Diversity: Are You A Robin Or A Penguin?

Just imagine: Your boss asks you to run a series of special training days for other employees. At first you feel rather flattered that your boss is considering you for this task. But you soon realise that there are costs involved: for one, you are expected to prepare for the [...]

May 25th, 2018|

When Managers are Mute

True Story: One of the LeisureNet joint CEOs, Peter, summonsed the project accountant, “Tony”, a senior manager, into his office. In rapid and hushed tones, Peter briefed Tony in the corridor saying that he had the directors of our largest offshore investors, Capvest, on the phone. The Capvest directors were [...]

March 28th, 2018|

Speaking Up To The Harvey Weinsteins Not Just Speaking About Them

“Next time I come for a meeting with you make sure you’re braless”   External Bank Manager “If you interrupt my meeting, you need to be punished and that means me ‘taking you’ on my desk”  Followed by being picked up and laid across the desk. Sales and Marketing Director “You know [...]

February 28th, 2018|

When Speaking Up Does It Matter Whether Men Are From Mars And Women From Venus?

Although evidence has mounted that employees speaking up helps managers identify problems and improve organisational effectiveness, voice from subordinates is still not well received by managers. In this blog I want to focus on how the process of the way we compare ourselves with others (social comparison) and gender can [...]

January 29th, 2018|

Will you Sacrifice your Principles for the Pied Piper of Unethical Acts?

There is no wonder my whistleblowing case is known as "South Africa’s Enron". There are significant and identifiable parallels. In this blog I want to focus on the the attempt by the joint CEOs of the organisation I blew the whistle on, to persuade the Chairman of the Audit committee, [...]

December 21st, 2017|

Hope Won’t Make This Happen: “If You See Something, Say Something.”

If conformism and obedience are basic elements in our culture, nonconformity, disobedience, and whistleblowing are vital for its progress. My mobile phone rang at 3.00 am. It was one of the CEOs on the line and his voice bristled with anger and indignation. "Get yourself over to the office now, [...]

November 23rd, 2017|

Whistleblowers Need Radical Justice Not Radical Incentives

“Get down, get down. Arms behind your back. Don’t move.”  I turned around to see two policemen, guns held out and pointed at a group of people sitting on the pavement. I perceived the targeted group to be middle aged hippies from the Woodstock era, apparently stoned and certainly no [...]

October 27th, 2017|

One Of The Worst Reproaches In The World Is To Be Called A Coward

  No leader would readily say they wanted cowardice but until you’ve seen a workplace of confident, idea-sharing, risk-taking, conflict-engaging, openly dissenting people, it’s hard to know the difference. Courage is something that we want for ourselves in gluttonous portions and adore in others without qualification whilst cowardice, uncertainty, defensiveness and [...]

September 30th, 2017|

Dear Barclays CEO; Mr Staley, it doesn’t have to be this way

There has been appropriate outrage at your actions in seeking to unmask a whistleblower at Barclays Bank. The angry rhetoric is a reaction to the misalignment with what the ‘Barclays Way Code of Conduct’ invites workers to do to raise concerns and your actual response. You hold a powerful position, you [...]

September 4th, 2017|

In All The Legal Manoeuvring, Something Gets Lost – The Truth

Helpful laws make things easier. Unhelpful laws do exactly the opposite, making everyone’s lives harder.  The problem is that unhelpful laws often end up in a kind of legal Bermuda Triangle with no one empowered or resourced to change them. A university student cautiously approached me following my lecture on [...]

August 8th, 2017|