When Spreading Good Fun and Goodwill is the sustainable competitive advantage

Red Balloon Logo on TagWhen RedBalloon opened their doors in 2001, they didn’t just want to open an online gift retail shop, they opened their doors to start a happiness revolution… [Read more...]

A Short but costly Lesson on giving too much Freedom

Landscaping - Instant TurfI must admit I got caught out recently when I thought I was doing the right thing by this young tradesman. I needed some landscaping to be completed at the front of my property and it just so happened that at the same time I was considering my options, a young man (around 25 years) happened to drop by with a business card offering to quote me on the job. He had been doing some work in the area and noticed that I had been preparing my front yard for a major facelift. He seemed knowledgeable about his craft (landscaping and concreting) and was personable enough in a rough ‘tradie’ kind of way. Once I had seen his handiwork on some previous jobs, I felt comfortable he could complete the work to an acceptable level, so I decided to give him the opportunity. So far so good… [Read more...]

Imagine a High School where ‘Adult Learning Environment’ is the reality not just an idea

Nossal High SchoolAnd where there is an Information Resource Centre where books are borrowed and returned on an ‘honour’ system; where there are no bells or buzzers because the students are responsible for their own time keeping; and where appreciative enquiry, team teaching and collaborative study in an open learning environment is the order of the day. If you remember those old school days between 15 and 18 years of age when you sat in dreary classrooms while the teacher stood at the front and filled you full of information that you had to commit to memory and regurgitate at appropriate times, then it’s time to consider a new form of student utopia. [Read more...]

The Broken Window Theory and how Context defines Meaning and Motivation

Two Fish SwimmingTwo young fish were swimming in one direction when they happened to meet an older fish heading the other way. The older fish nods at them and says… “Morning boys. How’s the water?” The younger fish swim on for a bit and eventually one of them turns to the other and says… “What the hell is water?”  Even though this story told by award-winning novelist David Foster Wallace is all about ‘missing the obvious’ it also a salutary lesson about context and how it defines meaning. Fish are defined by their water environment. Without it they wouldn’t exist, but as the story goes, it is so pervasive in their lives that they remain blissfully unaware of it even though they exist only because of it. And so it is with people. We are who we are because of the context in which we find ourselves, and that can have a huge impact on the type of profiling assessments organisations use in recruitment, and why I believe it is wise to steer clear of ‘personality profiles.’ [Read more...]

Career Transition – A Sign of the Times

Brian TrainingIt seems like every day we read of more and more people being let go from their current employment or losing their contract, when only a week earlier their immediate future seemed secure.

Regardless of what our political leaders say about the current situation, I think no one can deny that our general confidence about the economic climate today and years to come has taken a battering. In my experience of working on behalf of companies to assist their people who have been confronted with the reality of moving on, here’s some of what I share with them. [Read more...]

What if your Darkest Moment was actually your Greatest Gift?

Heart Shaped CloudThis was the question that Mastin Kipp, blogger to over 600,000 people daily on his site www.TheDailyLove.com asked of himself and all of his followers recently. It is of particular significance to me this week because a very dear friend and colleague of mine is going through one of those moments as I write. JK RowlingI thought I would pose this question to my friend and to every one of you and in so doing, remind you of the quote attributed to famed author, J.K. Rowling, whom we all know had quite a long relationship with life’s dark clouds before the silver linings finally shone through. As J.K.  said… “Rock Bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” Who hasn’t had a time in their life when every seed that was sown seemed to fall on arid ground? I know I have… [Read more...]

Breaking the 77 year Drought at Wimbledon – the Hidden Message from Andy Murray

Andy Murray wins at WimbledonFor all of those people who woke up to the news this morning that the Wimbledon men’s singles drought has finally been broken after 77 years by Briton Andy Murray, spare a thought for the message he shares. I feel it teaches all of us something about the true meaning of success and what it represents. [Read more...]