Monday, April 23, 2018

A Modest Proposal.

John Wareham is a renaissance man.  An author, a psychologist, a thinker, a doer, an innovator.  I’ve known him as a mentor and friend since 1988.  He gave a speech recently in New Zealand on how we should rethink prisons and prison reform.

1.  Make our prisons government owned enterprises and discard the warehousing model.  Storing and punishing human animals is at best a short term route to immediate profit.  In the long term, it merely produces more criminals.
2.  Treat prisons as income streams not cost centres.  Recognise that the full cost to society of incarceration includes a massive but invisible item; lost tax revenue.
3.  Change the mission to the creation of productive, tax-paying citizens.  Most inmates will be released back into society, so this is the outcome we’d all like—right?
4.  Impart intensive life-changing ideas.  Implant the big, liberating concepts that underlie the mostly invisible social and individual forces that create the special predicament and serial incarceration of the prison inmate.
5.  Imbue returning inmates with skills they can market.  The demand for unskilled labour is effectively exhausted.  Ideally, in the 2016 economy re-entrants need to be capable of creating an income stream, not just hoping to find a job.  To do this, they need to re-enter with a marketable skill and entrepreneurial know-how.
6.  Treat offenders and ex-offenders as assets not liabilities.  The untapped talent of prison inmates is astonishing.  They are an effectively free source of teaching personnel.  The best prison teachers are hard-nosed ex-offenders who have been liberated intellectually and emotionally.  So embrace the Taking Wings mantra, it takes an ex-offender to render an offender an ex.
7.  Increase the return on investment by changing the prison reward system. Benchmark success in terms of taxes paid by returning ex-offenders, and award bonuses to all prison personnel, including inmate teaching staff, in terms of their success in creating tax-paying citizens.

All of the above can be achieved at minimal cost. We already own the prisons, and they are crammed to the bars with raw talent and potential teachers.  It would just take a new way of seeing things.

Attaboy John!!


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

What Employees Really Want

Three Facebook leaders, Lori Goler, Janelle Gale and Brynn Harrington (together with Wharton Professor Adam Grant) just published a great article in the Harvard Business Review.

They argue that Maslow’s Pyramid of Needs:
·       basic safety and survival,
·       love and belongingness
·       self-esteem and prestige
·       self-actualisation
has been hard to argue with, but that it could stand some renovation today, given the significant improvement in the workplace with many companies offering not only basic need fulfilment, but aiming and fulfilling every need.

Facebook (whilst facing serious questions and public scrutiny over abuses of user privacy) is recognised as a pretty good place to work (certainly by my son-in-law Mark Rolland who works there and loves the place) and they survey their people twice a year, asking employees what they value most.

At Facebook there are three big motivational buckets.
·       Career – a job with autonomy and growth
·       Community – being part of something meaningful
·       Cause – being part of something bigger than a business – something with Purpose.

I think they’re right.  We built Saatchi & Saatchi on three similar pillars – Responsibility, Learning and Recognition – which, if delivered consistently – resulted in employees feeling Joy.  And happy employees work harder and more productively than unhappy employees (surprise, surprise!).

Check out your work life:
·       Are you receiving Responsibility, Learning and Recognition every day?  From your boss, your subordinates and your peers?
·       Are you delivering Responsibility, Learning and Recognition to everyone you touch?

If so, you’re in a good place.


Sunday, April 15, 2018

Premier League Champions!


Friday, April 13, 2018

The Power of Three

As visitors to this parish are aware, I’m a big believer in The Power of Three.  And in this Age of Distraction I’ve been a practitioner of Focus / Commitment / Discipline for many years.

This is the secret to Making Things Happen.  Stay focussed, stay single-minded on task completion and Keep Going.  Not very sexy. Just effective.

And the Biggest Threat to Peak Performance in any business today?  The weapon of Mass Distraction – and simultaneously our greatest enabling ally – the Smart Phone.

Research indicates many of us are distracted nearly 50% of the time.  No wonder we feel so much stress and that our lives are out of balance.

Surveys reveal:
        We check our phones 150 times/day, or every 6 1/2 minutes.
        We spend 2 1/2 hours each day on our phone, in 76 different sessions.
        Millennials spend 1.8 hours of their work-day on social media – whilst at work.
        Productivity is declining.
        Competitiveness is declining.
        Our own sense of achievement is declining.
        Happiness is declining.


Figure out some basic rules and stick to them.  Take control of your phone.  Don’t let it control you.


Monday, April 9, 2018

Business Heroes

The five Directors of Unfiltered answered seven questions last week on their business influences.  Taking a leaf from My Food Bag’s approach of employees choosing a favourite food to add to their name, we added the name of our business hero to our own monikers.  Why not try it too?

Kevin Quant Roberts
Biggest inspiration in business: Mary Quant and Peter Drucker
Most transformative business book ever: In Search of Excellence by Robert H. Waterman Jr. and Tom Peters
Favorite brand: Restoration Hardware
Favorite Kiwi company: My Food Bag
Favorite piece of technology right now: Mont Blanc LeGrand Rollerball
The app I use the most: iTunes
My macro focus for 2018 in one word: Optimism

Rob Clicquot Fyfe
Biggest inspiration in business: Madame Clicquot
Most transformative business book ever: Managing by Storying Around by David Armstrong
Favorite brand: Dsquared2
Favorite Kiwi company: Air New Zealand
Favorite piece of technology right now: my iPhone 7 (old-school)
The app I use the most: Snapchat … to keep connected to my kids. Spotify is a close second!
My macro focus for 2018 in one word: Adventure

Brian Musk Wong
Biggest inspiration in business: Elon Musk and Denise Pickett
Most transformative business book ever: Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
Favorite brand: Bally
Favorite Kiwi company: Unfiltered
Favorite piece of technology right now: My new dive computer
The app I use the most: Tinder; Perdoo
My macro focus for 2018 in one word: Zen

Jake Hughes Millar
Biggest inspiration in business: Howard Hughes or Oprah Winfrey
Most transformative business book ever: Losing My Virginity, Sir Richard Branson
Favorite brand: Gucci
Favorite Kiwi company: The French Cafe (and ZURU)
Favorite piece of technology right now: Huawei Mate 10 Pro
The app I use the most: ...the new Unfiltered App, of course! Closely followed by WhatsApp and Gmail (sad reality!)
My macro focus for 2018 in one word: Execution

Yuuki Simons Ogino
Biggest inspiration in business: James Simons or Marissa Mayer
Most transformative business book ever: Steve Jobs: Walter Isaacson
Favorite brand: Lamborghini
Favorite Kiwi company: Martin Jetpack
Favorite piece of technology right now: Bragi The Dash
The app I use the most: UBER
My macro focus for 2018 in one word: Focus


Thursday, April 5, 2018

The Mindful Manager

I’ve worked on the MBA programme at Lancaster University for five/six years now (Lancaster is The Sunday Times University of the Year as we speak!) and Peter Lenney (the Magician) is the Director of the Programme.  He teaches ‘The Mindful Manager’ which is uplifting, inspirational and fit for Purpose.

I’ve picked out 10 soundbites from his lectures.  Hope you find them as stimulating as I did.

1)      A Mindful Manager deals with ‘the world as it is’, not 'as s/he might wish it to be’.

2)      A Mindful Manager is at peace with no peace!

3)      The only thing I know is that I know nothing!

4)      The only thing of which I can be certain is that I cannot ever be certain.

5)      We must LISTEN, not ‘hear' and we must OBSERVE, not ‘see’.

6)      If you don’t learn to fail you will fail to learn.

7)      There are no facts, there are only interpretations.

8)      It is the experiencing that counts, not the experience.

9)      Reflection made easy – What?  So what?  Now what?

10)    Reason persuades people – emotion moves them.