Management Consultant Mike Eldon

Meeting Kenya’s great potential in agriculture

We keep hearing that young Kenyans just aren’t attracted to farming, and that the average age of a farmer here is 60. For years too, we’ve been worrying about the fragmentation of land into smaller and smaller plots, and about the absence of collaboration between farmers so they can benefit from economies of scale. We […]

Management Consultant Mike Eldon

Why coaching is the best style of leadership

In the last few weeks I have paid several visits to Western Kenya, and in different ways they all revolved around the topic of leadership. I spent time with members of the County Delivery Units in the lake region; with a group of DTB bankers based in western Kenya; with staff of the Kisumu branches […]

Management Consultant Mike Eldon

How to help children gain self-esteem, resolve issues

I was in London recently to celebrate a milestone birthday of my sister Ruth, and joining me there from America were my daughter Amy and her two delightful sons, 11-year old Jack and nine-year old Daniel. One evening Amy and I took the boys to see a spectacular musical play, School of Rock, which is […]

Management Consultant Mike Eldon

How firms can better engage shareholders

I was recently invited by the accountants’ body, the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya( ICPAK) to run a session at their 7th Annual Governance and Ethics Conference. The topic they chose for me was “Inside the boardroom: the realities of shareholder engagement”, and this in the context of the overall theme of the […]

Management Consultant Mike Eldon

Leading a board isn’t for glamour but hard work

In my last article I found myself in the boardroom and today I remain there, following my invitation by Strathmore University Business School to be a panelist on their “Leading the Board” programme. In what follows I will refer to the main issues that emerged, and I’ll start by reporting on our easy consensus over […]

Management Consultant Mike Eldon

Educating for uncertain scenarios that await us

In the latest edition of the London Business School Review I was pleased to see an article by my dear friend Charles Handy on how business schools must adapt for the future. He opens by recollecting that 51 years ago he returned to England from America to join the fledgling London Graduate School of Business […]

Management Consultant Mike Eldon

Top managers need to boost leadership skills

We are all so busy these days, and the more senior we are as leaders the busier we are. In among the frantic activity and the e-mails, with our ambitious targets and tight timescales, there’s no time to reflect – never mind to invest time in doing so with others at our level. When I […]

Management Consultant Mike Eldon

It’s not all gloom and doom in government

We are at a time when we’re not sure whether to be depressed by all the bad news regarding the debt, corruption, unceasing politics and other ills that continue to drag Kenya down, or to be hopeful that initiatives such as the Handshake, the Big Four and the Multi-Sector Anti-Corruption Programme will lift us to […]

Management Consultant Mike Eldon

Why I feel sorry for senior state officials

I feel very sorry for those who work in government, and almost as sorry for those who interact frequently with them. For the public servants, it is not aspects like their remuneration or their office environment that I worry about, however inadequate these may be for some of them. No. My sympathy for them – […]

Leadership in and beyond Rotary

A speech held by Mike Eldon at the Rotary Club of Nairobi on 7th February 2019 In Rotary we are all leaders in our profession, and here today we are all past, present or future leaders in Rotary. Sometimes we lead, and sometimes we are led, and in Rotary we must establish our reputations as […]

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 […]