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 …

Q&A: Making good first steps with your career

Below is an edited transcript of my live Q&A with the National Centre for Universities and Business, a not-for-profit organisation bringing together universities and business. Adi Gaskell (moderator): Hello all and welcome to this live Q&A – Making Good First Steps With Your Career – with author Robert Kelsey. Robert is the author of four books on how to succeed at …

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 …

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 …

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 …