creativity

I was fascinated watching my seven year old grandson paint a picture using watercolours that had been bought for the holidays. He had decided to paint a yacht – a majestic vessel that was cutting through the choppy sea. He chose colours for every part of the boat, maybe colours that I wouldn’t have chosen…

In many managers, there is a natural tendency to desire that their staff think like they do, agree with what they say and support their ideas – there seems to be a level of personal comfort and security that goes along with employees nodding their heads and following the manager unconditionally, but this is not…

How do companies keep up with or, better still, stay ahead of the curve with the ever-accelerating technological and cultural change that influences our world today? After all, the first text message was sent less than thirty years ago. Google has only been around for two decades, Facebook fifteen years and Twitter twelve years. Companies…

The 21st Century seems to be demanding a shift in leadership style, character and application – gone are the days of autocracy, manipulation, selfishness, greed and meanness (at least, we would like them to be gone). Our chaotic world (social, business, political, etc.) is calling for sensibility and sustainability, but very few are answering the…

“An ant on its feet can do more than an elephant lying down” (African Proverb) One of the internal challenges that many managers face is the false assumption that they have been employed to be “answer-givers”, “solution-finders” or “problem-solvers”. For some, this assumption and its practice give them a sense of value or “reason for…

“Business leaders are increasingly focusing on risks that threaten to disrupt the fundamental assumptions of their organisations’ strategies. Prioritising such risks has become increasingly crucial – these risks cannot be handled in typical organisational silos, and they can destroy sources of value creation for the business. Yet, they also have the potential to form the…

One of the hallmarks of a good business manager is the ability to unlock creativity amongst other managers, supervisors and employees. There are many misconceptions about “creativity”. There is a body of people who believe that creativity is a loose form of self-expression, perhaps unrelated to anything going on in the business world. Some see…

Recently, I was deeply moved listening to Benjamin Zander interpret classical music to his students and during a TED Talk, demonstrate his ability to bring out the very best in his fellow musicians. He is the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, founder of the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and probably one of the best…

“A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before great men” (Proverbs 18:16) On a number of occasions, I have heard the following words from employees as they explain the ‘pain’ of their respective work contexts to me: “Jonathan, I do what is required of me. I have done my duty to the…

“Wheel-spinning” literally refers to a situation where a vehicle has lost traction, e.g. on ice, in snow or mud. Here the wheels may spin without the vehicle going anywhere – continued pressure on the accelerator may result in the vehicle digging itself in deeper, thus exacerbating the problem. A new strategy needs to be found…