Fragile – Resilient – Anti-fragile

We hear a lot about building resilience, whether that is in organisational systems or individuals.  Resilience, in the dictionary is defined as ‘the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity’.  For a person, it is defined as ‘the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness’. Resilience means knowing how to…

Friendship bracelets, necklaces and crowns

Lockdown has been a challenge for all of us.  Those with children at school have had to double-up as teachers while finding time to do the day job at night. Whatever we have done has been achieved under exceptional circumstances. Annual appraisals have needed an approach to evaluation much like diving is marked in competitions:…

Before, now, and after: The pandemic impact on working mothers

Mother’s Day was observed in the UK on Sunday, but one wonders: have working mothers in Britain many reasons to celebrate? In late January, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said in the House of Commons: “We owe mums everywhere an enormous debt of thanks for doing the enormously difficult job of juggling childcare and work at this…

What a past presidency can teach us about the future of leadership

Rather uncomfortable – we as an active part of the Trump leadership phenomenon? A first uncomfortable thought. How much of the Trump phenomenon is in all of us, at work, in our leadership or community behaviour? Have you, at times, subordinated everything, including some of your values, to winning? A leisurely approach to accountability? Economical…

Trump’s pardons and medieval grants of mercy

In his final hours as American President, Donald Trump has made headlines by issuing pardons – but did you know the power has its roots in English history? Professor Adrian R Bell from Henley Business School and colleagues Helen Lacey (University of Oxford) and Andrew Prescott (University of Glasgow) explain. US President Donald Trump’s final…

Back to normal like before Covid-19? No way!

For managers, politicians, employees, friends “Back to normal” seems to be the new outlook after a first vaccine is out and more to come. Understandably many seem to be obsessed with normal in current times. Well, it is either normal or unprecedented.  Did we really think this was normal and do we want to go…

Biden his time

My dear friend John Rishton has an aphorism: commentary is easy, leadership is hard.  John has been there.  He was CEO of two major international organisations and FD of another.  He knows the truth of what he has said.  The USA presidential election is demonstrating the validity of the principle. The airwaves are now buzzing…

Has stock market disconnect from world economy left investors guessing?

The impact of COVID-19 has left the stock market out of alignment with the world’s real economy. In fact it’s broken, says Nada Kakabadse, Professor of Policy, Governance and Ethics at Henley Business School, and Dr Kirill Perchanok, investor and author. The relationship between stock and bond returns is one of the fundamental building blocks…

The Transition to Virtual Learning

Undeniably, we are living in a different world than we were a couple of months ago. The Covid-19 has affected our lives in ways that we can’t imagine, physically and mentally. Schools are closed, businesses are shut down, sports are suspended and families are separated. With all the uncertainties around us, it is normal for us to…