Look Back? Look Ahead?

Nine months back – when I wrote that last post – if I’d known that the remainder of the year would … well … surprise me, I might have held off writing it for a few months. From the second quarter onwards, 2016 has been very different. (more…)

Seven Years. Seven Lessons

I launched my boat into the unknown on April 1, 2009. Icons & Images opened its doors for business and issued its first invoice a few weeks later. It’s been a terrific journey so far, and my experience has taught me much. Presented in no particular order, are the seven lessons I’ve learnt. (more…)

It’s not Rocket Science

The double spread print ad showed a lot of fluffy white clouds, neatly arranged in rows. Among them was one solitary black cloud. You couldn’t miss it. The headline read “If your failure rate is one in a million, what do you tell that one customer?” IBM ran this a couple of decades ago. (more…)

What’s Love Got to do With it?

Another Valentine’s Day has come and gone. Once more I managed without a gift, or flowers, or card, or a kind word (well, perhaps there were a few kind words) on that special day. I went about my day as I would any other day. There were no consequences. Nothing strange happened. (more…)

The Courage to Let Go

A client I advised a few years back complained that his senior people were not ready to assume responsibility, and asked if I could coach them. I interviewed his senior team, and along the way discovered that he wasn’t giving them enough room to express themselves. Clearly, he needed coaching too. (more…)

Language, Timothy. Language!

At the end of a conference call in November, one participant asked “So who is SPOCing on this one?” Ever the Star Trek fan, I thrilled to the opportunity of becoming a Vulcan; and almost volunteered. One of the others on the call clarified that this Spock was Single Point Of Contact. I kid you not! (more…)

Five Apes, a Banana and New Year Resolutions

Start with a cage containing five apes. In the cage, hang a banana from the ceiling and place a ladder under it. Before long, an ape will go to the ladder and start to climb towards the banana. As soon as he touches the ladder, spray all the apes with cold water. (more…)

Does your Boss have your Back?

When Andrea quit her job at a multinational and joined a large local company, she knew she’d struggle with the new organisation’s culture. With its emphasis on hierarchy, controlled access to information, closed decision-making etc. it would be a new experience. How was she to build trust in her new team? (more…)

There is an ‘I’ in ‘TEAM’. There Might be Three!

Like you, I’ve seen and read a lot of material stating “There’s no I in TEAM!” I respectfully disagree. Scrutinise successful teams around you, in any field. There’s always an I. The stronger the I, the more successful the team is likely to be. Every team needs at least one I, and if yours doesn’t, it’s missing something. (more…)

When Enough is Enough

A few weeks back I heard about a PR agency resigning a mid-sized account. It wasn’t big enough for trade press to pick up and report, but it had happened. Intrigued that the agency had initiated this divorce, I dug into the reasons. I was in for a very pleasant surprise. (more…)