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 […]

Influence, not power yields better output from employees

My first leadership experience came when I arrived in Kenya in 1977 to be the general manager of the local subsidiary of a multinational IT company. Both the Kenyans who reported to me and the Brits to whom I reported expected me to be the proverbial “Big Man”, perceived as all-knowing, all-wise and all-powerful. And […]

Kind of leadership needed to deal with a crisis effectively

I was in London last month at the time when snow covered the city, to work on a leadership programme with the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). One of those with me carried a wonderful book that I then also bought, The Greats on Leadership by Jocelyn Davis. In it Mr Davis offers […]

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, […]

Lucas Marang’a – Deadlines

Click image to continue reading this article on Lucas’ website: Deadlines.

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 […]