Photograph of Jack Yan by Jennifer Springgay
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I believe I’m here to make real change in the way the business world does things, paving the way for even more radical change. And have some fun doing it. You can be The Persuaders in business.
   I have been warning folks for many years the problems which have only emerged publicly in 2002 and in some ways triggered by 9-11: Enron, Worldcom, overvalued stock.
   And how branding can be the means through which change can begin.
   Right now, people think of branding as advertising. Wrong. Branding has the potential to be the uniting force behind organizations, bringing everyone in line with a real philosophy. And, more importantly, it can be used as a measure of human relationships. Current measuring standards don’t do that.
   Mine is a mission that brings back tradition on the one hand—I am an admirer of the pure Confucian theory and the freedom of choice which he advocates—with the techniques of our present world, such as cross-media applications and communications.
   I believe in a global society, celebrating its traditions but welcoming new ones of international unity and harmony. So I do see my work as having application beyond commerce.
   Let’s start now. If we can begin changing the way we think about leadership, by instilling ideas about the win–win global society with brands that genuinely fulfil its potential, then we really can move mountains. That’s where I, and some like-minded colleagues whom you’ll read about in ‘Friends’, come in.

We know that the present system of using monetary value as the basis for strategizing does not exactly leave organizations in a healthy state just as it hasn't been useful for financial reporting. Evidently the solution is putting humanity back in to the system. Yet we have a juggernaut of institutionalized thinking that insists on keeping strategy the way it is.
   I feel, however, there may be enough spiritual leadership out there to create a more holistic way of strategizing. We have big names supporting the Dalai Lama and I cannot believe this is about rubbing shoulders with Richard Gere. Today, I read a press release from Tony & Tina about the success of healing and vibrational therapies. Chase Rogers at Lucia, our NYC allied firm, writes of the same but in design and visual strategy. Oprah Winfrey spreads such a message on her talk show. These folks believe that all problems stem from the spirit and are prime examples of leadership that pays more than lip service to a more holistic form of business.
   No doubt His Holiness the Dalai Lama has practised this to the extent where every aspect of the Tibetan monastery system solemnly follows his vision, philosophy and, consequently, strategy.
   [Do] fellow forum visitors see any hope of bringing such concepts even more firmly into business[?] Will this be an evolution of the Oprah Winfrey empire? I refer not to this becoming some form of Oprahism, but simply the use of an awareness of healing and humanity in every aspect of business, and having businesses valued along such lines.
   Surely this is a concept that helps unite people as we all understand it to some level and one must also recall that Confucianism spread because people were able to grasp Confucius’s basic tenets that were based around the binary system and the notion of yin-yang not the most evident foundation for a philosopher, but it worked. Have we found our yin-yang for a far more global commercial world?

Humanity as the basis, 'Redefining strategy' thread
Group Partners Forum

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Spirituality and business: the next movement? My CBO paper delivered in Amsterdam
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Tools and tips
A more traditional summary of who I am (94 kbyte PDF, last updated October 2003)
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Further reading
The works that have inspired me lately
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  • Publisher
  • Global branding consultant
  • Management consultant
  • Cross-media specialist
  • International columnist, author and speaker

    BCA 1994, LL B 1995, BCA (Hons.) 1996, MCA 2000

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  • Australasia’s best-known typeface designer
  • Photography
  • Automobiles
  • Reiki, light healing
  • The music of John Barry
  • Travel
  • Live jazz singing
  • Dancing: jive, swing, jazz
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