How to construct leadership narratives is likely to be a talking point on the new NCVO programme Charity Leadership in the 2020s that I am co-creating with Rebecca Nestor. Here’s what I’m noticing and thinking as the programme takes shape. If you have been into a gift shop in the last year or so you will probably have … Continued
U Theory in plain English U theory is a process that is profound, powerful and practical. But it seems to me that U Theory believers use so much jargon that they are in danger of turning it into a cult. One day I decided to try to explain U Theory in plain English. The is the result. U … Continued
Pure water? “Pure water” in Nigeria refers to a sealed polythene sachet containing 500mls of water at a minimum cost of ₦5 ($0.03 or £0.02) per sachet. It is available on every street corner across the country in both urban and rural settings. The “pure water” phenomenon started in Nigeria sometime in the 1990’s as … Continued
I’m sitting on an A380 Super Jumbo. The seatback screen says that we are at 35,000 feet, travelling at 576 miles per hour with almost 6,000 miles still to go. I should be trying to get some sleep. Instead I am idly watching the cabin crew bustle around, clearing away half-eaten meals. For me, this … Continued
January Taking myself to market This is a blog about how I made the transition from employed to self-employed. According to Dan Pink, to sell is human. So I took myself to market and I sold! I try to sell myself quietly, and I also notice how other people sell themselves to me. One day, after a … Continued
Can we trust business to build a sustainable future? Last night I went to hear a panel discussion about the role of business in helping to build a more sustainable future. Judging by the number of people who left before the end of the session, what the panel had to say just wasn’t that interesting. … Continued
Once upon a time, when I thought I wanted to work in HR, I read a much reprinted article by John P Kotter, called “What leaders really do” (Havard Business Review, May-June 1990). In plain English Kotter described a step by step approach to helping people deliver the organisation’s vision e.g. involving people in decision-making, being a good role model, providing coaching and feedback, and praising people when they were successful. At the time Kotter made complete sense to me, and I was grateful to him for making leadership seem so simple.