Business Rocks: Becoming A Skilled Sailor

Business Rocks: Becoming A Skilled Sailor

Back in the 1990s, my wife and I went on a sailing holiday in the Mediterranean. For the first week, we stayed in an hotel and spent each day learning to sail a 35-foot yacht. The weather was glorious; sun, heat and no wind. The smooth, still sea had been painted with...
Business Rocks: Becoming A Skilled Sailor

Business Rocks: Lessons From Football Coaching

For the first time in a couple of years, I have been coaching a junior football team. It is a grassroots under-16s squad and we have a wide range of abilities. I’ve been enjoying the process and have been running two 90-minute sessions for the boys each week. As I’ve...
Business Rocks: Becoming A Skilled Sailor

Business Rocks: The Ownership Test

In a few weeks’ time, my oldest son, Dylan, will receive his A-Level results. These results will determine which, if any, university offers he is able to accept. Like all other A-Level and GCSE students, however, Dylan hasn’t taken any exams. As a result of the...
Business Rocks: Becoming A Skilled Sailor

Business Rocks: Local Lockdowns

Most UK bars and restaurants will reopen again this weekend. As the number of Covid-19 cases finally approaches a sustainably manageable level, the 15-week social lockdown is being eased. Not in Leicester, however. There, the bars will remain shut for a further two...
Business Rocks: Becoming A Skilled Sailor

Business Rocks: Further And Faster

Like many others, I’ve used the lockdown period to improve my fitness. For the first time in over a decade I’ve been running three or four times a week. I must admit that I was a little nervous about it, worrying that I would injure a knee or ankle, so I’ve been...
Business Rocks: Becoming A Skilled Sailor

Business Rocks: Leadership Legacies

The blacksmith, Francis Bowes, died in Poulton-le-Sands, a small Lancashire fishing village, in 1732. I know this because Mr Bowes made a bequest in his will to start a village school, which, some 240 years later, I attended. Mr Bowes’s generosity was not only a...
Business Rocks: Becoming A Skilled Sailor

Business Rocks: The Unwritten Future

Yesterday, in an idle moment browsing the internet, I came across this photo. It shows the band Prefab Sprout playing to a small crowd in London in early 1984. What really made me stop and look closely at the picture, however, was the fact that it also shows the back...
Business Rocks: Becoming A Skilled Sailor

Business Rocks: 7 Lessons For Post-Covid Growth

I’m in the process of concluding a short, focused post-Covid strategy project with a client. We’ve been working on how the business can continue to grow and thrive through the pandemic and the inevitable economic downturn. We’ve made a lot of progress in a few weeks...
Business Rocks: Becoming A Skilled Sailor

Business Rocks: Winning In Any Scenario

I’ve been leading some scenario planning as part of a short, focused strategy project with a client. The executive team want to understand how their business can win in the post-crisis world and get to grips with the scale of the challenge ahead. The four scenarios...
Business Rocks: Becoming A Skilled Sailor

Business Rocks: How To Set Moonshots

When JF Kennedy became president of the US in 1961, the country lagged well behind the Soviet Union in the space race. Yet, in May of that year, Kennedy announced to Congress his intention of putting a man the moon and returning them safely to Earth, before the end of...
Business Rocks: Becoming A Skilled Sailor

Business Rocks: How Are You Seeing The World

There are two ways to look at the post-Covid world. The first is to look through the lens of risk. After all, there is likely to be a significant recession in most countries. How deep and long-lasting the downturn proves to be is still up for debate, but most...
Business Rocks: Becoming A Skilled Sailor

Business Rocks: Succeeding Beyond The Pandemic

Crises change markets. In 2008, Aldi, the German-based discount supermarket, had a 1.6% share of the UK grocery market. Then the financial crash happened. As a result, shoppers looked for value and found it in spades at Aldi. The retailer hasn’t looked back and has...
Business Rocks: Becoming A Skilled Sailor

Business Rocks: The Blame Game

This week’s focus: A few years ago, I was invited to the opening of a new concept store. The store looked great and the initial customer reaction was extremely positive. I turned to one of the project managers who was there and asked him if he’d been closely...
Business Rocks: Becoming A Skilled Sailor

Business Rocks: Something Changed

This week’s focus: Over the past month, companies have been working round the clock to respond to the challenges of the coronavirus crisis. Where possible, they have been working out how best to keep some sort of show on the road. Otherwise, business leaders...
Business Rocks: Becoming A Skilled Sailor

Business Rocks: All Things Must Pass

This week’s focus: At this stage, no-one quite knows how long the coronavirus will last, let alone the time it will take for life and the economy to return to ‘normal’. One thing’s for sure, though: the businesses that will recover best will be those that...
Business Rocks: Becoming A Skilled Sailor

Business Rocks: Do You Dare To Be Different?

This week’s focus: The UK government’s approach to managing the impact of the coronavirus is controversial. Critics say that it is too relaxed and that the government has failed to get a proper grip. And then they point to the more draconian measures that have...
Business Rocks: Becoming A Skilled Sailor

Business Rocks: Pale Male And Not So Stale

This week’s focus: As the US presidential race gets into gear, I see that many people are bemoaning the fact that all the leading candidates – Trump, Sanders and Biden – are white men in their 70s. The ‘pale, male and stale’ accusations are coming thick and...