Archive for the ‘Managing Change’ Category

The Power of Listening

Monday, December 10th, 2018

Don’t you smile when the loudmouth cannot control him or herself wading in with an uninformed opinion because they simply have to be heard. Whether it is in business, politics, or other aspects of life, we underestimate the power of “active” listening, at our peril.

Blind Partnerships

Monday, October 15th, 2018

If you are dumb enough to refuse a replacement, the time to build trust, which has been integral to your partnership, alliance or consortium’s success, you better have something so desirable others are willing to bet “blind”. That is a luxury very few organisations ever have. Or then again perhaps you have close to zero interest in your partners’ future or in finding a replacement.

Negotiating Change

Friday, October 12th, 2018

If you insist on telling me my discretionary time, my personal interests and my enjoyment must be curtailed BEFORE we conceptually agree a plan for an improved set of conditions, you weaken not strengthen your negotiating position.    

Ageing People Trump Ageing Tech

Wednesday, May 30th, 2018


Why do we place more faith in ageing technology than in ageing people? The older and wiser individuals are, surely, the more productive they are in resolving problems or in raising performance levels? Equally, the inverse is true of ageing technology. Yet as a society, we are more trusting of computers than human knowledge (car mechanics), more tolerant of computer error than human error (air traffic control failures) and more aggressive in unilaterally retiring people than legacy systems (insurance companies).

© James Berkeley 2018. All Rights Reserved.



Interview with Me: Financial Times

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

The Financial Times Wealth Correspondent, Hugo Greenhalgh, sat down with James to discuss the impact of wealth creation, investment and the stark changes occurring in parts of London’s fabric since he first arrived in 1986.

Dickens’ “Greatest Thoroughfare in London” Subsumed By Coffee Chains

Disruption and Decisiveness, Two Rare Bedfellows

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

I have been talking to many executives in the past few months about their response to disruptive market changes. Insurers and reinsurers competing with a flood of capital from pension funds. US health insurers responding to legislative changes and the advent of public and private healthcare insurance exchanges. International hotel chains fighting online travel agents for control of the customer and so forth. Some are slow, steady market evolutions, otherwise are more sudden or opportunistic moves. All demand a response, which may be “do nothing”, adjust and adapt the market positioning of existing products, services and customer relationships, or even exit some product, consumer, industry or geographic markets.

There are two fundamental questions that need answering:

What can and should management do now?

What other big changes may lie ahead of which we are as yet unaware?

Organisations and those leading them are expected by their consumers, shareholders, employees and business partners to be decisive. Yet too often I observe top management being indecisive. The fear of making a decision, one way or other, seems to be paralyzing in the executive suite. The “safe” option is often the worst option (circling the wagons and defending the organisation’s neatly staked out territory). There are, of course, shining examples here and there (Alan Mulally at Ford). However, on the whole performance in mid to large organisations is still mediocre.

Disruptive market conditions demand leaders take decisive action. That means answers in the form of a clearly defined vision of your product, service and customer relationship in the “new” market, getting buy-in from employees, and supporting them on the “journey of change” from the status quo to the future state.