Thursday, December 31, 2020

Happy New Year


Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Happy New Year


Sunday, December 27, 2020

64 Reasons to Celebrate Paul McCartney


Richard Eccles, music nut, mate and former editor of Cumbria Life magazine sent me this fascinating essay on Paul McCartney.  I declared my support for Macca in my September 1 post (and indeed on September 26 2018, July 28 2014 and July 3 2007), but this essay by Ian Leslie is the bees knees.


Recommended Christmas holiday reading.


You can read it here:  Ian Leslie, The Ruffian, 64 Reasons to Celebrate Paul McCartney.



Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Christmas in Grasmere


I was born in Lancaster – and lived there until I was 18.  Now we have a home in the nearby Lake District – in the village of Grasmere (population around 1,400).


Here’s a video Richard Eccles sent me to remind me of my beloved Lakes as we continue to isolate in Arizona – beautiful too, but not the green, green hills of home.


Thank you mate.  And thank you Grasmere Primary School.


Here’s something for you and your kids – 17 minutes of Warmth, Fun, Creativity and great Storytelling – it made my heart sing.  I hope it does the same for you and your loved ones.


Watch it here:



Monday, December 21, 2020

Christmas Greetings from Arizona


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Here’s to the Best Year Yet!

See you next year!!

Kevin and Trudy

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Foodie Friday – Our Own Budding Masterchef

We’ve been isolating and keeping our heads down in Arizona since March 18.


Up until this year we’ve been devoted fans of eating out and have loved the sociability, and the buzz, as well as the food in restaurants all over the world.


Since March we’ve stayed in (enhanced by Kevin Binkley’s feeding us most weekends with selections from his brilliant innovative Phoenix restaurant which he’s been gracious enough to have delivered to us).


And Trudy’s used the time to experiment, prepare and cook our favourites from all over the world.  A new skill, new thrill every night, talk about not wasting the crisis!!!!


Here’s a taste of some of the homemade meals we’ve been enjoying from Trudy’s Kitchen.

         Hungarian Goulash

Moroccan Lamb Tagine

Fettuccini Alfredo

Chicken Chasseur

Mexican Omelette

Colorado Red Trout

Lancashire Shepherds Pie

Fegato Burro e Salvia


Moroccan Chicken

Steak Fajitas

Cognac Shrimp

Gnocchi Cacio e Pepe

Salmon and Octopus a la Parilla

Lobster Bisque

Vitello Scaloppine al Limone

Fondue Bourguignonne


And my favourite, tonight and every Friday – Fish ‘n Chip Friday – home-made french-fries with barramundi sauteed in lemon, butter and white wine.


Bon Appetit.



Tuesday, December 15, 2020

60 Years, 600 Songs, $300 million – Nice One Bob!

Last week, Universal Music Publishing Group paid His Bobness $300 million for the 600 song copyrights from his back catalogue.


A bargain.


Dylan’s songs have been recorded more than 6,000 times by various artists, he’s sold 125 million records and won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016.


The biggest deal of its kind ever.  (But still a bargain!!)


A tribute to the Best Storyteller of our times (see last week’s Storytime post) and his unparalleled influence on our culture from the 60’s until today.


So what are your favourite Dylan songs?  (Mine change all the time, but here’s today’s list.)

Mr Tambourine Man

Desolation Row

Positively 4th Street

Murder Most Foul

Frankie Lee and Judas Priest

The Times They Are A Changin’

Blowin’ in the Wind

With God On Our Side

Forever Young

Masters Of War

Chimes Of Freedom


One Too Many Mornings

Romance In Durango

Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright

My Back Pages

Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts

Shelter From The Storm

Like A Rolling Stone



What’s your top 20?



Monday, December 14, 2020


First vaccine in the US today.  Rolling out as we speak to front-line healthcare workers and care homes.


January and February for over 60’s, vulnerable folks with underlying conditions and essential workers.  March general population.


Stay Safe!



Thursday, December 10, 2020

Throwback Thursday – Story Time – 13 years ago

As we get ready to farewell 2020, I looked back to my blog 13 years ago and found a piece we ran in December 2007 – outlining what seemed to be the secret to successful storytelling.

It got me thinking about the stories we’ve all experienced in 2020 – everyone had a story in this year – a story of sadness, sacrifice and isolation.


I hope that next year we’ll all have our own story too and that our 2021 story will be one of hope, happiness and fun.


Here are some thoughts from 2007 that I thought helped make a great story at the time.  Maybe they’ll help you craft and store your joyous 2021 stories.


Story Time.


The Harvard Business Review is not the first place you’d go to for advice on telling stories, but that is exactly where I found a great article by Peter Guber. Guber is a long-time movie producer whose credits range from Flashdance to Rainman, Batman Returns to Tango & Cash, so he’s not exactly your usual HBR management geek. As an executive producer, he’s someone who's had to make the call on whether a story works or doesn’t, so his article struck a chord with me. His ideas aren’t based on abstract theory, but on whether real live people are going to shell out cash for your story.


Guber’s article is behind a subscription wall, but I think his four truths about what makes a great story are useful whether you are pitching an idea for a website, reporting results to the Board or inspiring staff to work up to the next level.

  1. Truth to the teller.  Yes, authenticity again.  Show and share who you are with an open heart.
  2. Truth to the audience.  It’s Value for Time.  They give you their time on the understanding that you will give them emotional value and personal insight.
  3. Truth to the moment.  Be prepared and then – improvise.  The preparation will ensure you don’t lose focus.  The improvisation will make sure you don’t lose your audience!
  4. Truth to the mission.  Don’t even try to inspire people to do something you don’t believe in yourself.  They won’t believe in it either.

In my book, sisomo: The Future on Screen, I wrote a chapter on stories and storytelling.  The status of stories is transforming.  Their ability to inspire people and connect with consumers is putting them at the heart of business.  I’ve often quoted Rolf Jensen of The Dream Company that “the highest-paid person in the first half of the next century will be the ‘storyteller’.”  That’s a prediction to make people pay attention!

In sisomo, I had 12 ideas about what makes a great story.

  1. Great stories touch us.  They connect with our own desires and experiences and what we care about.
  2. Great stories are contagious.  The itch to pass on a great story is almost unbearable.  Stories have to be shared.
  3. Great stories are cloaked in credibility.  They make practical sense, intuitive sense, emotional sense.
  4. Great stories connect with the emotions.  Genuine, compelling emotion drives every story.
  5. Great stories surprise and delight.  They are infinitely capable of the unexpected.  It’s not just about novelty and revelations but also creativity and emotional truth.
  6. Great stories have context.  Whether it’s a fairy tale or a business lesson, stories weave facts and events together so we understand their larger meanings.
  7. Great stories are fast workers.  They get in ahead of our rationalisations and logic with their own compelling truth.
  8. Great stories are crafted.  We all like stories to be recounted with skill and effort.
  9. Great stories make us laugh.  Humour disarms us and opens us up to new ideas.
  10. Great stories teach us to be smart.  Through great stories we learn to spot disinformation in an instant.  Shoddy stories reinforce prejudice and hide the truth.
  11. Great stories introduce us to great characters; people we want to spend time with.
  12. Great stories open us up to other worlds.  Welcome to the world of the imagination, to new geographies, to new realities.


Sunday, December 6, 2020

Here’s to The Crazy Ones

Spencer Hannah, co-Founder of Herdy, just sent me a clip of Steve Jobs debuting my favourite ad of all time.


I hadn’t seen Jobs’ presentation before and I really enjoyed his passionate belief (and humour).


As we set sail into a troubled world next month – vaccinated and safe – we will all be different after the challenges we faced this year.  And to move from Survive to Revive and Thrive, we’ll all have to Think Different.  So here’s to the Crazy Ones.  Let them be our inspiration.


Watch it here: Steve Jobs - Think Different / Crazy Ones Speech.



Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Working for the Master


The biggest influence in my Leadership thinking remains the legendary Peter Drucker.


I’ve been lucky enough to have been asked to speak a couple of times at the Annual Global Peter Drucker Forum in Vienna.


This year was different.


A fireside chat to a bunch of creative musicians.


If you want a break from the normal, here’s a somewhat eclectic take on Lovemarks and Leadership from a classical music perspective – with a brilliant host/conductor – Bernhard Kerres:
(Video Courtesy of Global Peter Drucker Forum).



Sunday, November 29, 2020

Kāinga Pukapuka - My Home Library project

Young people who read will have greater resilience, empathy and educational achievement.  The Kāinga Pukapuka - My Home Library project gives children who might not have many books at home, 23 brand new books to grow their own home library.  Each pack costs $100 plus tax and postage. The books are provided by Reading Warrior and Duffy Books in Homes. 


I’m sponsoring five of these kāinga pukapuka - home library packs.


The Kāinga Pukapuka - My Home Library project is run by teacher/author, David Riley. 


Thank you for helping our young people become great readers. 


Ngā mihi mahana. 



Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Today’s 'What Counts' Factors in Rugby

Legendary Coach Brian Ashton and I were on a Zoom call a couple of weeks ago with Jason Wilcox, Head of Manchester City’s Academy.  Jason was taking us through his ‘What Counts’ factors for his Academy players and Brian shared his top three for today’s Rugby players:





Also works for Soccer too – think Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero.



Sunday, November 22, 2020

You’ve Got To Laugh

The lighter side of life in lockdown from Alan Berson / Gary Edens.


Hard to believe 2020 has come to this:

1)    The dumbest thing I ever bought was a 2020 planner.

2)    I was so bored I called Jake from State Farm just to talk to someone.  He asked me what I was wearing.

3)    2019: Stay away from negative people.  2020: Stay away from positive people.

4)    The world has turned upside down.  Old folks are sneaking out of the house and their kids are yelling at them to stay indoors!

5)    This morning I saw a neighbour talking to her dog.  It was obvious she thought her dog understood her.  I came into my house and told my cat.  We laughed a lot.

6)    Every few days try your jeans on just to make sure they fit.  Pyjamas will have you believe all is well in the kingdom.

7)    Does anyone know if we can take showers yet or should we just keep washing our hands?

8)    This virus has done what no woman has been able to do.  Cancel sports, shut down all bars and keep men at home!

9)    I never thought the comment “I wouldn’t touch him/her with a six-foot-pole” would become a national policy, but here we are!

10)  I need to practice social-distancing from the refrigerator.

11)  I hope the weather is good tomorrow for my trip to the Backyard.  I’m getting tired of the Living Room.

12)  Appropriate analogy.  "The curve is flattening so we can start lifting restrictions now” is like saying “The parachute has slowed our rate of descent, so we can take it off now”. 

13)  Never in a million years could I have imagined I would go up to a bank teller wearing a mask and ask for money.

14)  The spread of COVID-19 is based on 2 things:

o   How dense the population is.

o   How dense the population is.


I guess you’ll all have your favourites.


Keep smiling through,

Just like you always do.