What leaders can learn from great gamblers

Posted by Mike Walsh

May 15, 2018 6:53:17 AM

Rasmus Ankersen

 

Applying the logic of professional gambling to leadership might not strike you as obvious, but Rasmus Andersen is no ordinary thinker. Currently running two football teams with the assistance of data and machine learning, he is also a provocative thinker on human performance. When he became curious about why certain towns and cities produced so many top athletes, he decided to find out himself, venturing from Africa to Korea, in search of the secrets of talent clusters. Those experiences became his bestselling book, ‘The Goldmine Effect’. More recently, in ‘Hunger in Paradise’, he explored why success can be the undoing of companies, even at the peak of their powers. We met up for a coffee in London to talk about what might really drive talent and high performance in the 21st century.

 

CATEGORY: Talent, Leadership

How to ask better questions

Posted by Mike Walsh

Nov 12, 2017 9:30:47 PM

Michael Stanier.jpg

 

Sometimes the hardest thing for any leader to do, is to actually do nothing and just listen. For Michael Bungay Stanier, a bestselling author and a world-leading expert on coaching - the best way to engage someone in a meaningful conversation is to know the right questions to ask. Speaking with me over a coffee in Toronto, Michael (who left Australia 25 years ago to be a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University) explained the 7 simple questions that leaders should start with, and that where explored in his latest book, ‘The Coaching Habit’. My own question was perhaps a little more troubling: why will coaching still be important in the algorithmic, AI-dominated companies of tomorrow?

 

CATEGORY: Talent, Leadership

Empathy, curiosity and the persistently human future of work

Posted by Mike Walsh

Oct 22, 2017 7:06:55 PM

Jason Fox.jpg

 

If, at first, you are unconvinced of Dr Fox’s biographical assertion that he is a ‘modern day wizard-rogue’, you will certainly, when presented in the flesh, be assured by his impressive beard. Bestselling author of ‘The Game Changer’ and ‘How to Lead a Quest: a handbook for pioneering executives’, Jason is a thoroughly unconventional thinker on leadership, creativity and designing 21st century work environments. We caught up in London to talk about how we might need to reimagine the idea of work, in the post-algorithmic rubble of the robot job apocalypse.

CATEGORY: Talent, Leadership

Cirque du Soleil, creativity and the secrets of 21st century team performance

Posted by Mike Walsh

Sep 25, 2017 8:15:24 AM

Jay Guilford.jpg

 

From humble beginnings as street performance in a small Quebec town in 1984, Cirque du Soleil has grown to become the world’s most diverse, and dynamic brand of creative performances. On a recent visit to Las Vegas, which is home to seven permanent Cirque productions, I caught up with Jay Guilford, who is the creative content strategist for their team building program, SPARK. SPARK helps big companies embrace some of the innovation and creativity that is at the heart of the Cirque du Soleil shows, albeit without some of the accompanying acrobatics of course.

 

CATEGORY: Talent, Culture

Algorithms, human-centered design and the future of work

Posted by Mike Walsh

Mar 19, 2017 5:17:10 PM

Ross Dawson.jpg

I caught up with Ross Dawson, a fellow futurist and an Australian native, on a recent trip back home to Bondi Beach. Ross is the author of four books including the Amazon.com bestseller ‘Developing Knowledge-Based Client Relationships’, and the acclaimed book Living Networks, which foresaw the social networking revolution. Over the famously strong, and excellent Sydney coffee we riffed on some areas of common interest, in particular the impact of AI on the future of decision-making and work.

 

CATEGORY: Talent, Technology

Body language, communication and the challenge of creating an emotional machine

Posted by Mike Walsh

Nov 14, 2016 12:00:00 AM

Mark Bowden.jpg

 

Mark Bowden is an expert in human behaviour and body language. His bestselling books include the bestselling Winning Body Language; Winning Body Language for Sales Professionals ; and Tame the Primitive Brain – 28 Ways in 28 Days to Manage the Most Impulsive Behaviors at Work. Bowden originally received a university degree in performance in the UK, and studied the gesture-control methods of Jacques Lecoq’s Laboratory of Movement in Paris. He then went on to work with leading practitioners of movement psychology, building upon the influence techniques of Dr. Milton Erickson.

 

When we met up in Toronto, he explained to me how the ancient survival instincts of our brain wire us to interpret gesture, and what this means for the future of both human communication and also the design of machines that can understand and relate to us.

 

 

CATEGORY: Talent, Innovation

Creativity, comedy and why everyone is an artist, or at least should be

Posted by Mike Walsh

Oct 23, 2016 12:00:00 AM

Ron Tite.jpg

 

Ron Tite is a very funny guy — not to mention, a very creative one. Named one of the “Top 10 Creative Canadians” by Marketing Magazine, he’s been an award-winning advertising writer and creative director for some of the world’s most respected brands, including Air France, Evian, Hershey, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft, Intel, Microsoft, and Volvo.

 

Once a professional comedian, he now helps brands develop their content and storytelling strategy. Executive Producer & Host of the Canadian Comedy Award-winning show Monkey Toast, Ron is also a featured marketing expert on the new Mark Burnett-produced business reality show, Dream Funded.

 

His latest book, ‘Everyone’s An Artist (Or At Least They Should Be)’ explores why the most successful executives and entrepreneurs have learned to think like artists. We caught up in Toronto to talk about the power of reinvention, counterintuitive thinking and how comedy teaches you to rebel and break the rules.

 

 

CATEGORY: Talent, Innovation

Performance, synergy and what it takes to be a world champion adventure racer

Posted by Mike Walsh

Sep 4, 2016 12:00:00 AM

Robin

 

Talking to Robyn Benincasa about performance - a world champion adventure racer, a CNN hero and a full time firefighter - was a bit like interviewing Sarah O’Connor about her thoughts on Judgement Day. Robyn is the ultimate adventure addict. She holds three Guinness World Records for distance paddling, and has competed in the extreme sport of adventure racing from the jungles of Borneo to the Himalayan peaks of Tibet, the rivers of Fiji to the rainforests of Ecuador and the desert of Namibia. These experiences have given her a unique perspective on what it takes to build successful teams, and what leaders need to become, if they want to inspire commitment rather than simply securing compliance.

 

CATEGORY: Talent, Leadership

Robots, automation and the virtual workforce of the future

Posted by Mike Walsh

Jun 3, 2016 12:00:00 AM

Ankur

 

Ankur Kothari is a pioneer in the area of robotic process automation and the design of digital back offices. A co-founder of Automation Anywhere, he has been working over the last decade on transforming entire industries by introducing them to a digital workforce and human–robot partnerships that can help them scale efficiently. We met up in Hyderabad, a city in India where many of the world’s biggest companies locate their outsourced IT and back office operations. We have all heard that robots may be coming for our jobs, but I was curious to learn - will anyone really be sad to see transactional, routine tasks done by a machine rather than a human being?

 

CATEGORY: Talent, Technology

Struggle, mastery and the workers of the future

Posted by Mike Walsh

Nov 28, 2015 12:00:00 AM

Adam

 

What is it that makes us happy, motivated, and full of purpose? Dr Adam Fraser has been studying, writing and speaking about human performance for the last 18 years. We caught up in Sydney to chat about his latest research on what he calls, ‘Human 2.0’, the characteristics of people that thrive in complex environments, and those that fail. Many leaders today demand that their people be more innovative, but are at a loss to describe the exact behaviours that define innovation. For Adam, the key is our approach to struggle. What makes people happy, and ultimately more innovative are not more intangible nouns, but rather providing challenges for your teams to overcome, and opportunities to be creative.

 

CATEGORY: Talent, Culture