Archives: March 2012

Sydney, AHRI, 27 March 2012

I spoke in Sydney on 27 March to members of the Australian Human Resources Institute. This is my first seminar in a long while exclusively devoted to "people issues." Hence you may find it of general interest—it's my "last word"—for now!—on this premier enterprise topic.

(As I said to the group, this is very new material—by my definition of "new." A topic, in my opinion, remains "new" as long as it is not effectively implemented. Hence, there is nothing novel herein—but 9 of 10 organizations are a country mile or 10 or 110 from having implemented a truly "people first" enterprise—and, hence, having reaped
the infinite moral and financial benefits associated therewith.)

AHRI, Sydney, 27 March 2012


The next installment of Tom's "Mother of All Presentations," or MOAP, is Part 8, available now at You can download the PowerPoint version or a PDF. We'll be releasing a section every other week throughout 2012.

With Part 8, Tom begins his "15H Theory of Everything." This presentation, based on lessons from Conrad Hilton, has this as its main message: Execution Is Strategy.

Double Shot Interview

Tom spoke last week to the Food and Grocery Council in New Zealand. While in Auckland, he had a conversation with Bernard Hickey from They cover current business issues as well as the central point of The Little BIG Things.

Off the Cuff #3

Our Off the Cuff video series is a direct response from Tom to your questions. This is the third video in the series, which poses a question from Jack, "Why don't big companies innovate, and who are the best that do?"

Anger and Innovation

Tom has written, "All (ALL) innovation comes from fury." Reading this in The Little BIG Things compelled the editor of Oxford American magazine to examine why he founded the magazine as well as what disturbs him about his competition. In this editorial, he rails against a competitor's simplistic portrayal of the American South. I've never laid eyes on either the Oxford American or its competitors, and being a deeply rooted Yankee, I have no authority to judge their authenticity or value. However, it's an opportunity to invite you to action.

This story is an example of allowing fury at "how things are done" to spur you to delve deeper, to explore, to search intensely for truth or for the ability to see a situation or problem more clearly. It begs the question: what's making you furious? Not irritated. Furious. Now take that energy and start exploring how things could be done differently. This is how change happens.

NZ Food & Grocery Council, Auckland

Tom's first event of 2012 finds him in New Zealand speaking to the Food & Grocery Council. Check out their website, it looks as if they have a hand in everything to do with food in NZ. Slides are below.

New Zealand Food & Grocery Council, 14 March 2012

New Zealand Food & Grocery Council, Long Version, 14 March 2012


The next installment, Part 7, of Tom's "Mother of All Presentations," or MOAP, is available now at You can download the PowerPoint version or a PDF. We'll be releasing a section every other week throughout 2012.

In Part 7, Tom turns conventional wisdom about meetings on its head. They are not, he insists, the most boring, wasteful parts of your day, but valuable opportunities for the leader to communicate ... and listen. If you agree with Tom that these are core competencies, take a look at "Meetings Matter," Part 7 of his Mother of All Presentations.

Part 7 is the end of what Tom calls the "Really First Things Before First Things." The first few parts of MOAP are the essential little things that often get lost in the shuffle. Tom's way to ensure they don't is by placing them at the beginning. The rests of the parts of MOAP will consist of the 15 H's. So as we finish the beginning with Part 7 this week, Tom would like to offer up a bit of a summary in a PDF document he calls REALLY First Things.

TLBT Video #74
Leadership: Listening and … Four Words

The latest video in The Little BIG Things series is now available on YouTube. In this installment, Tom describes his "essence of leadership" formula in two compelling ideas.

You can find the video in the right-hand column of this page or watch it at YouTube (time: 2 minutes 28 seconds). Or, get a PDF transcript of the video's content: Leadership: Listening and ... Four Words.

An Update on Clear Path International

You may remember our good friend Jamie Hathaway who guest blogged here a few years ago. He co-founded Clear Path International, an NGO that provides services for landmine accident survivors. Recently, featured their work, and it was a great reminder to check in with what Jamie, et. al are up to. Jamie is in Afghanistan and reported on several projects that CPI is working on there in this blog post. We were also thrilled to hear of the positive outcomes of their work in Vietnam, started years ago, that he described during his guest blogs at Jamie and his team risk their lives to help others. Can't think of a better example of servant leadership.


Is it the engineer in me? Quite possibly. At any rate, you'll find a set of lists dating back several years here. It starts out with one that goes to 219 (!) items—in short, stuff I believe. At any rate, all yours in the FYI modality.