These 10 Life Lessons apply to business too

human-brain-learner-sign-16348690I have just read a great blog post called 10 Life Lessons to Excel in Your 30’s which had as its first life lesson to Start saving for retirement now, not later. It appealed to me for these 3 reasons:

1. Putting the pensions need first

Despite this being focused on the American demographic, I think it applies just as importantly to us here in the UK and in the western world or anywhere that pensions savings does not have to compete with staying alive this week…  Read more…

Categories: Personal

Gratitude

January 26, 2014 Leave a comment

Gratitude-PerspectivesI think we all know the saying to “stop and smell the roses” and few will be able to argue with the validity of the saying. I also think that few of us actually take the time to do just that. In today’s world of Facebook notifications, Twitter’s tweets, push email and 24/7 television we are constantly going forward at the speed of light. With a media ADHD we rarely afford ourselves the chance to look back, to stop and contemplate or ultimately to be grateful. I am as much a victim as any other half tech-head. But tonight I had a glimpse.

Read more…

5 Things Nelson Mandela Taught Me

December 6, 2013 4 comments

Madiba jerseyOn this sad day I rejoice in thanks to the greatest son of Africa and the father of our nation. As I do so, I give thanks to these 5 things that Tata Madiba has taught Me

  1. To be proud to be South African: I am (still) learning to be a proud South African and not to be ashamed of my country’s history but to embrace the lessons it has taught us as a nation and a humanity. Our mistakes and our failures are our lessons and our guides. Take them in your stride and you grow as a person. Regret and ignore them and you are bound to suffer their reappearance as a lesson not yet learned.
  2. Peace and reconciliation are more powerful than guns and strife: There is a time to fight and there is a time to cry but the most powerful time is that of healing. There are so many places in the world that could benefit from coming together and healing. Not far from my part of Africa we have strife in The Central African Republic, a fight that with patience, compassion and humility can be resolved.
  3. It is not what you are but who you are and how you are: Tata Madiba is remembered for the big things but also for the small. So many have commented in their tributes to Madiba that he made everyone feel at ease. From the door man to the person who served tea, from the hospital nurse to the Queen of England, Madiba greeted and treated everyone as an important person. It is important to recognise everyone for their role they play. A company, a family, a country – we all need people to watch the door, pour the tea, clean the roads, coordinate the teams and make tough decisions, a chain relies on its links and we need to recognise each and every link as important.
  4. It is a long walk to freedom: We all face battles daily and it is only one challenge at a time that we win and conquer our battles, fears and opposition. Usually these are internal, “Am I good enough?”, “How do I overcome that?”, “How can I accomplish this?” but it is with a single-minded purpose, a heartfelt dedication and a genuine desire to win that we can be victorious. It does not happen over night but it can be a journey which brings our allies closer and can turn the hearts of those who stand in our way.
  5. You can make friends with your enemies: On my birthday in 1995, the 25th of May, South Africa won two battles. One against Australia in the Rugby World Cup and one as a nation coming together. Tata Madiba wore the Rugby jersey of the Springbok Rugby team in celebration of our first World Cup Rugby win. He wore the jersey that for so long had been a key symbol of the white oppressors of the black South African. On that day he won the hearts of all South Africans and showed the way to come together, to be one and to be proud of how far we had come and how far we can go.

Today I wear my SA rugby jersey. I wear it with a sense of pride, a tear in my eye and a feeling of unity with an entire country who have come together on this very sad day to rejoice and mourn. So I wear this jersey, not for the rugby players today but for the man who wore it best, our father Nelson ‘Madiba’ Rolihlahla Mandela.

Hamba kakuhle Tata, Nkosi sikelel’ iMandela

gigaom.com: FireHost secures $12M in fun

gigaom.com: FireHost secures $12M in funding to promote its secure cloud: The company that claims Kevin Mitnick, The Clinton… http://wp.me/p10LZV-2KGq

Categories: Personal

UK to harmonise IP law to considerably s

UK to harmonise IP law to considerably strengthen the UK’s protection for registered designs: http://ow.ly/lIYvz

Categories: Personal

The Network Society – a relevant quote

May 9, 2013 1 comment

network society

networks cause a comprehensive restructuring of society at large – they are breaking old models of organisation. In a network society, the network becomes a basic unit of organization at all levels, in a mass media society, the basic units are the large collective ‘masses’. A network society is based on individuals who form voluntary connections with other individuals regardless of location. Online social networks, media networks and technology networks act as the catalysts for a networked society.

Taken from Grow VC’s Manifesto quoting Jan van Dijk, The Network Society. Sage – (second edition) 2006

Business needs social media – it is not a fad

April 26, 2013 2 comments

social-media-tools-300x250 knowledge peers In the grand scheme of things, Social Media is an embryo in a world of technology where everything is changing so quickly. For those of us who were not born with an iPad in our hands, there is a sense that the rate of development is an unstoppable bullet train (see How are humans going to become extinct? for some fascinating posturing). However in the realm of social media I think an important element of context is missing in the common questions so often asked: Does it work? Is it just a fad? How do I use it? Isn’t it just for over-sharing teens? Doesn’t it take a lot of time? How can I measure it? Is it safe and trusted?

There is of course this huge rate of technological advance but in fact there are 2 time-frames we need to consider:

  1. Technological advancement and what it enables for individuals and groups;
  2. The evolution of human nature within society and culture.

Throughout history we have examples of the pendulum swing where society and culture force the swing to turn back. Think of the liberal 60’s versus conservative 80’s. It is like there is a natural human system of checks and balances. Why would this be any different in the case technology? Read more…

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