Why Koalas are stupid and trees don't need a brain

“Use your brain”, one of the workshop participants when I asked about the kind of behaviour they would like to see in the company....Read more →

Choices and Decisions - What are your plans for the rest of the year?

October is a great time to review your choices and decision. But don’t confuse the two, because the two words mean different things....Read more →

Wondering what to do next?

When my energy and motivation are low I use a simple yet effective “What to do Next” formula to become productive again. The trick is to work on re-strengthening my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual muscles. ...Read more →

9 stages of a business

Every business can go through 9 possible stages. Of these 9 stages four are transitions from one stage to another, and only two should be desirable long term. This post contains a video explaining my 9 stages framework as I would explain it to a client in a conversation over a coffee. ...Read more →

Forget Planning - it is a waste of time ...

My guess is that you do not agree with the statement that planning is a waste of time. Maybe you find planning quite useful. And I would certainly agree with you, to a point....Read more →

The 3 stages to a scalable business

Scaling up a business does not happen overnight. It is a journey. And like every journey, it starts with a first step, followed by a second step. But if you keep making those steps consistently, and systematically, you will reach your goal of a scalable business....Read more →

A note worth playing?

In this great and super short 3-minute video Seth Godin reflects on what it means to care, to develop a craft, and to make a difference....Read more →

Nature is preparing for next year - and you?

Similarly to what is happening in our garden, we can use the winter time to prune what needs pruning, and prepare for next spring....Read more →

Mastering the Challenge of Scaling up your Business - Workshop Video

This short video was recorded during a Scaling Up workshop I conducted in September 2016. It gives a flavour of what an Agility3 workshop looks and feels like...Read more →

My 10 favourite TED talks (part 1)

TED talks are to me always a great source of inspiration. They also have the advantage that they are never longer than 20 minutes. In this blog post I present you the first 5 of my 10 favorite TED talks....Read more →

Rocks - Pebbles - Sand: Finding more time for things that matter

At a leadership course I attended many years ago, the we were given a postcard that we had to address to ourselves. On the card we had to write down one single sentence that summarised the most important message we wanted to give to ourselves. What I wrote on the card was...Read more →

Healthy Conflict is your Friend - Shallow Harmony your Enemy

I never liked conflict. Already as a child I did everything I could to avoid it. It was not until I started working with a coach 12 years ago that I realized that my strategies for dealing with conflict were totally inadequate, and that my systematic avoidance of conflict was a root cause for many ...Read more →

Why following your passion is bad career advice

Passion the result of, not the condition for, great and meaningful work. Of course many people who do great work love what they do. But that does not mean that you need to start with finding your passion before you decide what you want to be good at....Read more →

The best management advice I ever received

I hate “icebreakers”- you know, those exercises that facilitators do at the beginning of a workshop to “break the ice” between participants. To be honest, some are not that bad, and I have been tempted to use some of them in my own workshops....Read more →

How Pomodoros” can help you get more out of your day

Recently I discovered the "Pomodoro Technique". This is a simple yet effective time management practice to help you get more out of your day...Read more →

Lessons from a weekend in a Monastery

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Feeling stuck? This is what you can do about it.

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3 Common but useless questions people ask in a crisis

The immediate reaction after a shock is to ask 3 questions, which are interesting, but useless from a practical point of view. The first question is “why on earth did it happen?”, the second question is “who’s fault is it?”, and the third question is “why didn’t we see it coming?”....Read more →

What you can learn from the Swiss currency shock of January 2015

On January 15th, 2015, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) decided it would no longer guarantee the minimum exchange rate of 1.2 CHF/EURO. The exchange rate chart, and the comments in the media, reminded me of a diagram I had seen a few years back in a book by Nassim Taleb....Read more →

Is there a bridge you need to cross?

To reach our destination we often need to face our fears and cross bridges. The bridges we need to cross are often at low points in our journey. ...Read more →

Jack Ma on learning from the failures of others

Traditional advice is that you should learn from people who are successful. “Do what they did, and you will be successful too”. Jack Ma tells us to do just the opposite....Read more →

“The Customer is Not an Interruption in Our Work; He Is the Purpose of It”

While searching through my files, I found a quote, which can most probably be attributed to Kenneth B. Elliot, who in 1941 was Vice President in Charge of Sales at The Studebaker Corporation. Here a slightly edited version of it....Read more →

4 questions to help you make better use of your talents

Four simple questions can help you make better use of your own talents and the talents of your people....Read more →

Making Inertia and Momentum work for you

In this blog post you will learn what Roger Federer's success has to do with the laws of Isaac Newton...Read more →

5 things airplanes and projects have in common

What applies to airplanes also applies to project 1) If a project does not get enough speed, it will never take off. 2) The amount of time the project has to take off is limited. 3) If the project has not taken off after that time, it crashes. ...Read more →

Getting it wrong in Asia – Top 5 Mistakes companies continue to make

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To get something done, you can’t wait until you feel like doing it

I hate feeling stuck! I hate feeling stuck, and yet, I feel stuck quite often. There are days not only I don’t feel like doing the things I have to do, but I also don’t feel like doing the things I really want to do. Actually, most days are like this, at least early in the morning. ...Read more →

3 things you need to do to innovate successfully

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Lessons from Sailing

Using the forces against you to your advantage - I have always been fascinated by the fact that you can sail against the wind, as long as you know how. You can’t sail straight into the wind, of course. Yet in many situations in life, that...Read more →

In what gear are your projects?

If one of your projects is not progressing as you expect, it may be in the wrong gear Let me share a story from my youth When I was still a kid growing up in Guatemala, my mother had a red Datsun 510. It looked a bit...Read more →

The power of good routines – Learning from Tennis players

What I find most interesting about top tennis players is not so much what they do during the points, but in between points. A great example for this is Maria Sharapova. I like to watch her – with the volume on my TV muted – because her mental preparation between...Read more →

What I learned learning Chinese

The power of small but daily routines. Seth Godin, one of my favourite marketing writers, once wrote: “I feel like giving up. Almost every day, in fact. Not all day, of course, but there are moments”. The statement could very well apply to my project of learning...Read more →

12 Questions for your next strategy meeting

If you are planning a strategy meeting, it may be useful to ask the participants to think about the following 12 questions. What about our current strategy is crystal-clear for you, what is less clear? What is our brand promise and how can we measure if we deliver on it?...Read more →

Product or service innovation is not sufficient for commercial success

Takeaway #3 from the 2013 Swiss Innovation Forum. This is the last of my three takeaways from the Swiss Innovation Forum I recently attended in Basel...Read more →

Most “new” things have been around for many years

Takeaway #2 from the 2013 Swiss Innovation Forum In this Memo I will elaborate why “new” things have been around for many years. This is the second of three takeaways from the Swiss Innovation Forum I recently attended in Basel. ...Read more →

Missing or misreading a trend can be fatal for your company

Takeaway #1 from the 2013 Swiss Innovation Forum This year I attended the Swiss Innovation Forum. An event I can recommend to anyone interested in innovation. In this blog post I will share with you the first of three main take-aways from this event. ...Read more →

When should companies have a closer look at their business model?

Business models are a bit like yoghurt – they have expiry dates. It is very easy companies get caught in a success trap. There are businesses that for many years almost had a licence to print money. Microsoft, Kodak, Nokia, Blackberry are examples that come to mind....Read more →

Intolerance for Ambiguity

As I am reading Ed Friedman’s “A Failure of Nerve” I get the impression that we suffer from an intolerance to ambiguity. We yearn for consistency and coherence, while living in a reality that is full of contradictions. This complicates our lives and we try to avoid confusing views or...Read more →

Learning from Indian mothers 300 BC

Several sources repeat a story that Chandragupta, the first Indian ruler to unite the subcontinent, and Kautilya, his political advisor, developed their military strategy from overhearing a mother scolding her child. ...Read more →