’s brand of leadership it seems to me that the shear pace and complexity that leaders encounter on a daily basis has all but eroded one of the fundamental leadership disciplines. I am referring here to the discipline

The Goldilocks Principle: On Learning Leadership

Some years ago I asked a friend who was responsible for some of the most successful TV adverts in South Africa – she was the advertising agency’s account manager for a fast food brand – what made the adverts so

Fit bodies, fat minds: The need to read

Leaders read. Learning organisations have institutionalized a reading habit – it has become an essential part of their DNA and not to read, is not to fit with the organizational culture. Executives across the board have become lazy when it

Fit bodies, fat minds: The need to read

Leaders read. Learning organisations have institutionalized a reading habit.  It has become an essential part of their DNA and not to read, is not to fit with the organizational culture. Executives across the board have become lazy when it comes

Profound Leadership Thoughts – The meaning of “Meaning”

This blog was first published on our sister company’s blog and written by TomorrowToday International Partner Keith Coats. The thoughts are very powerful please enjoy reading them and take time to think and reflect on the meaning they have for you.

Musings of a Time Traveller

Well to be honest, I’m not really a ‘time traveller’. However, if flying North, then over the top of the earth (in a North-East kind of direction I guess?), then South and finally West for 30 hours, plus 9 hours

Meaning: Your Responsibility!

During a recent conversation with my colleague, Dean, a conversation had whilst driving through the beautiful Ascot in England, a thought was expressed to which Dean responded, “Keith, you really need to blog that thought”. This then is the blog

Humility in Leadership

Think Big, Act Small by Jason Jennings is a worthwhile read (Kindle edition here). He looks into what has made best performing companies (in the USA) sustain their ‘start-up spirit’. In the book Jennings offers some arresting insights based on

Humility in Leadership

Think Big, Act Small by Jason Jennings is a worthwhile read. He looks into what has made best performing companies (in the USA) sustain their ‘start-up spirit’. In the book Jennings offers some arresting insights based on solid research done

Dipping my toe, with 50 days to go: Romney’s lost his way

Updated on 24 October 2012 – see below I love to follow politics. In countries around the world it tells us so many different things about the health of a country, the culture of that country and the future of

A question to leaders everywhere: What questions are you asking?

Most people collect something or other. For some it is stamps, for others it might be model cars or antiques or things that have little significance beyond the passion of the collector. I too have a collection, albeit an unusual

A question to leaders everywhere: What questions are you asking?

Most people collect something or other. For some it is stamps, for others it might be model cars or antiques or things that have little significance beyond the passion of the collector. I too have a collection, albeit an unusual

Leaders: Can you say this about your brand?

Recently I was sitting in an Executive meeting in which conversation was centred on rethinking the company’s vision and brand. To be honest what should have been an engaging, energetic conversation was rather like pulling hen’s teeth. There wasn’t much

Leaders: Can you say this about your brand?

Recently I was sitting in an Executive meeting in which conversation was centred on rethinking the company’s vision and brand. To be honest what should have been an engaging, energetic conversation was rather like pulling hen’s teeth. There wasn’t much

Strategic Insights: How Kraft delivered performance and profit improvements by offering teams blank cheques

In 1960, during a Mercury space flight, John Glenn used the powdered breakfast drink Tang. Not surprisingly, as the general public became aware of NASA’s endorsement of Tang, sales skyrocketed. In recent years, however, sales – especially globally – had been sluggish.

TomorrowToday TV: Vidcasts on future trends and disruptive change

In addition to our new Internet TV channel, powered by YourBusinessChannel, the TomorrowToday team continues to develop video-based resources. We’re committed to bringing you strategic insights that stimulate thought and conversation. Here are some of our most recent contributions: Dr

From Russia with Love: Pilgrim or Tourist?

This week I will be in Moscow doing a day on ‘Leading Diversity’ as part of a leadership programme for Boehringer Ingelheim- one of the top twenty international pharmaceutical companies. I have been fortunate enough to have been to Russia

On Leadership: Regretfully…

We all live with a few regrets, or so a survey that I read the other day would have us believe. But I think it would be true that there can be very few people who, in all honesty can

11 Things Smart Leaders Know, Do and Live

Charlie Parker, a genius when it comes to the saxophone, once said, “Jazz comes from who you are, where you’ve been, what you’ve done. If you don’t live it, it won’t come out your horn.” Charlie was spot-on – at least

11 Things Smart Leaders Know, Do and Live

Charlie Parker, a genius when it comes to the saxophone once said, “Jazz comes from who you are, where you’ve been, what you’ve done. If you don’t live it, it won’t come out your horn.” Charlie was spot-on: at least

Future-proof your Organisation: 4 things leaders need to know about tomorrow

“Change is the law of life.” So said John F Kennedy.  He also said, “those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” The ability to change – or what can be referred to

Future-proof your Organisation: 4 things leaders need to know about tomorrow

“Change is the law of life” – so said John F Kennedy and, “those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”  The ability to change – or what can be referred to as

The Best Way to Develop Leaders Yet!

“I have done all the tests,” he said to me, “and the Enneagram is by far the best I have ever done. It really has made a difference in my life. Would you please come and do it for my

Who owns that dumb corporate rule? No! Really? Why? Who made this rule up?

One blog from Seth Godin stands out for me as being a diamond amongst gems. It was written in 2009 and in it he asks the question: who owns that rule? Seth says: “Every  rule needs to be associated with

The Best Way to Develop Leaders Yet!

“I have done all the tests,” he said to me, “and the Enneagram is by far the best I have ever done. It really has made a difference in my life. Would you please come and do it for my

Seeing Beneath the Surface: Innovation and Leadership

These days there is a lot said and written about the need to innovate. Companies are encouraged to innovate and the topic is now a natural part of most MBA’s and leadership education programmes – something that is slightly ironic

Seeing Beneath the Surface: Innovation and Leadership

These days there is a lot said and written about the need to innovate. Companies are encouraged to innovate and the topic is now a natural part of most MBA’s and leadership education programmes. Something that is slightly ironic as

What you can tell about the ‘smell of a place’ by sitting in the reception!

An 8am meeting with the head of learning and development at Zurich Insurance in downtown Johannesburg taught me more about the company than any Google search could have revealed. I say ‘could have’ because I had forgotten to bring my

Graeme Codrington public events in South Africa in August 2012

Dr Graeme Codrington will be speaking at the following public events in South Africa in August. Sign up now for any or all of them. Discounts for groups are available: 17 Aug in Cape Town: Succeeding in a new world

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

The gift that wasn’t: Leading by doing nothing

It was the kind of gift any twelve-year-old dreams about. In fact Michael had dreamt about it for some time in anticipation of his forthcoming birthday. Michael is the son of good friends and not from our cave, just in

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

The future isn’t what it used to be: Neither at work nor it seems, at home!

In the July-August issue of The Futurist (www.wfs.org) there was an interesting article on the shift from ‘smart houses’ to ‘networked houses’. Authors Chris Carbone and Kristin Nauth describe how tomorrow’s integrated, networked and aware home systems will forever change

Your Real Work as a Leader: A sense of vocation

“I love what I do!” I have come to realize that there are a lot of people who cannot say that- folk for whom their working life is something to get done so that they can carry on with what

Your Real Work as a Leader: A sense of vocation

“I love what I do!” I have come to realize that there are a lot of people who cannot say that- folk for whom their working life is something to get done so that they can carry on with what

Disruptive Change – How to deal with it for future success [podcast]

Last Friday I was interviewed by Chris Cooper on his Voice America Business radio show. The show is now available in podcast format, for free. It’s an hour long, and a great conversation about how we deal with disruptive change

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

The Leader’s Role: To bring the future to life

I am often asked what it is TomorrowToday does. Some find the name intriguing or my title amusing (Director of Storytelling). “So what exactly does TomorrowToday do?” I am asked. My stock answer is, “we bring the future to life”.

The Leaders Role: To bring the future to life.

I am often asked what it is TomorrowToday does. Some find the name intriguing or my title amusing (Director of Storytelling). “So what exactly does TomorrowToday do?” I am asked. My stock answer is, “we bring the future to life”.

Building successful teams is hard work

Everyone has their favourite Olympic event. For many it’s the 100m sprint as the fastest men on earth hurtle down that tiny corridor to victory and fame. But for me, amidst all of the individual events that characterise the Olympics,

Background Music: Essential for authentic leadership?

A mentor of mine recommended a book for me to read by James Kugel titled, In the Valley of the Shadow. Seven years ago, Kugel, a retired Harvard professor of Hebrew literature, was diagnosed with an aggressive, likely fatal form

Leadership is a Conversation, at Least it Should be!

Traditional corporate communication needs an overhaul.  It needs to become less about corporate tone and messaging and more about dynamic and engaging communications.  More over it needs to be conversational.  I got goose bumps as I read Leadership Is a

An Open Letter to TomorrowToday: A reminder from Starbucks for all of us!

I am reading Howard Schultz’s Onwards.  Schultz is the founder of Starbucks and Onwards is the story of Starbucks post 2007. I loved Starbucks right from the time I first had a ‘Starbucks experience’ and that was deepened with the

Living Up To Expectations: Understanding Generational Expectations in the Workplace

Not only are expectations subject to personal nuances, they can be further understood by looking at broad generational values that underpin behaviour. Generational Theory as originally promoted by Howe and Strauss, two Yale and Harvard trained political economists, suggests that

Tomorrow’s Leaders have to be better than today ‘s leaders

The occasion was the launch of a senior leadership development Programme with an International blue chip company. The CEO made the customary welcoming speech at the opening evening in which he made the attention grabbing statement: “Tomorrow’s leaders will have

False Truth Hunting

As a change agent I have come to believe that the most formidable inhibitors to change are our false truths.  Each and everyone one of us have false truths that can sabotage our potential.  And our false truths are widespread

Not seeing what you’re looking at

There are many examples online where you can be looking at something and not see what’s happening right in front of your eyes. The most famous, possibly is the black gorilla and basketball count test. Probably my favourite is the

A Leadership Pill

I recently watched the movie ‘Limitless’ which explores the concept of a pill that leads to acutely enhanced awareness and performance. Obscure facts tucked away in the recesses of one’s subconscious become accessible; patterns hidden by details become clear and

The Rocket Science of leadership: Dear Keegan, as you leave

I wrote a letter and slipped it into Keegan’s luggage before he set out on his overseas adventure that would last a year (at least) having finally done with school. It was one I had long been composing in my

The Revenge of the Boomers – why Boomers need to become techno-literate!

I heard a great story in a workshop in which I was involved with a group of educators. We were talking about ‘Rethinking Education’ and in particular the way in which technology is impacting on education. As you can imagine

The Nightmare of no more silence: A leadership challenge.

It was a statement that immediately arrested my imagination. A statement that was simple yet profound and one that conveyed an idea that proved unshakable. It was a statement that demanded contemplation and had me immediately reaching for a means

What a Difference Difference Makes

By Prof Nick Barker and Dr Graeme Codrington, TomorrowToday Difference matters. Globalization has resulted in increasing uncertainty, interdependence and complexity, coupled with accelerating and non-linear change. It has also resulted – unexpectedly – in a growing emphasis on difference. While

Secrets to Success in a New World of Work: High Tech, High Touch, High Trust

The world we live and work in has become increasingly complex in the past two decades. Rapid advances in technology, together with globalization and fast growth all combined to rewrite the rules of success, failure and organizational design. The result

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

The CEO’s guide to strategy

What is “strategy”? This is a question that numerous executives, academics and scholars have asked. Countless books, papers and dissertations have been written about the subject. S+B Magazine recently wrote a short article on the subject titled Strategy: An Executive’s Definition and

Barefoot Leadership: The neglected activity of leaders

Play is important. For any child, play is serious stuff and central to their daily activities. We have lots of expressions that would underscore the importance of play (all work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy is one

How to attract Gen Y into engineering – a case study from MOL

I am sitting in a presentation by Gabor Varjasi, Head of Competency Development and Strategic HR at MOL Group. This is at Stamford Global‘s Talent for Tomorrow conference in Vienna. MOL have a similar problem to many companies around the

Write drunk, edit sober. Good advice for leaders?

“Write drunk, edit sober” is something Ernest Hemingway allegedly once said. I think it is good advice, except maybe for alcoholics! The kind of writing that tends to inspire me is writing that has passion, flow and somehow captures grand

Barefoot Leadership: The neglected activity of leaders

Play is important. For any child, play is serious stuff and central to their daily activities. We have lots of expressions that would underscore the importance of play (all work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy is one

BRICS: The Building Blocks for the Future – and five things smart leaders understand!

It was Jim O’Neill, Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, who some 10 years ago, coined the acronym, ‘BRIC’ – a grouping of emerging economies namely, Brazil, Russia, India, and China. Then, in a more recent move in 2012, South

BRICS: The Building Blocks for Future – and five things smart leaders understand!

  It was Jim O’Neill, Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, who some 10 years ago, coined the acronym, ‘BRIC’ – a grouping of emerging economies namely, Brazil, Russia, India, and China. Then, in a more recent move, South Africa

Light-hearted Leadership Lessons from Wembley & the Red Men

It started as an overheard conversation in Delhi, India and ended up as an unforgettable day in London, England. Specifically, Wembley stadium. The over-heard conversation was between delegates on a leadership programme in which I was involved. They were chatting

Leading Diversity: The Zoo versus The Wild

I was recently asked to write an article for the Switch and Shift leadership blog. I picked up a theme that has been a significant one for our team for many years. It is one that our new business partner,

Leading Diversity: The Zoo versus The Wild

I was recently asked to write an article for the Switch and Shift leadership blog. I picked up a theme that has been a significant one for our team for many years. It is one that our new business partner,

Switching off the sun: Preparing for the next generation in the workplace

Hannah (the daughter of a colleague) was strapped in her car seat as her parents headed off for a weekend away. Hannah is a bright, engaging two-year-old and no doubt had thought plenty of thoughts from this particular vantage point,

Lessons from a 30min conversation with Wikipedia Founder

Last night I arrived in Lagos to present a session on social media strategy. I was met at the airport by the a very professional and very friendly man who guided me into that parking lot outside. The parking lot

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

The Magic Hill: Avoiding the optical illusions of leadership

They told me it was caused by the fairies who lived under the road. I don’t know about you, but I for one don’t buy that explanation at all. I mean, everybody knows that fairies don’t live under roads. Caused

The Magic Hill: Avoiding the optical illusions of leadership

They told me it was caused by the fairies who lived under the road. I don’t know about you, but I for one don’t buy that explanation at all. I mean, everybody knows that fairies don’t live under roads. Caused

TomorrowToday’s tenth anniversary

Today is the tenth anniversary of the starting of our company, TomorrowToday. Ten years ago today, Barrie Bramley, Keith Coats and Graeme Codrington had lunch at a restaurant called Ruby’s in Fourways Mall, Sandton. We had already been working together

Understanding the Social Agenda: what every leader needs to know about tomorrow

The Social Agenda will define the future of your company. It is that big, it is that important and it is that unavoidable! Let me explain what is the social agenda and why it is that important. The social agenda

Hinduism Provides Business Model for Forward Thinking Leaders

What you don’t see online with HBR’s article The CEO’s Role in Business Model Reinvention is my favourite part of the article in the print version.  The online version provides a forward looking business model framework designed to “manage the

Seeing the real magic: A reminder for all leaders!

It was a party. Not just any party, but a ‘fairy party’. The occasion was the fourth birthday of my godchild Jordan. It had been her call and fairy theme it was to be. Now that was fine, except for

The Critical Core of Leadership

Adolescence is a tricky period. It has been described as that period in a young person’s life when they refuse to believe that some day they will be as dumb as their parents. As Mark Twain so eloquently put it:

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

How well do you really know your Gen Y employees?

As Gen Y employees continue to enter the workplace with their own approach and new expectations of what the world of work should be like, research continues to provide valuable insights for employers. Two recent reports were particularly interesting. In

I Love Travel: Wisdom from the Journey

I love travel. It is early Sunday morning (or at least I think it is) and I am sitting in the Emirates business lounge awaiting my connecting flight to Gaungzhou, China. It is a whistle-stop trip – just four nights

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

Manchester and London showcases: ‘Leadership Under Pressure’ – 26 and 27 March 2012

Leadership Under Pressure Your are invited to an inspiring event with five international speakers from the world of sport and business, focusing on the necessary mindsets needed for doing business in tomorrow’s world. The events will take place on the

Knock, knock . . . who’s there? Leadership and reciprocity: What goes around comes around

‘He should represent South Africa at sleeping,’ was the SMS we received from Keegan’s host after he had been in the UK for a few days. Any parent of a teenager will know about the amazing capacity for sleep that

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,

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 comrade. Image! Anybody who thinks that this isn’t desirable, who thinks this impossible,

Leadership: What Is Your Training Schedule?

Swimmers take your marks . . . All three of our kids can swim. Two of them, Tamryn and Sipho, rather well. In fact both have won Victrix/Victor Ludorum for their aqua efforts and Sipho has gained his provincial colours.

How you can get your teams to work differently and see into the future

  Ask new questions to new people Companies often don’t realise their research is stuck in a rut. They run the same focus groups and ask the same questions of the same people year after year. Broaden your horizons and

The map is not the territory

Sitting in Dubai at a senior mangers conference for one of the biggest companies in the world and something became very evident to me. The map is not the territory It’s true that you can look at all the new

Pies, Profits and Paris: Leadership and Dreams

It started out as a pie business during a school entrepreneur’s week. The girls were required to work in teams and start some sort of business, the proceeds of which were to be shared with the school. Tamryn, Ronwyn and

Smart Leadership: Looking for Answers by Inviting the Questions

‘But why?’ can be two exasperating words, words that chisel away at parental resolve like water dripping on a tin roof. Of course the fact that they are used in a highly concentrated way at around the three-year benchmark makes

Smart Leadership: Looking for Answers by Inviting the Questions

‘But why?’ can be two exasperating words, words that chisel away at parental resolve like water dripping on a tin roof. Of course the fact that they are used in a highly concentrated way at around the three-year benchmark makes

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

The South African, the Australian and the Blonde: The flawed maxim of leadership

Children seldom misquote you. In fact, they more often than not repeat exactly what you shouldn’t have said. In response to the Sunday School (what a terrible name for any freedom loving kid! – it should have been ditched decades

Note to Leaders: You are not alone

How often have you heard those in leadership positions utter the mantra, ‘It’s lonely at the top’? They usually serve it up in a sort of self-congratulatory and somewhat condescending manner that expects no one but themselves to really understand.

Note to Leaders: You are not alone

How often have you heard those in leadership positions utter the mantra, ‘It’s lonely at the top’? They usually serve it up in a sort of self-congratulatory and somewhat condescending manner that expects no one but themselves to really understand.

What can beer teach us about systems?

The Beer Game was invented by MIT Sloan School of Management in the 1960s and has since been used in academic and corporate fields of study alike to demonstrate on a practical level what it means to think in systems.

Exploring the Future: What Leaders Need to Learn

Sitting with two of my kids the other day I asked them, “so what can we learn from the great Explorers of the past?” – a probing question fueled by something I was reading at the time. “Like the guys

Exploring the Future: What Leaders Need to Learn

Sitting with two of my kids the other day I asked them, “so what can we learn from the great Explorers of the past?” – a probing question fueled by something I was reading at the time. “Like the guys

This changing world demands we redefine leadership

Pete Laburn recently sourced this excellent article by journalist, Judith Ancer. The original source has now been removed, for some reason, so I have included it in full below. Although primarily directed a parents raising children, this piece epitomises what

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

Can I drive, Dad? …Leaders and Control.

Control is a word that is arguably the source of the greatest conflicts, whether you are a leader or a parent. In the early years of parenting the issue of control is often reminiscent of a ‘phony war’ – one

A Call for Audacity!

“The world needs invention and daring now more than ever. Now is the time for audacity, not austerity.” This month’s HBR is spotlighting being happy and being audacious.  Why are we not exploiting the power of happiness and why are

The challenges and opportunities facing South Africa in 2012

Trevor Manuel was moved our of the Treasury some time ago and has spent much of his time in a new entity called the National Planning Commission (NPC) of South Africa. The NPC is tasked with identifying and responding to

Getting Fit For The Future: Essential Questions For Leaders As You Enter 2012

It is that time of year that invites reflection about what has been and what might be. We stand on the cusp of 2012, about to confine 2011 to the scrapbook. It is a good time to be asking questions

Santa CEO: Leadership Lessons from Santa

The big guy in the red suit heads up a pretty impressive outfit. A year of frantic, precision driven preparation, keeping a host of little people motivated, focus and warm in extreme conditions and then all culminating in a mind-boggling

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

10 Leadership Lessons from Santa

Ho, Ho Ho…it’s that time of year again when the tinsel comes out, trees get decorated and dietary regimes along with turkeys get stuffed. The old guy with the impressive beard comes out from his reclusive lair to both delight

Good to Great… to Gone!

Jim Collins got it wrong. Not totally wrong, but wrong enough that we need to be careful (as always) about who we listen to when designing companies for future success. Too often, leaders take a shortcut and blindly apply models

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

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

100’s of innovative ways to reinvent management. Join the management hackathon now!

How do we reinvent management & capitalism? How do we make people’s jobs more inspiring and meaningful? How can companies deliver more value to society and their customers? These are just some of the questions that my colleagues and myself

Does a CEO need to blog?

If you were to take one look at the world today, it would be obvious that social media has become a very important communication tool. Ask yourself this question “can a CEO remain relevant if they are not versed in

Stuck Noses: Leaders who help others ‘get it’.

‘Daddy, my nose is stuck,’ was the somber diagnosis from three-year-old Keegan who was playing host to a heavy cold. I had never before heard it put that way but could certainly identify with the sentiment. After all, who amongst

What You Don’t Do, Can Hurt You!

I full heartedly agree that we need more Courage in The C-Suite and I second Rosabeth’s call for leadership courage.  Lack of courage is an invisible mistake and acts of courage are certainly not absent of fear.  Furthermore, lack of

Gandhi CEO – A Summary

One of our associates, Pete Laburn, recently posted a precis of a new book entitled, Gandhi CEO (buy it at Amazon.com). You can read Pete’s blog here. The book’s sub title explains the general theme of the book: 14 principles

Who is the referee? Leading without a stunt double

Saturday afternoon weddings. Why is it that weddings always seem to clash with the one sports event that you have been waiting months to attend or watch? And how come this head-on collision between the wedding and the sports event

A Warning to Leaders: Turbulence is not the Danger

Flying into the small South African regional airport of Port Elizabeth recently I was reminded why it is I hold to the wisdom, ‘the bigger the plane the better’! As we were tossed around by the not-so-clear-air turbulence in the

A Warning to Leaders: Turbulence is not the Danger

Flying into Port Elizabeth recently I was reminded why it is I hold to the wisdom, ‘the bigger the plane the better’! As we were tossed around by the not-so-clear-air turbulence in the small SAA Express plane, flying seemed so

The Future workplace: How technology, globalisation and the environment is affecting the way we work

Predicting the future is not an exact science. However, in these days of rapidly changing technology, it has become more imperative than ever for companies to look ahead and try and predict how technological advances, globalisation, environmental concerns and people’s

Living Up To Expectations: Understanding Generational Expectations in the Workplace

Not only are expectations subject to personal nuances, they can be further understood by looking at broad generational values that underpin behaviour. Generational Theory as originally promoted by Howe and Strauss, two Yale and Harvard trained political economists, suggests that

Innovation: Failing into the Future

If you want your company to be innovative, failure is not an option…it is essential. Innovation is built on the willingness to try new things and the understanding that failure will be an inevitable road-hump along the way. It is

Leadership in the New World of Work

One of the biggest challenges Leaders face is an understanding that the wisdom and leadership practice that has brought us to this point, is unlikely to get us to where it is we need to be in the future.  The

Living Up To Expectations: Understanding Generational Expectations in the Workplace

Not only are expectations subject to personal nuances, they can be further understood by looking at broad generational values that underpin behaviour. Generational Theory as originally promoted by Howe and Strauss, two Yale and Harvard trained political economists, suggests that

Leadership in the New World of Work

One of the biggest challenges Leaders face is an understanding that the wisdom and leadership practice that has brought us to this point, is unlikely to get us to where it is we need to be in the future.  The

Making Profits with Purpose Gains Momentum

While many skeptics still battle the notion that not all profits are equal, great companies continue proving that Creating Shared Valuereaps significant enduring benefits.   This movement is at front and center stage with many of our brilliant thought leaders and

The need for Social Reinvention

One of our colleagues in South Africa, Mike Saunders, is a leading expert in digital media and the emerging world of social business. To explain what he means by this, he wrote an excellent blog entry which we’re thrilled to

Doing “something” – not a clever way to live your life

“Something has to be done”. “We have to be seen to be doing something”. These are basic human responses to crisis and fear: a deep seated desire to respond, react, control. It’s instinctive, and hard to ignore. But it is

Reverse Mentoring: What Leaders Can Learn From The ‘Young Snots’

It did not take very long for me to realize that, in this instance, I had more learn than to teach. It was to prove an accurate assessment. As coffee was served, Mike sat opposite me having requested the meeting,

Reverse Mentoring: What Leaders Can Learn From The 'Young Snots'

It did not take very long for me to realize that, in this instance, I had more learn than to teach. It was to prove an accurate assessment. As coffee was served, Mike sat opposite me having requested the meeting,

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

Talent is About to Change – Surprising thoughts on a new world of work for talent

This post was first published in the WITS Journal, June 2011. The “Great Recession” of the past few years has been more than merely an economic downturn. As this decade unfolds it will become increasingly clear that it also acted

Talent is About to Change – Surprising thoughts on a new world of work for talent

This post was first published in the WITS Journal, June 2011. The “Great Recession” of the past few years has been more than merely an economic downturn. As this decade unfolds it will become increasingly clear that it also acted

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,

Honeybees and Locusts – A business case for Sustainable Leadership

Editor’s note: Pete Laburn, one of TomorrowToday’s associates and contributor to this blog is a vociferous reader, and an excellent summariser. This contribution first appeared on his website on 6 October 2011. You can buy the book he refers to

“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

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

CEO: The Director of Storytelling

‘Once upon a time . . .’ . . . Such magical words, spoken often in a home with little people – words that contrive to conjure up all kinds of memories and emotions, unleash expectations and hold promise; words

The irrefutable ‘Law of Gifts’ & The Cost of Procrastination

The older they are the more expensive they become. It is an irrefutable law of parenting. I remember the days when I could arrive home after a business trip and any small, inconsequential thing would appease the kids and serve

What I learnt from Steve Jobs’ life and death

The passing of Steve Jobs will no doubt bring a deserved flurry of eulogies over the next few days and weeks. He will be remembered by history as one of the architects of a new age, and I feel it

What I learnt from Steve Jobs’ life and death

The passing of Steve Jobs will no doubt bring a deserved flurry of eulogies over the next few days and weeks. He will be remembered by history as one of the architects of a new age, and I feel it

Leadership’s Hardest Task

I don’t know how he did it, but he did. Already running late, we were rushing to join friends for a social occasion when a distant cry echoed from the smallest room in the house. Keegan had locked himself in

What is Your Question? Four Things Leaders Need to Understand

The world’s fragile economy teeters once again on the edge of the abyss. For those who don’t understand the intricate economic mechanics of how we got to this place, but fully appreciate the impact of any recession from personal experience,

The Leader’s Challenge: Curiosity rather than Certainty

Sipho’s adoption meant that the lily-white Coats herd now acquired its own resident ‘black sheep’ – a literal rather than figurative turn of phrase, naturally. Of course Sipho’s presence in the family has given us our own unique insights and

Trust Cannot be Taught, it Can Only be Experienced

The popularity of the word “trust” is at an all time high.  While I celebrate the wide spread appreciation for the significance of trust in business, it is important to recognize that trust cannot be learned through a book or

Global Leadership Principles from which to Lead: learning from the Asia Pacific Leadership Program

For the past 10 years I have had the privilege to be part of the teaching facility of the Asia Pacific Leadership Program (APLP) based at the East West Center in Hawaii. And yes, Hawaii is not too shabby a

Global Leadership Principles from which to Lead: learning from the Asia Pacific Leadership Program

For the past 10 years I have had the privilege to be part of the teaching facility of the Asia Pacific Leadership Program (APLP) based at the East West Center in Hawaii. And yes, Hawaii is not too shabby a

Why industry ‘best practice’ is not ‘best strategy’ for you

I am an educator, speaker and facilitator, and work mainly with large organisations, helping them make sense of the new world of work. Most of the time I do this through workshops and keynote presentations. As I work through briefings

Why industry ‘best practice’ is not ‘best strategy’ for you

I am an educator, speaker and facilitator, and work mainly with large organisations, helping them make sense of the new world of work. Most of the time I do this through workshops and keynote presentations. As I work through briefings

Speaking for God: Leaders who think CEO spells G-O-D

Keegan and Tamryn are playing in the bedroom. I am within earshot and party to the following conversation which has to do with Keegan asking for a turn at whatever it is that Tamryn is doing. ‘What does God say?’

With conference season approaching, there are only two questions you should be asking

Traditionally, in the yearly business cycle, the end part of the year is conference season. All done and dusted by the end of November, so that December parties and holidays can be taken and people can rest, unwind, switch off,

Sperm and Cells: Leading in a Connected World

It all started when I was on the phone and in walked not one but two neighbourhood cats. Showing little, well actually no respect, they sauntered over to Tigger’s food bowl (that’s our feline resident) and began to tuck in.

Sperm and Cells: Leading in a Connected World

It all started when I was on the phone and in walked not one but two neighbourhood cats. Showing little, well actually no respect, they sauntered over to Tigger’s food bowl (that’s our feline resident) and began to tuck in.

Measuring the Wrong Things the Wrong Way in Health Care

HBR has done it again, September’s issue does not disappoint!   One article in particular is near and dear to my heart and to the heart of many of my clients, How to Solve the Cost Crisis in Health Care.  Michael

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

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

A note to Generation X: Learn How to Manage Up

The concept of “managing up” is well established in management and leadership theory. As someone who reports to a boss, you need to use many different techniques to get your boss’s attention, and influence your boss to act, think and

As Easy as A B C: Questions Leaders Need to Ask Themselves

I once wrote a newsletter to friends using each letter of the alphabet to share an item of family news. Here is an extract of two of the news items that appeared under ‘V’ and ‘W’ – not easy letters

Gary Hamel on Generation Y

Gary Hamel, the best selling author and global guru on innovation, has turned his attentions to the impact that the next generation of young people is having on the workplace. Hamel’s latest book is on the Future of Management, and

Creating Thicker Customer Experiences

With the emergence and growing momentum of Customer Experience as a strategic imperative, companies are becoming more and more passionate and polarized. At one extreme, we see companies failing to invest enough resources. At the other end we see some

Generation Y and the Performance Review

Meet Kyle Lagunas – He is the HR Analyst at Software Advice, and blogs about trends and technology in the exciting world of human resources. I’m introducing you to him because he wrote this post and sent it to me to

The Fundamentals of Physics: Trust – the Leader’s Greatest Measure

Kids and bikes. Every parent can tell stories about this subject. Recently a friend and former BMX champion excitedly told me about the bike he was choosing for his daughter’s third birthday. Detailed explanations were offered about the aerodynamics and

The Future of Leadership: Authenticity and Adaptive Intelligence

“The problem is not that they are not watching what you do, the problem is they are” is something that Tom Peters once said. He is right. Leaders are under greater scrutiny than they have ever been due to the

The Future of Leadership: Authenticity and Adaptive Intelligence

“The problem is not that they are not watching what you do, the problem is they are” is something that Tom Peters once said. He is right. Leaders are under greater scrutiny than they have ever been due to the

What’s your Why, How and What?

Last week Keith and I completed a 4 day Leadership Development Programme with one of our clients. It was delivered in the form of two 2-day blocks, split one month apart. The 4 days were divided up into: Leadership and

What’s your Why, How and What?

Last week Keith Coats and I completed a 4 day Leadership Development Programme with one of our clients. It was delivered in the form of two 2-day blocks, split one month apart. The 4 days were divided up into: Leadership

The Bomb, the Keys and that Damn Phone: Learning from Chaos

It was always going to be a close call. The misplaced keys simply made it impossible . . . But let me backtrack to the beginning. It was the beginning of the notorious ‘flea season’ – that time of the

Dad, what’s a virgin? Leadership and Communication

Keegan’s birthday. The decision is that he can take a select few to a movie and that mom and dad will act as chauffeurs for the occasion. The select few turn out to be the entire rugby team; well, so

Your future boss may be a robot

I came across a very neat article The Boss Is Robotic, and Rolling Up Behind You By JOHN MARKOFF in the New York Times which paints fascinating picture of how telerobotics and robotics could become a useful leadership tool. As

What the 21st century needs

In 1943, the Chairman of IBM, Thomas Watson said, ‘I think there is a world market for maybe 5 computers.’ Thomas Watson was wrong. He wouldn’t recognize the world as it is today. Trade liberalization, globalization, advances in technology, the

Managing Millennials

This article is an excerpt from Connecting Generations: The Sourcebook by Claire Raines (2002). For more about the work that Claire and her colleagues do, go to her website. I get questions every month from businesspeople looking for something about

Self-evaluation: the means to enduring effectiveness

I unashamedly love Christmas and all that it brings with it. Deep down I suspect that some mistake was made in the cosmic scheme of things as I would be far better suited to a northern hemisphere Christmas than to

Leadership and Diversity: Naming Body Parts

I remember once reading that middle-age happens when you keep thinking that in a couple of weeks you’ll be back to normal. To be honest I am not sure that I am clear as to exactly what constitutes ‘normality’ –

The Nature of Leadership:The Grace of Great Things

  The Sioux believe that children are a gift from God – a  gift so sacred, so holy, that they are kept off the ground for the entire first year of their life. The Sioux also believe that children are

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

What women want – The future of leadership

A few years ago, I reflected on an article in the February 2004 fast Company magazine about why women have not rushed into the top bosses positions. In the last few years, that reflection has not changed. Women still have

Leadership and Diversity: Naming Body Parts

I remember once reading that middle-age happens when you keep thinking that in a couple of weeks you’ll be back to normal. To be honest I am not sure that I am clear as to exactly what constitutes ‘normality’ –

Unimaginable Clarity

It is often the case that highly sophisticated knowledge exists long before it’s significance in a broader context begins to resonate and be acted upon.  There lies enormous brilliance hidden in cross fertilizing knowledge; a conscious effort to rethink our

Eyes Wide Shut: Visionary Leadership

Here is another extract from Keith Coats’ excellent book of leadership reflections, “Everything I Know About Leadership I Learnt from the Kids” (buy it now from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com). Eyes Wide Shut: Visionary Leadership ‘It’s your turn,’ accompanied by a

The New World of Work – Utopia for Women?

Our mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers fought hard for us. The equalities gained by the feminist movement have resulted in a steady rise in the proportion of women working in the UK; 70% at the last count. However, all is not

The Talent Exodus still looms large

Last year, I wrote on our South African sister company’s blog about a looming talent exodus. Nothing has happened in the preceding twelve months to change my mind. The recession is going to last longer than I thought it would

What’s the difference between ‘success’ and ‘not failing’?

Economic Powerhousing (the process a nation deliberately commits itself to in order to be a global economic force to be reckoned with) is stronger than it has ever been. There are a host of nation states that braces the economic

What's the difference between 'success' and 'not failing'?

Economic Powerhousing (the process a nation deliberately commits itself to in order to be a global economic force to be reckoned with) is stronger than it has ever been. There are a host of nation states that braces the economic

Eyes Wide Shut: Visionary leadership

‘It’s your turn,’ accompanied by a rib-breaking jab to my side proved to be a firm deterrent to any further sleep and left me in no doubt that to protest would be about as successful as Custer’s last stand. Arising

A Leadership Reminder: Life is Seasonal

Let me start at the beginning. Some time ago I arrived home to be greeted by Tamryn’s: ‘Dad, can I please have a horse?’ I remember being asked a similar question by her older brother once, though if my memory

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)

“You Can Call Me Mr. Coats Now”: Leadership & Faith

“You can call me Mr. Coats” was the empathic reply given by one Sipho Coats age five to ‘Lochie’ (abbreviation for ‘Loch Ness Monster’ i.e. Vicky’s mom). All this transpired during a telephone conversation which became embroiled in why Lochie

Because You’re Not a Business School

Not too long ago TomorrowToday was invited to throw our hat into the ring for the procurement of an Executive Leadership Development Programme for an International Developmental Agency that falls under the auspices of the United Nations. I had done

Good leaders should only answer impossible questions

I had breakfast with a friend the other day, who also runs a fairly large company in South Africa. It’s my impression that there’s a conversation that happens behind the scenes in the world of leadership. A conversation that you’re

Everything I Know About Leadership I Learnt From The Kids: Part 1

Our colleague and co-founder of TomorrowToday, Keith Coats, is one of the world’s leading experts on leadership development. He is also a remarkable story teller and writer. A few years ago, we encouraged him to put into written form some

“I’m Six now” – An Invitation to Discovery

“I’m six now” were the first words to greet me on the morning of 1 December (a nice change to the usual rasping…”coffee”, emerging from the semi-comatose form lying next to me). It was also the first morning in six

Be corporate courageous – Five new scripts for competing in a world turned upside down

Script 2… The recent recession and financial crisis has been more than just an economic downturn, but a tipping point between the old and the new world of work. There is no going back and different times require a different

Think Different – Five new scripts for competing in a world turned upside down

Script 1… The recent recession and financial crisis has been more than just an economic downturn, but a tipping point between the old and the new world of work. There is no going back and different times require a different

The New World of Work – What does it look like?

The New World of Work. You can’t go a week reading this Blog without reading the phrase once, twice and even thirty seven times. It’s what we do at TomorrowToday. It’s what we’re about. We eat, read, sleep and do

Top tips for mentoring the next generation of talent

In tough times, people matter. Ensuring your staff are passionate and focused is a critical leadership task right now. One of the most effective techniques for motivating your younger staff in particular is to provide ongoing development for them, especially

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

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

Ownership 2.0: Expectations from management

“His heart is pounding as he tries to fight off the tension warring in his soul. A good few days have been dragging past now since he delivered his last address to the people. Sleeping and eating hasn’t been the

Everything I Know About Leadership I Learnt From The Kids: Part 1

I will never forget the emotions that accompanied holding my firstborn, a son, in my arms for the very first time. I felt so proud. Well actually, I felt so very clever, like I had achieved this amazing feat all

SAA Express…Another Oxymoron!

The first warning sign was a message informing me that my booked flight had been cancelled and I was now on a flight that departed some 30 minutes later. Not great but this seems to be something of a frequent

The Future of the Organisation: A Compelling Vision

In their book, The Individualized Corporation[1], Sumantra Ghoshal[2]and ChristopherA. Bartlett[3] (Random House, 2000) (Buy it at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com) present an alternative view of what the future of the organisation might be. Their intent is not to provide a detailed

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

What will be funny in Egypt? A Leadership Lesson

What will be funny in Egypt? Well right now, not much perhaps but this question isn’t connected to current events unravelling in that part of the world. Rather, it is a guiding question that underpinned the making of the Mr

What will be funny in Egypt? A Leadership Lesson

What will be funny in Egypt? Well right now, not much perhaps but this question isn’t connected to current events unravelling in that part of the world. Rather, it is a guiding question that underpinned the making of the Mr

Those Helicopter ‘Pilots’ At OR Tambo Are Masterful

Every time I come through OR Tambo, having checked in and whilst making my way to the security check-in, I stop and watch those guys selling toy helicopters. They’re masterful. The toy is simple. It goes up and it goes

Those Helicopter 'Pilots' At OR Tambo Are Masterful

Every time I come through OR Tambo, having checked in and whilst making my way to the security check-in, I stop and watch those guys selling toy helicopters. They’re masterful. The toy is simple. It goes up and it goes

Books every leader should read

In the TomorrowToday UK team’s ezine newsletter last Friday, we gave an excellent list of books that leaders should be reading. Have you read any of these? If so, what did you think of them? What else would you add

Books every leader should read

In the TomorrowToday UK team’s ezine newsletter last Friday, we gave an excellent list of books that leaders should be reading. Have you read any of these? If so, what did you think of them? What else would you add

What’s wrong (and right) with “best company to work for” lists

I have never been a big fan of “best company to work for” lists. They exist in many countries, and are normally sponsored by a high profile entity (Fortune magazine in the US, The Sunday Times in the UK and

The End of Control

Recently I was part of an innovative process design to explore how a business could either make or save money through the use of using social technology. The participants were put into groups and the process involved incubating and hatching

Hearing God Thinking: Journeying Towards the New World of Work.

“In the beautiful complexity of a new universe that Einstein has shown us, I for one, have no doubt I can hear God thinking” – the words of Arthur Eddington, the British scientist, in the wake of him having proved

Making Profit with Purpose for a Better Customer Experience

This podcast is expanding on our previous discussion on Customer Experience Driving Profits with Purpose. We need to continue to examine the impact the creating shared value movement offers those of us that are helping shape customer experience transformations.  One

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

The Black Shoe Conundrum

A hectic domestic travel schedule sees me go through the motions when it comes to packing and unpacking. The self-imposed checks have proved reliable and tend to minimize or reduce loss and forgetfulness. Well until that is, until this present

Personal Mail from CEO of LinkedIn to me

It was all over the new last week. LinkedIn hit 100 million users (the majority of whom sit outside of the US). As part of that milestone achievement, the CEO of LinkedIn (Reid Hoffman) sent a personal(ised) mail to the

Social Business: Just Another Oxymoron or the Future of Business?

I have always enjoyed the often subtle and inherent humour embedded in an oxymoron, a term which could be described as two contradictory words that find themselves as unlikely bedfellows. Several immediately come to mind: plastic glasses, jumbo shrimp, airline

One Sentence That Will Kill Innovation

A lot is written and said about innovation. Leaders are exhorted to innovate at all costs and there is no shortage of hired help when it comes to the theory, formation and implementation of innovative procedures. But there is an

Customer Experience Driving Purpose and Profits

While I celebrate that Customer Experience is Gaining Momentum, I believe that the intention and perception of the majority of those participating in this movement remains outdated and needs to be addressed in order to sustain and harness the untapped

Online Sales Leads: Best be Quick!

In a recent HBR there was an interesting article titled ‘The Short Life of Online Sales’ by authors Oldroyd, McElheran and Elkington in which they research online sales effectiveness. Their findings? Most companies are simply not quick enough. Increasingly various

How to stop your staff leaving as the economy improves

Your best employees could very well have one eye on the door. Once the economic recovery begins in earnest they’ll have plenty of new opportunities to choose from – and businesses around the world will begin to experience an exodus

What to do when rules don’t make sense: Mount from the right!

In the horse world, mounting your steed from the left side is taken as ‘the way to do it’. This conventional wisdom has lead to horses becoming accustomed to being mounted from the left, reinforcing an important conditioning behaviour concerning

Heroic Leadership – A Summary

This post was first published on Pete Laburn’s blog in Feb 2011 After living for seven years as a Jesuit seminarian, practicing vows of poverty, chastity and obedience to the Jesuit general in Rome, Chris Lowney was transformed into a

6 Most Brilliant Leadership Strategies

Last month Geoffrey James provided me with the rare honour of guest posting my 5 Most Dimwitted Leadership Strategies on BNET’s Sales Machine.  Geoffrey is a prolific writer with a highly provocative and cynical nature reflected in his outspoken readers. 

The Sheen is off Charlie

If what we read is true then we might well have seen the last of Charlie Sheen and Two and a Half Men. Sheen’s inability to act like a normal human being has seen the plug being pulled on one

A Leadership Lesson from History: On Impetuosity & Avalanches

One of the greatest strategists, a hero in his time who undertook one of the most daring feats in military history, paid the price for his own arrogance and impetuosity with the loss of achieving the thing he desired most

Business must get serious about mentoring

According to the article “Winning the race for talent in emerging markets” – by Douglas A. Ready, Linda A. Hill, and Jay A. Conger (HBR), developing world countries have a large shortage of adequately experienced people from lower to middle management

5 Minds for the Future – A Summary

This post was first published on Pete Laburn’s blog in Feb 2011 In his book, ‘5 Minds for the Future’ (buy it now at Amazon.co.uk and Kalahari.net) Howard Gardner concerns himself with the kinds of minds that people will need

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

Leading Innovation: Is it not just about a Faster Horse?

“If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they’d have said a faster horse” is something attributed to Henry Ford. It was Ford’s ability to see the unseen that fuelled an entirely new habit of transportation in America. The

A Question of Trust?

“Trust men and they will be true to you; treat them greatly, and they will show themselves great” Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882) I love Penelope Trunk’s blogs at the Brazen Careerist. They contain great thoughts and advice about

Benefit from Thought-Provocateuring

We benefit from looking at things differently. Sometimes that requires stepping back and looking not at the “what” or “how” but the “why”. Why do something that way? Do you ever wonder why your company (or a competitor) does things

Fox or Hedgehog? How you think will shape your future.

In 1953, well before the information revolution seized the planet, philosopher Isaiah Berlin divided thinkers into two basic categories: the fox and the hedgehog.  The difference is that hedgehogs know ‘one big thing’ whilst foxes know ‘many things’. A hedgehog

RIP: The Death of the Middle Manager

One of the implications of the convergence of Gen Y and technology in the workspace could well be the demise of middle management. If that is you, then you have every reason to be concerned with this possibility. As with

Generation Mom X

How many Gen X women do you know well into their 30’s who are still completely focused on their careers, some married and some who don’t even have the time to entertain dating as they leave the office after 9pm,

Resilience: Why It Is Important & How to Develop It

Any leader if asked whether or not he / she would like to have a resilient company or organization, is unlikely to give any answer other than an emphatic, “Of course I do”.  And whilst resilience is something ‘hoped for’

Business must get serious about Mentoring

According to the article “Winning the race for talent in emerging markets” – by Douglas A. Ready, Linda A. Hill, and Jay A. Conger (HBR), developing world countries have a large shortage of adequately experienced people from lower to middle

Why companies need quests to be successful in today’s new world

In the old world of work, company executives spent hours, days and months agonising over vision, mission, values and purpose. The idea of having a vision is a good one. But the exercise of corporate vision has become an academic

The Most Important Work Leaders Need to Do To Lead Into The Future.

Recently a CEO asked me an interesting question: What did I think is the most important quality or skill that leaders will need as they lead into the future? It is an intriguing question yet I found my answer without

When being creative, failure is always an option

Great companies make creativity and innovation a cornerstone of their culture and strategy. Creativity is driven by people wanting to make a difference. But people are often constrained by culture, regulation and risk controls – barriers to creativity. Customers say

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

Eating Humble Pie: A Lesson in Customer Service

There is no doubt that the closer top management is to the customer, the more successful an organization is likely to be. Customer experience has long been mooted as the next battleground where competitive advantage will be won or lost.

Making Change Happen, and Making It Stick

Strategy+Business from Booz & Co is one of my favourite newsletters and websites. They recently published an excellent article on how to manage change in turbulent times. Making Change Happen, and Making It Stick Five factors make the greatest difference

Making Change Happen, and Making It Stick

Strategy+Business from Booz & Co is one of my favourite newsletters and websites. They recently published an excellent article on how to manage change in turbulent times – read it at their site or an extract below. Making Change Happen,

What you might have missed over the holidays

While most people were away on holidays, the TomorrowToday team was busy blogging – throughout the Christmas and New Year holidays, we continued to scan the new world of work for news, reviews and signs of change. We can’t help

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

What is really happening in the US?

This post is syndicated from blog contributor, Sir Jeremy Greenstock of Gatehouse Advisory Partners We have become so used to regarding the United States as the world’s primary democratic, industrial and military power that it is hard for optimists not

Book Summary: From Strategy to Execution

I was recently sent a summary of a 2008 book, “From Strategy to Execution: Turning Accelerated Global Change into Opportunity” by Daniel Pantaleo and Nirmal Pal (Springer). It is ridiculously expensive, but you can buy it now from Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com

The Difference: 2000 & 2010

This post was first published on Pete Laburn’s blog in Dec 2010 10 years ago, futurists were saying that ‘In five to ten years 80% percent of of what drives the world will be driven by continuations, 15% of what

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

The Invitation of the Blank Page

The turning of the page from one year to the next invites both reflection on the year lived and aspirations for the year to come. Surveying the script on the worn and dog-eared pages of the past year invites reflection

Strategic Intuition – A Brief Summary

This post was first published on Pete Laburn’s blog in Feb 2010 Have you ever wondered how some people come up with their great ideas, and wished you knew how to do the same? William Duggan’s book, ‘Strategic Intuition’ is

A Lesson & Warning from Stan the Dinosaur

Were you to enter Google’s Googleplex you would come face to kneecap with Stan. Stan is the nickname given to the bronze replica of a skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex that guards the entrance to this impressive place of work.

A crisis of short-term minded leaders: Aprois moi, le deluge

Louis XV was king of France just before the French Revolution. He reigned from 1715 (when he was only five years old) to 1774 (the Revolution fomented throughout the 1780s, eventually erupting in unrest on the streets in 1789). Wikipedia

Friends, Facebook & Filters: The Boomer Challenge.

An old school friend, with whom I had long since lost touch with, recently made contact with me via Facebook. It turns out we live in the same area and so naturally made time to meet over coffee. Hair is

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

Which strategy would give you the greatest right to win?

I’ve just read an excellent article in Strategy + Business (S+B) called “the right to win” it raises an number of excellent questions about strategy in the new world of work. Walt Shill the head of consulting at Accenture believes

Missing the Point: Control, Leaders & Social Technology

“Over the last two decades, the world has changed substantially. The economic, political, social, corporate, and personal rules that now apply bear scant relation to those applicable two decades ago. Different times require a different script” writes Kenichi Ohmae in

When is a Team not a Team?

Somehow, after a few glasses of wine on Friday night, I found myself in a discussion about teams. My friend, a very accomplished and successful business owner, believes that there are no true teams in a business context – that

The new frontier for business – Intrepid explorers

Business leaders have recognised that in 2011 there will be no going back to normal, in fact there is now a new normal that involves a world where change is the new constant and complexity is the biggest challenge. The

Mind the Gap: Generations @ Work

This is the original submission as published as the Keynote feature in the Journal for Convergence (ISSN 1606-6162), Vol 5 No 4. “We can’t seem to keep our bright young things”. This is the common complaint of businesses around the

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

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 –

John Kotter on Icebergs, Penguins and 8 principles for leading change

One of the best books around on leading change must be John Kotter’s business novel “Our Iceberg is Melting: Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions” (Buy now at Amazon.co.uk or Kalahari.net). It’s written as a parable about a group of

Lessons in leadership succession planning from Kim Jong Il

I like The Economist’s Schumpeter, the topics are hugely relevant and the dry sense of humour tickles the right spot. The western style of leadership is in drastic need of radical rebooting, Schumpeter uses a “baseball bat” too hammer home

Successful CEO’s make customer intimacy their No 1 priority

As we crawl out of an energy sapping recession it is interesting to identify how leaders are responding to the new competitive and economic environment. IBM has completed a global study of over 1500 CEO and their excellent report “Capitalising

We live in a VUCA world

Last week I presented to the Proctor & Gamble Alumni Chapter in Geneva. The chairman for the event was Kevin Roberts the worldwide CEO for the advertising company Saatchi & Saatchi. In one of his comments he said something brilliant.

CEOs lose faith in strategic planning, they should look to yacht racing for answers

The Great Recession has made CEOs rethink strategic planning. Walt Shill, head of the North American management consulting practice for Accenture believes that: “Strategy, as we knew it, is dead…Corporate clients decided that increased flexibility and accelerated decision making are

Employee engagement – one great question

About a year ago, I MC’ed an event by e3unlimited, a company focused on getting the most out of generation y. Bruce Morton and Emma Reynolds, the founders of e3, have now moved on (Bruce to Sydney and Emma to

The Liberal Democrats conference and UK public spending cuts

As the Liberal Democrat’s conference unfolds in Liverpool, and Nick Clegg enjoys unprecedented media coverage as the UK’s deputy prime minister, I must admit to a little bit of self-congratulation. On the day that Gordon Brown called the election (6

Build a talented business – the genius of Nelson Mandela

This a a white paper and introduction chapter of the book that I’m writing, I’d value your views and comments greatly. The Assassin The sun rose quietly over Dawn Park, a suburb on the outskirts of Johannesburg, South Africa. It

Yes, it will cost more

I spend much of my time helping companies to create corporate cultures that will attract and retain talented young people. This involves looking at everything from terms and conditions of employment, remuneration policies and bonus schemes, to office layout, use

Boosting productivity in the new world of work

One of the defining features and challenges of the new world of work is the lack of engagement companies receive from their knowledge workers. This is a theme that we regularly speak and research about in order to identify ways

Business Continuity in Age of Constant Change

Conversations about knowledge continuity often relate to succession planning and the retirement of key older leaders. While these considerations are obviously important, they can mask the fact that, these days, business critical expertise and knowledge often reside lower down in

The world of tomorrow, today

In this warp-speed world it is no longer enough to learn from experience – you have to learn from the future! We live in a world where constant change is both a cliche and an understatement. Change, change, change. You’ve

Vital Leadership Skills for the 21st Century: A Global Mindset

The world is not really flat.  Not yet, anyway.  In his best-selling book about globalisation in the 21st century, Thomas Friedman suggested that it was.  He argued that massive advances in telecommunications and ten converging trends had “flattened” the world

Men your time is up!

I came across a very interesting and well written article in The Atlantic which examines the world in which women have now emerged as the majority workforce for the first time in US history. This is an incredible milestone and

The Silver Tsunami – managing older workers

One of the most important upcoming workforce trends is going to be companies’ ability to attract, retain, engage and effectively manage older workers. Multiple demographic trends are all pointing in this direction, and companies from many different industries would do

The rocket science of leadership

In the current series of Survivor one of the participants has the unenviable career description of being a ‘rocket scientist’. ‘No really’ must be something he is quite used to saying having had to repeatedly answer the stock question we