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.

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.

Dreams into Reality Part 1 of 3

Men and Women together

CREATION OF MY PLAN
Time for active planning, setting out the scope of what is to be my possibility now that I have declared my dream:

“I pledge my dream to help co-create a world where men and women truly understand each other, recognize and respect our natural contributions to life and business and society, and value our different attributes; a world where we truly have a partnership style not born of the past but of the future potential to truly be equal in the co-creation of our world; truly listening, observing, trusting and collaborating with each other on a new blueprint for life.
I have a dream that we can create life where there are no abusive relationships, no tortured families, no bullied schoolchildren or harassed employees; no wars, no crime and no damaging behaviour; a world where women are honoured and men are loving, where women value their natural female beauty and nurturing energy alongside their strength and courage; and men value their natural lead yet know their potential to embrace emotions – both dancing together in a natural alignment and flow.”

As the new world I intend is not built on the past (although it may inherit wisdom from our history), I plan in a different manner. My first steps are to capture a plan to cement my dream in reality (and not in the usual business plan strategy). I share my commitments;

1) I have made my declaration and will create a vision board this week to capture this in picture form that sets my intentions and will encourage and attract the right people and situations into my every step.

2) I will mind-map the various aspects of my plan – to set my intentions into a written format that scopes out those things I know I want to do and believe are key; i.e. interviews with pioneers, writing my book to shine a light on how men and women can experience togetherness; collecting insights from wise women and men; creating circles of magical conversation in a variety of situations. e.g. corporate, schools, communities, networks etc., developing the potential of a collaborative living/educational working space; and lead me to the possibility of my Magical Conversations Chat Show, where I can show case all the brilliance I see women and men currently creating and achieving in projects across the world to a wider audience.

3) I will ask for help where I need it – recognize my strengths, acknowledge my mistakes, share my knowledge, ask advice from my mentors and seek affirmation that my plans are on track from those I value; work on my personal courage and honesty with all I live and work alongside.


Today is the first day of my deep recognition that in order to achieve the future I desire for this world and especially for my young grandchildren, and turn my dream into reality, I must start now to step up my courage and purpose, put my head above the parapet and ‘walk my talk’ as I transform all aspects of my life and those who need loving who currently are not experiencing joy as I am.

To all this I declare my personal commitment and gratitude!

We have a dream….

Martin Luther King’s famous words “I have a dream…” came to mind yesterday at the Women on Fire conference, when a few hundred women and a handful of mindful men gathered in the majestic beauty of Central Hall, Westminster.

Eleanor Roosevelt said “the future belongs to those who believe in the power of their dreams”

I do so believe in the power of my dreams and yesterday this was multipied100 fold with a whole audience of amazing women. Let me tell you more.

I experienced the fire of women come alive through this wonderful day; I heard their stories, trials and tribulations, victories and wisdom shared in an amazing uplifting energy to bring their dreams alive. The collective dream of those women gathered shines a new ray of hope and possibility, of aligning with Mother Earth with our female wisdom to seed new generations of healthy children, to support the underdog, to create new rules through current systems yet with a female vision of creative collaboration and great integrity; we seek the justice and care for all, as all deserve so because they are human beings; to defuse the power politics of the minority who hold all the wealth and power and deal with rough justice and not fairness; to spread kindness across all peoples, all communities, all nations.

Our dream is that women are heard, clearly, loudly, with due care and attention, and that we voice our truths in ways that men will hear and all women will grace with honor and pride. Our dream is that collectively and singularly we reach our pure and natural potential to bring harmony and goodwill into everyday existence, to be practical in our co-parenting and joint decision makers in world affairs, in corporate life, in our workplaces, homes and playgrounds. Women coming together, bringing fire from the source of Mother Earth into our bodies, hearts and minds, into our spirit, into our dreams “we too have a dream…” and we will be heard now!

In all of this, “I pledge my dream to help co-create a world where men and women truly understand each other, recognize and respect our natural contributions to life and business and society, and value our different attributes; a world where we truly have a partnership style not born of the past but of the future potential to truly be equal in the co-creation of our world; truly listening, observing, trusting and collaborating with each other on a new blueprint for life.

I have a dream that we can create life where there are no abusive relationships, no tortured families, no bullied schoolchildren or harassed employees; no wars, no crime and no damaging behaviour; a world where women are honoured and men are loving, where women value their natural female beauty and nurturing energy alongside their strength and courage; and men value their natural lead yet know their potential to embrace emotions – both dancing together in a natural alignment and flow.”

I commit to the happening of my dream – that all women’s voices will be heard and valued – that all will shine their natural value in honour of Mother Earth, to understand that we too take responsibility alongside men for the damaged world we live in our current daily existence; whether economically or socially challenged, whether in dangerous territory, or in civilized lands, women have not stood truly together to have one voice heard by men.

Sisters, we have no time to argue or condamn, to moan or complain; we must work fast to save our endangered world, our dimished family units, our rising crime rates and wars around the world killing our young men. Women have a vital role, a life giving nurturing role and together we can make the difference.

I declare my dream to bring collaborative between all parties, men and women, generations, communities, nations and religions; enabling all to come to the table, to the campfire, to the light; to engage in magical conversations. I declare my passion to educate young and old in the natural differences we bring to that conversation; to use my full skills and expertise to spread knowledge for all to learn; to teach people how to engaged in conversations that enhance their life and everyone elses; to help people transform their negative assumptions, release constraints and live a full and meaningfull life; to participate fully in the fire of love and compassion that can heal our world; and to seek through these conversations to achieve a new way to live together with respect and integrity.

How do I plan to do this ; with your engagement, your support, your contributions; through shared spaces, declared intentions, shared stories, shared knowledge; through bringing people’s great stories into public gaze, honestly and with truth and conviction; to do so through media, TV, internet, interviewing wise and courageous women and men who are stepping up to be the pioneers of our world transformation.

Many of these pioneers were at Women on Fire, both on stage and in the audience; this is the great beginning, Thank you Judith, thank you Lucia, without you and all your helpers this wouldn’t have happened, I am so blessed to know you and all there to be on this journey together, here’s to meeting again very soon and stoking up the fire!

What is a magical conversation?

What is a magical conversation? I have been asked this many times and it’s hard to say exactly although you surely know when a conversation has been miserable!

That is one that makes your blood drain away or boil.

It’s a conversation that isn’t actually a conversation as it is one sided, even when more than one person is talking.

It can be full of tears and/or fears, angry words or can just be downright boring. Have you ever sat in those and wondered why you are there?

You play your part.

Miserable conversations take place the whole time, at work and at home, in shops, on the streets, on the tubes, in pubs, in bars, in restaurants, across families, across nations, across continents. You observe the silent conversations where not a word is said as you sip your beer.

You are responsible.

The worst is still to come – the conversation that starts wars – the controversial conversation, the blind conversations, the bigoted conversation. The vitriolic conversations that create divorce, achromous settlement conversations; the legal battles conversations; the conversations without resolve; the embittered conversation; and the unspoken bereavement conversations.

You are able to transform.

“Magical conversations” came into my life from an early age and really ran through my life. There were many of these conversations around the breakfast table when I was a kid. As I grew up and realized my awkward teens and then found adulthood, I had the miserable ones too of course! Yet I always was attracted to magical ones and to creating them too. I didn’t necessarily call them that then. I received a delightful comment from my daughter, Gemma, some two years when she said “you know Mum, you should call yourself the president of magical conversations, as you make them wherever you go” Thank you to her.

I listened and took the comment on board. I felt President was a tad grand although I do preside over such events now. I started to say to people that I was the “Ambassador of Magical Conversations” and it attract both interest and intrigue and indeed started people switched on to what they said, the intent they used and the effect they had on others.

It takes a tuned in person to know when they have switched someone else on … or off! When we step into that magical conversation of inspired trust, respectful observation, openness and honesty, welcoming contributions from diverse minds, encompassing all views and listening with two ears and speaking in turn, we create a sacred space that holds no barriers to magical outcomes. My dear friend and colleague Richard had evolved a passion to hold ‘third space meetings’ in 2009 and create that sacred space for all to share. This fulfilled my nature of magical conversations because the space provided the final ingredient, the fertile ground for voices to be heard. Those attending always went out with a smile and an air of joy.

The events we hold now are helping in many senior corporate circles and in our own lives and can work anywhere.

Magical Conversations are magical because we know not what we might create at the start; we merely hold the intention for a third space between us, we state the topic in principle, state the guidelines and allow the seeds of the conversation to germinate and grow into collaborative results. This style of conversation can be used anywhere any time for amazing results, in the boardroom they can turn businesses around, in families they can change children’s future lives.

Magical conversations have three core requests from all participating …

• To enter with full intention to listen, to contribute, to share, to care, to observe, to speak and to invite a wide diversity of contributions to whatever the central subject or topic is being regarded.
• To park any egos outside the door, to bar judgments and opinions, yet share from experience, giving evidence and stories to help where required, allowing conjecture if given permission by the collective, and always keeping the space safe for all to be there.
• To leave the conversation knowing you have given truly, and received richly, have helped everyone feel inspired and lifted, enlightened and expanded the conversation.

Any conversation can be magical, a quick conversation at the bus stop; a long business conversation in the boardroom; an intimate conversation of friends; a romantic duo out on a first date.

A magical conversation flows, it winds, it laughs, it cries, it surprises and it confirms the unconditional love and acceptance of difference between all parties. This is a true loving communication between human beings, as we all have been given the gift to communicate, whether by voice or sign language, in English or any national dialect, inter-generationally or in peer group parties.

Where talking happens, conversations thrive. Magical Conversations never die.

Visioning your future NOW!

Why wait for tomorrow to start your vision today?

Place in view, not just in your head. Don’t be shy of what you dream about passionately. Put it right, left and centre, know that what you don’t know now will turn up, set intentions through your visioning and watch it flow towards you.

“What rubbish” I hear you whisper in your head – surely my vision, my dream, and my passion is best kept inside incase others put me off and say it’s too daring, too outside of my ability… “It’s a secret because I dare not say what others might ridicule.” You pronounce the death knoll on your pioneering vision ‘in case the arrows in your back hurt you!!!

Well I am here to tell you – get out of your own way and watch it occur.

Pauline's Vision Board Autumn 2010


Here is my vision board from last autumn – and already, I am ready for a revised and extended vision i.e. to host my own chat TV show interviewing extraordinary women and men who bring diverse and extraordinarily transforming ideas to life, business, and entrepreneurship, and influence social change and create philanthropic operations that delve deep into unknown territory to save the world from pain.

I am meeting with all the amazing people because I seek amazing people, I have already a line-up of top women to interview about what is really needed to transform our recession hit boardroom and really give Lord Davies a radical shake up!! I am asking senior guys too to come onto the interview couch; and I plan more hosting of ‘Magical Conversations’ across corporate land.

I always set my intentions in my vision board and then in my conversations (I talk and connect a lot) and now have celebrities and entrepreneurial opportunities to interview; both men and women of all ages – I even have a fabulous group of 16/17year olds who’d like to be in conversation with the boardrooms of UK. Now that will be a magical conversation to watch!

So what is happening here?

I explain this work using vision boards and intentions today to a new and dear friend, Maryam, who is on a mission to spread transformation education through Persian TV – now this is her homeland, her passion is raw, is new, is seeded by Landmark Education and a Forum we both experienced last weekend. Yet she had planned to keep her vision a secret – NO I say to her, bring it to life! She is now.

So here are the steps;

1. Know your vision needs to come from your inner passion – don’t just think it, write it down, mind-map it, draw it….. Do chat to close friends, don’t get put down, but be reasonable as well as unreasonable.
2. Be clear about what your vision intends to be, do, achieve- both for you in your life and for others in the world
3. Know your part , your role, your desires and abilities within your dream of the vision
4. Create your vision board – pictures, words, textures – that give a picture of the essence of your vision in very practical terms…
5. Put a picture of you in the middle – it’s your vision, your dream, and will influence the way you lead your life
6. Talk about it from your passion and for the benefits and results it brings … “my passion is to bring inspiration and motivation to people; to transform the country (then the world)… and get my message to its destination through interviews and presence in TV/media”
7. With your vision board finished and mounted on the wall – photograph it and put on your screensaver as well …and then when you see, you will be inspired
8. Answer questions and speak with passion – so when anyone else sees your vision board and they offer help, say YES and THANKS as often as you can and follow through with a review even if the lead comes to nothing!

People love to help us and yet so often we don’t set a clear intention about our vision and with purpose- say with responsible passion, own it, share it, allow people to bring you possibilities (however remote) and always be grateful for every link in the chain of your purpose fulfilled.

My vision boards have always helped me spring into action, take a confident lead, transform my experience in life and in business and move me closer to my current dream; to be the host of a Magical Conversations Chat Show, inspiring viewers through extraordinary people to take action to achieve a joyful, happy and abundant society for us all.

And if you have any dreams unrealized, let me know and come to one of my vision board creation sessions. Contact me on pauline@magicalconversations.co.uk And if you know anyone in Persian TV, contact me for Maryam!!

The perfect TIME is right now

Do we often try too hard to challenge TIME? And then wonder why we are not getting what we believe we deserve? We put TIME under pressure and the more we try, the less TIME we have. We want more, we want it now, we want to speed TIME up. Contrarily, when we don’t want to get old, we want TIME to slow down. The more TIME pressure we exert on ourselves everyday (getting frustrated because we think it’s caused by obstacles outside of us), do we blame the world for all those things that don’t turn up? Do we say there’s just not enough TIME in each day?

When I allow myself to feel that way and am impatient for instance that contracts are not turning up that I have pushed hard on, or emails are not being responded too fast enough, or meetings get pushed back when I have prepared for hours to present my case, who’s stopping the natural flow of time and effort merging into a seamless flow? It’s me.

Having transformed my whole existence in the first quarter of this year, unsticking that which was stuck i.e. my place of residence, my surroundings, my excess baggage, I am now experiencing a whole new view of TIME in my life through being in a different place.

I have allowed TIME to help me slow down and flow. I have made choices that underpin an inner realization that if I am not being my best, doing what I do best and feel honestly in tune with, then nothing will arrive on this path. This is what I teach my clients to value, so I needed to set my own life into the right TIME and motion.

It is when I slowed down to the natural speed of TIME that I saw things differently. I now notice what I had not seen before, and I sense the path beneath my feet, I feel more grounded, I love the breeze on my face, the rhythm of my physical movements as I rise every day, the spring in my walk across my bridge every morning, the ease of smiles with strangers on my journey.

I recognize a shifting sense of the new, still tempered with the past wisdom but fresh now with ideas, insights, patterns, words, and new definitions of potential and future gifts that I can share with my family, friends and clients as I create my successes and grow my desired outcomes.

We can’t argue with TIME (we get the same 24 hours each); we can mis-use it, we can abuse it, we can steal it from others by bad time management; we could nurture and value every moment and use wisely, honouring TIME in our world. Maybe assess TIME as a friend not an enemy, and see what comes to be.

To help us notice TIME in a new way:

T Thinking – use your whole brain; don’t be concerned about what you think; notice what you think; become an observer of your thoughts; know that not all your thoughts are useful; use those which feel good and positive, and let the others go…
I Intuition – sense equilibrium in the swirl of time around you; know that balance is personal, physical, mental, emotional; tune into that inner-sense and innocence within; listen; breathe; exhale as you go with the flow of the day…
M Motivation – be moved by the rhythm of your own body first; observe if you are flowing with others or against; try going with the flow of conversation around you; create energy in your flow like whirl pools in a river, watch for rocks (obstacles) and go around then easily (welcome the thrill!)
E Execution – act on TIME; be on TIME; allow TIME to inform rather than direct your day; we each have the same 24 hours to play with! (DO PLAY!!!)

If time seems evasive, observe why, let go, and thank TIME for helping you to recognize the moment. Stop and breathe. Apply TIME to your business, to your relationships, to your life, and watch the magic that emerges.

Compassion as a business necessity

Compassion is not religious business, it is human business, it is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival. -The Dalai Lama

I was really struck by this quote and started to muse on why people in business are still not valuing their natural ability be ‘compassionate’ for each other in the workplace. Is it because it is deemed too emotional in its purest form to add value in monetary terms and therefore can’t be added to the ledger?

Yet compassion for me is the most valuable measure of business when seen in good leadership, a trusting workforce culture, and healthy retention of clients and customers. It is a natural way forward to preserve good health and vitality of our employees – and is core energy for getting on with everyone. I am talking here of a true compassion, as the Dalai Lama talks of, which embraces daily love, supports fairness, trust, respect and care for every man and woman.

Yet I am often told, you can’t talk like this in business, you have to talk about hard tangible benefits. Tough times need tough measures.

I disagree. This is exactly the time to turn around your life and your business, right from top to bottom, with love and compassion. Own it, be it, see the results. CEOs and top Boards are now seeing the growth of a strong female economy, changing requirements of women and men to be on par, accepted on their natural merits, each doing what they do best – together with compassion and not judgment.

How do you cope with adversity and chaos in today’s tricky economic climate? People too often blame others when the key to unlock is within. In hard measurable terms, if we don’t unlock this key, then we suffer, relationships suffer and business success goes out of the window.

I believe in our natural endless capacity to love and feel compassion for each other and that as a human race we have the ability and the desire to seek new ways and create a buoyant, abundant, collaborative world were all count, all add their own unique value, everyone counts. I know in my deepest essence that I am part of a whole existence that covers not just this day, but all the past and future that is. I share the responsibility for our world and see the natural energy of co-creation with us.

Working with men and women in diverse arenas, generations and situations, I see men and women holding the two halves of a whole solution, yet not creating a new blueprint together. Is it that, stuck as we are in an old pattern that does not serve us any more, we stubbornly refuse to believe that there is another way – the men stay tough and resistant to change, focused on targets, survival, power and profit; the women too often opt out of their feminine softness and take on the mantle of business the tough way. Neither side needs to stay fixed and rooted in either. I am encouraged by the ground swell of women today wanting to be in business and the news that the ‘female economy’ is being noticed by men when it comes to wealth managers and the growing wealth of women across the world. However we still haven’t got to grips with the bigger conversation that can embrace all women, their needs, all men and their needs, and most importantly the needs of a fragile changing world. Economies are constrained by overspend and cutbacks and we are told that we’re in for a period of austerity in the tabloid press. Women can make a difference to the future by stretching the new playing field into the natural domain of female needs rather than playing hard ball in a man’s world.

I believe there is a new magic we can bring to our collective conversations which honours our core strengths as men and women and allows for new energy of female growth to come into business as a whole. If we only calculate success of women by their wealth capability, we may ignore the contributions of those women who excel in other non-profit ways. We can ensure a more balanced ownership of true wealth to emerge easily when we add compassion to business and seek equity and fairness within every conversation. I know this will increase the profitline of the whole business and ensure everyone has a healthy life. Healthy, wealthy and wise may be a simple combination worth remembering.

My contribution is to teach people to step in the space they need to deliver their best. I help them to value their inner wisdom, and to be able to join every conversation with compassion.

I host “Magical Conversations” with invited groups of senior men and women to explore how to step into that natural space and be themselves, truly happy, to add loving energy to human business. My own life purpose is to bring harmony, collaboration and serious intention to merge life and business together, and to establish a simpler, more effective way to connect to likeminded people for greater success. I set up these conversations up to set a new pace for life for me and for my clients; a pace to think with my heart and to embrace a new truth about how I/we can co-create a wonderful new business plan for living and work merged together.

As in many mergers, we need to be aware of people’s needs, of bringing together differing cultures together. In the merger of men and women we still haven’t fully understood the natural value of our differences and how beneficial we are to each other. We need to explore how to dissolve all the confusion which goes with old thinking rather than new feelings and demystify the ‘gender code’ about stereotypes, barriers, egos and pre-conceptions. Let’s begin again with the best of the past and an open consideration for the future, and build a new blueprint for business that embraces life and measures love on the bottom line!

Transformed with compassion, the merger of men and women will grow a new culture of energy, loving intentions for growth and profit …and, most important to me, a era of positive loving business behaviour!

The Jungle of Relationships

Preview Interview with Bond Magazine To be published October 2010

Pauline Crawford, behavioural consultant and innovative thinker, looks at relationships with new eyes, and wonders about the current confusion over ‘who’s in charge’ – women or men? After working with people at the top of business for over 20 years, she sees a new light in the jungle of relationships. Her passion is to engage leaders in an emerging conversation that helps both men and women co-create a successful future.

What influenced you in your early life?

Born a tom-boy, I was much happier climbing trees with my brothers while my sister attended dancing classes. I dreamed of adventures at sea and found it easy to solve puzzles. As a mathematician and artist, I loved simultaneous equations and innovating multiple possibilities! Conversation with friends and laughter was paramount in my upbringing. Yet I found being ‘feminine’ a daunting task.

I left University with a Sociology and Statistics degree, my formative work career in the 70s was in travel. I loved using my left and right brain and naturally applied myself to the practicalities of business alongside the emotional flow of relationships. I learned all about gender politics early on in my career and the balancing act that kept everyone happy to get the job done.

What changed your life as a woman in business?

After motherhood, I desired action. I applied my masculine logical brain to business and my female energy to help others to realise their natural potential.

In my early return to work, my ‘tipping point’ was studying Image – here physicality was the key. I studied people, their minds, their bodies and their perceptions. Through this I realized the key was in the body. I discovered and observed the link between straight bodies and masculine minds. My tom-boy straight boned skeleton was linked to my masculine brain, yet I was totally female in a biological sense.

My core nurturing female side was attributed to my biology. My masculine-mind (for mapping things together) came from my natural brain preferences for logic and spatial skills. I also discovered not all women were like me! The more gently curved woman was naturally more intuitive, more ‘feminine’.

Men also follow this pattern. The straight sharp featured male is more masculine by nature and brain preference, and the gentler shaped man is also gentler in style – one might say more ‘feminine’ in making relationships work.

How did you discover about relationships between men and women?

Being an innovative thinker, with Edward de Bono as a second cousin, and my mind-mapping brain, I logically designed a Gender Dynamics Map. The map has six perspectives, and uses biological patterns and learned behaviour as empirical evidence. The map helped me to solve my personal dilemma as to why my female body housed a masculine-mind – perfectly normal! The Gender Dynamics Map defines the main differential from our biology with secondary variables of mind-preferences from masculine to feminine in all genders. Working with this map, relationships became easier. Emerging conversations started to occur even in serious business environments.

Over the years I have become an expert in behaviour, emotions, personality and conversations. Gender dynamics is my special focus area and is hugely successful in the boardroom.

I have worked with many thousands of clients and their true gender dynamic helps them to successfully communicate and interact on a personal and professional level to create best outcomes, especially now as we live in a world where client relationships are the key to market success worldwide.

How does your work help women to succeed in today’s world?

I have worked with women in many amazing companies across the UK and Europe, from PLCs to major public sector organizations. I have researched cultures, developed people, worked with leaders to create best performance, and gained an insight and passion to eradicate negative behaviour. What I have noticed is that ‘people are people’ whatever the business sector and failure comes through the breakdown of relationships rather than the business operation itself.

I feel that business, worldwide, expects women to be more male oriented rather than understanding that their own female potential to use masculine energy combined with their natural relationship expertise is the key to success.

My research proves that my natural tom-boy persona was perfectly normal but the social expectation to be more feminine had a definite impact on my confidence level. It was hugely liberating to discover that I was a totally desirable female with a masculine brain – understanding this is the key to relationship success for women like me.

I have met business women from all walks of life who are ‘strangled’ by the male criteria that goes with business success. To be tough enough to get to the top, without losing your female attributes is challenging and often unrewarding.

How can we shift perspectives and become more aware?

For example; a female CEO client of mine had a classic situation to deal with…the male alpha expert Doctor and the sensitive male Professor. Attempts to create business conversations with them failed miserably. We worked together on this problem using the Gender Dynamics Map – SUCCESS! My client succeeded in meeting the different needs of these men by delivering her message in two entirely different ways; directly in bullet points to the alpha Doctor and softer tones to the Professor. Both parties were delighted to be understood, the deal was successful and beneficial for all.

This shift of perspective can solve many problems. I am totally convinced that for men and women to co-create successful relationships they need to understand the six male/female gender dynamic perspectives and which may even help to solve the global economic crisis The majority of consumers are women, like me, who want a different world, a world of inclusion, abundance, harmony – yes wealth – and success for all.

How do you work with leaders of today’s business world?

Corporate Heart has its own team of experts that bring together a mix of gender dynamic types to serve our clients. “We walk our talk”. The core of our philosophy is adding value both personally and professionally, not just to our clients but to our own lives. Our understanding of who we are as men and women is vital to success and happiness in the boardroom. We value the basic tenet of life “to be uniquely our natural best and value others as we do ourselves”.

Currently working one-to-one, with top teams, or leaders of huge corporate cultures, I know there is a thirst for change and wisdom to share. Yet I see major blockages in both men and women who don’t see beyond their jungle niche. I do believe that women can lead on the ‘gender’ agenda but this will only come together when we truly celebrate the female species in full. If the jungle is our habitat, it’s the inhabitants that need to recognize their worth! I want women to celebrate the value of their variations of femaleness, and to value men for their maleness. Our dilemma is to know how to make the jungle safe for all.

What will your legacy be?

My work energizes my life, entwined intricately into my very being because my personal philosophy for living is what I teach others. My other passion is to create a better healthier, more caring world for my grandchildren.

I believe if we understand the jungle of relationships, with mutual respect and genuine smiling, we can create any future we desire both individually and collectively. They say the longest journey is from our heads to our hearts, and that is where relationships begin and flourish. My vision is a world which honours and respects women and hears their voices on the world stage, with men being proud to stand beside us.

Pauline Crawford
CEO Corporate Heart
Pauline hosts emerging conversations for male and female leaders to share viewpoints, possibilities and visions for the jungle. She works internationally with this activity to help influential leaders evolve a new corporate blueprint for business and life that embraces men and women.

Under the Tuscan sun

August 2010

As the sun shines on the pool and I swim just one more length, I contemplate the nature of the world around me. It’s a fascinating world, chopping and challenging everyone I know. Whether on holiday or at home, at work or at play, in big business or small local affairs, whether major corporate boards or individual entrepreneurs like me, young or old, unusual choices are occurring every day.

Let me explore why I say this…

The barometer of our lives is very variable and whether you believe in it or not, there is huge amount of planetary action going on in our solar system. May be this is influencing the magical mixture of life where so much uncertainty is counter-balanced by the natural energy flow of life and the choices we make every moment. When I observe everything from my cash flow to my friendships, from family to fortunes, I see life as a total integration of interconnected parts. From ordinary life to current economic pressures (my own and others) through to political uncertainty (everywhere), there is plenty of mayhem over the summer month of August.

In every aspect this is a time of unrest, so taking August out is a perfect time to re-energise and realise the space we all need to retune to nature and view ourselves as others might from other cultures. I love making that choice to go away and see how other countries live their lives. Maybe there are alternative life styles for us all and about a more sustainable choice day to day that adds meaning and passion to who we are. We so often work too hard for the sake of something that is not worth having, is only material and limited by time.

In my own life, many choices are occurring that make me smile…and make me sigh… as I trust the unknown path ahead. My two week holiday in Tuscany is perfectly chosen as ever to come when I needed a rest, a renewal, a rejuvenation of body and soul. With friendship and love being core to my existence, I was delighted at the synchronicity of two female friends, Mary and Dawn, both inviting me to go on holiday to Italy and choosing Tuscany to be the best place to be.

A truly magical land, fresh and green due a wetter spring than usual, the Tuscan landscape is verdant and lush. Our first week together with Dawn’s wonderful family, a great crowd spanning generations and experiences, had so much fun and laughter, engagement and exploration of each other and the Italy around us.

The wonders of Sienna and the Palio horse race, the tiny streets crowded with enthusiastic people, waving flags to celebrate their communities. The energy was magnetic. Another day we took the train to Florence and as we rode through the streets of Florence and climbed the steps to view the city, I revelled in seeing this beautiful city once more. Our feet weary, we bartered gifts in the market, walked the riverside and photographed the Duomo. We savoured the Italian way of life and loved it!

Then some days swimming in our pool, we really start to unwind. We eat and drink, play games and laugh in the surroundings of our temporary villa home, Villa Migliarina, in Bucine area. As the days unfold, the sunshine gets hotter and hotter, and the conversations delicious along with the food!

During my first week, my girlfriend Mary and I set off for an adventure one day to find a castle. We drive our little pale blue Fiat across steep winding roads; see amazing views and the true magnificence of Tuscany. A patchwork of rolling fields and tall Cyprus trees, the roads take us cross country. That day, we make new friends, with Tommaso who owns the castle, Jane and Alison who assist him running this as a conference centre and Ill Borgo, a high spec development of executive homes with views to die for and furnished immaculately. We are most welcomed to return and vow to do so.

We then adventure onto Rome overnight and stand inside St Peter’s Basilica. A hugely impressive church yet, for me, a bit too awesome rather than inspiring. The flavour of Rome lingers still on my breath, hot and wonderful and with a promise to return, our coins in Trevi fountain to be sure.

In the second week, my holiday slows down a pace and the choices arise again – to linger around the pool over many hot days and sweltering nights, BBQs, take journeys to natural spas, hilltops and wondrous views, to see Italy grow on me in every sense.

Returning to the UK and prospects of economic strain, colder weather and tube strikes, reminds me of the very versatility of our world, choices once again. The idyllic nature of a hot Tuscan summer doesn’t necessary mean I would live there all year. I love my homeland and whatever the nature of the next few months I face them renewed and with a wider viewpoint than my own front door. Adventure lingers in my mind and the choices brought to me through travel yet again excite me for the future ahead.

Our world is shrinking in front of our eyes; we can find vast knowledge and learn anything on a screen, within hours we are in another land. We can speak across technology and see each other live on voice over computer, mobile technology and tele-presence screens. We may soon be able to beam ourselves across the universe, who knows what choices that will bring!!

…and yet there is no place like home whatever the adventure – where loved ones wait to greet us back into their embrace.

Back afresh, I reflect on the nature of choice – even over a holiday break, and soon it shimmers and disappears, reduced to the happy snaps and warm memories, held in my own computer mind for ever.