Dan & Kieran

Dan Gregory & Kieran Flanagan are behavioral researchers and strategists, specializing in behaviors and belief systems. They have won business awards around the world for Innovation, Creativity and Return on Investment working with such organizations as Coca-Cola, Unilever, News Corp and the United Nations in Singapore

Ask most people what business they’re in and they’ll likely tell you what they do for a living. Some will define themselves by the product they produce or the services they provide, others will default to their job title or their role as a way of defining their business. The problem with these definitions is that they only make sense within a particular time frame and context.

Entrepreneurs are often touted as brave and visionary. They are admired for the foresight and willingness to change the model. To build better ways. While it is sometimes true it often times is not the case. The pressure of running your own gig leads many entrepreneurs to come from places more human and less heroic than the books like to talk about. 

Many of our business models and leadership strategies are based on expectations and educations that are no longer relevant. We are currently engaged in a revolution, the equivalent of the industrial revolution that changed the world a century ago, yet many of us are failing to adapt and evolve.

There are many businesses and individuals in the world today who are the new blacksmiths – they just don’t realize it yet.

Anyone who’s sat through a strategic workshop at anytime during the past decade will be familiar with the SWOT analysis. Simply put, it stands for Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats and has informed not only planning days and leadership forums but also a large majority of the decisions that executive teams have made regarding the future of their businesses.

The logic is rarely questioned – play to your strengths, sure up your weaknesses, and be vigilant to opportunities and threats.

The self-help industry and the associated cult of positivity often leave us with an incomplete picture of the environment we find ourselves in. We end up seeing only opportunity without risk and end up relying on hope as a strategy.

But just as crucially, this partial view of reality robs us of the positive potential that negative influences can exert on us.

The story of the aging executive who suffers a heart attack only to turn their lives around and become a health enthusiast is almost cliché, and yet it’s an important reminder that bad news isn’t always bad for us.



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