Category Archives: John’s events

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Speaking on script: the loss of engagement in modern speeches

John's events, Storytelling and marketing 1 Comment

This week, I traveled to the United States, where I have now been for several days. As is often my practice in an election year, I have watched some of the political coverage, perhaps even with a bit more interest than usual, due to the controversial nature of the unfolding electoral process.  I should make clear that I enjoy watching politicians speak, not so much from an inherent interest in politics but rather as part of my ongoing study of what makes someone an effective speaker in a public arena. In particular, I like to evaluate how effective an orator appears to be at connecting with the audience. In this … Continue reading

Reflection and the young, busy manager

John's events, John's reflections Leave a comment

Recently, I spoke to a focused and lively audience at Banco Galicia in Buenos Aires. For the past two years, I have been writing articles for their remarkably well done digital platform, As part of the program, they periodically invite writers to make presentations at breakfast events. Attendees at such talks tend to be middle managers from the bank’s client base, along with a small number of internal people.  The bank, which was named by Fast Company as one of the most innovative companies in Latin American in 2015, is always a pleasure to visit. Events are impeccably organized, attendees are highly engaged, and even casual conversations with the team from are often energizing.  … Continue reading

A visit to Harvard to talk about systems thinking

John's events, John's reflections Leave a comment

I ended the last post with the thought that theatre training and acting experience had helped me to become more of a “systems thinker”. By coincidence, this week I made my annual visit to Harvard University, where the theme of my lectures was “systems thinking”. It happened in the class of my friend and colleague Mark Esposito, and I was there to lead a discussion about how we can connect the concepts of systems thinking, leadership and storytelling.  Every time I come to Harvard and re-connect with Mark, I thoroughly enjoy the interaction with his groups. Mark is a remarkable teacher with an ability to stimulate high levels of engagement and … Continue reading

Speaking about “intercultural management”

John's events, leadership 1 Comment

This past Saturday, I spent the day in Aix-les-Bains, a beautiful resort town near Lyon. The event was the annual conference for the officers of the region’s Rotary Club. I was invited as an outside speaker to talk about management across the world’s cultures. About 500 people attended, and the lively audience was a pleasure to interact with. This was my initial contact with Rotary, and I was indeed impressed with the members, and with the day’s three other speakers. In addition, I enjoyed learning about Rotary, an organization about which I knew very little prior to this event. As a matter of fact, my knowledge of this organization was limited … Continue reading

Creating a group culture

authenticity, John's events, John's reflections, leadership, Leadership training, Leading by autobiography 1 Comment

This week, I am teaching a two day seminar to MBA students in Grenoble. As I am working far less in business schools now than in previous years, coming here got me thinking again about how I like to run my classroom and interact with students. Almost exactly one year ago, the European Foundation for Management Development ( invited me to speak at their 2013 MBA conference, on the subject of “creating positive group dynamics” in an MBA classroom. At that time, one of the first words that came to my mind was culture. In all the varied situations where I work, be it in business, in teaching or elsewhere, I always try … Continue reading

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