Charles Baudelaire and hospitals

Came across a lovely comment by Charles Baudelaire, sort of variation on ‘The grass is greener…’ “This life is a hospital where every patient is possessed with the desire to change beds” – seems to capture the constant worry that we could be doing better, or worse, that others are better placed than [...]


Forecasting; useful… and dangerous

In 2013, dairy giant Fonterra was forced to undertake a recall of batches of its products due to a fear that they might be contaminated. Although it was later proven that the batches were not contaminated, the episode did reveal a number of interesting points. First-off, Fonterra was demonstrably not prepared for the above incident and [...]


Behind the Self-fulfilling Cycle

Setting your leadership scene This Snapshot encourages you to consider the issues that shape your world-view and thereby your leadership style. A bigger view How you view the world directly influences how you experience it which drives the actions you take which, in turn, lead to your next experience: each step a part of a [...]


Beyond resilience

When you encounter a situation that challenges your mental ability to cope it is desirable to not only absorb and recover from the ‘hit’ but to learn from what happened and become psychologically stronger from having had the experience. Resilience or hardiness In engineering terms, resilience refers to the ability of a material to [...]

- Self

Is resilience enough?

In engineering terms, resilience refers to the ability of a material to recover its shape. For people it’s about ‘bouncing back’ and recovering from life’s hits which, in its own right, is quite a helpful strength but, is it enough to simply return to the status-quo? When you encounter a situation that challenges your mental [...]

- Self

Words matter

  Some time ago I was invited to visit a local prison – just for the day you understand – to talk to staff about a programme they were running for violent inmates. They took me to a large, light and airy room in which they worked with those offenders who had shown an interest in modifying how they behaved. As I went into the room, I [...]

- Self

Dangerous loyalty

A diplomat famously pointed out that countries do not have friends, they have shared interests. Similarly, organisations do not have feelings; they have contracts. People have feelings. The point of the above statement is that, if we take it on board, it helps us to avoid becoming emotionally attached to an organisation we work for and [...]

- Self

Rejecting dependency

Had a shock recently when I visited a friend who used to be my boss many many years ago and now lives in a resthome. In those days I was well down the food chain and he was generally regarded as a substitute, if not replacement for, God; except that he had more power and authority. On the spur of the moment, my wife and I decided to go [...]