WOMEN IN THE BOARD ROOM “Much ado about nothing” wrote William Shakespeare

WOMEN IN THE BOARD ROOM – You may have more in common with Sir Richard Branson than you realize.

The corporate “boredroom” of today and tomorrow has changed very little in contrast to that selfsame hallowed virile sanctuary of the past century. The corporate boardroom, like a good dinner party, should include an appropriate mix of men and women able to carry on an intelligent and meaningful discussion and/or conversation while maintaining the decorum of the occasion. Sadly, that is not what one would observe if one were a fly on the wall.

hsbc 007Masculine domination of FTSE 100 company boardrooms is a matter of record and any hope for meaningful and rapid change in that regard has to be infinitesimally small. If history is any teacher, were we able to increase the speed with which boardroom change has occurred in the past by even 15 percent, those of us who are 30 years of age and older will either be dead or retired long before anything of any significance occurs. The promised-land that so many women have been seeking is out there, but don’t look at the uppermost floor of the “Gherkin” and the other corporate towers that dot the London skyline and wish you were there. We are as intelligent, as strong and as capable as men but the fact of the matter is … men continue their stranglehold on corporate power like scared little boys trying to hold the tree fort until reinforcements arrive. It goes without saying that we meet and, more often than not, exceed the requirements incumbent upon any director or chairman of any board. Our question is this … do we really want to get involved in something that is tantamount to – borrowing shamelessly from noted social scientist Alvin Toffler – scrambling around for deck chairs on the Titanic?

Now getting down to the numbers: many argue that if we get a 30% to 40% female-to-male mix in the boardroom, we’ve created something more appealing to women than having a candlelit dinner with Hugh Jackman. Our questions are (1) where did those numbers come from, and (2) are they realistic? Answers: (1) they were pulled out of thin air (in Norway maybe?), and (2) no. Currently both Lord Davies and the EU in Brussels, among others, appear to find such percentages attractive. After much debate between Jim and I, we are not convinced, however, that numbers – particularly arbitrary numbers – are even a partial solution to our ‘women-being-better-represented-at-the-top-of-business’ issues given the radical change that would be needed to make these numbers a reality. And numbers are no solution at all if the goal is to actually change the internal structure of the boardroom and business in general.

Now for the good news!

new language of business (2)The solution, in our combined opinion, is for us to change the very nature, structure and language of the boardroom by creating, managing and growing the businesses, enterprises and agencies with the clear potential and the mandate to reshape the corporate landscape over the next 10 to 20 to 30 years to include WOMEN and their natural talent for entrepreneurship, leadership and business across all disciplines!

Oddly enough, women can and are currently in the process of creating the new FTSE 100 companies. They are the largest and fastest growing consumer group in the world today and women are entering the local, regional, national and global economic community at a rate that is eclipsing that of their male counterparts. If there is a new corporate giant out there going through the growing pains that General Motors had to go through at some stage of its development, the odds are that the person at the helm is a woman. If there is a new Amazon or Sainsbury’s or Microsoft on the horizon, you can almost bet that a woman gave birth to it.

What will, in the long term, achieve the new buoyancy we (men and women of all ages including the very old and very young) need if our economy is to kick start the kind of society that we all want? Maybe we can never agree fully on what we all want … but we probably have a fair idea regarding what we don’t want! What we don’t want is a depression, a recession, millions turned out of their homes, wages slashed, spending down, budgets cut or jobs eliminated. The workplace, our very lives, the world … they are almost unrecognizable right now. Could it be because the same old tired conversations we’ve gotten used to are rooted in the dying strains of last year’s crops?

If you follow current events you know that the ‘same-old same-old’ mantras are discussed day after day in the various media and we just don’t get it! Why do we continually cry out for more women in boardroom? Why do we need more women coming up through that pipe line? Let us pose some better questions for you. Why aren’t more women who are starting and running their own businesses being given a helping hand? Why do we fail to notice the leveraging power being created through the rapidly growing number of female consumers across the land and around the world? Are you aware that more than 90% of all purchasing decisions are made by women today? So why is it so hard for us, as women, to recognize not only our collective power but our value as well?

The time has come for us to grumble a little less and flaunt our ability to accomplish great things a little more. As Sir Richard Branson shows us small seeds grow huge corporations with a lot of courage and entreprenological application. G

This is especially true with millions of women worldwide who set up their own businesses. Maybe it is time we engage men in a realistic view of women’s potential and acknowledge “it’s ok to be female” in business, allowing women to stand toe to toe with them without any trepidation whatever. We know that women have a natural aptitude for entrepreneurship (that’s the new buzzword for business BTW) – the single fastest growing and most important business sector in the world today. The small and medium enterprise (SME) sector is awash with female business owners. Maybe there will never – well not in our lifetime perhaps – be a glut of women running major corporations but remember – Microsoft, British Air, Sainsbury’s, General Motors, Nissan, Glaxo-Smith-Kline – they did NOT start out as the conglomerates they are today. Your boardroom is waiting for you to build it and, remember this too, you can hold your first board meetings in your kitchen if need be. That old saying “A woman’s place is in the home,” takes on a whole new meaning when you look at it like that! You’re in good company, believe me.

Read on …

Willy Walsh, CEO of British Air and Iberia, said recently that he had met Sir Richard Branson once and didn’t find anything that made him want to meet again.
British Airways PlcThat’s because Willy had no point of reference from which he could stand toe-to-toe with an entrepreneur … no … an Entreprenologist of Sir Richard’s magnitude … no common ground from which to hold an intelligent conversation. Willy was just the CEO of two major world airlines, not a man who had created a major competitor for a number of airlines around the world just like the ones that Willy captains. So who would you rather meet? Answer me this … why on earth would you want to sit in British Air’s boardroom if you could stand on common ground with Sir Richard Branson? Get it!
We live in hope of more courageous conversations around not just the boardrooms of the world but around the team table, the SME table, and even the kitchen table!

Let’s tackle future conversations with honesty and transparency attending to the human needs of our communities, our world, our consumers and our contributors …all at the same table … men and women alike.

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Who are WE? photo (3)

Pauline Crawford, creator of gender dynamics and magical conversations, and new husband & business partner, Professor James A Omps PhD, President of The International University of Entreprenology.  Meeting and marrying in our 60’s, with over 60 years of experience between us, we bring our two disciplines together to make sense of today discussions on life, love and success.

In our blogs, Jim is ‘the Devil’s Advocate’ as he poses skeptical questions about women in business and many nitty-gritty current debates – I challenge the view with ‘One Scary Woman’ viewpoint as I propose new ways to communicate and perform that breaks the mould.

We offer our consultancy expertise  through Corporate Heart Ltd to improve your business success.

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Are we doing the right things? Or are we missing the obvious and merely doing things right?

DSCF0441Time for radical change – let’s begin 2013 by doing the right things!

As 2012 closes its portal on a strangely chaotic and yet transformational year, I reflect on what is happening both in my own life and in the bigger picture in the world. Everything from politics to social reform – and of course ‘the weather’ – has thrown curved balls at all we used to know; governments over turned, hurricane ‘sandy’ hitting New York, austerity and bankruptcy across Europe…The famously reported ‘end of the world as we know it’ on December 21st came and went and chaos reigns supreme. But there does feel like a new underlying energy is emerging and in places one might not expect.

We are at a tipping point I believe where things cannot continue the ‘same old same old’ way. I have in my own world transformed everything to be different; aged 63, I met and married my true love from another continent all within the year, I stopped working the way I was doing, I am looking at new ways to create income, have moved to new environment by the sea and choose with my new husband to risk all for a new future together. We are not throwing our past away, nor become defiant and revolutionary but more we see that the way most of us do things right because we believe that keeps us safe, in fact miss the opportunity to do the right things.

Within the chaos of last year’s events, governments and authorities, civil and social rules still appear to cling to ‘doing things right’…rules and regulations tighten their grip on world affairs (and our lives) and the minute details of our everyday existence suffers out of our control… bills get bigger, incomes smaller, law abiding citizens threatened with bankruptcy and poverty line-living, austerity extends its embrace, and still the rich get richer. “Tighten our belts” is the great chant of EU countries and others across the world, even the US, as ‘austerity’ lingers it stifles the desire for growth. We continue to impact people through rules that have outgrown their sell by date. Red tape, banks, taxes, liabilities, fines, all stunt those small businesses that are the lifeblood of many countries by applying unfit rules that governed last year’s budgets. Why don’t we question whether ‘doing things right’ is right?

titanicHow can we fit desirability for a better healthier wealthier life into ‘rules’ and into ‘doing things right’ if the right things are not being done? When rules are outmoded, who gets to transform them? Dare I ask – who gets to create new designs, guidelines, “rules” for a new order that embraces the ‘right things’ rather than stay “doing things right” as governments, politicians and rule makers tend to do merely because it’s the way we’ve always done things? A bit like the Titanic, built by doing things right to ensure an unsinkable boat, the designers didn’t do the right things to compete with an iceberg… the ship went down, the past is sunk. The world is being thrown curved balls wherever we look yet all we do is keep on doing things right and not noticing when it does not work.

Let’s deepen the point… take an example personal to me and mine.

I married my true love, Jim, this Oct 7th 2012; and being of mature years, he American and me British, with over 90 years of expertise between us, we have much to offer the world of work and the desire and the need to do so. Experts in the field of Entreprenology and Gender Communication, we deliver inspiration and information- rich programs that can add richness (in all ways) a new class of successful SMEs and budding entrepreneurs that the UK desire to kick-start our economy.

The first ‘doing the right things’ rule, that is a stumbling block rule for us right now, is that one can’t just fall in love, get married and turn up in the UK and develop business even though we desire to add to the UK coffers by paying lots of taxes, spreading employment and boosting the UK economy.

Given we are 63 and 68 respectably, (and the US and the UK are not as friendly about letting people into their lands just because they are married), we have not got a work visa yet for my husband and a deadline looms when we might have to fly away for a period of time before being let back in. Due to the rules, we might end up being forced to be apart for two months (which will be painful as we are very much in love) so we may have go to yet another destination and disturb our hopes of building a strong business in the UK. The worst scenario is that it could bankrupt us merely by stopping us doing what we do best.

Ever the optimist, “hope springs eternal” and we hope to gain the VISA permission soon (I will let you know as that occurs)… but it’s not easy because rules say what has been laid down and therefore must be followed … rather than doing the right things and looking at case by case scenarios.

It appears the fundamental principle behind this particular set of ‘doing things right’ immigration rules is that few countries heed a love story – it’s all about money and costs; i.e. can we be a ‘credit’ not a ‘cost’ by being UK or US residents?

This got us thinking about the ‘cost’ of old age and whether we (as society) are really doing the right thing when it comes to our expanding mature generation. Something Jim and I are acutely aware of… and paying attention to!

Why do we see only the cost burden of old age – rather than as an amazing pool of talent as a credit base for a revival economy?

In the course of our own investigations, we have discovered that if two mature over 60’s people such as us, 63 and 68, from different countries fall in love but didn’t have the inclination, skills or energy to develop a business or a lot of money, they wouldn’t be allowed to stay in either country to live together. Each country fears the burden of old age – because ‘old people cost money’… now although I can understand that care needs to be taken in the case of immigration in general and rising populations are costly, more and more oldies like us can contribute a lot.

Surely wisdom adds value?

In a world where we are growing an ever increasing mature world population of oldies, with more people over 60 and rising life expectancy especially for women, it would be a good idea to view over 60’s as potential credits to society i.e. see them as wise experts whose talents can boost a failing economy – both driving new business and lowering the drainage on medical care by staying motivated and healthy for longer – let’s not view all oldies as a disaster zone!

Millions of oldies like us do not feel or act old

There is much evidence that many oldies (for this example 60+) are choosing to be single again after long marriages, often seeking new energy from new love relationships (without the need to have babies), potentially parting company from spouses on friendly terms, and wanting to ‘give back’ to society, create businesses and building a meaningful ‘old age’ rather than giving up and waiting to die as a burden to society. Jim and I don’t want that. Having found each other, we may not have the energy of our teenage years, but as we jogged down to the sea today, the spring in our step was strong and our desire to improve society rather than rest on our laurels was a “10 out of ten”. How powerful is that if we harness over 60s rather than write them off?

By doing the right things many have been locked into ‘being old is a burden – viewing retirement, pensions and eventually being in care homes as the only course ahead. We disagree and in fact see our generation as a potential rich source of economic revival. However we need a new perspective on this not the old rules of business controls, restrictions and penalties – or the good intentions of many entrepreneurial oldies of 60+ could be shattered forever and we create an even greater burden of an unmotivated unhealthy old age.

photo (3)My husband, Jim, and I are not prepared to retire and lay down our gifts, we want to work for the good of our homelands – the UK or US economy – and do the right things not just for our own life together but for our children, their children and their children. We want not just to work but to be an advantage to a failing economy, not a cost but a credit note on the bottom line. And we know millions like us. We plan to educate and teach them the core practical Entreprenological Skills and mindset needed. Watch what happens when wisdom, imagination and experience take up the mantle once more and ‘economic heroes’ are 60 plus!!!

Footnote
Wisdom is doing the right things, not doing things right
Taking a lesson from ancient wisdom, Solomon chose the mother who would rather give away her baby than have her child cut in half when two mothers claimed the same baby. Solomon did the right thing by observing the personal emotion of the mother who cared.
Mature oldies have much to care about, yet governments and society often penalises, demoralises and restricts their contributions and ideas when ‘doing the right things’. Oldies like us have been around a long time, let’s do the right things and give credit to a life that is worthwhile, and create ways that people like us who are willing to contribute into the economy in new ways, can do so.
Let us know your views

Returning to business … has anything changed?

Our Wedding 11.11 2012


I’ve been away for the last fiscal quarter, transforming my life, falling in love and marrying the man of my dreams, my soul mate and my perfect counter-part in terms of how men and women need to relate. Having studied gender dynamics now for over four years (and probably the whole of my life truth be known) I knew when I met Jim last November, he was the man for me.

Jim is a highly intuitive gentle guy yet has a magnificent strong business presence. He doesn’t mind being emotional and yet he can be directive when needed. He is, for me, my gentle male (FM) counterbalance to my strident logical business persona (MF) now softened by his love. Could all men relate to women as he does to me? He allows me to be an empowered business women yet I can work side by side with him, equal in bravado, sensitivity and creative presence. We have a dynamic communication style and differing opinions still the counterbalance engages positive end results. Is this the way forward for boardroom balance and harmony between men and women I wondered?

Jim and I are a prime example of the possibility of productive harmony and creative success between men and women – can our learning apply to the boardroom I wondered?

Eager to get the news update on the EU commission’s pretentious attempt to sort the ‘women in the boardroom’ conundrum that has beset the world of businessmen across the corporate landscape, I read the latest review;
http://bdaily.co.uk/business/14-11-2012/eu-stops-short-on-boardroom-gender-mission/

Vice-President Viviane Reding, the EU’s Justice Commissioner, says: “The European Union has been successfully promoting gender equality for over 50 years (my emphasis). However, there is one place where we have not seen any progress: company boardrooms.” Sadly it’s still being diluted – read the full article … if we can’t crack the ‘women in the boardroom’ maybe we should consider a new blueprint at the top? Why not? Men – and women who appear comfortably complacent in their high positions, to a lesser degree – are singing the same old song … you know the words so sing along with me … “it takes time darling.” Meanwhile nothing …and I mean NOTHING … changes!

Disappointment swamps me and I cannot believe the lack of progress we have made since 2008 when Lehman Brothers went down and the cry for more women went up! That was the first time I realised that the higher a woman climbed, the more oppressive the gender restrictions placed on them became. Essentially, the prevailing wisdom is (and we know whose wisdom prevails) … one of the qualifications for a space on the board is a candidate’s natural ability to produce testosterone. I always kind of knew this, but now that gender diversity has impacted the balance sheet, the issue has become a major agenda item without solution. It will never resolve while business stays on the same tracks as the last century, a century designed by men for men. We need to re-design the playing field (men and women together) for the players we now have, not push women upwards by the same old route towards the same old goals.

Even in the light of overwhelming evidence to the contrary – that mixed tops teams and boardroom make good business senses – men and women continue to drag their feet.

Surely we need a new partnership between men and women. We no longer have the luxury of being able to play the numbers game… surely in today’s world, our goal should be to focus on what the customer needs… and believe me … the global and local customer is mainly female!

To risk or not to risk – is LOVE a leap of faith that can change our world?

You can spend a whole lifetime wishing upon wish that true love, abundant wealth and good fortune comes your way. If you never step out and take a risk, life might just slide you by. I awoke early today with a feeling so scared in my stomach that it made me sit bolt upright in my bed. What was I scared about? What was tugging at my insides? I have taken risks in life many times. I have transformed by own life and those around me in a series of courageous ways, again and again. I have just met and am passionately in love with my true love with whom I plan to marry and work with for the rest of my life. My future is full of joy and laughter. Yet I recognise my ‘scared’ state came from feeling small in a world troubled by current headlines; economic crisis, Eurozone debts, unhappy, poverty struck communities in the heart of our country, wars waged both on the fields of Afghanistan and in our own streets, in gangs, protestors, and an increasingly disgruntled grumpy public.

Can I make a difference?

My personal position felt threatened when I sense the fear that mounts across the world. In my own experiences, I have many times released myself harmoniously from past toxic relationships (not easy), let go of my worldly possessions (seriously takes courage), looked at the world with inspired new eyes (why not?), have mentored and motivated friends and client alike (because I care) and reaped the joy of success in a variety of abundant ways (and with gratitude). I have been rewarded with joyful testimony to my work from clients and friends alike. However life has not always been so.

In my time, I have been told I was naive, unrealistic, impatient, a ‘silly woman’… my desire always has been for happiness for mankind, to guide and teach men and women to realise there is only one thing in their way, their disbelief in them own goodness and beauty. How many women feel ‘put down’ ?

I believe that together, men and women can co-create a world that I will be proud for my grandkids to inherit. I have sought always to walk in my path of integrity and to trust that people are primarily good well-wishing human beings. I was once told that I was trying too hard to make everyone happy. Maybe so. Maybe I didn’t need to ‘try’. The world is very ‘trying’ at this time. I see now that I needed to risk, to love, to do what I do best and to walk my talk in all aspects of my life. I believe in the possibility that current economic troubles and social chaos can be transformed through love, through people collaborating, through each of us taking a risk on love; pure unconditional love for our fellow companions in life and throughout humankind.

Love arrives when you least expect it

In May this year, after many months of learning about myself and the man I had met by chance in Budapest last November, I discovered true love. He lived 5000 miles away from my home City of London. It could have slipped away in a pile of business cards collected and never followed up. It didn’t. I now know a new way to love unconditionally and the experience changed my future in a heart-beat. Could that happen to my whole world? Why not? He and I walked into the same conference, neither wanting to be there, both at odds with life as it was, yet we found a magical conversation of sharing without condition that slowly opened up a channel to our fragile hearts. Opening up to love is a risk and the only risk worth taking on every level. Sharing, communicating, supporting each other over months led us to a truth neither of us dreamed possible before that time. And both mature, over 60, love could have seemed a step too far.

If we want change to occur, we need to be the change ourselves

Sensing that I could not expect the troubled world to change if I didn’t, I risked my own heart to fly half way round the world and find out if it was true love, the kind of love that surmounts all fear. It is and we’ve discovered at last a truth that is so simple the whole world can hear. Love is all we need. He and I are now committed to service to our world, to work to spread the possibility that each of us has a natural desire for a safer, happier, more inclusive world. I am no longer alone on my path.

The world resists love and blocks the way

And as I stand in that newly found truth, the truth that being deeply unconditionally loved really is the only way to live, I wonder why the world strives constantly to block love. And that blockage is crippling our business life as well as our domestic & social life, the two being intimately entwined. Where ever people are, wherever people meet and connect, respond and react, love can flourish. There seems to be little notice of this powerful asset in business. Business will risk all in search of profit, yet risks human life everyday by putting men and women alike under pressures that can make them ill. FEAR can flourish just like love. Men fear women, women fear men, men fear each other and many women have, I believe, left love at home with their children because they think work has to be unemotional. LOVE, in its purest unconditional nature, in friendship, comradeship, familiar or intimate, local or global, is the only energy that will transform everything. We can own this freely. Love drives customer loyalty. Love creates great relationships. Love can create wealth. Yet LOVE is not featured on a balance sheet. FEAR is its only rival. We own that too.

Fear runs the world

So why does the world seem run by fear – and love heard often only in rhetoric? It feels like we have allowed our power to be controlled by the past, and the components of FEAR, leap out of every newspaper headline. Fear of recession, of poverty and lack. Fear of separation, isolation, loneliness. Fear of phone hacking, libel cases, misdemeanours in high places. Fear created by rigid rules and legal restrictions designed to monitor and manage society yet which strangle us in many ways. Fear of our own shadows I think! Who can we trust with love anymore? Not the Bankers who ‘look after our money’, nor the Politicians who ‘manage our social care’ nor sometimes even our friends and family who ‘are our flesh and blood’ yet rape us daily of our common sense and drown us with moans. Stress and doubt creeps in every day and many are being tested to the hilt by every part of our lives. So often we read ‘sad bad news’ about double dip recession, Eurozone crisis, war torn lands, celebrity bitching, twitter rage… you name it, FEAR has a name.

The Beatle, Paul McCartney, famously wrote… “…AND IN THE END, THE LOVE YOU RECEIVE IS EQUAL TO THE LOVE YOU GIVE”

If you never step out and take a risk on love, never give love to others unsolicited, never communicate unfretted by judgements, never give love equal to that which you want in return, then life might just slide you by and none of those hopes and desires, true love, abundant wealth and good fortune, come your way. This is true for big business and governments too, as well as individual citizens. We all have responsibility for where we are right now.

What are we scared of?

Maybe the scariest prospect for all who trespass on the path of LOVE, is that they don’t actually need the Bankers, the Politicians or even our friends and family, to truly love themselves with humility and the honest love of creation. We are in charge of the choices we make. For all humanity, we merely need to choose to see everyone in their core beauty within. Love comes from within us all. The Dalai Lama shows us the capacity for one human being to smile at the world, to take a risk against all odds and say there is another way. And we need to take action personally and collectively right now.

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” Dalai Lama

At a conference recently, a senior man, a quite caring gentleman, when challenged by me that ‘love was the only way even for business’, he agreed in principle yet said “business is just the way it is, we can’t change the way we are”. I don’t agree. I believe we can build a new template, a better blueprint for business…and life…and society… and for our world. I believe men and women have different perspectives, different needs, common goals and collective responsibility for a wholly new blueprint for business and society.

We need to stop the ‘same old same old’ conversations and step out into the unknown.

A scary prospect?

Why not? Together, bound by loving intention, might we get it right this time?

I say that “The future defined by the past is bound to fail. The future defined by our heart’s intention could be the answer, however we need to take a risk and step into the unknown”.

I have stepped into the unknown and found a truth that is so powerful it has changed my life in a heart-beat. Worth a risk? DEFINITELY YES. You’ll never know if you don’t step out onto that invisible path of love with trust in yourself as I did.

For me “the true aim of love is to achieve happiness and harmony for all – and that starts with me”
Is this an impossible dream in an unloving world? I believe it is necessary to keep aspiring to it as it is the only way to make improvements in our world society today.

People sometimes say that I am “one scary woman” to be around because I believe in this dream and say it’s easy – they say my dream is unrealistic. If we aren’t scared by what is happening in our world, we aren’t alive. Be SCARED. And ask WHY NOT BE SCARED?

I believe that men and women need to do this together, as my true love and I have discovered, in harmony, collaboratively and joyfully working in ways that achieve a deep and unconditional commitment to create a better, healthier, wealthier wise world.

LOVE is the only risk we need to take for a better brighter more abundant future.

Join me in more scary debates and magical conversations about how love can transform business, your life and your legacy. http://www.corporateheart.co.uk http://www.magicalconversations.co.uk

Business, relationships, sex and snow!

A new era of conversations is required – it’s not about men versus women or the survival of the fittest but “survival for all, abundantly” working together to create magic.

It’s been a hugely transformational 2011 that has led us all to this year, and the bad stories have not gone away in 2012! Where are we going? The New Year of the Dragon sky tells a story of fire and fun maybe?

Major financial issues attack us on every news report, EU confusion and mayhem, top men tumble and top women get isolated from the marzipan layer of females who just haven’t risen to the top yet, social unrest rides high in youth communities, vulnerable women and children grow greater in numbers, as do prison inmates; education is under the critical spotlight, students rebel or just stop going to university, the NHS crumbles more, the Government is challenged at home and abroad; hacking, benefits scandals and unemployment figures rise. BUSINESS is sticky. We’re still having the “same old same old conversations” and nothing gets better. I have friends who just don’t watch the news at all!

Then SNOW came this last weekend brought a kind of strange release from such matters and a crisis once more brought people together, everyone helping sliding cars to stay on the road and people get home even after hours in freezing conditions. Today the snow has gone from my street and the world looks pretty much the same.

Why is it we see the magic of human kindness only in crisis?

With many like minded enlightened circles of friends and mentors, I see the requirement for people is to collaborate, to share resources and to realize there is a different blueprint required. Collaborative living and working, full of conversations about collective consciousness and practical application come to the fore for me. A wonderful balance of the material and the esoteric, task and relationship, operation and service. We need both men and women to be responsible co-parents if we are to survive and thrive as a society and a sustainable economy. These thoughts impact the way I see ‘business and life’ merging and coming together as there is no longer a defined separation in that relationship. This merger has come mainly through the influx and growth of women wanting careers, business recognizing markets are changing, consumers being more feminine and men recognizing business is about RELATIONSHIPS and service; entrepreneurism is growing at a rate of knots, and philanthropy and social responsibility are key to our overall fulfillment and meaning of life. Our old paradigm economic foundations are now shaking in the very concrete pillars of our once stable male world and many struggle with leaping into a new paradigm of the unknown.

Is this a battle or a game? Maybe SEX does get in the way?

It sounds like I’m full of doom and gloom, however I am very positive and incredibly excited about this year – the crisis of collapse will shake us all together at last? Men and women will maybe own their true authentic nature, SEX will play a part and we will all have to do things different whether we like it or not. We’re all humans, we have needs and that surely our passion for life itself is the main force of renewal and hope?

It’s now time to take on board a serious paradigm shift for 2012

It’s now time to get serious about new ways of working, living, connecting, sharing, and survival for all. The old ethos was ‘the survival of the fittest’ and in that paradigm we shall no doubt continue to experience battling between the sexes both on a business and political stage but also in the streets of our towns and in our own backyards. If we shift our thinking to ‘survival for all, abundantly’ we grow hope and prosperity of mind, body and soul. However we need trust in all we do and each other. We need to open up trusted conversations, let our egos go to the wall and enter a circle of human value as key to renewal. I do believe indeed we have all the resources we need right here, right now and, with care, men and women can co-create a much healthier wiser world that will emerge through coming together in magical conversations.

I do believe the way we unpack the conundrum about women rising further in business, and maintaining their natural female attributes to co-create with men at the top…. is to get the men talking! I am convinced that women will never make the top in greater numbers unless men have a mind-shift change that allows them ownership of a new blueprint to do business in ways that will suit women.

Do read our latest research on MEN it shows that men really do want things to be different but don’t know how to hold the conversation. Call us now to learn more or go www.corporateheart.co.uk for our programmes for men.

MEN ONLY PROGRAMME for men who want to learn to be more aware of how they manage everyone – this would embrace gender aspects, communication barriers, relationship mastery, dialogue and professional presence among a range of topics, allowing men an opportunity to own the conversation in a closed male group, guided by our experts.

It’s time for a new playing field, a new game and new rules.

The Elephant in the Boardroom – the “unspoken conversation” is among men.
Increasing numbers of MEN are shifting their views due to women’s influence at work.

Corporate Heart’s research reveals the “unspoken conversation” as 83% of men surveyed see themselves as ‘relationship focused’ leaders rather than ‘tough guys’ yet they don’t share their views with other men out of fear of ridicule. Read more in The Sunday Times November 20th

Women are in demand but not succeeding to the top as fast or in great enough numbers to influence major cultural change. The business door is only dented not open. Men still hold the master key but don’t talk about how to unlock it from the inside.

With recent evidence from the Lord Davies’ report that progress of women into the Boardroom is slow and that radical action is required – Chairmen and CEOs would do well to open up a different conversation with male colleagues to re-seed a playing field fit for men and women together.

In our research, 60% of men stated ‘a desire for change’ and would like to engage in discussion about new ways of working since women invaded their workplace and how these impact men.

Men are not engaged proactively with the debate from their own point of view. If more men desire change, they need the opportunity to change themselves first and for male leaders to join in the conversation without prejudice.

While Lord Davies points to an increasing commercial imperative that ‘more women make good business sense’ not only at the top but throughout an organisation, women are still challenged to squeeze into men’s shoes when the fit is not always natural. With the major focus on changing women to fit the Boardroom, men are starting to feel excluded and mis-communication is rife. This costs business hugely as relationships deteriorate.

Latest research from Corporate Heart uncovers men’s behaviour differs under pressure. On average 50% said; when under pressure they revert to behaving as “tough guys”. They hide their true emotions when stressed.

The paradox is that senior men are under serious directives to bring Women on Board. There is a business imperative for cultural change with regards to women. Yet men cannot navigate an inclusive pathway on the current pitch.

It’s time for a new playing field, a new game and new rules.
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Background
The Research from Corporate Heart asked a selected range of senior and middle management business men, across the world, to share how they think MOST MEN manage relationships with women and each other at work, in comparison to their own view. This research indicates that more business-efficient ways for MEN to work with women, and each other, are not being fully explored, and the potential cost of mis-communication is draining financial results.

For more information CONTACT Founder of Corporate Heart, Pauline Crawford on +44 7976 512117 pauline@corporateheart.co.uk http://www.corporateheart.co.uk http://www.paulinecrawford.co

“Women on Board” – who’s really blocking progress – men or women?

There is a huge gapping hole between past and future. Business still struggles to make sense of the changes required and the focus on “Women on Board” highlighted once more by Cameron through Lord Davies’ reporting on numbers of women rising to the top, yet again showing slow progress and many major organisations resisting the call.

Business is confused, and in many places, stagnant where women are concerned; while in some arenas, business thrusts ahead without substantial impact coming from women. Why still little change at the top, and at all levels? Why still no significant flood of females stepping into major numbers at the top and succession plans to the boardrooms of the UK?

I believe we are stuck because we still have the “same old ‘same old’ conversations” about the players and not the playing field. Specifically, I fear that that many women’s initiatives and achievements have alienated men and pushed them to a corner. My challenge to women is to keep on forging ahead with more positive success stories and prominent acts of female judgement and achievements; while remembering to include and educate men into meaningful (realistic and practical) conversations that create useful inclusive collaboration; and aiding the co-creation of a new blueprint for success and a language that feeds business performance (measured in service and profits) and society (measured in health and wellbeing).

While not wanting men or women to sacrifice any advantages gained over the last 6 decades, I truly do not see why women need lose touch with their emotional savvy, intellectual mastery and their loving female power in relationship energy. When this is mixed with a strong operational task focused male energy, the mix is more successful. “The future of business is emotion” says Patrick Dixon, Futurist. “We need masculine and feminine contributions to collaboration that ensure that the rise of women integrates with the best of men”.

I do not believe, as is often written, that women are the only salvation of the economic crisis – although I do know that women can bring huge value and highly intelligent commercial input to the economy with their ability to integrate emotional intelligence into monetary value, service and wealth. However I am concerned that this is not attained at any price that robs us of our female natural wisdom. If women can stand firm on all that is good for the heart and soul of business as well as minds and bodies, especially in an era where markets demands the best service. I believe this will fuel a passion for a more meaningful wide view of ‘wealth’ – that of authentic health and wellbeing, wide spread growth in family and community value, a ‘better life’ as well as a more sustainable economic environment for all.

However immediately we do need to see what is happening for MEN. They are not included in the conversation unless focused on women. What is happening for them? In a recent survey carried out by Corporate Heart earlier this year; some insights emerged;

RESULTS HIGHLIGHTS
Looking at the gap between what men think ‘most men’ agree on, and their own personal view, we uncover:

The “unspoken conversation” 83% see themselves as ‘relationship focused’ leaders rather than ‘tough guys’.

A desire for change 60% said they would like work to be different yet continue to work in the same old way.

Actions differ under pressure 50% on average, behave as “tough guys” yet hide their true emotions to get the job done!


These highlights and the comments and insights in the full report show us that men are shifting their views however not talking about it with other men. Possible shy of our PC world, men don’t know how that conversation should be structured. In working with groups of men now, we find a huge change in their mindsets occurs once the new blueprint is explored. It gives them a framework to see the whole picture as men and women integrate their talents at work together.

My intention is to support men and women – and in particular for women across the world to get talking WITH men (not against them) with a WISE mind set, a REALISTIC yet loving manner, an INCLUSIVE collaboration, AUTHENTIC female dialogue and PRACTICAL result. Vice versa, my current work is developing MEN so they can open up meaningful dialogue WITH women so that work-life is more successful for both sides.

Rather than playing the ‘male’ game of the last century and endangering our female species, I urge women to honour our collective gift of “soft power” and our diverse talents of service, collaboration, ingenuity, organisation, multi-tasking, innovation and entrepreneurial creativity.

My greatest fear is observing the growing changes over generations of women who are being moulded into hybrid models of ‘male behaviour’ unnaturally rather than using their natural masculine mindset appropriately alongside their feminine life perspective and female biological drivers. Women can be and are great business leaders and wealthy and yet still value their natural role as women who care, love and nurture our world, grow future generations, and be mindful of our environment and its future sustainability. Men are biologically primarily designed to be tough, warriors, competitors, providers; their natural testosterone drives that energy to go out, provide and hunt – and over the last century to build wealth in material form; they too seek to grow a world fit for their children and many want to nurture and grow into their family role in an equal role. However still many men don’t and aren’t necessarily as suited to stay home as women.

Can the two sides get together to forge a new conversation?

This is the conversation I desire to develop along with a new ‘gender dynamic’ blueprint where ‘building profit’ takes on a wider ‘wealth’ meaning aligned to emotional ‘life’ requirements. This is a conversation to forge a truly global collaboration that safeguards our threatened world; and to evolve a truly authentic socially responsible, sustainable future without losing the financial buoyancy we need to revive our economic stability.