ideas & insights


Building Teams Brick By Brick


Er, LEGO? That’s how we’re going to resolve this? There may then be a side glance at a colleague, a nervous cough, maybe even a lengthy silence. You can see they’re thinking, He seemed OK when we asked him to help out with the trust issues in our team, but now we’re not so sure…

Perhaps I’ve been lucky, but I’ve only had a few cases of the above. Mostly, we’re getting used to gamification and the crazy idea that people can have fun while they’re working on important stuff, meaningful stuff, serious stuff.

I’m really hoping this is not old age talking, but I’m in the fortunate situation of not being able to remember how many LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® workshops I’ve run now. They’re all individually memorable but as …

Mind Over Matter – Focus


I’m looking at the coolest membership card I’ve ever had – blue, with a figure surfacing towards light – my AIDA freediving membership card. It’s been a while since I got back from a freediving course on Pulau Weh. A magical experience but a fight every step of the way. Consciously holding your breath with your diaphragm convulsing, your peripheral vision narrowing, your every instinct fighting for air, knowingly pushing yourself to the very limit, and throughout it’s that constant refrain – why am I doing this?

I get this on a much simpler level with running – no surprise there. Pretty much everyone I know who runs goes through this starting out. Your body could easily do another kilometre or more, yet the mind is …

Givers and takers, movers and shakers


I have spent the last couple of days in Adam Grant’s head with his book Give and Take – A Revolutionary Approach to Success. Given by a friend, it’s a great journey and a well-researched look at our characteristics as givers, takers, and matchers.

He argues convincingly that though takers might consider givers naive, unassertive chumps who are too nice for their own good, it is the givers who succeed in the long-run. The networks they build through reaching out, the influence they earn through respect, and their positive regard for others (not blind trust as it is often misconstrued) typically repay their sharing many times over. Grant shows how givers even outperform the matchers, those who strive for the perceived fairness of quid pro quo, …

Coaching Culture Change – Danger Ahead


An interesting post on the Edinburgh Coaching Hub got me thinking last night about coaching and culture change, two topics close to my heart. The Hub held a session recently on this – sorry I couldn’t make it! The KL-Edinburgh commute is a killer:) – and from the posts, it seems to have stirred up a lot of useful thinking and questions.

The Hub is full of fantastically experienced and truly insightful coaches – the kind that got us all into coaching in the first place – and they have clearly covered how impactful coaching can be in working through fear and confidence issues with culture change as well as roadmapping and soundboarding change roles, action plans, and frameworks. Where I would like to add my …

Boomerang employees – the green green grass of home


They used to say you should never go back where you’ve been before, but it seems an increasing number of us are. The concept of boomerangs, employees returning to previous employers after a period of time away, is not new but it certainly seems to constitute a far larger part of talent management strategy than previously.

This last week I’ve had the pleasure and honour of organising a couple of leadership seminars in Malaysia run by the Harvard Business School professor Boris Groysberg – author of the bestselling books ‘Talk Inc’ and ‘Chasing Stars’ and a star in his own right in the talent management arena. Boris brought the topic up with one of the groups, and then asked the question, Would you take someone back?