Articles Tagged Sunday Nation

Jan 29, 2023
A tap-and-go world is already here. What now?

If you have visited an advanced city in any country with high labour costs recently, you will have noticed a peculiar phenomenon, post-COVID. The digital acceleration in ordinary life is very, very real. Supermarkets in those cities have very few people deployed to receive your payment. Self-checkout counters are the norm, where you scan your […]

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Jan 22, 2023
This airline’s recent meltdown has lessons for us all

Southwest Airlines has been the business-education world’s poster-child for the longest time. It started life half a century ago as an upstart low-cost disruptor, and grew steadily to become a huge airline—and a hugely popular one. It now has more than 700 aircraft, and it is also, in an industry dogged by regular downturns and […]

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Jan 15, 2023
Reminder: why you should read more books

Another year, another set of books to look forward to! That thought is what adds buzz to my New Year, every year. Good for you, I hear you say. You do you—enjoy! But wait, you know what’s coming. I’m about to holler one of my periodic reminders telling you all to read more books. Why […]

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Jan 08, 2023
Morocco played long. So can you

Team Morocco were the sensation of the recent FIFA World Cup tournament in Qatar, were they not? They not only made it out of a brutal group, but they took the successive scalps of some of the biggest European nations: Belgium, Spain, and Portugal. They became the first team from the African continent to make […]

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Jan 01, 2023
The best advice helps its recipients to think for themselves

Sometimes knowledge arrives like a smack in the face. After understanding what you have just absorbed, nothing is quite the same again. This happened to me way back when I learned that no two human brains are alike; that they are in fact as unique as fingerprints. Each brain begins in a certain way, affected […]

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Dec 25, 2022
Let us learn to be good guests on this planet

How would you regard a guest in your home who trashed the place carelessly, tried to take it over, or generally made life very difficult for the original inhabitants? Human beings are guests, and planet Earth is our host. None of us is a long-term tenant; we are all on short-stay contracts. Barely any of […]

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Dec 18, 2022
What do your organisation’s core values actually say?

Let me apologize in advance: I am about to upset a bunch of people this Sunday. If you are part of a large corporation, I want to discuss your core values. You know, those lofty things on your walls, your computer screens, your office mugs. They are supposed to be your guiding lights; your noble […]

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Dec 11, 2022
Why learn-as-you-go is the only way to do complicated stuff

I have a lot of time for Michael Bungay Stanier. This author and coach in Canada is invariably honest, authentic, and sincere. So open is he that he once wrote out an entire long note on Medium outlining exactly how he self-published his best-selling book, The Coaching Habit. He provided step-by-step guidance on how to […]

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Dec 04, 2022
Pour some praise, not just cold water

You are a young child, nervously taking your report card to your parents. You have done quite well, a few ‘A’ grades; some ‘B’s; one ‘C’. Your father looks at the report. He scans down with his finger, stopping at the single ‘C.’ He frowns and puts the piece of paper down. He admonishes you […]

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Nov 20, 2022
How one business overcame a major setback

I’m a great lover of sushi, and many years ago I came across my first kaitenzushi restaurant, in Hamburg of all places. This involves a conveyer belt snaking through an eatery, winding its way past diners. Chefs prepare their offerings in advance and place them in little containers on the belt. Diners look at what’s […]

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Nov 06, 2022
What your customer experience fails can teach you

I’ve been having a rough patch as a customer of late. Organizations whose customer-service excellence I have appreciated, and even praised, have been falling surprisingly short. Some have sent me damaged goods, then retreated from providing suitable redress. Others are unable to maintain even a rudimentary online communication system. Yet others are stuck in old-world, […]

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Oct 30, 2022
Want to join a board? You’ll need to be able to think in these three ways

Lots of people want to join boards. Who wouldn’t? To be a member of the board of directors of a reputable organization bestows great esteem, does it not? It’s an impressive line in your resumé, an eye-catching feather in your cap. Of course you want that. Wait, do you really? Being a board director is […]

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Oct 23, 2022
The most valuable currencies of our lives

The financial world is fixated on foreign currencies right now. The current turmoil in international markets has led to a dollar appreciation against most leading currencies, leaving many wringing their hands in worry about all-time lows, as the euro, the pound, the yen and many others continue their steep plunge. A little history lesson for […]

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Oct 16, 2022
The comfort revolution has already happened

Soon after landing my first job located in London’s financial district, I found myself being indoctrinated in the dress codes of the day. Shoes, in particular, were a bugbear of the ruling classes. A gentleman, it seemed, had to be shod by a traditional British shoemaker, one that crafted traditionally handmade leather shoes. Brands like […]

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Oct 09, 2022
It’s the feelings, stupid

A lifetime of keen observation and participation has left me somewhat blasé about politicians and democracy, and so I am often dispassionate at election time. This (occasional) ability to be nonpartisan allows me to become a relatively neutral observer of the tumult and shenanigans of the polling season. When one is not unduly invested in […]

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Oct 02, 2022
Our future success comes from our past missteps

A memory flitted across my mind—something that happened a long time ago. I found myself cringing with embarrassment. Why was I like that? Why did I think behaving like that was acceptable? Why could I not have had the wisdom then to do things differently? If only my older self could take my younger self […]

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Sep 11, 2022
The special joy of deserving your earnings

Dr Chao Mbogho is a trailblazer. She has a Ph.D in Computer Science, and is one of our leading researchers, educators, and mentors. She recently tweeted something that caught my eye: “Receiving money that you’ve worked for is such a nice feeling.” I thought immediately: Yes it is! And so many do not want to […]

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Sep 04, 2022
About to give feedback? Read this first…

Feedback has become a touchstone of management practice. We are encouraged to give feedback, and to receive it. We ask for it, and we dole it out. We believe this will help us all improve our performance by understanding our strengths and weaknesses—through the views of those who work or interact with us. Wherever you […]

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Aug 28, 2022
Look for this one trait in your smartest employees

Jeff Bezos is the visionary founder of Amazon, the company that has revolutionised how people buy stuff. We are all e-commerce customers now, because of the trails blazed by Amazon more than two decades ago. Inc. magazine recently reminded us that Mr Bezos was once asked this question: what’s the most important quality you look […]

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Aug 21, 2022
Let old wisdoms guide new leaders

Our tumultuous Kenyan elections are (mostly) done, and a whole spectrum of fresh leaders has emerged across the land—the usual controversies notwithstanding. We have many more women, many younger folks, many new faces in leadership positions. This is to be applauded. We have, yet again, the opportunity to reboot the nature of our leadership. Will […]

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Aug 14, 2022
What makes humans stand out?

Who were the Neanderthals, and what happened to them? Homo neanderthalensis were a group of archaic humans. They emerged on Earth perhaps 400,000 years ago, and inhabited Europe and Asia. They were the archetypal “cavemen”—hunters and scavengers who nonetheless had a culture, and advanced stone technology, and lasted 100,000 years. Then we arrived, modern Homo […]

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Aug 07, 2022
What is leadership?

Kenyans go to the polls this coming week. After the votes are counted and accepted, a new president will be certainly be in place; so will many new governors, senators, members of parliament, and members of county assemblies. There is, yet again, the opportunity to reset our nation. Far be from it for me to […]

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Jul 31, 2022
Why do we neglect the real wealth in our lives?

The rat race consumes many. There is a fevered desire to have more: more money, more belongings, more status, more power. We plunge into this race without thinking, because so many around us seem to be running ahead of us. We fear getting left behind, being shunned, being disrespected. And so we run and run, […]

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Jul 24, 2022
How many in your organization would leave tomorrow?

The year 2003, for those who can remember it, was a time of great optimism in Kenya. A new government was in place, installed by the voters after a prolonged period of autocracy and economic stagnation.  That optimism caused me to leave employment in order to seek greater fulfilment in my work; and it also […]

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Jul 17, 2022
What kind of experience do tomorrow’s leaders need?

Experience, we know, is a good thing. Those who have encountered different adventures and escapades, wins and losses, setbacks and learnings, are useful to others. The thinking is that previous encounters build knowledge and even wisdom. Those who have done stuff before, faced situations before, are likely to be better than those who come in […]

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Jul 10, 2022
Why doubt is a powerful tool for enlightenment

Are you riddled with doubt? That’s great. So am I. Albert Camus, famous French author, Nobel laureate, and renowned public intellectual, was also plagued by doubt. In his words: “I do not know what I am looking for, I name it cautiously, I take back what I have said, I repeat myself, I advance, and […]

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Jul 03, 2022
Which work are you willing to suffer for?

Follow your passion. It’s oft-repeated advice, and tells us to do the things we feel most zest, most enthusiasm for. If we do what we love to do, we will do it with unbounded energy and application, and perhaps discover the best in us. I myself gave out this advice in a book I wrote, […]

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Jun 26, 2022
It’s time to rethink the definition of VIP

This world is crazy about the VIP. Just saying the three letters causes a reaction: a hushed reverence for the creature in question—the Very Important Person. The term itself is believed to have originated in the Second World War, and was coined by military personnel to refer to high-ranking officers. It made sense to differentiate […]

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