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The Problem with ManageMENT

We all know that something is fundamentally wrong with how we manage, that there is a big need for change.

To Whom Are You Loyal?

We are all understandably and justifiably horrified at how the Health Service Executive (HSE) handled the failures and the fallout from the cervical check debacle here in Ireland.

The Power to Imagine

There’s no telling what you can do or achieve when you get inspired by a goal.

A really Inspirational Event in the darkness of winter

January can be a dull month, a time of year when we have to face some of the inner challenges that accompany the darkness of winter. So we decided to hold an event that would give people some inspiration and a lift to help them find a way of handling these everyday challenges.

A really inspirational event!

The evening was designed to inspire people and it certainly did all of that. Thoughts and extracts from Brian’s book, Your Beautiful Life: A Gift, touched the hearts and minds of all those gathered at the Talbot Hotel in Stillorgan last Thursday. The big...

New Year Resolutions or Objectives

What’s the general view? Many people I speak to don’t believe in making resolutions or setting objectives for each New Year. Some of them say it is better to just take things as they come. Some say there is no point because who knows what may happen. And some say they...

Up-coming event

25th January

Your Beautiful Life – a gift

It’s up to You…NOT your Circumstances.

We can let life’s circumstances dictate how we are and end up being victims of whatever happens to us. Our lives can be a whole series of ups and downs and we hope there will be more ups than downs. But life does not have to be like this. WE can decide how...

Your Daily Companion – Keeping you true to Yourself.

We can have the best of intentions each day when we wake up. We can resolve to handle this new day really well. But then so many things throw us off track and we can end up once more with un-met resolutions. So we give up. But you don’t have to. There is a...

Enjoying the Treadmill of Life

Life can be full of many things but we can feel trapped, cornered and imprisoned by daily patterns and find we are not really living. Getting out of this bind, off this treadmill just does not seem possible. Yet there is a way to make life and every day a rich and...

Rocking the Boat

‘Don’t rock the boat’ would seem sound advice but not in all circumstances. It depends on where the boat is headed. Rocking the boat is not easy in organizations for lots of reasons. Even leaving aside the fear of the consequences from rocking the boat, there are enormous pressures on us to conform. Be alert. Be aware. But, above all, be cautious around expecting and rewarding loyalty. You are probably encouraging compliance and preserving some status quo that might need to be questioned.

Do you Really Know Who comes to work Every Day?

How your people think and feel as they come into work every day makes a huge difference to how they are and how they perform at work. You can influence this. You can help people to see their lives, their work and themselves in positive and enriching...

Me? I don’t believe in anything!

Believing is important. Believing in something. That there is something meaningful behind or through all of this. But this is not easy and more and more people say they don’t believe in anything any more. Are they right not to believe? How would we know? We don’t need...

The Temptation and Corruption of Power

Trump orders Bombing of Syrian Airbase. Last Thursday night, between six and 20 people at or close to the Shayrat airbase in Syria were killed by a US Tomahawk missile. Before you dismiss this piece of news and justify the deaths of THESE people  by reference to the...

Portuguese Drivers and the Power of Not Knowing

Not knowing can be very Powerful Many years ago I got a lesson on how to manipulate roundabouts in Lisbon, Portugal. My companion told me that Portuguese men can be the nicest and mildest of people, but not when they have a steering wheel in their hands and a car in...

Involvement, Democracy and the Good

Reagan, Bush and Worse! These three, Involvement, Democracy and the Good,  may seem strange bedfellows! We may be all for involvement – or believe we are – and may also wholeheartedly endorse democracy. Fine so far, but what about the Good? How can we wholeheartedly...

Trust, Transparency and Truth

“Liars” When I was the manager of a General Motors Plant in Ireland some years ago, my management team and I were often accused by our workforce of being dishonest, of telling lies. And, of course, they had no shortage of examples where they claimed to have caught us...

Management and the Deep State

Where does Real Power Lie? The Deep State: It’s easy to feel pretty powerless these days! I mean, even if you had the power to get to the President of the United States, you still wouldn’t have got there.  You haven’t got to the Deep State who are supposedly the ones...

There´s More Than Bread on the Table

“Public Service Hit by Strikes” In Ireland, in recent times, we have had a spate of strikes, threatened strikes and considerable industrial unrest, virtually all of it in the public sector - teachers, nurses, bus drivers, train drivers, Gardai (police force) and some...

Don’t Worry. Be Happy

There is a danger that a lack of belief in the feasibility of achieving happiness at work could lead to us giving up on happiness as a goal in life in general and settling for an impoverished life. The Thank God it’s Friday (TGIF) mentality, living for and during the...

Reorganising the Office – But I WANT to do it

Just Lazy! A nephew of mine who regularly comes to stay with us can be a bit of a paradox! He is contradictory, an enigma. His reluctance to do chores around the house could lead you to think he is lazy. And yet you know this can’t be true when you see the...

Creativity – key to getting people to want to work

All kinds of ruses and approaches are used to get people to work and want to work.  Thousands of books have been written on motivation and you have probably read many of them.  The simplest approach, however, and the most powerful one, is to invite people to use their...

Easter and Resurrection are good for Business

Spring Easter is a beautiful but strange time. As we say goodbye and thanks to the daffodils, the cherry blossoms come and take our breath away with their “outrageous clothes” as John Spillane describes them. And, irrespective of how many years we have experienced...

Short piece on book launches – A Gift

A book launch with a difference ! It was with great happiness that Brian welcomed many friends, family and clients to the official launch of his latest book YOUR BEAUTIFUL LIFE – A GIFT. As you can imagine, this was no ordinary event.   The title of the book was...

More Harm than Good !

The Trial In Franz Kafka’s novel, The Trial, a man, K,  wakes up in his apartment bedroom to find two prosecutors informing him that he has been accused of something and that he has a court case pending. He is under arrest. They dismiss his protestations of his...

Resolutions and Objectives

I’ve just finished reading one of my Christmas presents. Despite the number of books I possess, I still get lots of books as presents and they are always welcome. This one Wonder was a delightful young person’s book about a boy with a terribly deformed and ugly face...

Maybe’s Twelve Business Messages for Christmas

Making Everyday Christmas Day Maybe Christmas is the norm, not the exception, not just one day in the year, but every day! Why not enjoy that Christmas spirit every day? Maybe being generous and trusting and investing in the wonderful gifts we give to our customers...

Strong Leadership

Oh Not Trump again! Why is it that someone like Donald Trump does seem to appeal to something good in people?  Is it his decisiveness, his calling things as they are, his stated commitment to do whatever makes most sense - whether it  does or doesn’t is another day’s...

The challenge of our response

Attitude is everything I was talking recently to a friend who told me of someone saying to her: “You’re great, things don’t seem to get you down or hold you back.  You’re very lucky.”“No”, my friend replied, “It’s not about being lucky.  It’s all about attitude....

Would you say managers are always leaders?

This was a question asked of Upworthy co-founder Peter Koechley in a recent interview as part of Virgin Disruptors modern leadership series.  Upworthy in case you haven’t already heard of them is a new type of media company focused on bringing the world’s attention to...

Creativity – key to creating live, intelligent organisations

“Billions of people show up for work every day, but way too many of them are sleep-walking.”      Gary Hamel – Leading The Revolution What a tragedy if so many people spend so much of their lives at work half asleep or going through the motions, looking forward to 5...

Work – key to our happiness? Yeah right!

When I share with friends my belief that work can be one of the biggest keys to our happiness, in the majority of cases I’m generally met with the above response “yeah right”.  Or something along the lines of “what planet do you live on?”  They very often then go on...

The Battle for Resources – Fighting your Corner

A key skill any manager or head of a function or department would appear to  need to have is the ability to be able to negotiate and get their share – at least – of available resources for their area. Being able to fight your corner, make your case, convince, out-gun...

Your Beautiful Life – A Gift

I'm a very ordinary person, middle-of-the-road, always middle of the class. And yet, my life has been far from ordinary. Some time ago I asked myself why? And I also wondered what makes some people's lives extraordinary. Was it more about them and how special they...

Managers ..Autocrats or Democrats?

Difference of Opinions on Suitability for Promotion and other things A friend of mine had problems with aspects of how I handled a recent discussion I had with a manager whom I was helping deal with a member of his staff who believed he was fit and suitable for...

What have Principles and Morality to do with Management and Business?

“Manipulation” The word ‘manipulation’  got mentioned during a recent Coaching programme I was running. The person who raised it  was neither recommending it nor accusing me of doing so. I think the word came into her head because of how effective she saw Coaching as...

Want to win at the promotion game? Shift your thinking.

Going for a promotion these days is not for the faint hearted. It can involve a whole series of hoops and hurdles to navigate from shortlisting, to psychometric testing, to presentations and position papers for second, third and possibly even fourth round interviews,...

The Manager Trumps The Brand

On Thursday last I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon in Facebook’s EMEA  HQ in Dublin as part of the Best Place to Work series of events.  This wasn’t my first time in Facebook’s HQ or my first time to hear Jeff Turner who to the best of my knowledge is the...

Frogs – Comfort, Complacency and Collapse

Comfort, Complacency and Collapse The Poor Frog: I know you will be bored if I remind you of the story of the frog in the pot of water. Y0u have probably heard the story many times – how, if you put a frog into a pot of boiling water, it will jump out of the pot. ...

Involvement and Consultation – Just a Game

Management Paternalism Closed Mindedness: Last week I was facilitating a discussion with a group of managers around governance in their company. They were looking at making some big changes to how they organised themselves,  clarify their roles and responsibilities et...

Being a Good Manager – as difficult as Being a Good Nazi!

That title could be stepping on all kinds of toes.  Bear with it….for now at least. I am sure you would agree that being a good person and being a good Nazi was not exactly straightforward.  It is not easy to be kind, attentive and even human in an inauthentic -...

"Good Jobs are a thing of the Past” and the Millennials

“And it will be a long time before you see them again” he added. ‘He’ wasn't a consultant, sociologist or futurologist. He was a farmer jumping on to his tractor outside my house. But let's leave him for now and come back to him later.  Let's talk a little bit about...

Stupid Plum Tree and Stupid Reward Systems

Zero Hours Contracts and Contracts in General Recently I asked a handyman I get occasionally  to do a job for me, one that I couldn't do or that he would do a lot better. He promptly came and did it and I was happy with his work. But, I know that when I get his...

The Devil in the Detail – NOT the Manager!

Bankers and Pat Hickey I think I heard that bankers in Ireland, who are in jail for fraudulent financial transactions involving millions of euros,  no, Billions of euros, are taking their case to the Supreme Court or to some higher level. The families of Pat Hickey,...

Ignorance is Bliss

I was delighted with Michael's predicament: “It's just that I have been so busy that I haven't had time  to keep checking in on how my people are supporting the line. I just have to trust them to get on with it and that's exactly what they're doing.” “ Great”  I...

A Plum Job!

You have a plum job! …If you are a manager, that is. You have a plum job because your job is about making something happen that otherwise would not have happened. That's called creativity. You are creating something. You! It wouldn't have happened without you. Even if...

Don't worry – Someone is Looking After You

It can be difficult to arrive  to your desk or place of work with no worries and without having done a fair bit of worrying before you even get there. But, suppose you knew that  before you arrived to work somebody had: put the lights on in your office or place of...

Work Life Balance

No Shortage of Answers! The most recent of the many articles on Work – Life balance  that crossed my path or screen was entitled: ‘Don’t take work Stress Home with You’.  As justification for the importance of the  topic it  cited that 43% of days lost to illness were...

From Chaotic Bakery to Professional Business

A Parable It was many years ago that I began my bakery. I was always interested in baking  from the time I licked the bowls  my mother had used for different kinds of  wonderful cakes that she made. I took advantage of a redundancy package my company had been offering...

The Comfort and the Pitfall of the Story

Post Match Analyses: I don't watch soccer and, thankfully, I haven’t wasted much of my life in the last month watching the ‘Euros’.   I did see small bits of two games when France beat Germany and Portugal beat France.   In the France – Germany game, my impression...

Good Money after Bad or Getting Value for Money

Leaving aside the 87 who earn more than what half of the world population earn, you are probably shocked from time to time at the seemingly exorbitant pay increases many CEO’s and the like expect and receive. Unless you are one of them, that is, and even if there...

Decision Making, Democracy and Voting

So much for Democracy The people of the United Kingdom have recently taken a decision as a people, a pretty important one it would appear, to leave the EU.  At the end of it all, there is no real clarity or agreement as to why people voted one way or the other. What...

Performance Reviews – A Two-Edged Sword

Just in case, let's be clear – Performance Reviews are, in my opinion, one of the most valuable and most important tools in any organisation. People need feedback, people need attention, people need challenges, people need to be encouraged to be great and Companies...

Getting a Grip on Managing

It's hard to fault management on their efforts to improve how they manage. There is hardly an hotel I visit where I don't run into badge-bearing managers on some course or other wandering off for coffee or lunch.  (I was going to add ‘bored’ but was afraid of being...

Something Rotten in the State of Transdev

Transdev, by its own reckoning a world leader in public transport, has been in dispute with its drivers on the Dublin (Ireland)  light rail system for the past few months. Now, this is not about taking sides and not about defending the Little Red Riding-hood train...

Hey! A bit of Respect Please

I heard someone remark on the radio a few weeks ago that we might have an epidemic of the blue flu again. He was of course not referring to anything blowing in from Africa but to the creative way the Gardai have used, in the past, to express their dissatisfaction with...

Managing To Be Human Forum

The Managing To Be Human (MTBH) Forum was initiated by Maybe International in September 2013. The Forum is a network and meeting place of like-minded people and organisations who share a conviction that adopting more human ways to manage is an imperative, not a...

The Senior Management Team and the Dangerous Cocktail!

It may or may not come as a surprise or shock to you to learn that, in our experience, the most important group in any organisation is very often the worst performing group, namely the Senior Management Team! The reason you see why Senior Management Teams perform so...

Managing To Be Human – Forum May 7th

For our Forum on the 7th May we are inviting Companies to identify an issue that’s of real importance to them from either side of the model and to come with two or three of their senior managers to work on it with other invited Companies. See...

Managing To Be Human – A gift. Pass it on.

Following one of our recent MTBH Forum events we created this short ebook for the purpose of capturing the spirit, energy, conversations and insights shared on the day. We hope you enjoy it and accept it as a gift from us to you. MANAGING TO BE HUMAN FORUM Please feel...

Join us in Madrid from Feb 19th- 24th for our annual EPTP Programme

Enneagram Studies in the Narrative Tradition is a truly global organisation which offers training in 17 countries and has certified more than 1,000 teachers in the Narrative Tradition around the world. Maybe International is delighted to represent EANT in Spain and to...

MTBH FORUM Nov 18th – A Great Success

We would like to thank all the inspiring leaders who attended and contributed with a real spirit of generosity, openness and sharing to make last weeks Managing to be Human Forum a great success. We received many messages of thanks from people who appreciate the Forum...

Gary Hamel’s Call On Ireland To Start A Movement For A New And More Human Way of Managing

At the conclusion of his talk at the IBEC HR Leadership Summit 2014 on Thursday 23rd Oct, Gary Hamel said that he would love to see a movement in Ireland to promote a new and more human way of managing people. We didn’t think it appropriate to stand up and announce at the summit that there IS such a movement in Ireland but we would like you to know that one exists and is operative.

Our Autumn Forum is being prepared and You are invited

You may recall that the first of our Managing to be Human Forums took place on April 30th and was indeed a great success. The purpose of the event was to establish a Forum, a meeting place of like-minded people that would generate awareness, curiosity, interest,...

MLFs – Creativity, a luxury? or Key to ALL We Do at Work?

We are delighted to announce in conjuction with THE DIGITAL HUB that the first of our monthly series of Management Learning Forums (MLF’s) will take place on Wed 17th September from 6-8 PM at The Digital Depot, Roe Lane, The Digital Hub, Dublin 8. Our starting topic is: Creativity, a Luxury? or Key To All We Do At Work?

Managing To Be Human Forum Launch

The purpose of the Forum is to create a meeting place for like-minded peers from diverse organisations and industries to share ideas, learnings, challenges, successes and commitment to creating a new approach to managing – Managing in a Human Way – that will lead to higher performing organisations and that will seriously impact on the welfare of people in organisations and in society in general.

Building Intelligent Human Organisations using the Enneagram

Building Intelligent Human Organisations using the Enneagram. IEA European Enneagram Conference – Portugal 2014. The conference theme was “The New Paradigms Challenges”.
This event brought to Portugal renowned international Enneagram experts. People from around the world shared their contributions.
But… What’s the Enneagram?

Happy OR Successful? Why not both?

Excerpt from the outstanding article by Brian F. Smyth. Management and managers should be brought to court and, if found unwilling to change their ways, should be sent to jail to prevent them doing more damage. Is there any position or role in life that is doing more...

Some Myths & Some Truths around Culture Change

Myth Nr.1: We need to spend a lot of time to work out what is meant by culture and what should a good culture look like. Truth: Most Companies have ample material available from their own experience – both from the things they are happy they are handling well and from...

Creativity – the key to leading versus managing

“Managers do things right. Leaders do the right things.” This quotation is not meant to be a criticism of managers or managing, but it does describe very succinctly for us where the difference in focus between the two lies.

The dangerous cocktail – Senior Management Teams Challenge

I find myself very often critical and hard on senior management in organisations. Now before you think I am a crank of some sort with a grudge against authority, let me tell you, “I was that soldier”, I too spent many years of my life at senior management level

Want a tip for dealing with difficult people?

Have you got a difficult person in your life? I see your head nodding – yes definitely! We all have.
When I’m working with people and particularly managers, it usually comes up in conversation that they have some difficult members in their department, or on the management team that they find hard to work with. On closer examination we uncover what they actually mean by difficult and how it makes life so hard, not only for them but for everyone. They really would love to find a way of changing this person; it would make life so much easier they say…