Making sense of it all

It’s the economy, stupid!

Bill Clinton’s campaign for the US Presidency centred on the economy and it’s impact on people’s daily lives. Tony Blair’s followed a similar arc. Barrack Obama’s legacy lies in the boom that his successor, Trump, is claiming the credit for. The bust we experienced in 20018 to date (2018) owes much to the policies of the 1980s and the dividends it delivered to the wealthy.

How many of us understand this and appreciate what the consequences might be?

Today, more than ever, we need to educate people on how the economy works and why decisions made in seemingly remote centres of power affect our daily lives and are at the root of the way we view the world. (more…)

Food Waste

Food waste bugs me. Food producers spend millions getting food to ‘look’ just right, often sacrificing flavour and nutrition in the process.   Processing food for convenience consumes vast quantities of water and other scarce natural resources.   In addition, our lack of understanding of where food really comes from and willingness to purchase food that ‘looks right’ helps create mountains of food waste and perpetuate an unhealthy diet. (more…)

Banks v Credit Unions

Quite aside from marketing and communications, I am also a voluntary board member of various socially active organisations.   As part of these activities I’ve seen at first hand how poverty affects people, but also how people react to negative situations and create positive outcomes for themselves.   (more…)

Leadership & Change: Bias, Stereotypes and the Impact on Organisational Behaviour

Binna Kandola is Senior Partner and co-founder of Pearn Kandola. His areas of expertise are diversity and inclusion, equal opportunities, assessment and development. He is particularly interested in understanding bias and finding ways to reduce it through effective leadership.

In the video and presentation below, Binna Kandola cogently explains how leaders need to examine issues like bias, stereotyping, group think, how we attend to information which confirms stereotypes, how and why some workplace interventions might enforce unconscious bias and how valuing ‘difference’ can maintain stereotypes.

If I put to you this riddle, what would your answer be?

A father and his son are in a car accident. The father dies instantly, and the son is taken to the nearest hospital. The doctor comes in and exlaims “I can’t operate on this boy.”

“Why not?” the nurse asks.

“Because he’s my son,” the doctor responds.

How is this possible?


Ultimately Kandola presents a challenge to engrained leadership practice, putting forward a new way of leading.   It’s fascinating stuff.   As marketers, leaders and as human beings, we are evolving.   There is still much to do.   Watch and learn.

And the answer to the riddle?   The doctor is the boy’s mother.   How many people tie themselves up in knots when the answer is actually very obvious and very simple, once you choose to step away from conditioned thinking.

Fadia-el-Hage: J. S. Bach’s Passions

J. S. Bach’s Passions provide an evocative sonic representation of the human suffering experienced by Jesus Christ. Here in ‘Erbarme Dich’ (Have Mercy) with Sarband’s accompaniment, Fadia el-Hage reprises Bach’s arias as healing songs which bridge conflicts and differences between worlds, between faiths, between believers and non-believers and between modernists and traditionalists.

It’s incredibly moving.

Pantene Phillipines: Labels and What they Really Mean

Brand messages so often perpetuate stereotypes, usually gender based ones.   Think of the soft-focus brand imagery where a mother’s lot is to nurture her angelic children while hubby does the ‘real’ stuff or the way that standards of ‘beauty’ consistently serve to undermine women’s perception of themselves and the way they look and behave.

Pantene Philippines have waded into the debate strongly.   Their commercial was created to show how society labels women.   Very interesting – a great example of how some brands are really connecting with consumers.   The use of a female vocalist poignantly covering a well known song gives it an immediate emotional impact, making for a damning commentary on the way our society uses labels to denigrate.