The March/April issue of IMPACT is here

Welcome to the latest issue of IMPACT!

This time we focus on the art of asking questions, leading with fear or hope, how to make change sticky and the power of contagious, culture-shaping leadership behaviours.

And there’s a story about a reluctant team member and the effect they can have on a team.

The IMPACT HACK this time is all focused on strengths.

You can download the magazine here or read it online here.

Travelling again?

Yes, it definitely looks like travel is starting to pick up again. The second terminal at an airport close to where we both live will open up in a month’s time after being closed for almost 2 years. This is a clear and tangible indication that demand for travel is up.

We certainly don’t expect business travel to go back to pre-pandemic levels, as distances have largely been eradicated with the help of a plethora of video and collaboration tools. But there is also such a need to meet in person, people have missed being together and we all know that face to face interaction can speed up relationship and team building, understanding and innovation.

And travelling isn’t just a process of getting from A to B. No, it’s also an opportunity to see, experience and learn something new. To be curious and intentional about every trip, to see it as a learning journey and approach it that way. Not just at our destination but also while in transit.

One of our favourite things to do when travelling and passing through an airport or train station is to visit a book store, to pick up a new book, to use the travel time to consume some food for thought, and to get new insights, ideas and inspiration. There’s something wonderfully tactile and immediate about a physical book, isn’t there! And recent stats indicate that print books outsell ebooks 4 to 1. We were a bit surprised by this given that so much of our world is now digital.

WHSmiths London City Airport Feb 2022

Are you a realistic optimist?

Do you assume things will go well? Do you dare take sensible risk, believing in yourself whilst doing so? Do you keep being optimistic even when things go wrong and you have to try a new way out? Do you see plenty of opportunities around you?

And do you at the same time stop and think about the practicalities of it all? How long it will take? If you have the resources needed? Do you think about what’s going on in the market and how that might impact your plan? Do you stare reality in the face without fear or hesitation?

Then you’re a realistic optimist – and there is no better way to start the year.

Clever of you. You see, realistic optimism has the perfect balance of reality and optimism.

It’s the perfect marriage of a cool head and a sunny outlook.

Your realism forces you to assess all relevant facts and circumstances – and your optimism keeps you going forward towards the goal.

But at the same time, the optimism is the overarching driver. There’s a relentlessness in there that often increases the chances of good outcomes.

Optimism on its own can easily become a rosy-eyed dream and nothing more.

And optimists that try to convince someone else is often disregarded as someone who is having their head in the clouds.

Whereas realistic optimists can rally support through a more complete picture, of both practicalities and hope.

“Too often we jump to the conclusion that something is impossible simply because we cannot see the solution. No one knows enough to be a pessimist.”


And there is scientific evidence that realistic optimism is a competence that we can develop. The research also shows that optimists maintain a healthier lifestyle and live longer.

Think of the year that stretched out ahead of you. How will you use your realistic optimism as a way of achieving your goals? How can you get that balance right? How can you create a bright future?

Yes, to a realistic optimistic, the future is bright, because they are going to make sure it happens, not just dream about it.

Jan/Feb issue of IMPACT is here

Welcome to another year of IMPACT!

In this issue, we focus on how to get new inspiration and perspectives, why realistic optimism is key, the illusion of perfection and storytelling as a communication skill.

And there’s a story about us all being brand ambassadors, whether we think about it or not.

And the IMPACT HACK this time is all focused on generosity.

You can download it here and read it online here.

Enjoy, and thanks for reading.

Here’s to an impactful 2022!

Mandy & Elisabet

What place(s) inspired YOU?

While reflecting on our 10 years of writing recently, we mentioned the number of locations we had been in to write our three books.

To some degree the different locations came down to necessity as we lived in different countries while writing our first two books, but that’s certainly not the whole story. No, we also decided that we now and then needed to see and experience something different in order to continuously get a new perspective and new ideas for our writing.

One such example was deciding to go to Oxford while writing our first book, The Team Formula.

In the book, the team was having a team offsite in Oxford and to do the location justice, we decided we needed to write some of the story in situ. And it really worked. If we may say so ourselves, it added depth to the location descriptions that would have been hard to achieve from our usual writing setting. And it affected the characters outlooks too as we had to really put ourselves in their shoes while describing what they experienced while there.

Having enjoyed the inspiration of Oxford, and the new perspectives it provided, we have made a point of taking any and all opportunity to write while travelling together.

So we have now not just written in several locations in Sussex, London, Oxford and Stockholm – but also in San Francisco, Singapore, Charlotte and Houston – and in mid-air, on planes!

Here are some examples – inspiration hit while…

  • punting on the river Thames in Oxford
  • observing the sea lions from San Francisco’s Pier 39
  • consuming HUGE coffees at Starbucks in Charlotte, North Carolina
  • working on a keynote talk in the bar onboard a plane to Singapore
  • researching garden mazes at Hampton Court Palace outside London
  • being interviewed on Share Radio in London
  • working in Brighton
  • taking a boat trip in Stockholm

What all these examples remind us of is that when we stimulate our senses with new scenery, new sounds and even new scents, we feel differently; energised, determined, calm – or any other relevant feeling. And we get new perspectives, we notice new things, we break the monotony of day-to-day habits – and inspiration hits.

This can easily be recreated in day-to-day work too. Imagine that you are working from home and how simply going for a walk (not always the same route) or meeting up for lunch with colleague/friend can provide that opportunity for new brainwaves and aha moments. How valuable is that!

AND – and this is a crucial one – constant innovation is a top priority for all organisations, so all you can do to make creativity, idea creation and ongoing innovation a reality is not just a necessity but a clever success strategy!

You just never know exactly how and when inspiration will hit, but it does. And you can be the architect of that.

Yes, variety is the spice of life, and we never know which particular situation or location will provide the most inspiration or why. Sometimes we may be inspired just because we are open to it – there can be so many reasons. But the important thing to remember is that breaking away from patterns always gives new perspective and subsequently much welcome inspiration.

What place(s) have inspired you? And what did that inspiration do for you? Please feel free to share – we’d love to hear about your places of inspiration!