Growing with purpose

Continuing to sustainably grow by staying relevant is getting harder every year. A recent study shows that the average lifespan of a company in the S&P 500 index has decreased from 61 years in 1958 to just 18 years. At this rate, by 2027, more than three-quarters of the S&P 500 will be companies that don’t exist today.

Average company lifespan on S&P Index in years

Intuitively, this doesn’t seem shocking. We all know companies that have exploded with growth only for them to disappear a few years down the line. A quick search on the Internet will bring up many companies that have simply disappeared. There is, however, that one-quarter that will still be around and will manage to sustain their growth over time. There are several factors that contribute to these companies being able to sustain their growth, one of these being a clearly articulated and lived purpose. Recent research has also shown that companies with an explicit commitment to a higher purpose, “outperformed the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index from 1996 to 2011 by an astonishing 10.5 to 1.”

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Gender diversity for improved decision making: Lessons from Thailand

Back in 2010, I was in Paris with a colleague running a workshop at the Women’s International Networking global conference. We had 100 persons show up for our workshop and my male colleague turned to me and said, wow I feel a bit self-conscious being one of only 3 men in this room. And I replied, well that’s how many women feel every day.

Today I still find it to be the case, that when working with European companies at a senior and board level, I find often I am one of the only, if not the only woman in the room. This is of course changing and there are many positive benefits to be gained with increased gender diversity on boards. Numerous studies have shown a, “positive correlation between the presence of women in corporate leadership and performance.” Gender diversity in boards is one of the ways for bringing in different perspectives, backgrounds and experiences to improve the quality of decision making.

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5 Awesome Women 2017

Now four years running, in honour of International Women’s Day, I’ve named 5 awesome women; women who I appreciate, admire, have learned from and who I personally know.  Here are my 5 for 2017.

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Re-framing in the new year

The start of a new calendar year triggers many of us to reflect on what we want to do new or differently in the coming year, whether personally or professionally. Professionally it’s a moment where many of us start with new plans, new budgets, fresh, eager and ready to achieve more than we did the year before. Though we are starting a new year, what we do and how we get things done stays unchanged unless we consciously make an effort to recognise and break out of our biases.

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Listening to customers in Athens: Testing new value propositions

What happens when you bring your customers in one room and ask their feedback? This is what I did at the beginning of December with one of our ELP clients.

Our aim was to test a new value proposition for marine energy transportation by getting honest, open and challenging feedback, which can be tricky to achieve when your customers are sitting together with their competitors. We did succeed and got some excellent feedback, interest in the further development of the technology and requests for a follow-up workshop.

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It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you can be

About 10 years ago I read Paul Arden‘s bookIt’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be. The main premise of the book is that you can’t be successful if you don’t have  vision for what you want to be (you can’t know if you score if you don’t know the goal).

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5 Awesome Women 2016

Now three year’s running, in honour of International Women’s Day, I’ve named 5 awesome women; women who I appreciate, admire, have learned from and who I personally know.  Here are my 5 for 2016.

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About balance

Lately I find myself having an allergic reaction when I hear people speaking or read articles about wanting to have balance in their lives. Much of it, based on what I’ve read, is about aspiring for balance as a fixed state; with things having the proper amount of importance or attention.

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How to have an impact

The International Film Festival Rotterdam wrapped up last week and luckily I managed to catch a great film about a married couple who have had a big impact on some of the most iconic Hollywood films (The Birds, The Ten Commandments, The Graduate, Fiddler on the Roof, Scarface, and the list goes on…). Unless you work in the industry, you’re likely to never have heard of Harold & Lilian Michelson, but when Spielberg, Katzenberg and Geffen started Dreamworks guess who they called?

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5 Awesome Women 2015

Last year, in honour of International Women’s Day, I named 5 awesome women; women who I appreciate, admire, have learned from and who I personally know.  Here are my 5 for 2015.

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