The Thinking Ahead Newsletter brings you regular updates on how to be fit for the future in a fast-changing world.

Here are some recent articles:

  • Measure COI, Not Just ROI
    In March 2015, almost six years ago, Bill Gates, former Microsoft CEO and now one of the world’s leading philanthropists, delivered his sixth TED Talk, this time on the topic, “The next outbreak? We’re not ready”. In his presentation, Gates described a global pandemic scenario that matched almost exactly the COVID-19 pandemic five years later. He ...
  • Adapt, Don’t Simplify
    As part of my mathematics degree at the University of Western Australia, we calculated how objects in space – such as planets, asteroids, and moons – would interact with each other, based on their mass, velocity, and other factors. We assumed these objects were perfect spheres, which was a reasonable assumption that allowed us to ...
  • Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You
    I grew up in the 1980s, and my favourite actor at the time was Steve Martin (My all-time favourite actor is Humphrey Bogart, but that’s another story, and he was way before my time). When Steve Martin was once asked for the secret of his success, he said this: “Be so good they can’t ignore you.” As we ...
  • What “Survival of the Fittest” Means (It’s Probably Not What You Think)
    Unless you’re an evolutionary biologist, you probably aren’t an expert in the theory of evolution. For most people, all they know about it is the name Charles Darwin, the occasional debate about whether it’s true (spoiler alert: it is), and some vague idea about “survival of the fittest”. When talking about change, Darwin famously said: “It is ...
  • Too Many Interruptions? It’s Your Own Fault
    When I was a middle manager in corporate Australia in my mid-twenties (quite a long time ago!), I read every people management, time management, and leadership book I could find. And one of the most useful pieces of advice I got was about avoiding interruptions, while still being available to my team when they needed ...
  • Offer Three Types of Learning To Your Employees … Or Else!
    This pandemic is a perfect storm of three crises: a health crisis, an economic crisis, and a social crisis. Australia has done an incredible job of managing the health crisis, but the economic crisis is far from over. If you’re a leader or manager, one of the biggest challenges you will face is people worrying ...
  • Want To Boost Your Team’s Performance? Be An Avocado Leader
    I had a conversation recently with a client who was talking about her team’s performance reviews. For some organisations, this is the “dreaded annual performance review”, but that isn’t the case for my client. They have a healthy approach to performance reviews (feedback culture, no surprises, not just a “ticking the box” exercise, etc.), but ...
  • Clear Planning for an Unclear Future
    In the early days of a crisis, everybody is scrambling just to survive. But the most successful people move beyond just survival to create opportunities – even when facing an uncertain future. The old way of setting goals doesn’t work in an uncertain, fast-changing world. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan for the future! ...
  • Map Many Scenarios, Choose a Few
    I remember a couple of years ago when I had my first dangerous close encounter with a kangaroo when driving on a country road. We were enjoying a quiet weekend away in Yallingup, in the beautiful South-West region of Australia, driving on a road near the beach, when a roo jumped out from bushes in ...
  • What Will Be Your Theme Song for 2021?
    Remember the devastating bushfires around Australia at the start of 2020, when we thought that was the worst possible thing that could happen to us this year? Last week, I spoke at a conference for 750 of Western Australia’s firefighters and marine rescue workers. Some of these people and their colleagues had to deal with ...
Thinking Ahead Newsletter