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Are you open and honest with your staff?


Tell me. Do you shy away from difficult conversations?  If someone in your team says something stupid, do you roll your eyes?  Be honest!  Can your staff ask you anything without fear of judgement?  This matters because it says a great deal about the culture in your business. 

High performing teams and psychological safety go hand-in-hand.  You don’t get one without the other.  And to have psychological safety, you need a culture where everyone feels able to speak up and say what’s on their mind.  You’ll only get that if you’re open and honest with everyone.

In my career, I’ve seen both sides of this coin.  At Rackspace, the leadership team tended to avoid tricky conversations.  We’d all read Patrick Lencioni’s ‘Five Dysfunctions of a Team’ but there was a fake harmony – an avoidance of conflict.  That’s how most people are, whether at work or at home.  Their default is ‘Don’t rock the boat’. Or ‘If you haven’t got anything nice to say, say nothing’. Sound familiar? But when I was MD at Peer 1 it was clear that our open, honest culture made a massive difference.  It was pivotal to the transformation of our leadership team and ultimately our huge business success.

So why does it make such a difference? 

Why Branding Is Sex and Creating Irrational Loyalty with Deb Gabor

What’s your business aim? To achieve growth? To create a winning corporate culture? Deb Gabor, keynote speaker and bestselling author is on a mission to inspire 1 million brands to create irrational loyalty. Yes, that’s also the name of her latest book, Irrational Loyalty, but the premise behind it should strike a chord with anyone who owns a business – not least because the subtitle is – ‘Building a Brand That Thrives In Turbulent Times’. And times don’t get much more turbulent than the ones we are currently living through. 

The irrepressible Deb was born to brand and excels at her craft. With Dell as one of her core customers, Deb knows her stuff and is compelled to share her ‘grow or die’ mindset with other entrepreneurially spirited leaders. 

At the heart of this episode is the need for businesses to understand their core customer as a person, and (in Deb’s own words), understanding what your customer needs to do to get laid. If you can achieve that, you’ll get their irrational loyalty and growth for your business!

“Irrational loyalty is that condition where people are so indelibly bonded to a brand that they feel like they were cheating on it if they were to choose a competitor or an alternative… I’m in the business of creating those conditions, which can sustain brands for the long term, make them grow profitably, rapidly, and in a highly focused way.”



Foundry Farm Entrance Sign

Free entry to all Monkhouse & Company clients

We’re excited to announce that the Scaling Up Summit is coming! 

In pre-COVID-19 times, you might normally have already attended a few energising business events. Now, you’ve done a few online, but the experience is not the same. Is it? Well, that’s been our experience.

That is why we are launching our Scaling Up Summit to inspire business owners. In September the children will be back at school. It’s time for us to be back to work, back to GROWTH! In our Scaling Up Summit, you and 99 other business leaders will spend a day working on your business, being inspired to think differently and building momentum into 2021.

If you already are a Monkhouse & Company client, don’t worry! We’ve saved your team a seat!

The Summit will be a high impact mix of fast-paced, full of energy 20-minute talks, followed by 45-minute workshops, so you can go away with the practical knowledge to take your company forward. This event will help you pivot your business and inspire you to get the energy back into your team.

We have carefully curated 9 inspirational speakers that our current clients have found of great value for their businesses. They will talk about core customers, strategic positioning, innovation, productivity, and more. Some of them have been guests on The Melting Pot podcast, including Shannon Byrne Susko, Justin Roff-Marsh and Nic Marks. 

Come and join us!

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During these times, we are all having to find new ways to connect.  Join me every week as I talk with people that inspire me, about love, life, leadership, and silver linings. The hope is that we all leave with something I think we need these days… A Bit of Optimism.

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How — and when — we work is fundamentally changing. Data from the 2018 American Time Use survey indicates that 30% of full-time employees report working weekends and holidays, and even when people officially have time off, that doesn’t mean they stop working. Moreover, the recent global shift to remote work due to the Covid-19 crisis could further exacerbate the situation: as the formal boundaries that separate work from non-work become even more blurred, employees may feel conflicted about what time is — and isn’t — meant for working.


As COVID-19 continues to alter the way we live, there is a scramble to predict what our “new normal” will look like. After the virus fades away or, God help us, becomes a constant in our day-to-day life for years to come, which change brought on by the pandemic will stick?


In November 2019, before giving a talk on crisis leadership to 15 financial services chief executives, we asked for a show of hands asking how many in the room had experience leading in a crisis. Not a single hand went up. Today, executives everywhere are adapting to the Covid-19 pandemic and an important social justice movement in the U.S. and Europe. Information is changing daily, solutions are unclear, and supplies are often limited. As the CEO of a $50 billion company that operates in more than 100 countries told us, “There is no business playbook for a pandemic.” And decisions bear life or death consequences, as the virus in the U.S. has now taken twice as many lives as the U.S. lost in Vietnam. At the same time, Americans and Westerners are holding companies to a higher standard of social responsibility than ever before.

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Why do people dodge responsibility when things fall apart? Why the parade of public figures unable to own up when they make mistakes? Why are there endless marital quarrels over who is right? Why can we see hypocrisy in others but not in ourselves? Are we all liars? Or do we really believe the stories we tell? Renowned social psychologists Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson take a compelling look into how the brain is wired for self-justification. When we make mistakes, we must calm the cognitive dissonance that jars our feelings of self-worth. And so we create fictions that absolve us of responsibility, restoring our belief that we are smart, moral, and right – a belief that often keeps us on a course that is dumb, immoral, and wrong. Backed by years of research and delivered in lively, energetic prose, Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me) offers a fascinating explanation of self-deception – how it works, the harm it can cause, and how we can overcome it.


Improve your company’s ability to avoid or manage crises. Revised to reflect events emblematic of the unique challenges that organizations have faced in recent years, including bank failures, intelligence failures, quality failures, and other organizational misfortunes, often sparked by organizational actions, this critical book focuses on why some organizations are better able to sustain high performance in the face of unanticipated change. High reliability organizations (HROs), including commercial aviation, emergency rooms, aircraft carrier flight operations, and firefighting units, are looked to as models of exceptional organizational preparedness. This essential text explains the development of unexpected events and guides you in improving your organization for more reliable performance. “Expect the unexpected” is a popular mantra for a reason: it’s rooted in experience. Since the dawn of civilization, organizations have been rocked by natural disasters, civil unrest, international conflict, and other unexpected crises that impact their ability to function. Understanding how to maintain function when catastrophe strikes is key to keeping your organization afloat.



According to the Harvard Business Review, working hours have increased by an average of two hours a day. That’s not good!  Since remote working has become the norm, it’s got harder and harder to separate work and home life. One way to respect your team’s personal time is to stop using WhatsApp for business comms. It may be a great communication tool, but it invades their mental downtime.  Consider using email instead and, if you need to capture something before it slips your mind, consider delaying the delivery of your email to working hours only.  Then your team won’t be receiving messages out of hours that they feel compelled to answer.  


Monkhouse & Company Summit, Foundry Farm – 15 September 2020

Join us for a day of learning, development and fun. We’ll be hosting 9 keynote speakers to talk about culture, strategy and execution.  They’ll also facilitate a workshop to help you put into practice what you’ve learned. Confirmed speakers include: Shannon Susko, author of 3HAG Way; Justin Roff-Marsh, author of The Machine; and Nic Marks, founder of Friday Pulse and the Happy Planet Index. We’re excited to see you here!

Acetech Summit, Whistler – 14-16 October 2020 (re-scheduled)

An exclusive annual gathering of high-growth tech CEOs. This powerful three-day summit will transform how you define success and deliver growth in 2020 and beyond.

Scale Your Technology Business

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    Discovery Call | Business Growth Strategy Session

      Discovery Call | Scaling Up Master Business Course