A True Christmas and New Year Message

In a year filled with global challenges and dramatic changes for everyone, we share gratitude with all our trusted colleagues, family, friends, and network, and importantly, a message to Love 146 over the Christmas period in supporting the children of the world who are less fortunate than ourselves and find themselves in a care program from devasting extremities from child exploitation and trafficking.

This Christmas time is especially poignant, as we reconnect with our loved ones, families and friends internationally. We wish you a very happy, harmonious and safe holiday season and let us look forward to a positive new year in 2023.

May peace fill all the empty spaces around you, your family and your friends and your colleagues at this special time of year, and in you, may contentment answer all your wishes.

Raise a toast to yesterday’s achievements and tomorrow’s brighter future.

May comfort be yours, warm and soft like a sigh.

And may the coming year show you that every day is really a first day and a new year.

Let abundance be your constant companion so that you have much to share.

May mirth be near you always, like a lamp shining brightly on the many paths you travel.

Work with the best of your abilities in 2023 and show to the world your power to create wonderful and superior things.

New Year 2023 may turn out to be a year when you are put on the road to everlasting success, love and prosperity.

Be the change that you wish to see at your workplace and take initiatives to make things better.

Wish your tomorrow is more prosperous, happy and successful than yesterday and today.

Looking forward to another year with hunger and passion to exceed at work and you are sure to meet with success.

Let new beginnings signify a new chapter filled with pages of success and happiness, written by the ink of hard work and intelligence.

May the New Year bring us more wonderful opportunities for success.


Technophobia – are CEOs asking the right questions?

There is fear of technology has been around for as long as technology itself, and like technology itself, this fear is always changing in this new disruptive world.
There is strong evidence of “technophobia” the technical name for this affliction in every age and in every part of the world.

This technophobia is making it hard for chief executives to trust their chief information officers.

Blame technophobia or just bad experiences. But now that information technology has become the linchpin for an organization’s success, CEOs are asking, “How do we make this work?”

CEOs of the world’s largest companies are struggling to keep pace with the impact of digital technology and many are being left behind, placing their corporations at risk in the medium to longer term. Their own senior teams also lack basic IT skills and understanding, without which they cannot steer their corporations into the next millennium. Despite this, corporations are failing to address the problem.

Technology continues to move forward at an alarming pace but a large number of CEOs are failing to mobilise their companies to take advantage of these technological leaps and bounds. Why?

It seems that the link between organisational growth and innovative technology is being disregarded by CEOs. They prefer to ignore the importance of this function rather, perhaps, than admit their own ignorance. You could argue that many CEOs simply don’t have the time to learn how IT fits into the organisation in the same way as marketing, HR and finance do. The latter functions often appear to involve more common sense, perhaps. IT is new and uncharted territory, and this could potentially explain why the IT function remains so isolated from the rest of the organisation.

We frequently encounter business leaders who consider their ignorance of basic technology as being perfectly acceptable. As a traditional business leader why trouble yourself with the technology as long as it works?

But today every sphere of business is impacted by technology, and the success of these businesses is often determined by the way technology is integrated and utilised. The unfortunate truth is that if you cannot engage in meaningful dialogue around how technology is used in your business, at best, you are missing an opportunity and at worst, you are simply not doing your job.

Understanding how to get the best return on investment is vital given the current volatile economic climate. CEOs appear to have great instincts about how their business generates a return from investing in a marketing project or new product offering.

They also understand the importance of careful accounting and financial management. But, installing a new customer-facing application or enabling their workforce with a new device?

It does not resonate in the same way. This, despite overwhelming evidence that the right technological solutions can dramatically reduce costs, drive up efficiency and streamline work flows.

Technophobia at board level is often driven by past experiences of financial overruns, late delivery, wide-scale business disruption and low user satisfactions. While some level of apprehension is justifiable and sensible, significant change has taken place over the past few years to make the situation less intimidating. These include:

* Less risk: Over the last ten years, we have moved away from coding to configuration. This means that software packages are much less risky to develop. Even better, software packages can now be hosted by a partner (so called ‘Software as a Service’ or SaaS) meaning that capital and operational costs are vastly reduced and risks made much more manageable.

* Easy deployment: Technology can now be rolled out more easily. The technical innovations of the past were expensive and slow to develop. Today innovation cycles are shortened. The implication is that rather than paying for leading edge research and development, businesses can adopt a safer ‘fast follower’ strategy and remain highly effective.

* Standardisation: Greater adoption of standards have allowed an explosion of devices. These devices are able to communicate with each other because of common standards in telecommunications, hardware and software.

* Ubiquitous data networks: There are few places in the world where a customer or an employee cannot get access to decent broadband or mobile networks. Data speeds are increasing with technologies like 5G and future advancements will further improve what is already a great experience for most users.

Ex-Googler Jessica Nordlander, recently named Sweden’s Most Innovative Leader by Scandinavian management and leadership magazine Chef, believes it comes down to accepting change as a constant, something chief technology officers (CTOs) and chief information officers (CIOs) are always working with and against.

Nordlander, chief operating officer of Canadian company Thoughtexchange, a crowd conversation tool for leaders, says: “How future leaders utilise technology will be integral to whether they succeed or they don’t.

“There is still a feeling in many organisations that at some point digital transformation can and will be complete. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. Future CEOs will need to be very comfortable with constant change.

“Current seismic shifts are blowing up longstanding practices and established prejudices. The move towards non-conventional workforces presents a unique opportunity where strategic use of technology can be exponentially valuable for leaders.”

New research from software company VMware suggests this could become a growing trend. It found 69 per cent of UK business leaders believe executive leadership positions should be filled by people with technology career backgrounds in order to be successful. Some 33 per cent of those it questioned also reported their firm had experienced improved business performance as a result of elevating those with such backgrounds into leadership roles.

One reason many see success in this way forward is because the CTO’s role is very strategic, looking at how technology accelerates revenues, lowers costs and improves customer experience, all key things a CEO must be concerned about.

CTOs also understand the importance of technology in business process transformation, how to use it to achieve a fast return on investment (ROI), and they are used to taking projects from a low level of maturity to scale.

It could also be argued that CEOs with a technology background may also be less inclined to make rushed or poor decisions during times of crisis, for example the coronavirus pandemic, when long-planned technology investment could be one of the first casualties of cutbacks in order to shore up the status quo instead.

CEOs must be able to ask the right questions

And with predictions that the next 30 years of business change will be even more rapid and far reaching than the past three decades, CEOs now have to face their incumbency being overtaken by technology-first challengers. That’s why Dr James Berry, MBA director at University College London, believes technological knowledge is vital for the future CEO.

Finally, the speed of change in the commercial world is largely associated with information technology and electronic commerce. Businesses which do not embrace current technology and anticipate the likely scope of future IT will lose out to their rivals. Directors who fail to appreciate the role and nature of technology in their businesses cannot hope to make informed decisions about future investment policy.

It seems bizarre that CEOs would make crucial decisions about the direction of their businesses without understanding the impact of technology.

Of course, many directors justify their aversion to technology by claiming that IT is insecure, it is important the board gatekeepers of access to their deliberations, even the masters of their own secrecy, and previous aversions begin to disappear.

There is a great quote by Bill Gates that states:

“The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.”

It’s nearly Christmas – have we Learned from our Lessons in Love?

According to Global social media statistics research summary 2022 almost three quarters of people expect relationship pressures this Christmas, a poll by charity Relate found that 73% of people aged 16 and over in the UK are expecting something to place pressure on their relationships during the festive season.

The average person uses social media for two hours and 27 minutes every day. That’s over five years of your life spent scrolling, posting, and liking. Given that social media has become so ingrained in daily life, it’s really no wonder that it is now a potential source of tension and conflict in relationships.

“You won’t develop a strong sense of trust if the only time you spend together is sharing TikToks.”

It’s not all bad news. Social media may positively impact relationships in a number of ways. It’s not uncommon to see friends and family post adoring photos of their partner with a lovey-dovey caption to boot. While there are some days when this is the last thing you want to see on your feed, small messages like this projected to a whole network of friends may put a smile on your loved one’s face.

It all comes down to being acknowledged, according to Shore Research. “They need to be noticed, they need to know that they matter, and social media can be a wonderful way of doing that in terms of posting small messages, little videos, something that tells that person that they are on your mind and they are on your mind in a very fond way.” Still, Shore Research notes that face-to-face communication can’t be beaten, concluding, “The reality is this: You can’t touch someone over a cell phone.”

Real connection is more than just talking to others or sharing interests. After all, we can talk for over an hour with someone about sports or politics, even if we secretly can’t stand them.

More profound than mere conversation, true connection can happen without words and with someone we don’t even know. On the other hand, constant contact, such as working with someone every day, is no guarantee of actual connection. Connecting with others is a sense of being open and available to another person, even as you feel they are open and available to you. Other ingredients of human connection are empathy and compassion – we feel goodwill to the person we are connecting with.

Trust is the foundation for love. It’s natural over time for feelings of love and connection to fluctuate. Every relationship has emotional dry spells, but trust is consistent and is the foundation that a solid relationship is built on.

Revealing your true self to someone, whether it’s your deepest fears or your weird snacking habits, means putting yourself out there. It’s not an easy ask of you or your partner, but having a foundation of trust in a relationship does make being vulnerable a little easier as “we get to be our authentic selves, our partner gets to be their authentic selves, and as a result, we get to connect authentically,”

When we start to look at relationships, no matter how much time has elapsed or how many relationships you’ve had since, it’s hard to truly forget your first love. Your first love is always going to be special to you, no matter how old you are or how many people you date. It was your first experience with love and the memories of that’ll stay with you all your life.

Falling in love with someone for the first time is a life-changing experience. When it’s the first time you’ve ever felt so strongly about another person, it can be truly devastating to have all of that end. If you’re wondering how to get over your first love, even years later.

If you spend enough time reading advice columns, you notice a pattern. In the stream of sorrows and quandaries and relationship angst, one word bubbles up again and again. First. My first love.

My first time. My first ever. And unlike all the relationships that came after, with this one, the past can’t seem to stay in the past.

Love is always special, but your first love moves you in a way that is inherently unique. It introduces you to feelings you have never had before, for better or for worse, and is accompanied by a sense of wonder, intrigue, and excitement. Even though your first love may not have lasted, it will be a part of who you are for the rest of your life.

When we think about our first love, there is a mixture of emotions we all feel which can be hard to explain. But why, even though our first love may have happened 5, 10, 15, or even 50 or more years ago, do a lot of us still think about it today?

But why? Why should this one lodge in our brains any differently than the others, even when the others were longer, better, more right? They just weren’t quite as intense as the first.

The scientific research on this topic is thin, but the collective wisdom among psychologists says it’s a lot like skydiving. Meaning, you’ll remember the first time you jumped out of an airplane much more clearly than the 10th time you took the leap.

“Your first experience of something is going to be well remembered, more than later experiences,” explains Art Aron, a psychology professor at State University of New York at Stony Brook who specializes in close relationships. “Presumably there’d be more arousal and excitement, especially if it’s somewhat scary. And falling in love is somewhat scary — you’re afraid you’ll be rejected, you’re afraid you won’t live up to their expectations, afraid they won’t live up to yours. Anxiety is a big part of falling in love, especially the first time.”

The trust deficit is fueling the human experience gap. For all of us who share a zeal to help the world run better and improve people’s lives, we can’t rest until we bridge that gap.

We all have experiences to share, some of you may have read my first book, ‘Freedom after the Sharks’. This book was published in 2014 and took me three years to write.


One of my favourite quotes by Tamie Dearen, from her book ‘The Best Match’:

“Love is such a small word for what I feel. For the first time in my life, I have a reason to breathe. I’m enchanted with every part of you I know, and I only know a small part so far. I plan to spend the rest of my life searching out every hidden enchantment in your body and soul. And I’m going to cherish and protect you with every fiber of my being. So, do I love you? No… I love love love you.”