Here’s why you should not rely too heavily on three and five year plans…

A critical role of management is strategy – interpreting the outside world for the organisation and ensuring it responds appropriately to it. In the past, this has meant having a long-term outlook. Three, five and even ten year plans. Unfortunately, the world is changing at too rapid a pace for such time-frames. Take the taxi industry as an example. Relying on a five-year plan, in light of such disruptive entrants like Uber, would leave it redundant, even obsolete. Good management, today requires strategic planning cycles of months, not years. Whilst organisations must still have long-term goals, planning must be short-term.  … Read more

Pursue your strengths and give back until it hurts

Following are my notes from a recent talk at the Perth Young Professional meeting on 23 April 2015. The world is changing at an accelerated pace. Five-year and three-year plans are no longer reliable. They are almost redundant. The taxi industry, for example, would never have predicted the transformation of its business model three to five years ago. Today, businesses need to look at daily and weekly changes in their environment, interpret them, and adapt accordingly. Innovation is as much about planned abandonment, as it is about creative strategy. Jobs, professions and even careers are no longer the singular lifetime … Read more

Outsourcing Life

BPO or Business Process Outsourcing is the buzz word of this decade, pioneered by the Indians who through their insatiable desire for education and knowledge have raised a generation of English-speaking graduates in their millions waiting to serve the world. But whilst the Indians may have specialised in outsourcing business processes, we in the western world seem to be outsourcing our personal lives. I’ve spent the last ten years researching work-life balance and have come to the conclusion that the fundamental paradigm is flawed. To truly live fulfilled lives we must seek to outsource work and not life. I am … Read more

The Integrity Myth

In almost any poll of managers, employees, CEO’s or leaders, integrity is always rated in the top three values they aspire to, see themselves as having, or require in the organisation’s they work for. It has almost become a buzz word. Some have argued that it should surpass core values in organisations and become a fundamental tenant on which the others values are built on. So why then do we read every day in the general news and in the financial press of organisations that fail in this most critical requirement for existence? Is it because integrity is a subjective … Read more

Strengths and Weaknesses

It’s the individual’s responsibility to maximise strengths whilst it’s the manager’s responsibility to minimise weaknesses by providing support structures to complement them. There is a tendency amongst many managers to focus on the weaknesses of employees and constantly try to improve them. We believe addressing weaknesses is an individual pursuit and should not be a major focus of management. Of course, this must be taken in context and on what the weaknesses are. We have a term called baseline weakness. In other words, if the person who spends a lot of time on the phone has a weakness with basic … Read more

5 Steps to being more effective

Distractions have a major impact on anything we do at work and at home. Unfortunately, technology has only increased and magnified these distractions. In the past we’ve had to deal with just the phone and the walk-ins that break down our ability to stay focused and get things done. Now it is emails, social media, and a whole range of interrupters that we have to overcome. Most people have no agenda to work with each day, rather we check our emails and work on whatever arrives in our in-box giving it our immediate attention. This results in unproductive days, dissatisfaction … Read more

Good manners please

Good manners are the grease that keeps the moving parts in all organisations working together smoothly and efficiently. This applies to as much to management as it does in society. I’ve always insisted on this in every organisation I’ve managed – starting with swearing. There is no room for it in the workplace. It’s a sign of weakness – an inability to express oneself well, emotional frailty. Irrespective of the situation and how challenging it may be, managers must be able to articulate well without resorting to name-calling and foul language. Good manners in an organisation allows for better communication … Read more


Whilst management is often focussed on doing new things…commencing new strategies it also useful to consider the process of strategic abandonment. In business and in life I practice strategic abandonment. What is it that we are doing at present that we must stop doing? What systems, processes, activities, people and even values should we abandon? Only if we stop doing certain things and free up our resources can we effectively commence new ones. This also applies to people. In all organisations there are those that evolve with it and then are those that simply can’t or won’t. It is important … Read more

Simple clear communication

Attentiveness is critical for not just good managers and leaders but all men and women of good character. Lack of attentiveness is fast becoming commonplace. We seem to be living in constant state of distraction. No one person or task gets our full attention these days: reading emails while on the phone; putting people on hold or winding up an important conversation to take another incoming call; taking a phone call or answering emails on your Blackberry whilst in a meeting; texting on your phone whilst with your family…the list is endless. Lately, I have noticed a trend amongst staff … Read more