Posts in category: Business Practice

Lesson from Van Gogh 3

Lesson from Van Gogh 3

I found myself profoundly moved by Van Gogh’s story while visiting the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. In his isolation, Van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo. From the few letters I saw at the museum, the act of writing was clearly very cathartic for Van Gogh, as well as...
Lesson from Van Gogh 2

Lesson from Van Gogh 2

I found myself profoundly moved by Van Gogh’s story while visiting the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. No one creates in isolation (on an island or otherwise.) Van Gogh actively reached out to other artists, and had thoughts to set up a utopian art colony. Lesson 2 of...
Lesson from Van Gogh 1

Lesson from Van Gogh 1

I found myself profoundly moved by Van Gogh’s story while visiting the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. The immediate impact was the sheer volume of work; work completed in spite of huge challenges. Lesson 1 of 3: The body of work is what matters. In spite of mental...
9,000 year commitment

9,000 year commitment

In 1759 Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000 year lease for the brewery in Dublin. Now that is commitment to a vision. Can you imagine signing a 5 or 10 year lease for your office today?!! What conviction must one have to think this far ahead? How confident must Arthur...
Travelling is like a startup business

Travelling is like a startup business

The mentality we adopt when travelling is very similar to that of a startup business. Traveling is externally focused. Outward bound. Get things done now. Use whatever means is at hand. Make-do when required to keep moving forward. Don’t worry too much about the...
Driving over vs walking around potholes

Driving over vs walking around potholes

Driving a car along a potholed road is like applying brute force to solve a problem. You are going to feel the effects of the potholes. The harder you drive the solution, the more you will encounter resistance, and the more noise and dust you will throw up. An...
Design + applied psychology: A hybrid problem solving process

Design + applied psychology: A hybrid problem solving process

This is a work-in-progress hybrid process that combines three problem-solving processes I use regularly; Design Thinking, Crisis Support and Suicide First Aid: The design process strengths: creative exploration, collaboration, co-design buy-in, problem definition,...

Avoiding suffering

“…the more you try to avoid suffering, the more you suffer, because smaller and more insignificant things begin to torture you, in proportion to your fear of being hurt.” From The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking by Oliver...

From big external to small internal

From one of many discussions with the ineffable Bob Jacobson. Here on control, drivers for action, influence, and empowerment. Global village Village global People power Personal empowerment Mass Personal Fast and sterile Slow and rich Big Small (appropriate)...
Helping people build loyalty

Helping people build loyalty

Helping people usually involves helping them solve problems they are facing. AKA relieving their pain. A study in the Harvard Business Review shows that companies build customer loyalty through quickly solving problems, not by extraordinary acts of service. Via 5 Ways...
The normalisation of sociopathy

The normalisation of sociopathy

It was disturbing to read through the comments on this article about what working for Apple is like. It is of course reasonable to expect some level of the bad behaviours described in the article in many organisations. And of course there are two sides to the story....
Five Gamification Techniques for Business

Five Gamification Techniques for Business

Gamification can take your application or process to the next level of productivity and quality. It is however, not a magic cure, nor does it replace empathic user engagement and good solid design. It needs to help; not alienate or hinder. Read Five Gamification...
Chaos or order?

Chaos or order?

Chaos and order are sides of the same coin. Too much chaos and nothing thrives. Resilience goes up though. As does stress and the constant reinvention of the wheel. Too much order and innovation is stifled. Boredom and complacency sets in. Thinking atrophies. The...
Lifeline skills in consulting – Part IV

Lifeline skills in consulting – Part IV

Self awareness and ego management skills Lifeline crisis support skill Applied to consulting Clear boundaries between my issues/needs and the client’s issues/needs. Keeping my ego consciously in check. The only ego I can directly control is my own. Maintaining a clear...

Lifeline skills in consulting – Part III

Understand context, gather information, and analysis skills Lifeline crisis support skill Applied to consulting Meeting each client at where they are now; not where they were, or should be. Generally asking men “What do you think of…” and women...

Lifeline skills in consulting – Part II

Problem-solving Strategising Skills Lifeline crisis support skill Applied to consulting Strengths-based problem solving. Keeping the power with the client. Minimal directives. More empowering, more supportive, more encouraging. Leverage what is already working well,...

Lifeline skills in consulting – Part I

With about 250 hours of telephone crisis support experience under my belt since 2012, it is time to reflect on the skills I have learnt at Lifeline. Over the next four blog posts, I will share how these skills have contributed to my professional practice. If you are...

The Divine One

In the business media, we love to celebrate the Divine One – like Steve Jobs. Undoubtedly, Apple would not be where it is today without Steve Jobs. But at the same time, we tend to forget that Steve Jobs would not have been able to make his contributions without...
Captain Hindsight

Captain Hindsight

Hindsight is a not terribly useful during a crisis. It diverts attention from the immediate priorities. It fosters blame. It retards action (because we cannot go back to the past to fix things); all these is more fuel for the fire at hand. Image from Know Your Meme...
Crafting our toolbox

Crafting our toolbox

Master craftsman Henry O. Studley crafted this magnificent tool chest. Image from finewoodworking.com What an amazing way to express his passion and dedication to his craft! What is today’s digital version of this? My toolbox is nowhere near as amazing. My tools...
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