Management Consultant Mike Eldon

Turkana County is a study in how to treat refugees

A few years ago I moderated a series of workshops for UNHCR to help them and their implementation partners strategise about the future of the Dadaab refugee camp. Their then Deputy Resident Representative Kilian Kleinschmidt (who is now active in Syria) dreamed of seeing the hand-to-mouth refugee camp dependent on mere humanitarian assistance transform into […]

Management Consultant Mike Eldon

Drop the know-it-all attitude to become an effective leader

In my last article of 2018 I promised to write more about one of my favourite management gurus, Prof Edgar Schein of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). I described this 90-year old as the father of organisational psychology and organisational culture, and praised the way he was so ahead of his time when he published […]

Management Consultant Mike Eldon

This is a must-read book for job hunters

Exactly ten years ago I wrote a column on careers guidance in which I described how when I joined the Rotary Club of Nairobi in 1978 the first job I was given was to take care of the careers guidance portfolio. Like most young people making their way through their school years I had never […]

Management Consultant Mike Eldon

How to nudge citizens to do good for society

After my last article on econocracy I don’t want my review of economists to end on a negative note (several readers wrote to tell me the field is more diverse than I had indicated), so today I celebrate the winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize for Economics, Richard Thaler, co-author with Cass Sunstein of the […]

Management Consultant Mike Eldon

How economists have lost touch with reality

A few weeks ago I wrote about the need to amplify the voice of economists in our country. In my article I spoke glowingly about my own experience as an economics undergraduate, acknowledging the way my professors opened up my powers of critical analysis and connected me so fully to the economic issues of the […]

Management Consultant Mike Eldon

Proper way of coaching the young and anxious

I’m sure that like me you have been hearing about the increasing number of young people who feel anxious and depressed, even suicidal. And this is not just the poor and the unqualified. It includes many of the brightest and the best, the most educated and affluent. In a BBC programme the other day there […]

Management Consultant Mike Eldon

What to do when mounting sense of frustration hits

By coincidence, last week not one but two of my coaching clients asked me to take time with them so they could do a better job of handling growing feelings of frustration. As a result they were becoming unduly irritable and sometimes downright angry; they were more intolerant, even shouting at those who did not […]

Management Consultant Mike Eldon

Our economists should have more influential voice

In 1967, having graduated from university with a degree in economics, I earned the right to place BSc Econ after my name. Had I gained the equivalent qualification as an architect here in Kenya I would now call myself Arch. Mike Eldon; if I would have become an accountant I would now boast of being […]

Management Consultant Mike Eldon

Lessons from the character of John McCain

Like millions of others, I witnessed the uplifting memorial service to honour former war hero, senator and presidential candidate John McCain. Mr McCain’s daughter Meghan was the first to pay tribute to him. “We gather here to mourn the passing of American greatness,” she lamented. “The real thing, not cheap rhetoric from men who will […]

Management Consultant Mike Eldon

Firms grow with systems, vision and inspiration

Some years ago I wrote enthusiastically about John Kotter’s “eight steps to change” that many, including here in Kenya, have followed as a guide to transforming their organisations. Kotter laid these out in his 1996 book, Leading Change, and then 10 years later, together with Holger Rathberger, he published Our Iceberg Is Melting, that brought […]

Management Consultant Mike Eldon

Involve staff in layoff plan to ease feelings

In the last few months I have come across numerous examples of employees who, as a result of a planned restructuring of the organisation in which they work, feel they will be losing out. They expect to suffer from woes such as diminished seniority, influence, control and prestige — even redundancy, while more practically also […]

Management Consultant Mike Eldon

Leadership character can be used positively to empower others

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to be a panelist on NTV’s am Live Friday morning Leadership Forum, and when anchor Debarl Inea told me the theme would be “Leadership Character” I began thinking about how to fill the few minutes I would be given within the programme to present on the subject. […]

Management Consultant Mike Eldon

Monitoring, evaluating… and then what?

This is an article I wrote for ‘UN Special’, a magazine published by the UN for civil servants. Click here (link will open in a new window).

Management Consultant Mike Eldon

Book review: NEW TOME: A journey through Ethiopian churches

And here’s a link to one of my book reviews which was recently published in the East African: Click here (link will open in a new window).

Management Consultant Mike Eldon

Write more like you talk to get the message across

When I came to Kenya in the late seventies I was struck by how very differently people here wrote from the way I had been used to in the UK. It was as though I had journeyed back in time to the Edwardian or even Victorian eras of stiffness and formality. As I wondered why […]

Management Consultant Mike Eldon

Marking a milestone by gleaning lessons from art of storytelling

In my last column I wrote about a storytelling event I co-hosted, and today I hold on to that theme in this my 300th Business Daily article. For as I looked back over the 11 years my column has been running, it occurred to me that what I have actually been doing each fortnight is […]

Management Consultant Mike Eldon

The necessary evil that is compliance

My colleague Frank Kretzschmar and I have been hosting our story-telling Leaders Circles for 12 years. The theme for our most recent event was “The Necessary Evil of Compliance”, a topic increasingly in the forefront of our minds. Yes, we did include “necessary” before “evil”, acknowledging that, as former Deputy US Attorney-General Paul McNulty put […]

Management Consultant Mike Eldon

It’s futile to stand in the way of new technology

Ah, new technology: it threatens and disrupts. It always has and it always will. In 19th century England a group of textile workers known as Luddites destroyed weaving machines to protest against their “fraudulent and deceitful” use that was designed, they alleged, to get round the then labour practices. Luddites feared that the time spent […]

Management Consultant Mike Eldon

NCIC does more work than what comes to surface

A month ago I was privileged to attend the launch of Alice Wairimu Nderitu’s book on national cohesion and integration, Kenya, Bridging Ethnic Divides. Ms Nderitu was a founding Commissioner of the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC), and before and since she has enjoyed a distinguished career promoting the cause of cohesion and integration, […]

My selection of speeches that shaped history

The Penguin Book of Modern Speeches (available at Text Book Centre and maybe elsewhere locally) reproduces a fascinating collection of speeches that have influenced history, and today I write about two among them. The first, delivered in 1960 to the South African Parliament by then British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, was about the “winds of […]