‘The Blog’


‘The Blog’ is a collection of takes on management, politics and life in general, with regular posts to feed the soul.  After spending many years as a management consultant, stealing people’s watches to tell them the time, my intention is to have fun, cause mischief, entertain and above all inform. Consultant and writer by day, raconteur and stand-up by night, there is something for everyone. Click on the tabs to find out about me and the services offered. If you are offended easily, don’t complain, don’t come back – unless you have shedloads of money, in which case I’ll do my best to accomodate you – even I have to eat!



What If World War One Was A Pub Brawl?

I am not caught up in the centenary commemorations marking the outbreak of the First World War.  This is not out of disrespect. Indeed my own grandfather was mortally wounded at Gallipoli and served with four of his brothers. He was given a full military funeral, with gun carriage and a three volley salute. I would prefer to celebrate the armistice and the end of the Great War, lest we forget.

At 10pm tonight the nation is being encourage to switch off the lights, a callback to the comments of the then Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey, who declared, “The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time.” At exactly the same time I’ll be on stage at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Well my own commemorative tribute will be a diversion from my usual show as I address the issues of the day.


At a time of increasing global tension, we could do worse than familiarise ourselves with those events which led to butchery and bravery on both sides. What if World War One was a pub brawl:

“Germany, Austria and Italy are standing together in the middle of a pub when Serbia bumps into Austria and spills Austria’s pint.

Austria demands Serbia buy it a whole new suit because of the new beer stains on its trouser leg.

Germany expresses its support for Austria’s point of view.

Britain recommends that everyone calm down a bit.

Serbia points out that it can’t afford a whole suit, but offers to pay for the cleaning of Austria’s trousers.

Russia and Serbia look at Austria.

Austria asks Serbia who it’s looking at.

Russia suggests that Austria should leave its little brother alone.

Austria inquires as to whose army will assist Russia in doing so.

Germany appeals to Britain that France has been looking at it, and that its sufficiently out of order that Britain not intervene.

Britain replies that France can look at who it wants to, that Britain is looking at Germany too, and what is Germany going to do about it?

Germany tells Russia to stop looking at Austria, or Germany will render Russia incapable of such action anymore.

Britain and France ask Germany whether it’s looking at Belgium.

Turkey and Germany go off into a corner and whisper. When they come back, Turkey makes a show of not looking at anyone.

Germany rolls up its sleeves, looks at France, and punches Belgium.

France and Britain punch Germany. Austria punches Russia. Germany punches Britain and France with one hand and Russia with the other.

Russia throws a punch at Germany, but misses and nearly falls over. Japan calls over from the other side of the room that it’s on Britain’s side, but stays there. Italy surprises everyone by punching Austria.

Australia punches Turkey, and gets punched back. There are no hard feelings because Britain made Australia do it.

France gets thrown through a plate glass window, but gets back up and carries on fighting. Russia gets thrown through another one, gets knocked out, suffers brain damage, and wakes up with a complete personality change.

Italy throws a punch at Austria and misses, but Austria falls over anyway. Italy raises both fists in the air and runs round the room chanting.

America waits till Germany is about to fall over from sustained punching from Britain and France, then walks over and smashes it with a barstool, then pretends it won the fight all by itself.

By now all the chairs are broken and the big mirror over the bar is shattered. Britain, France and America agree that Germany threw the first punch, so the whole thing is Germany’s fault . While Germany is still unconscious, they go through its pockets, steal its wallet, and buy drinks for all their friends.

The End…. (or is it?)”

With thanks to, Nico Crisafulli

Source http://www.tentimesone.com/if-world-war-one-was-a-bar-fight/

All rights reserved © 2014 Andrew Hutchinson

Youthful Politics

In a week when Dennis Skinner, the authentic voice of Labour at a time when authenticity is sorely missed among the limp-wristed, intellectual leftie elite, was voted off the NEC how cruel was Tony Baldry? He told the House about the 1983 election and Labour’s anti-Europe commitments of the time. I remember the election of 9th June. I was a Labour footsoldier for Jim Dobbin, the now Labour MP for Middleton and Heywood in his unsuccessful attempt at being elected councillor for Castleton. I also remember my near fatal motorcycle accident three days later and my three months in hospital without a solitary enquiry as to my health from my comrades. I was at the time the youngest ever branch secretary of AUEW-TASS and to his credit the regional organiser did drop me off four cans of Guinness and some porn mags. “To keep you regular”, he said. To what was he referring I wonder.

Well in a parallel universe Tony Baldry tells us how a 13-year-old boy had delivered a leaflet through his letterbox on behalf of Michael Foot. “That boy, now leader of the Labour party,” he said in his large, deep, fat-uncle manner.

“That boy, now leader of the Labour party.”

Little Ed’s pain was visible. And for those who have an appetite for that sort of thing, palpable.

There he was on the front bench, shoulders down, smiling wanly, slightly angling his smooth, young face towards the big bruiser next to him. He had grown up by four or five years since 1983 but was clearly the junior partner as Big Ed joined in the joshing and rollicking that Cameron was dishing out.

“Not my idea of fun,” Cameron laughed about delivering leaflets at the age of 14. “What was your idea of fun?” Big Ed kept jabbing. “Not hanging out with the shadow chancellor,” Cameron said. “I feel sorry for the Leader of the Opposition who has to hang out with him all the time!”

Tories were entering a stage of pre-climactic pleasure, Big Ed was pointing, pouting, heckling, laughing back.

Little Ed sat shyly, too young to join in the game.

Well there you have it, I was a socialist at twenty. For the record, I was a tory at thirty, a libertarian at forty and an anarchist at fifty. Don’t be surprised to hear me classed as a terrorist at sixty but fear not at seventy they’ll call me a freedom fighter. Who knows I may even end up as president of South Africa.

All rights reserved © 2014 Andrew Hutchinson

It’s Time to Go Viral on a Shoestring

I can’t put it better than social media whizz Jason Squires does. There was a time when advertising meant forking out a wedge of cash for a professionally designed, if not a little insipid, poster or ad that might or might not have reached its intended target.

For the big boys that was just fine. For small businesses, that was far from ideal.

Today, more and more businesses are opting away from traditional advertising methods in favour of using social media to mass promote companies, and for good reason.

The Downfall of Traditional Advertising

The advertising world as it was is now but a hulking dinosaur patiently awaiting extinction.

Go back just a decade and advertising through platforms like TV, radio, magazine, newspaper, and billboard advertising was still very much the thing for businesses to do.

Today, magazine and newspaper sales have plummeted with people preferring to get their news and information from the internet and iPhones. TV advertising is slumping as more and more households opt to fast forward commercial breaks on pre-recorded digital television. As for radio advertising, well.

While it might sound like we’re painting a very deliberate picture of doom and gloom, consider just how much attention you pay to those platforms today.

The Emergence of Social Media

Corresponding with the downturn in traditional advertising, the emergence of the internet, and more specifically social media, saw a huge increase in small businesses adopting a D.I.Y. ethic and getting out there and appealing to new customers.

The likes of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest have all grown into huge internet presences with millions of users. As the social media has grown, so has its use as a marketing tool.

Today, you’d be hard pushed to find a major company without a Facebook page while start-ups generally have a Twitter account before a bank account.

The benefits of using social media to mass promote companies are huge. Firstly, there’s the small fact that you can tailor your campaign so that it lands in front of your perfect customer. Then there’s the fact that it’s inexpensive.

Even companies with a shoestring budget can afford to play marketing in the social media world, mainly because so much of it is free.

Going ‘Viral’…

Perhaps the biggest bonus to using social media to mass promote companies is the opportunity to make an impact. The internet has been built around viral marketing.

Viral marketing brought us ‘Gangnam Style’ and the ‘Harlem Shake’.

Viral marketing brought us a gorilla playing the drums and flashmobs.

And viral marketing brought us cats. So many cats.

In today’s media climate, you don’t need a big budget to wow. Whereas a rock band would once have spent millions filming a promo video, today bands are asking fans to splice together footage to create a video. Why? Because it’s cheaper and it has every chance to make as big an impact as Slash stood in the desert playing guitar.

So, if you’re plotting a marketing campaign on a shoestring budget, social media is without a doubt the best place to start. So get that Social Media Marketing Strategy sorted, roll out training and toast that successful implementation.

Creative Leadership

Leadership and creativity are subjects which excite me, sad I know and I am looking to get out more. I’ve written on both of topics extensively but so have others. The last year or so have seen a number of attempts to address the subject.  Some of the best offerings are listed below.  Perhaps not the ideal poolside reading, nonetheless they will give the mind a workout and tone up the grey matter.

1. Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All by Tom and David Kelley

I may be biased, but I think Creative Confidence, penned by my colleagues Tom and David Kelley, is a great primer on how to unlock your innate creativity. It’s the perfect place to start if you’re fearful of taking creative risks or want to understand more about the skills and mindset you need to adopt for creative problem solving.

2. A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas by Warren Berger

Journalist and innovation expert, Warren Berger, explores the world of curiosity and explains why simply asking “Why?” can lead to important change. If you’re an aspiring leader—creative or otherwise—it’s time to channel your inner child and start questioning deeply, imaginatively, and persistently in order to uncover novel opportunities.

3. Collective Genius: The Art and Practice of Leading Innovation by Linda A. Hill, Greg Brandeau, Emily Truelove & Kent Lineback

Collective Genius is about building creative cultures and creating a stage for others to perform upon. Authored by Linda Hill of Harvard Business School, former Pixar tech wizard Greg Brandeau, and two other leadership experts, they debunk the myth of the lone creative genius and give valuable tips for releasing the combined creativity of organizations.

4. Scaling Up Excellence: Getting to More Without Settling for Less by Robert I. Sutton & Huggy Rao

Once you’ve asked the right question and found the right idea, there remains what is arguably the most important and most challenging task for creative leaders: taking them to scale. Bob Sutton and Huggy Rao of Stanford University have spent years researching how effective organizations expand their ideas and influence. Many of the impediments they’ve found are cultural, not technical, and the authors outline principles that the best leaders use to scale their successes. If you want your company to have impact, this is a must-have tome for your leadership library.

5. The Design of Everyday Things: Revised and Expanded Edition by Don Norman

A reissue of a design classic, Don Norman wrote the original The Design of Everyday Things in 1988 and it had a tremendous impact on my own career as a designer. In the latest version, Norman expands on his thesis about the relationship between products and people and includes new chapters on design thinking and the role of design in business. If you’re leading a product team in the physical or digital worlds, this book contains a treasure trove of important lessons such as when something doesn’t work, it’s usually the product’s fault, not the person using it.

All rights reserved © 2014 Andrew Hutchinson

Death is a Fascist Bastard

“I feel sorry for you, you zeros, you nobodies. What’s going to live on after you die? Nothing, that’s what!

This house will become a shrine! And punks and skins and Rastas will all gather round and all hold their hands in sorrow for their fallen leader! And all the grown-ups will say, ‘But why are the kids crying?’ And the kids will say, ‘Haven’t you heard? Rick is dead! The People’s Poet is dead!’

And then one particularly sensitive and articulate teenager will say, ‘Why kids, do you understand nothing? How can Rick be dead when we still have his poems?’”

Rik Mayall as Rick in The Young Ones RIP

Oh God, why am I so much more sensitive than everybody else?
Why do I feel things so much more acutely than them, and understand so much more?  I bet I’m the first person who’s ever felt as rotten as this. Could it be that I’m going to grow up to be a great poet and thinker, and all those other wankers in my class are going to have to work in factories or go on the dole?
Yes, I think it could.

All rights reserved © 2014 Andrew Hutchinson

The ’24′ Reboot: What Can Your Brand Learn?

Jack Bauer is no stranger to risky moves. Heck he took down President of the United States Charles Logan in Season 5 of “24”; he has managed to come back from the dead—literally—several times; and he has withstood torture as if it was a part of his job description.

24This May, the producers of “24” made a risky move of their own when they tried to resurrect the cult phenomenon—a TV show that ended four years ago after 10 years and eight seasons. On May 5, “24: Live Another Day” premiered, a 12-week mini-series that picks up with Jack Bauer’s life four years after the series finale.

It’s a move that made sense. After all, in its heyday the show dominated—raking in a series of killer Emmy accolades from “Outstanding Drama Series” to “Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie.” Professors taught mass media lectures about the fanfare surrounding “24”; journalists clamored to interview the man behind Jack Bauer, Kiefer Sutherland; and fans everywhere waited with bated breath to see if Jack would save the day in 24 hours.

But is it a move that paid off?

According to Nielsen, the “24: Live Another Day”premiere rated 2.6 among Adults 18-49 pulling in 8.1 million viewers, representing a 94 percent retention from the show’s Season 8 finale 2.8 result back on May 24, 2010. Industry pundits confirm that for a show that just took a four-year hiatus, the premiere drew impressive numbers.

So what does Jack Bauer have to do with your brand? A lot. Let’s take a look at what we can learn from the “24” reboot:

  • Timing is Everything: To be a cutting-edge marketer you must know your audience. That means understanding when you need to hit hard with a new product unveil or market expansion and when to pull back—i.e. when messages become too saturated. In the case of “24,” by the time Season 8 came, fans were exhausted. They were no longer on the edge of their seats to see whether Jack could save the day nor surprised when someone supposedly “good” turned “evil.” Producers were smart and pulled the plug. Now, years later, fans miss Jack’s isms like “Dammit Chloe!” and watching the clock countdown. Your takeaway? Know when it’s time to push a new marketing venture and when to let old campaigns take a back seat. You can dust off those campaigns later but be sure to give them a break when needed.
  • It’s Important to Take Risks: The producers of “24” certainly took a big risk pitching a mini-series but it paid off. The premiere numbers demonstrate there is still a very loyal “24” base, and the show is now gathering a new swath of fans. As a marketer, it is imperative to take similar risks. Be willing to introduce a new visual concept to your logo; experiment with a new white paper; try out a new blogging tactic. Often the biggest risks are met with the biggest rewards so identify where you can experiment and give something new a go.
  • Know What Works: When “24” rebooted, it didn’t change its fundamental focus of Jack Bauer trying to stop terrorist activity. Treat your brand the same way by remaining true to your core competencies. For example, if your bread-and-butter is bringing enterprise-grade capabilities to small businesses at a fraction of the price, don’t change your value proposition. Rather, change your selling technique, your customer service touch points or the way in which you tell your corporate story. Remain true to what your customers love about your brand and experiment elsewhere.

Jack is back. And whether you followed him then or not, perhaps your brand can learn a thing or two from America’s favorite counter terrorist agent this season. So… what lesson will you take away?

By Carrie Majewski, Published May 20, 2014

Read more at http://www.business2community.com/branding/24-reboot-can-brand-learn-0888014#59dXS9dfIuufuGYJ.99


A Nice Rant

Newsflash! Your Glorious Leader Bobby Nitro is getting about. The managed success of his spoof European Election poster exposed him to the human side of the threat landscape. The Guardian isn’t very impressed with Labour’s messaging:

“Politics may be showbusiness for ugly people, but it also often boils down to the spectacle of supposedly clever individuals affecting to be stupid – and on this score Labour is excelling itself. Its website is fronted by the flatly strange line “A recovery made by the many and built to last” – which rather suggests a tipsy adviser messing about with a magnetic poetry kit. The big campaigning slogan, let us not forget, is “Hardworking Britain better off”, which yet again suggests that normal English is best left to other people, and that the only way to get anyone’s attention is to bin lofty ideals and promise more money. (Judging by the polls, Britain is far from convinced.)”

It’s been a few months now since my stand-up premier. The gigs are coming along, monthly Nitro Nites comedy nights are being organised, fundraisers sorted and I’ve finally found a way to link it all in to that consultancy stuff – where one day’s paid work surpasses a month’s earnings in the twilight world of comedy.

I’ve even had the opportunity to hang out with academics, SPADs and forge a parasitic relationship with the legal profession. I’ve bustled with the heavy corduroy and cagoul brigade in their throngs trudging wearily between free stress balls and TOWIE reruns responding to lots of requests for information.

All good stuff – next step, to get up there noted and recognised for packing to the gills keynote sessions. All in all it has been a throughly enjoyable time – if exhausting but change is afoot, I feel it in my water. Tune in over the coming weeks to see a series of fascinating and insightful thought leadership pieces and the build up to a seismic shift, penciled in for next May.

Of course the masterplan is to be tenured as Comedian in Residence to Harvard Business School. So Bobby Nitro, not a bad super hero to have on board.

All rights reserved © 2014 Andrew Hutchinson



Assorted politicians, monarchs, bankers, arms dealers, spooks, CEOs, media execs and lizard-people are meeting in Copenhagen for the annual Bilderberg Group conference.  What could the head of MI6, the former director of the NSA, the boss of Google and Justine Greening be talking about? In pre-empting the accusations of secrecy which prompt picketing as a means of trying to identify participants the organisation has released the invited guest list for its annual meeting being held in Copenhagen, Denmark, from 29 May to 1 June 2014. Some will claim that there will be attendees who are not on this list, so they’ll be outside looking into the limousines trying to spot them. Try as hard as you will, there’ll be no Edward Snowden.

BernankeLeavingBilderberg2008The fearless truth seekers at InfoWars have captured the moment Ed Balls turned up at the Bilderberg conference in Copenhagen, only to be turned away by police at the gates who didn’t recognise who he was. The Shadow Chancellor apparently couldn’t find his invite. Despite his protestations that “that’s my name, I’m on the list to attend,” the guards wouldn’t let him in. http://order-order.com/…/watch-balls-banned-from…/

Even more helpfully, there’s a published agenda. The key topics for discussion this year include:

  • Is the economic recovery sustainable?
  • Who will pay for the demographics?
  • Does privacy exist?
  • How special is the relationship in intelligence sharing?
  • Big shifts in technology and jobs
  • The future of democracy and the middle class trap
  • China’s political and economic outlook
  • The new architecture of the Middle East
  • Ukraine
  • What next for Europe?
  • Current events

Here are the confirmed attendees as of 26 May 2014:

Participants Bilderberg Meetings Copenhagen, Denmark 29 May – 1 June 2014

Current list of Participants – Status 26 May 2014

Chairman, FRA Castries, Henri de Chairman and CEO, AXA Group

DEU Achleitner, Paul M. Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Deutsche Bank AG
DEU Ackermann, Josef Former CEO, Deutsche Bank AG
GBR Agius, Marcus Non-Executive Chairman, PA Consulting Group
FIN Alahuhta, Matti Member of the Board, KONE; Chairman, Aalto University Foundation
GBR Alexander, Helen Chairman, UBM plc
USA Alexander, Keith B. Former Commander, U.S. Cyber Command; Former Director, National Security Agency
USA Altman, Roger C. Executive Chairman, Evercore
FIN Apunen, Matti Director, Finnish Business and Policy Forum EVA
DEU Asmussen, Jörg State Secretary of Labour and Social Affairs
HUN Bajnai, Gordon Former Prime Minister; Party Leader, Together 2014
GBR Balls, Edward M. Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
PRT Balsemão, Francisco Pinto Chairman, Impresa SGPS
FRA Baroin, François Member of Parliament (UMP); Mayor of Troyes
FRA Baverez, Nicolas Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
USA Berggruen, Nicolas Chairman, Berggruen Institute on Governance
ITA Bernabè, Franco Chairman, FB Group SRL
DNK Besenbacher, Flemming Chairman, The Carlsberg Group
NLD Beurden, Ben van CEO, Royal Dutch Shell plc
SWE Bildt, Carl Minister for Foreign Affairs
NOR Brandtzæg, Svein Richard President and CEO, Norsk Hydro ASA
INT Breedlove, Philip M. Supreme Allied Commander Europe
AUT Bronner, Oscar Publisher, Der STANDARD Verlagsgesellschaft m.b.H.
SWE Buskhe, Håkan President and CEO, Saab AB
TUR Çandar, Cengiz Senior Columnist, Al Monitor and Radikal
ESP Cebrián, Juan Luis Executive Chairman, Grupo PRISA
FRA Chalendar, Pierre-André de Chairman and CEO, Saint-Gobain
CAN Clark, W. Edmund Group President and CEO, TD Bank Group
INT Coeuré, Benoît Member of the Executive Board, European Central Bank
IRL Coveney, Simon Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine
GBR Cowper-Coles, Sherard Senior Adviser to the Group Chairman and Group CEO, HSBC Holdings plc
BEL Davignon, Etienne Minister of State
USA Donilon, Thomas E. Senior Partner, O’Melveny and Myers; Former U.S. National Security Advisor
DEU Döpfner, Mathias CEO, Axel Springer SE
GBR Dudley, Robert Group Chief Executive, BP plc
FIN Ehrnrooth, Henrik Chairman, Caverion Corporation, Otava and Pöyry PLC
ITA Elkann, John Chairman, Fiat S.p.A.
DEU Enders, Thomas CEO, Airbus Group
DNK Federspiel, Ulrik Executive Vice President, Haldor Topsøe A/S
USA Feldstein, Martin S. Professor of Economics, Harvard University; President Emeritus, NBER
CAN Ferguson, Brian President and CEO, Cenovus Energy Inc.
GBR Flint, Douglas J. Group Chairman, HSBC Holdings plc
ESP García-Margallo, José Manuel Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation
USA Gfoeller, Michael Independent Consultant
TUR Göle, Nilüfer Professor of Sociology, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales
USA Greenberg, Evan G. Chairman and CEO, ACE Group
GBR Greening, Justine Secretary of State for International Development
NLD Halberstadt, Victor Professor of Economics, Leiden University
USA Hockfield, Susan President Emerita, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
NOR Høegh, Leif O. Chairman, Höegh Autoliners AS
NOR Høegh, Westye Senior Advisor, Höegh Autoliners AS
USA Hoffman, Reid Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, LinkedIn
CHN Huang, Yiping Professor of Economics, National School of Development, Peking University
USA Jackson, Shirley Ann President, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
USA Jacobs, Kenneth M. Chairman and CEO, Lazard
USA Johnson, James A. Chairman, Johnson Capital Partners
USA Karp, Alex CEO, Palantir Technologies
USA Katz, Bruce J. Vice President and Co-Director, Metropolitan Policy Program, The Brookings Institution
CAN Kenney, Jason T. Minister of Employment and Social Development
GBR Kerr, John Deputy Chairman, Scottish Power
USA Kissinger, Henry A. Chairman, Kissinger Associates, Inc.
USA Kleinfeld, Klaus Chairman and CEO, Alcoa
TUR Koç, Mustafa Chairman, Koç Holding A.S.
DNK Kragh, Steffen President and CEO, Egmont
USA Kravis, Henry R. Co-Chairman and Co-CEO, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
USA Kravis, Marie-Josée Senior Fellow and Vice Chair, Hudson Institute
CHE Kudelski, André Chairman and CEO, Kudelski Group
INT Lagarde, Christine Managing Director, International Monetary Fund
BEL Leysen, Thomas Chairman of the Board of Directors, KBC Group
USA Li, Cheng Director, John L.Thornton China Center,The Brookings Institution
SWE Lifvendahl, Tove Political Editor in Chief, Svenska Dagbladet
CHN Liu, He Minister, Office of the Central Leading Group on Financial and Economic Affairs
PRT Macedo, Paulo Minister of Health
FRA Macron, Emmanuel Deputy Secretary General of the Presidency
ITA Maggioni, Monica Editor-in-Chief, Rainews24, RAI TV
GBR Mandelson, Peter Chairman, Global Counsel LLP
USA McAfee, Andrew Principal Research Scientist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
PRT Medeiros, Inês de Member of Parliament, Socialist Party
GBR Micklethwait, John Editor-in-Chief, The Economist
GRC Mitsotaki, Alexandra Chair, ActionAid Hellas
ITA Monti, Mario Senator-for-life; President, Bocconi University
USA Mundie, Craig J. Senior Advisor to the CEO, Microsoft Corporation
CAN Munroe-Blum, Heather Professor of Medicine and Principal (President) Emerita, McGill University
USA Murray, Charles A. W.H. Brady Scholar, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
NLD Netherlands, H.R.H. Princess Beatrix of the
ESP Nin Génova, Juan María Deputy Chairman and CEO, CaixaBank
FRA Nougayrède, Natalie Director and Executive Editor, Le Monde
DNK Olesen, Søren-Peter Professor; Member of the Board of Directors, The Carlsberg Foundation
FIN Ollila, Jorma Chairman, Royal Dutch Shell, plc; Chairman, Outokumpu Plc
TUR Oran, Umut Deputy Chairman, Republican People’s Party (CHP)
GBR Osborne, George Chancellor of the Exchequer
FRA Pellerin, Fleur State Secretary for Foreign Trade
USA Perle, Richard N. Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
USA Petraeus, David H. Chairman, KKR Global Institute
CAN Poloz, Stephen S. Governor, Bank of Canada
INT Rasmussen, Anders Fogh Secretary General, NATO
DNK Rasmussen, Jørgen Huno Chairman of the Board of Trustees, The Lundbeck Foundation
INT Reding, Viviane Vice President and Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, European Commission
USA Reed, Kasim Mayor of Atlanta
CAN Reisman, Heather M. Chair and CEO, Indigo Books & Music Inc.
NOR Reiten, Eivind Chairman, Klaveness Marine Holding AS
DEU Röttgen, Norbert Chairman, Foreign Affairs Committee, German Bundestag
USA Rubin, Robert E. Co-Chair, Council on Foreign Relations; Former Secretary of the Treasury
USA Rumer, Eugene Senior Associate and Director, Russia and Eurasia Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
NOR Rynning-Tønnesen, Christian President and CEO, Statkraft AS
NLD Samsom, Diederik M. Parliamentary Leader PvdA (Labour Party)
GBR Sawers, John Chief, Secret Intelligence Service
NLD Scheffer, Paul J. Author; Professor of European Studies, Tilburg University
NLD Schippers, Edith Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport
USA Schmidt, Eric E. Executive Chairman, Google Inc.
AUT Scholten, Rudolf CEO, Oesterreichische Kontrollbank AG
USA Shih, Clara CEO and Founder, Hearsay Social
FIN Siilasmaa, Risto K. Chairman of the Board of Directors and Interim CEO, Nokia Corporation
ESP Spain, H.M. the Queen of
USA Spence, A. Michael Professor of Economics, New York University
FIN Stadigh, Kari President and CEO, Sampo plc
USA Summers, Lawrence H. Charles W. Eliot University Professor, Harvard University
IRL Sutherland, Peter D. Chairman, Goldman Sachs International; UN Special Representative for Migration
SWE Svanberg, Carl-Henric Chairman, Volvo AB and BP plc
TUR Taftalı, A. Ümit Member of the Board, Suna and Inan Kiraç Foundation
USA Thiel, Peter A. President, Thiel Capital
DNK Topsøe, Henrik Chairman, Haldor Topsøe A/S
GRC Tsoukalis, Loukas President, Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy
NOR Ulltveit-Moe, Jens Founder and CEO, Umoe AS
INT Üzümcü, Ahmet Director-General, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
CHE Vasella, Daniel L. Honorary Chairman, Novartis International
FIN Wahlroos, Björn Chairman, Sampo plc
SWE Wallenberg, Jacob Chairman, Investor AB
SWE Wallenberg, Marcus Chairman of the Board of Directors, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB
USA Warsh, Kevin M. Distinguished Visiting Fellow and Lecturer, Stanford University
GBR Wolf, Martin H. Chief Economics Commentator, The Financial Times
USA Wolfensohn, James D. Chairman and CEO, Wolfensohn and Company
NLD Zalm, Gerrit Chairman of the Managing Board, ABN-AMRO Bank N.V.
GRC Zanias, George Chairman of the Board, National Bank of Greece
USA Zoellick, Robert B. Chairman, Board of International Advisors, The Goldman Sachs Group

All rights reserved © 2014 Andrew Hutchinson


Snowballing is one of my favourite ways of clustering ideas or concepts when I’m working with groups.  It can be used in combination with brainstorming and it leads to the identification of themes in a large set of data.

It is particularly good for facilitating an equality of input, lessening the inhibition of individuals in group process, flexibility in the grouping of material, allowing for iteration, a bit of peace and quiet, and throwing up unexpected results, which appeals to my anarchistic tendencies.



  1. Generation: Individuals write one idea, issue or concept relating to the subject under consideration onto post-it notes, one idea etc per post-it.  After a few minutes of generating post-its individually, the group (or facilitator) randomly place the post-its onto a large wall.  Then group members have another round of generating material having been inspired (hopefully!) by what colleagues have produced.
  2. Clustering: Silently (yes that means no talking!) the group members re-arrange the post-its on the wall/table into groupings.  Anyone is free to move any post-it, or rearrange clusters etc.  The idea is that the group will try various groupings/clusterings until there is an unspoken agreement on a final form and the process finishes. Expect “false-endings” when it appears to be over but sudden rearrangement by someone with a sudden insight…

The silence is important, at least for the first few minutes.  If one person explains why they have moved a post-it, others follow.  Silent clustering is more intuitive and allows more equal participation.  If there’s a near ding dong with a post-it getting passed back and forth between clusters, intervene.  Don’t arbitrate, just copy it.  You can’t be in two places at once but a post-it can (Hutchinson’s Fifth Law).

Once clustered – the group give a name to each cluster.


  • Facilitator can read out all post-its having collected them in. Can iterate many or few times.
  • Facilitator or problem owner can intervene with more direction after each iteration.
  • Post-its can be placed on table as generated or kept individually in groups.
  • A “Plant” can seed ideas by putting in wacky suggestions etc (if you need to open up ideas)
  • Once clustered and named, each post-it could be numbered accordinGly, then the group could re-cluster into different grouping – this could be a way of moving from a traditional/safe approach to something more radical/innovative?
  • Technique can be mixed with others.
  • Experiment with what works for you.

Top Tip:  Remind participants to write with the glue at the top of the post-it!

All rights reserved © 2014 Andrew Hutchinson

Lesson Learnt?

You cannot serve two masters – Be true to yourself BUT if you take the money you have to play by the rules. I do not mind what anyone’s political views are. Indeed I only learn and grow by mixing with people whose outlook differs from my own. The fact that you get angry means that you care. There is nothing wrong with offending anyone but abuse isn’t acceptable.Otherwise sensible people and friends have thrown around the word ‘racist’, as if were candy, during the election campaign without realising the tremendous disservice they do to those who genuinely fight racism.

By being employed in an ‘impartial’ role as Deputy Political Editor on BBC R4′s Today programme you forfeit the right to publicly share your vitriol. If my reporting of Mini Kempton-Stewart’s twitter comments contributed to her departure from the BBC this morning, so be it. She is an excellent journalist, who is now free to be herself without Auntie Beeb’s apron strings. To paraphrase Oscar Wilde – Be yourself – everyone else is taken.
bbc today
For the record the real threat to the establishment isn’t UKIP but those who question democracy itself – for what is it if it isn’t two foxes and a chicken voting on what to have for lunch?