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

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

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

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 prev

Taking your values overseas

 

Your home market is mature and saturated. Too many competitors, not enough bandwidth to diversify, a solid customer base but growth rates are not exactly keeping the exchanges buzzing. You decide to branch out overseas. Everyone else is in the BRICs, the Gulf, APAC, Africa, why shouldn’t you be? But your business m

Making your case overseas

 

Collating feedback after an international conference in Jakarta, it amazes me as always the continuing polarity in presentation styles and how these impact across the cultural spectrum. From speakers singing and dancing among the participants to others standing rigidly behind rostrums, we had it all. Indeed, it becam

Who’s the fairest of them all?

 

A good friend writes to lament that changing the culture of an organisation is like changing the course of a supertanker at full speed. Less than six months into a C-suite role with a respected hospital he is leaving to go and do something better with his time.

When things are not

Feedback – the missing link

 

Know the quickest way to get friends to shut up? Ask them for feedback. I did a piece of leftfield writing a while ago, which I knew was weak, but wanted to hear from people I trusted where they felt it needed improving. Deafening silence. We love giving positive feedback. Nothing is more cheering and encouraging tha

What does your language say?

 

I love learning languages to see how they reflect and infuse the respective culture. There’s the superficial indirectness of my mother tongue British English – which often elicits the pained Dutch reply, ‘Why don’t you just say what you want?’ There are the numerous hierarchical levels of formality in Japan

Cultural Intelligence in Malaysia – The Future?

 

I’ve been a matsaleh (a white foreigner) in Malaysia for all of two months now. Way too early to pretend to be an expert on the matter, but I can’t help but be staggered at what I have observed so far in terms of cultural awareness here.

Malaysia is a mix of Malays (50