Entries by artkenya

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]