Archive | July, 2010

Sign me up to move mountains every time…

In a recent panel discussion at The Executive Roundtable about switching gears and changing careers mid-path, Colleen Albiston, Global Head of Tax Marketing for KPMG memorably stated that she focuses on turnarounds, new growth and marketing change…adding “I’m not your maintenance gal…” Colleen comes from a place of truly knowing where she adds value, and where she can do her best work. I love this very real and honest self-appraisal of what she is and isn’t about.  Very Buckingham-like.

When considering a change in role, Colleen urged the movers and shakers in the room to be absolutely clear what is expected, what changes the business really needs (not just what the say they want). Help the leaders get past their ‘planitudes’ (it is written in the plan, therefore it is…) and into the reality of what the changes are going to mean for them and their teams.

I confess, I subscribe to the Colleen Albiston school of thinking. I would far rather move mountains; take on big challenges; shine a light on what needs to change and what the implications of change might mean; go into a tough situation with eyes wide open; than step into an established role with a clear set of guidelines and benchmarked success rules to follow. Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment but that’s just my bag. Its the explorer in me – I have a propensity for change that flies off the scale in most psychometric tests!

Now, don’t get me wrong. I fully respect and honour tradition, legacy and the wisdom of time-tested methods, as long as they remain relevant and adaptive to new circumstances.  “Survival of the fittest” was an idea founded in successful adaptation to changing environments rather than change for the sake of it. A successfully adaptive organism may remain unchanged for many years provided the environment remains the same.

In the same discussion, the other panelists offered equally insightful perspectives on shifting (or staying true to) career focus… check here for a summary of the key takeaways…

I see dead people…

If you’re a fan of M.Night Shayamalan then you’ll recognize this memorable line from the Movie The Sixth Sense.  This is the moment when Haley Joel Osment provides Bruce Willis with a huge insight into what might be going on. He goes on to share that they are… “Walking around like regular people. They don’t see each other. They only see what they want to see. They don’t know they’re dead.”

At the time, Bruce’s character Malcolm puts this odd comment down to a young boy’s morbid imagination. It takes several more scenes for Bruce’s character Malcolm Crowe, and the audience watching, to realise what Cole really meant with these words.  The power of the movie comes from this slow realisation that a change in mindset and perspective is needed to truly see what is happening all around them.

I sometimes wonder if that’s what’s going on in the corporate world today. In amongst the change agents and innovators, the doers and decision makers, are a large number of ‘ghosts’ not realising that the conversations they are having and work they are doing are part of an old reality. People clinging to a sense of what used to work, the way things have always been done, and the comfortable tried and true… But the world of work has changed. As people are shouting from the rooftops all around us – lead, rise up, make a difference, bring value, build business based on trust, give away knowledge, attract followers, stop interrupting people, give people a reason to invest in you or your business (by providing deep value…)

Don’t wait for the splashes of red to learn you’re one of the dead people…

Time to add some inspiration…

Like many, I am an eclectic consumer of all kinds of information sources… taking inspiration from books, music, places and people. Like the namesake of my company, Alfred Russel Wallace and his explorer contemporaries, I actively seek out new ideas and new ‘species’ every day. Granted, many of the sources I read regularly have been found before (New York Times Bestsellers, renowned gurus and recognisable names like Seth, Guy, Mitch, Pam). Others are intentionally a little more off the beaten track. For your enjoyment this Friday, I thought I’d share a little slice of extra inspiration from just some of the blogs I follow…

To all mentioned here – thanks for all that you do.

For insanely practical marketing ideas for the smaller business

For always fascinating insight to the next big thing/s

Hugh rocks my world. Outspoken, irreverent and totally on the money!

Recently discovered, Liz Strauss is a gift!

Great content around branding and positioning thanks to John Gatrell of Pragmatic Marketing

Rosa Say of the wonderful Managing with Aloha and the Talking Story Blog

Great podcasts, insights and provocations from Anna Farmery of

Enjoy! Happy FF