Thursday, July 28, 2011

What a master!

Please watch the trailer for 'Still Bill' and track down this documentary - what a guru. Bill Withers is simply remarkable. The master of mindfulness. He says: "On the way to wonderful you're going to have to pass through all right."

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Eight ways to turbo-charge your team's performance

Had fun researching a piece for Smart Company on employee motivation.

Here are my top tips:

Get creative about incentives, bonuses and perks
Get rid of toxic staff
Talk straight, be open and transparent about your process
Avoid patronising
Understand what motivates different generations of staff
Make everyone the CEO of something
Improve all aspects of communication
Remember money isn't such a great motivator after all
NEVER underestimate the value of positive feedback


Thursday, July 14, 2011


What I'm up to...
→ Epic series of senior exec training sessions with inspiring retailer in the midst of major rebranding
→ Rethinking message on hold scripts
→ Copywriting for superfantabulous restaurant
→ Media audit for large healthcare provider
→ Research on staff motivation in flat market conditions
→ Speech and presentation writing
→ Reporting on Future Summit 2011: including Ellen Langer, future of education and ethics
→ Major feature on unconscious bias for In the Black (I'm tracking down a PDF for blog as we speak)
→ Planning pro bono training sessions with major environmental organisation
→ Feature on business ethics and financial service firms
→ Eating blue swimmer crab at Billy Kwong

Secrets of motivating staff

A great assignment I have been working on has been looking at ways to motivate staff. Can't say any more until it's published but I promise to share when I can.

In the meantime, one of my favorite guru dudes Dan Pink's classic video on motivation is worth revisiting.

The mind behind The Young Ones

I was lucky enough to see Ellen Langer at the Future Summit 2011. She is a champion of mindfulness and she is the woman behind the utterly brilliant BBC series The Young Ones - no, not the comedy, the experiment involving six older Brits that live together in a retrofitted house (circa 1975). In just one week, the experiment shows that the participants were physically and mentally younger and significantly healthier. In effect, they thought themselves young again, much to the surprise of the participants as well. In turns out it was their fixed attitudes and "mindless" perception that because they were "old" that was cramping their style. They thought they were unable to do many things for themselves anymore, such as put on socks, live independently, walk without sticks, climb stairs or be active, which in fact they still could. This program is proof of how useful the practice of mindfulness really is. I use it all the time in training, trying to get people to break away from fixed ideas about what they can and can't do. It's very liberating.