Purpose is motivating in the abstract, essential for strategic choices, and helpful for decision-making. We all know about the man cleaning the toilets at Cape Canaveral who was “putting a man on the moon” (if you believe it). But it’s individual recognition that gives our work meaning at the personal level.

The proof is in studies done by Dan Ariely, the behavioural economist. In one, people were asked to assemble Lego Bionicles. For the first fully-assembled robot toy, Read More

Thought leadership | July 2017

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent, said Eleanor Roosevelt. Jez Rose is not so succinct. His book is about the idea that other people can’t make you feel things or react in prescribed ways. You can control how you feel and how you will respond. Between stimulus and response there’s a gap in which to choose. That’s where you can “flip the switch”.

The obvious way to “flip the switch” is in your immediate response to stimulus, Read More

Books | September 2016

Is this the most cringe-worthy brand launch event ever? It’s Siemens 120-year-old healthcare division’s rebranding to Siemens Healthineers. Brand and company names get attention because they signal what’s inside. That leads to the fallacious logic that if you change the name, what’s inside will change too. Sometimes it doesn’t work out well. Like when Royal Mail became Consignia. Or when PwC’s consulting division became Monday. That lasted until Tuesday, when they were swallowed up by IBM Global Services. Read More


“Confidence, like art, never comes from having all the answers; it comes from being open to all the questions.”

attributed to Wallace Earl Gray Stephens, American poet

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Quotes | December 2015

Marissa Mayer is in the news again, this time for announcing she will take two weeks off on maternity leave when her twin girls are born. Oh, and she’ll be “working throughout”. The predictable media outcry is in full swing.  Here’s the story

I agree it is not a helpful example to set. But I’m more concerned by the notion that a leader is so essential to a business that, even though she’s been there three years, Read More

Comment | September 2015

“Culture beats strategy; people make strategy happen.”

Martin Glenn, Marketing Society president, CEO of the Football Association Read More

Quotes | May 2015

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”

Atributed to various writers including Mark Twain (wrongly), Agatha Christie and Sally Berger (who may be the person in this picture). Read More

Quotes | January 2015

Here’s a book that flies in the face of the zeitgeist. Subtitled, “Eight Unconventional CEOS and their radically rational blueprint for success”, it offers lessons from business leaders who have delivered consistently great financial returns in the long term.

Partly in response to the cult of the celebrity CEO, personified by Jack Welch, Thorndike identified all the US companies who had outperformed both their industry peers and GE under Jack Welch over a period of many years. Read More

Books | November 2014

“Speak softly and people lean towards you. Speak loudly and they lean away.”

Confucious Read More

Quotes | November 2014

“Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.”

Judy Garland Read More

Quotes | October 2014