Posts in leadership
Beyond borders: talking at TEDxLondon

The greatest lesson I learnt during the coaching sessions was that TED is about the audience, not the speaker. Even if the idea is yours, you are on that stage to share. To do that well you have to connect with your audience, breaking down the barrier between seat and stage in the process. You can’t bat out an idea like mine – “code poetry” – if no one catches it.

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“The things that make me interesting cannot be digitised”: leadership lessons from the Drucker Forum

The entreaty to ask leaders to be regularly uncomfortable, quiet, and wrong is a reminder that one of the most important traits a leader needs is courage. While plenty of leaders are happy being quiet, few enjoy being uncomfortable or wrong. This means not only accepting correction or questioning, but actively seeking it out, wading through awkwardness on both sides, taking criticism and using it to get better.

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Why Black people don’t start businesses (and how more inclusive innovation could make a difference)

According to the Race Disparity Audit, in 2016, Black workers were the least likely to be self-employed at 11%. My hypothesis as a Black business owner myself is that a large number of Black-run businesses are in low-barrier sectors such as care work or cleaning. I strongly suspect that the number of Black-run tech startups for example, would show a bleak picture for those overall ethnicity statistics. Why is that?

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Motherboard knows best?

We might expect that algorithms would be seen as more objective arbiters in disputes, or more impartial recruiters for jobs. But they are not. Researchers have observed that people rely on human judgement, even when informed about the shortcomings of human decision making... People are not particularly alarmed by the application of technology in the form of online platforms like turbo-tax or dashboards. The problem usually arises when algorithms are used to inform judgements which have a significant impact on citizens’ lives, such as sentencing criminals or deciding who should receive welfare payments. 

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Making it personal: civil service and morality

There are moments as a teacher or a facilitator when the mood in the room changes very suddenly. Sometimes this is the beginning of a disaster: misreading the room, choosing an example with an awful hidden meaning, or simply losing trust. But at other times, it is when someone shows something of themselves – something real – and the whole room turns towards them. These are some of my favourite moments. Earlier this month, training a group of talented civil servants in Ukraine, the room turned towards a participant who talked about God.
 

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