Customer service steps that turn SMEs into giants

You and I undertake customer journeys every day. Some are more or less fine throughout, and some have their ups and downs; some are consistently outstanding and some are the opposite, while with yet others it’s as though it depends on what those with whom you interact ate for breakfast that day. As I reflect […]

The trouble with Kenya’s long list of neglected values

Several times a week, as I drive towards Westlands and beyond, I exit from James Gichuru Road and circle the oval onto Waiyaki Way. It is obvious we should keep to the right-hand lane on James Gichuru, awaiting a gap in the traffic driving west so we can line up for the U-turn that will […]

Look at your ‘core values’ once more for urgent rework

In much of my management consulting I help organisations clarify their values, and this is often the most interesting and challenging aspect of my work. Almost all my clients have an existing bundle of “core values” (I’ve never seen the need for the “core”), but few pay much attention to them — even if they […]

What Trump letters say about President

In May 2016 I attended a Trump rally in Anaheim, California. I was visiting my daughter and her family, and I was curious to observe this emerging populist phenomenon up close and live. His campaign had built its strategy around such events, attract huge crowds and creating a political wave the Democrats were failing to […]

Kenya must entrench basic skills to plug unemployment gap

My sister’s Christmas present to me when she came from London was David Goodhart’s new book, The Road to Somewhere. I’d never heard of Goodhart, but I am an admirer of the thoughtful Prospect magazine of which he was the founder editor. (Whenever I fly with British Airways I find a copy on board, and […]

Hooray! Glass ceiling has been breaking

There’s still so much gloomy, pessimistic talk about how difficult it is for women to rise to the highest levels of leadership, but I wish there would be less of this poor-us mentality. Not because I am a chauvinist. No, it is for the opposite reason: it is because what I see all around me […]

Great leaders don’t shy away from bold visions and targets

How much can your organisation grow: incrementally? Significantly? Massively? And how quickly: never? Eventually? Now? If yours is like others I have been working with recently, some among your colleagues will feel that only modest growth is reasonable and practical, while others — maybe just the odd outlier — are convinced that transformative expansion is […]

Keeping consultancy simple does not mean it’s simplistic

As a non-technical chief executive of IT companies over many years, I was conscious that one of my key roles was to understand what benefits our clients were seeking from investing in technology systems and to match these with what was being proposed by our technical staff. I was an interpreter and a mediator, bringing […]

Start-ups must cling to vision and values early

I have recently been working with a very exciting start-up that is working frantically to prepare all aspects of its operations for a big launch and for having a major disruptive influence in their sector. In among the time-critical construction of facilities, the hiring of people, the evolving of structures and systems and so forth, […]

New York Times scribe’s indepth story of Africa

He dreamed of Africa” ran the headline above Fiametta Rocco’s review in The Economist of Love, Africa, A Memoir of Romance, War and Survival by Jeffrey Gettleman. But Gettleman, who was brought up in a Chicago suburb, had no such dream until after 1990, when at the age of 19 he signed up for a […]

Collaboration linked to better performance

I can’t remember the last time a consulting client of mine did not worry about the silos that exist within their organisation. Silos are everywhere, and silo mentality is everywhere. But why? Is it that people are selfish and narrow-minded? I am not convinced that the explanation is so simple: this surely is not the […]

Donald Trump, live

`By Mike Eldon It was 166 days to the American election and my daughter, her friend and I drove from Los Angeles to Anaheim, the town that hosts California’s Disneyland. Our destination, however, was the adjacent Anaheim Convention Centre, where Donald Trump was to hold a rally. For me the opportunity to see this awful […]

American politics: 2011 and 2016

Returning from the US in June 2011, as had not been unusual following my trips there, I wrote a column about how awfully so many of their politicians were behaving – and of course the media too, unduly focusing on their most sensational utterances. To follow the news one could have been forgiven for imagining […]

The significance of being on time

By Mike Eldon I had agreed to run a Saturday morning session on organisational development and teamwork for a group of young entrepreneurs. It was due to kick off at eight, and I was there well before to make sure the room was laid out as I wished and that the flip charts and markers […]

What we can learn from Obama’s leadership

By Mike Eldon ‘Yes we can,’ he told Americans. And they, together with millions more all over the world, listened. Not only did Barack Obama overcome the colour of his skin and the thinness of his wallet to ascend to the presidency of the most powerful nation on earth, but he handled himself in a […]

Not blowing my trumpet

I’m fed up. Fed up with the inability of so many Kenyans to even acknowledge, never mind celebrate, their achievements and the strengths that explain them. I’ve been unhappy about this debilitating national hang-up ever since I arrived here, back in 1977, and I referred to it in one of my very first articles in […]

Innovation and leadership

By Mike Eldon  I was asked recently to run a two-day workshop on innovation, within the Kenya Institute of Management’s Advanced Leadership Programme. So I had to ensure I was focusing my material appropriately – that is, to be relevant to directors and top management. As it happens, all but one of the participants were […]

Management Consultant Mike Eldon

Professionalizing family businesses

In the last few weeks I’ve been meeting with a bright, organised and not unambitious gentleman who for eighteen months has been working in Kisumu as CEO of a family-owned financial services company. He’s just handed in his resignation, fed up with being inhibited by the owners. They’d hired him to help them professionalize the […]

Management Consultant Mike Eldon

The ideal graduate

I recently participated in the graduation ceremony of KCA University, where for the last few months I have been Chairman of its Council. As Council members and others gathered in the Vice Chancellor’s office before the event started, conversation turned to examining what makes an ideal graduate of this institution. One fellow Council member emphasised […]

Management Consultant Mike Eldon

The private sector gets back to building peace

Amid the normal noise of our zero-sum politics, KEPSA recently launched the fourth phase of its Mkenya Daima project, which is all about building a more peaceful and cohesive society. The new programme will work on our much-neglected national values, and on helping us to become more responsible citizens. The initial campaign resulted from the […]