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Graham Birkenhead

Communication

How are you going to react to this?

Graham Birkenhead, October 14 2021

It's amazing how often I see people in leadership positions doing one when the other would have been more appropriate.  These 2 words are often used interchangeably, and you could say that to use one word rather than the other is a matter of semantics.   But, for the moment, let's just entertain the notion that they are quite different and being ab...

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Leadership & Management

Hypnotic Shower Moments

Graham Birkenhead, October 7 2021

When I was a child, I had a VERY active imagination (I guess like a lot, if not most children).  I had limited exposure to the world, yet that didn't stop me.  Every new experience provided opportunities to ask more questions, everything I saw on television (even in black and white) or heard on the radio, or conversation overheard, gave me more inp...

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Communication

Want Some Advice

Graham, September 23 2021

I was once told that the only advice you should give is: 'never give advice unless it is asked for'. And that was by a person who seemed to have no end of unwanted advice to proffer.  But at least that was one bit of valuable advice. As consultants, part of our role IS to advise, although we usually do wait for at least some sort of tacit request...

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Leadership & Management

Why would anyone ever work for YOU?

Graham Birkenhead, August 12 2021

Unemployment figures continue to improve; we have a little way to go before we are back to pre-pandemic levels, but we are moving in the right direction.   Currently, unemployment in Canada is 7.5% (1.5m) and in the US it is 5.4% (10m).  These figures will include people who are ‘looking’ for work; they won’t include the people who could work but f...

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Leadership & Management

Context IS Everything

Graham Birkenhead, June 29 2021

Whenever the name Thomas Edison is mentioned, people often think about ‘the man that invented the light-bulb’, and most are aware of the many variations of his famous quote about trying to make the lightbulb work: “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work”.

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Intrails and Extrails

Graham Birkenhead, May 18 2021

One of my favourite movies is A Knight’s Tale. It’s its 20th anniversary, so I watched it once again to mark the occasion. Without giving too much of the plot away, there is a point in the story where Geoffrey Chaucer (yes, THE Geoffrey Chaucer) is invited to join the small protagonist group; this group had grown to know each other very well, wi...

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Leadership & Management

Symptomatic Misdirection

Graham Birkenhead, February 9 2021

A few years ago, while training for a triathlon, I went to see my doctor about a pain in my knee. He prodded and poked, and did various scans and investigations, all of which identified nothing in particular. Eventually, he referred me to a physiotherapist who was adept at understanding, and very importantly resolving, strange aches and pains.

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Leadership & Management

For 2021, Make More Use of Your Mind

Graham Birkenhead, January 5 2021

Over the Holiday break, for a little light relief, I was simultaneously reading a couple of books: one about neuro-plasticity and another about memory. Both books about the brain; one from a physiological perspective and the other from a more psychological perspective. Both books were ultimately about learning.

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Leadership & Management

What is Core Purpose?

Andrew Penny, November 3 2020

Over that past few weeks we have been talking to clients about core purpose – that overarching reason to get up and do what you do each day. From an owner’s perspective making money is empty and soulless without purpose. From an employee point of view ’making the boss rich’ is obviously not a motivator. You can do much better than that!

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Leadership & Management

Doing Operations

Graham Birkenhead, October 6 2020

This is the second of two articles exploring the connection (or rather, often the lack of it) between strategy and operations.  Last week we discussed how ‘doing strategy’ was about keeping in your mind’s eye on what you want to be and where you want to go as a company, while at the same time being aware of the art of the possible. The future is un...

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