Groups to avoid: the moaning canteen gang

I call them the “moaning canteen gang” – that coterie within any sizeable company that hates their employer. They’re certain their bosses can do no right – and are vocal in letting everyone know: advertising their disgruntlement – usually during breaks – like a badge of honour. The moaning canteen gang is a tight unit. It knows who’s onside and …

Seaside towns: the outsiders at the end of the line

A leading think tank, for which I’m the proud Deputy Chairman, recently produced a report on seaside towns, and how best to revive them. Indeed, many of Britain’s seaside towns are pockets of deprivation with high unemployment and low growth: long on social ills, short on employable skills. What, and who, can reverse such a depressing trajectory? Given that the …

From Brick Lane to Mayfair via Uber: a typical week in outsider town

I love my city, not least because I consider London the world capital of outsiders. That said, a run of news this week reminds me that – even in London – being an outsider can be a challenge, not least because it’s not always obvious who’s the outsider, and what constitutes being on the inside. First up, the attack by …

As an insider, outsider Corbyn won’t cut it

Is there anything to add on Jeremy Corbyn’s expected but still shocking victory to become Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition? Well, there is Corbyn the outsider. This thin-skinned college dropout, this contrarian younger brother, this rebellious three-times married romantic, this prep-school boy with distorted empathy (in this case for terrorists): he’s a classic of the species (at least by …

Wise words from the original Mad Man

I’m on the early leg of my holiday, although have already completed the first of my books: the quick-read autobiography of George Lois, the legendary New York advertising creative. Called Damn Good Advice (for people with talent), the book consists of 120 insights – offering guru-words and images from the man that had us eating Lean Cuisine while demanding “I …

Thoughts on my father

Dad died on Sunday. I’m still waiting for the emotions to kick in, although I’m mainly concerned for my mother who’d spent three years visiting him daily – watching the decline of a once-proud man. A good day was one where she’d managed to feed him, or where they’d been a flicker of recognition at her arrival. On bad days …

Essex breeds outsiders like nowhere else

A version of this article appeared in the Essex Chronicle Bestselling author Robert Kelsey has just written The Outside Edge with the aim of helping those that “don’t belong” succeed on their own terms What does a white male know about being an outsider at work or in business? Since the publication of The Outside Edge: How Outsiders Can Succeed …

Can outsiders make good leaders?

A version of this article appeared in The Director. Robert Kelsey, author of The Outside Edge, says their failings can be turned into strengths with a few simple steps There’s no use denying it – outsiders make awful leaders. Our individuality and selfishness, along with our sensitivity and defensiveness, are an explosive mix, making us ignorant of the needs of any …