Sunday, September 30, 2018

High Altitude.

I went into the Flux Animation Studio to shoot a free form interview with New Zealand recruitment guru John Peebles as part of his High Altitude series.  He took me back 30 years to life at Lion Nathan to see what happened as we tried to transform a couple of New Zealand institutions into world class players.  Here are the links John just sent me:


Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Old Masters

Am listening to two Old Masters today in Grasmere at the dog end of a great Summer.  Half a dozen old school friends are here for Sunday lunch – Craig and Ryan are treating us to an Old Stamp House pop-up – amazing local food – all sourced within 30 miles of Beckwood.

Back to the music.

  • Paul McCartney’s just released Egypt Station – self-composed – his 17th studio album.  His first one in five years – pop, rock, acoustic.  Funky, experimental and a nod to us seniors on ‘Happy With You’.  John may have been the most creative and rebellious, but Paul was the best musician and the most resilient.  And feel your heart strings on Confidante – the saddest song on friendship I’ve ever heard.

  • Paul Simon – In the Blue Light.  Deep cuts from the great man’s back catalogue reinterpreted.  A world weary 76 year old making sense out of songs written in his 20’s and 30’s.  He says “A new coat of paint on the walls of an old family home”.
Living Life Slow.


Sunday, September 23, 2018

Focus. Commitment. Discipline. (Part Two)

Last week we were lucky enough to join the beautiful wedding celebration of two friends – JD and Noelle, in a most amazing rural setting close to Perpignan.

The first reading was Erich Fromm’s – The Art of Loving.  And surprisingly it seemed to be all about Focus, Commitment and Discipline.

“Love is a decision, it is a judgment, it is a promise.  If love were only a feeling, there would be no basis for the promise to love each other forever.  A feeling comes and it may go.  How can I judge that it will stay forever, when my act does not involve judgment and decision.

Love isn’t just something natural.  It requires discipline, concentration, patience, faith and the overcoming of narcissism.  It isn’t a feeling, it is a promise.”


Monday, September 10, 2018

Focus. Commitment. Discipline.

I’ve written frequently about the Power of Three and man’s predilection for thinking in threes.  Three’s fit comfortably into our mind, we can remember them and focus on them – Aviate, Navigate, Communicate; Adapt, Improvise, Overcome; React, Recover, Regain; and at my own core – Focus, Commitment, Discipline.

Focusing in today’s VUCA world with our mobiles continuously interrupting our flow is increasingly difficult, with distractions – both real and self-imposed – all around us.

Canadian Chris Bailey has been studying Productivity and Focus for a few years now and has just published Hyperfocus (Pan Macmillan).  Worth a read.

A few take-outs:
-       Set yourself no more than three daily tasks.  Write ‘em down, knock ‘em off.  The Power of Three!!
-       Get on top of your phone: Put it in airplane mode; leave it in another room; store it in your (more inaccessible) laptop bag; shut off almost all notifications; decimate your apps; never take it into the bedroom; go back to watches / alarm clocks for telling the time.
-       Switch environments from messy to tidy and back again to maximise the right balance between creativity and discipline.
-       Take a mindful shower – or my version – a mindful bike ride.  And my favourite – have a glass of wine during the evening (people are 20 – 40% more creative after a small amount of alcohol).  Trick is to remember to write down what you come up with!!!


Thursday, September 6, 2018

Ritz Carlton – Probably the best customer focussed company in the world (with thanks to Carlsberg for the idea)

In Singapore for the weekend.  Granddaughters Stella and Chloe staying at The Ritz Carlton with us.  We wanted to have some fun on a rainy Saturday – so invited Professor Messy to bring his two hour interactive science show to the room.  Brilliant.  All organised by Club Manager Sheila and Concierge Rachel.

But The Ritz Carlton never gives the customer what they want, they give them what they never dreamed possible.

Here’s what Sheila and her team delivered 30 minutes before the science show – a gingerbread house, an ice-cream plate on dry ice – and two sugared up, excited grandkids.

Memories being created.  Thank you Ritz Carlton Singapore.


Monday, September 3, 2018

Divine Decadence.

Arrived at The Ritz Carlton Singapore to be greeted with this extraordinary treat.  Two packets of crisps (potato chips) from Patatas Fritas Torres in Barcelona.
Caviar Flavour.
Truffle Flavour.

True vagabond luxury – and a far cry from my first bag of Smiths Crisps in the 60’s – where the salt was included in the packet in a tiny blue paper bag.  Followed years later by the first two flavours – the somewhat more proletarian Cheese and Onion (hate ‘em!) and Salt n Vinegar (love ‘em to this day).

Viva Torres Selecta – the not so humble potato chip.