The Daily Paradox

A Tree for 2017

The revelation that upwards of a thousand Russian athletes have used drugs to secure their Olympic sporting victories grinds uncomfortably with events in Europe, America, North, South, West and East Africa, the Philippines and the South China Sea. It wraps up a year of profound shock for people trying to make sense of what they…
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The Paradox that says it all

The real index of civilization is when people are kinder than they need to be Louis de Bernieres, novelist (b. 8 Dec 1954)

Undiplomatic diplomacy

Does President-Elect Trump intend to start a war with China? I don’t think so but I can’t claim to have that from the man himself. If he doesn’t, is his confrontational diplomacy of having a cosy chat with the Taiwanese President sensible? The world has bigger issues at present than Taiwan’s independence. Frankly the issue…
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Grow or Contract?

As every business knows you either grow or you contract. Rough seas and uncertain times are no exception to this rule but you have to weigh caution with risk. Caution is conserving, possibly rationalising a little. Risk is not growing at all. I have seen enough businesses to know that every rationalisation must be swiftly…
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Reasonableness

In the early 1950s, the Marketing Director of a giant Chicago-based chewing-gum business was asked by me what the reason was for what I thought was a particularly crass decision. We were both young men. He was the client. He viewed it as a slightly impertinent question. His answer was revealing. “Reason?” he said, “Reason?…
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Pay and stay

I have a lot of time for Guy Verhofstadt, the former Prime Minister of Belgium. He is known for his straightforward approach to tricky political problems. He is the appointed lead negotiator for the EU in Brexit – separating Britain from Continental Europe – an unenviable task. He has suggested that those Britons who have…
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The Polar Bear is you

Climate change may seem something of a hoary old subject with the President-Elect as a Disbeliever and the Northern Ice Cap fast Disappearing. It is exactly when issues like this become repetitive that they can sink into the mire of gloom and be bundled away forever. Before that happens let’s examine what we should be…
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Mentoring & coaching in a company

Every organisation has mentors and coaches whether they are identified as such or not. Older, more experienced members of the structure help younger executives find their feet, learn the ropes, obtain the dirt on what matters and what doesn’t within the culture. It’s happening, and if you as CEO are not aware of it or…
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The white biretta

Pope Francis is no revolutionary. He doesn’t rant and roar, in fact he speaks quite softly. He makes no wild promises, uses no inflammatory language, doesn’t seem to have taken a course in media handling. And yet he is having an amazing impact on the world. At a time when belief in the supernatural is…
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Promises, promises

Long after the hyperbole of an election campaign has been forgotten the promises remain fixed in the minds of those who heard it. What we say in the heat of argument is often left to die by the roadside along with the warriors who fought for it. What we promised as the result of our…
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