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 […]

Management Consultant Mike Eldon

Managing stress… with mindfulness

Over twenty years ago, my friend Kay Shamte and I decided to put together an event on stress management. We were far from confident that Kenyans would feel comfortable talking about the subject, but to our great relief it turned out that the groups we assembled were extremely pleased to have the opportunity to discuss […]

Management Consultant Mike Eldon

What’s so special about entrepreneurs?

A few weeks ago I was a panelist at an event on entrepreneurship organised by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. It took place soon after the much publicized Global Entrepreneurship Summit, so it was very timely in keeping the momentum from that energy-filled going. Indeed in this Kenya of ours that is so filled […]

Management Consultant Mike Eldon

Peace and Stability in Kenya

I recently returned to a subject that is very dear to me: conflict resolution and peace building, and it came through participating in a one-day event organised by the World Faiths Development Dialog (WFDD), a programme of the Berkeley Centre for Religion, Peace and World Affairs at Georgetown University. The idea for WFDD was born […]

Management Consultant Mike Eldon

Rehearsing pays – and it’s fun

Together with a trio of colleagues, I recently developed a two-day leadership workshop to be run for several groups of managers. It was an interesting challenge, as several of the prospective participants had already attended various leadership programmes, and so we had to find ways of defying their expectation that this would be “just another […]

Management Consultant Mike Eldon

Motivation and empowerment

Last week two colleagues and I were preparing material for a leadership event when one of them challenged us to comment on the relationship between motivation and empowerment. As we shuffled around these words I thought of placing them on the two axes of a grid, with motivation on the vertical one and empowerment on […]

Management Consultant Mike Eldon

Remembering Dr. Njoroge Mungai

A year ago yesterday I sat in a pew at the Church of the Torch, for the funeral service to celebrate the life of Dr. Magana Njoroge Mungai. I felt greatly saddened, but also quite upset with the man. For how could he do this to us? How could he deprive us of his inspiration, […]

Management Consultant Mike Eldon

The exciting but uncertain life of a consultant

In my last column I reflected on how I go about producing my regular articles for this paper, and while the thought of writing that piece was still only in my mind I found myself in conversation with a senior HR manager who envied me my life as a management consultant. She wanted to make […]

Management Consultant Mike Eldon

Writing a column: harder than it looks?

On the eighth anniversary of my first column in Business Daily I thought it would be good to reflect back on the 225 or so articles I have delivered since then. It was not too long after the paper was launched that its then managing editor, Nick Wachira, succeeded in twisting my arm into becoming […]

Management Consultant Mike Eldon

Developing vision, mission and values statements

I recently ran a strategic planning session with a client, within which of course we reviewed their vision, mission and values statements. And as is so often the case with this topic I found the facilitation to be emotionally and intellectually exhausting. While some felt out of their comfort zones, others were filled with undue […]