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IF THE CAP FITS – THE ROLE OF THE TRUSTED ADVISOR

  We see the year out – and what a year – in a fog of unreason and contrary forces: more rejection this week of the liberal establishment with the defeat by Italian voters of Matteo Renzi’s constitutional referendum whilst the Austrian electorate appoints an independent ex-member of the Greens as President. What is going on? What is going to happen next? …

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DISRUPTION RULES

  This has been a year of a surprises. I landed in the States two days after the US Election. This meant meetings were with stunned-looking Californians who were in a state of disbelief. A Silicon Valley friend put it simply ‘It’s not just technology that disrupts and surprises in this world at the moment – it’s everything.’ The one …

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Leadership and ‘The Lady Problem’

  Google. One of the world’s most successful and revered companies right? So you’d think Ruth Porat, the CFO of this $500billion company would engender respect. And yet at their recent board meeting one of the shareholders issued a question ‘to the lady CFO’. THE LADY LABEL. Irritating. Can you imagine a question which was posed to the ‘gentleman CFO’? Or the …

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Change and the Corbynistas

  Jeremy Corbyn has definitely started something. Love or loathe him, he has already changed the face of British politics. What I find fascinating is how he is doing it. Whether consciously or not, Corbyn has shown how you build a movement – businesses of all sizes should take note. Instead of seeing change as a ‘process’ or a ’programme’, …

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CORPORATE COURAGE VS. BREXIT BASHFULNESS

  We are slap-bang in the middle of ‘interesting times’. Leaders and potential leaders face monumental challenges, but also great opportunities. I’m referring not only to the political leaders caught in a whirligig of ‘What just happened?’ and a rollercoaster of ‘Who’s in control?’, but also to the business leaders as Brexit throws a firestarter of uncertainty into the tinderbox of …

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So your business is purpose-driven, but is it the right kind of purpose?

A few years ago, working for a Japanese consumer electronics company whose major competitors included Fuji, my colleague and co-author Shaun Smith asked the team what their leadership purpose was; the reply, after a pause, was, “F..k Fuji”. Destroying or displacing your competitor is certainly one kind of leadership purpose. It’s a mindset that sees business as a war game …

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May the Spirit of Christmas Stay in Business All Year Round

Every Christmas, I settle down with my family to watch Miracle on 34th Street. It’s a 1947 film in which Macy’s, New York’s biggest department store, hires Santa Claus to be their…well, in-store Santa Claus. The drama revolves around whether Macy’s Santa Claus really is who he claims to be. But the story of the film is whether Christmas really is what …

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Quick branding? Yes. Shoddy branding? No.

Sunderland and England striker Jermain Defoe attracted a good deal of mockery, earlier this year,  with his online ad, via job site SecsintheCity, for a personal assistant. If you somehow missed this, the spec was extensive – starting at obvious things like pet care, running errands, onto managing household staff and organising family schedules, but rapidly escalating into the realms …

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I DIDN’T GET WHERE YOU ARE TODAY…

Why leadership and management differ. Thoughts on how JC should avoid being CJ by Caffeine associate Suzanna Jackson. The late great David Nobbs brought us an unsurpassed portrayal of workplace nonsense and human nature. Reggie Perrin’s excruciating boss, CJ, brilliantly encapsulates the rear-view mirror logic of poor leaders. “I didn’t get where I am today by thinking…” is his triumphant …