If you’re an Executive or business leader, consider these numbers for a moment…


The percentage of people considering leaving their current employer according to Microsoft

31 and 45

According to Korn Ferry, the percent of employees who say they would quit their job without another one lined up, and those that say they are more likely now than pre-pandemic to leave a role without another job secured.

68,811 and 1,021

The LinkedIn emojis and commentary when this Google poster was shared by Chris Donnelly.

As the son of a proud Scottish mother New Year is more about libations than lists but, in so many ways, 2020 has been a year of the new, the novel, the different and…errr…the unprecedented.

So here is a set of New Year’s Resolutions.

Not as a list, but in the form of a letter written by someone given the privilege and opportunity to lead others through these difficult times. As so many have showed us in 2020, leadership is not about your title, seniority, rank or position. …

One of the most popular, and disconcerting, statistics about Digital Transformations pegs failure at around 70%. That means for the billions of dollars expended globally each year, you have a 1-in-3 chance of delivering most of the critical digital transformation requirements that your Executives, and the teeming hordes of business analysts following your industry, expect you to deliver. However, that failure rate was before the largest Digital Transformation accelerant of the past 20 years — COVID-19.

As numerous countries went into lock-down and entire industries scrambled to find alternatives to physical service delivery, the digital transformation agenda took on increased…

As this series of interviews on Culture and Digital Transformation grows, it becomes increasingly apparent that there are many organizations struggling with similar challenges regardless of region or industry. And, equally, many organizations scattered across the globe doing really smart and thoughtful work under the radar. I recently had the good fortune to interview Penny Murphy, the Head of Digital Transformation, Asia at Dutch multinational Arcadis. I was literally blown away when Penny described just how global the Arcadisorganization was and how many high-profile projects they’re involved in globally. …

As a career strategy guy, my fascination with Culture stems from several pivotal experiences.

Running the Enron business at Ogilvy in the late 90’s.

Safe to say they were some of my most driven, ambitious and explicitly “winner takes all” clients. Pesky rules and accounting principles weren’t going to stand in their way.

Discussing the launch of the iPhone with Nokia engineers in 2007.

They were largely unimpressed and, as history has shown, the impact that apathy had on the relative fortunes of both companies.

With all deference and abject respect to Peter Drucker, I think he might have mis-stepped…

In 2000 I developed a genuine fear of flying. For someone who was regularly flying between Toronto, New York and Austin this wasn’t good.

In fact it got so debilitating that when I moved back to Toronto I elected to take a 13 hour train trip rather than endure the 70 minute flight.

Doing my research — I had 13hrs to kill — I found out that aviophobia typically arises because your brain believes you’re completely out of control of your surroundings.

Makes sense. When you get on a plane you never see the person in control — if they’re…

We live in KPI-driven world.

Perhaps, more accurately, a KPI-obsessed world.

Miss your quarterly forecasts — even by one or two cents — and watch how quickly investors pounce.

Don’t show a continuous upward tick in your fully-optimized marketing campaigns, boy oh boy…

Missing a credible and substantiated “adoption curve” in your investors deck — ideally one that looks like a hockey stick — then be prepared for the quickest VC meetings in history.

KPI’s are good.

They give us something to strive for, a yardstick to meet and exceed. Heaven knows we’re swimming in enough data to generate a…

My wife loves Mark Walhberg.

I mean she has a very serious crush on the former Markey Mark and his world-class abs. Which might explain why we were watching one of his movies — “Shooter” — for the 4th time recently. As added context, I wasn’t closing the gap on “Mr 8-pack abs” by slurping my way through a pint of Ben&Jerry’s either.

In one pivotal scene Walhberg is coaching Michael Pena on the discipline and focus needed to be a sniper when he utters the immortal Zen sniper line:

“Slow is smooth and smooth is fast”

I’ve always loved…

Delighted to share the second volume of interviews in this series.

In this volume you’ll learn from the following world-class businesses how their Cultures are allowing them to successfully traverse the turbulent world we all face.

Anheuser-Busch is leveraging their Employer Branding platforms to attract world-class talent.

Nestle is reframing their Culture to reduce silos, enhance collaboration and build “Trust”.

Ogilvy Worldwide has committed to the hard everyday decisions needed to build an effective and enviable culture.

Shaw Communication has radically merged HR and Marketing to build a world-class telecommunications business.

You can download the book here

As always, I’d love your feedback and comments.

Of course, if you have an amazing Culture story to share and would like to be interviewed, please reach out to me on LinkedIn here

Company founders

Celebrity actors

Famous comics

And now Government officials and Senators.

In many of these situations what has quickly followed the apologies (in some cases), the contrition (in too few cases) or the steadfast denial (unbelievably) is an equally terse apology from the company or employer of said individual.

The company apologies have followed an eerily similar thread of contrite handwringing – often coupled with a sense of complete ignorance - for creating a culture where employees didn’t feel safe bringing harassment cases forward or where powerful figures were deemed beyond reproach.

Case in point London’s Old Vic Theatre…

Hilton Barbour

Networker. Marketing Provocateur. Loves travelling - love my 2 daughters more. Perpetually curious.

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