The elite should beware – a white van and laptop rebellion is underway

A version of this article recently appeared on the International Business Times website. Those running small businesses usually side with the elite. Increasingly, they’re doing the opposite By Robert Kelsey As a co-founder of the Centre of Entrepreneurs think-tank I’ve become a missionary for UK entrepreneurship. We believe the surge in small-business creation and self-employment since 2008 saved Britain from a …

8 ways to successfully identify confidence

The following article appeared on the leading HR website Changeboard Posted on 27th January 2016 by Robert Kelsey “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right”. So said US industrialist Henry Ford – condemning half the population to self-fulfilling under-confidence. Ford’s maxim is, in fact, wrong, beacause Ford misunderstood the nature of confidence. Confidence is not omnipotence. …

Is Isis the ICF of Islam?

Why do I disagree with right-of-centre commentators on social issues when I tend to agree with them on economics? Perhaps it’s to do with applying our experiences to any given view, which is certainly the case when it comes to the rise of Islamically-inspired terrorism and, critically, its attraction for adolescent Muslim males brought-up in Europe’s inner cities. Not that I have any experience of …

Why outsiders make the best entrepreneurs

This article first appeared on the entrepreneurs’ news-source website minutehack. Outsiders and misfits have the wrong traits for the formal economy, but can make excellent entrepreneurs. Yet there are dangers to avoid. By Robert Kelsey First let’s nail the outsider. We’re those within a tribe but not of it. Uncomfortable in our own skin, we’re socially awkward – loners in 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 …

Employing outsiders: a survival guide

A version of this article recently appeared in Management Issues magazine Outsiders are usually the disruptive workplace mavericks that employers cannot wait to see the back of. So how can managers turn them into positive employees? Robert Kelsey – author of The Outside Edge: How Outsiders can Succeed in a World Made by Insiders – explores the challenges and opportunities …

Is this the best time and place to be an outsider?

  Is now the best time to be an outsider? Since the launch of the book, I’ve been asked this several times in interviews, and it’s got me wondering. Certainly, as a society we seem to be producing more and more people that feel like they don’t belong – but this doesn’t necessarily equate to an advantage for the estranged. …

Outsider artists and the caricaturing of Essex

  Two Essex artists have grabbed my attention this week. Centuries apart, they reveal not only the changing culture and demography of my home county but also the changing nature of outsidership. We’ll start with John Constable (1776-1837) – a candidate to dignify the new £20 note (you can vote for him here). Born and raised on the Essex-Suffolk border, Constable …

OMG! I think I’m a female entrepreneur

The Centre for Entrepreneurs (of which I am deputy chairman) and Barclays Bank recently launched a report on female entrepreneurs. Called “Shattering Stereotypes”, the aim was to use surveys and empirical data to undermine our perceived ideas (and even prejudices) regarding women as owners of start-up companies. This it did admirably – noting that women entrepreneurs were on average younger …