For God , Queen, and Country!

Porlock welcomed the Olympic Flame this week, and Vera, in her 100th year, was there, an Olympian.

Today we bury Margaret, another Olympian. Then we will celebrate the Jubilee of the Greatest Living British Olympian, Her Majesty the Queen. Each excelled, the world notices them by their deeds and each of these ladies was, and are, quietly, but powerfully, selfless. They each get ‘First’ for being ‘Last’ – the ultimate accolade. A lifetime of persistence and determination. Nothing glamourous,but, each story is enormously deep and touches the very core of our human psyche, the sort that sends tingles up your spine.

The Olympic Torch procession through the country is just a dress rehearsal for Her Majesty’s Jubilee. It has been a strangely emotional week; a change from the rush and self obsessed life portrayed by the media. It is as if the real story took over from the copywriters and camera lens, it showed us another world.

More people than expected, turned out. Often heard was “it made me quite emotional,I never thought it would be anything like this”.

Someone discussed the Queen’s tireless schedule; ”do you think she ever wakes up and says ‘oh, another hospital, school,……” Absolutely not, her sense of duty is as instinctive as breathing, always with a smile and good humour. Her Majesty meets the Veras and Margarets every day – they look each other in the eye, and they know: they know that which never needs to be spoken. They know the depth of total love for others, the unrelenting desire to help others, to listen, to sympathise, to give us poor ‘only humans’ the priceless gift – ‘someone cares, someone loves me, someone understands me. I am alone no more. I am at peace’.

It is often said of the Queen, by those that have met her, ‘she was so normal’. What a compliment. But what does it take to be normal? Thats the Olympic Gold in all of these ladies. To strive to win, but not for me; for my country, for my family, for my world. Beware, oh, ye doom merchants, for inspired by such as these, we are on our way to new Olympian heights! Perhaps more items of good news from the media might be in order?

There was another moment this week where a softly spoken, thoughtful, Brit got his Gold, from Her daughter: “Arise Sir Jonathan Ive – still British to the Core”. “The honour is incredibly humbling” – Well, thanks Jonathan, for iPods, iPhones, iPads! We always knew they couldn’t do it without an Englishman!

Inspired by such as these we can do anything – thank God for all the Elizabeths, Margarets, Veras and Jonathans, by their example, we can be sure we are living with the great Elizabethans. Last word from Sir Jonathan : ‘All I’ve ever wanted to do is design and make: it’ s what I love doing. Its great if you can find what you love to do. Finding it is one thing but to be able to practice and be preoccupied with that is another’ And so say all of us!

Thank God for them all!!! But don’t show them this because, you know what they would say……

Taxi! Are you RELEVANT?

If you are walking down the street and you need a Taxi your senses are finely tuned to spot that little light in the midst of all the traffic, noise and other people. It’s a bit like trying to attract attention on the Internet. Understanding what the brain is doing in this situation gives us clear guidance as to the answer. The brain is receiving masses of signals up your spinal column all the time – try stroking the hairs on your arm. See! You feel them immediately….but, why haven’t you been feeling them since you woke up this morning? The answer is in your ‘Headware’ . Your brain filters out ALL that is not RELEVANT. Years of evolution have fine tuned us to spot danger and opportunity to survive. It’s a very strong effective  ‘headware package’ that’s running  –  it’s very effective at getting your taxi – but it excludes everything else!

So, before you post your message you must know what’s relevant in any given set of circumstances. All sites, Google, wordpress, are looking automatically, like you for KEY WORDS. Look to your right…. The system has picked out key words that it thinks are RELEVANT.

Let’s look at Your Company and see what’s relevant to you and your customers.

How relevant is the finance function of the business to your job? How relevant is their knowledge about the importance of the efficient monitoring and recording of all financial aspect to your job Is  it as RELEVANT to each of the people you are responsible for as you?

How relevant is your effectiveness to your business plan and your financial health? Ask yourself the questions. Is what you are doing, and see as relevant, as relevant to the people you are employing?

Start noting key words not sentences.

How relevant is everything you do to your clients? If they were to be asked the same question, would the answers match? Look at what you present to the world, whether it is written, an email, or on your website. Is it RELEVANT Are you relevant or are you irrelevant? When you and your actions become relevant to your client they will ask you to provide goods and services. It is relevant to them…..what is irrelevant to them?

Ask yourself the question: how relevant is what you are currently offering to all of your clients? How relevant is what you think (as the manager) you are offering to your clients, to each of the people you employ? Is it ‘just making the grade’ or is it the most relevant thing they have during their working time?

How relevant is the administration of your business to the overall effectiveness of your team plan? Where does it become irrelevant? What are the consequences of it being irrelevant? How relevant are the goals of your team to the goals of the administration team? Are you just the ‘ bloody nuisance down the corridor’ or do they see it as a most important part of their job to keep you being as effective as possible? How relevant are all the people who interact with you and your department to them and their department?

Note the key words

The Management function

Whether it’s a board of directors, or the managers the shareholders expect them to produce the best. The level of performance poses a question -what level of performance is relevant? – you know perfectly well what happens if it becomes irrelevant because – You are not fulfilling your targets, you are not up to the grade. Then it becomes very relevant to you personally. It used to be ‘ if at first you don’t succeed try, try, again……’- It isn’t in today’s world, it’s ‘if at first you don’t succeed – fix the blame fast! Well, ‘fixing the blame fast’ is one way of doing things but it does tend to focus the minds of the people on the relevance of ‘how to avoid a crisis” as opposed to anticipating events before they become a crisis.

So, in conclusion, look at your work, look at your family, look at yourself – you know who all the relevant people in your tribe Work out your RELEVANT key words.

What’s is their relevance? If you are not getting 100% relevance in all the areas that count, with all the people that count, then you will become an outcast in the ‘village’. You won’t see it to begin with, but people just stop asking you around, they stop asking your opinion, they don’t return calls or emails, and that fantastic brain of theirs starts to use ‘creative avoidance’ in order to minimise your irrelevance.

Now TAXI! -Or call us…

Aristotle Epicurus and the Internet debate Join in!


In ancient Greece you would have found yourself without wi-fi – and a lot else, but you would have been able to sit at the feet of two great and influential figures, Aristotle and Epicurus.
Aristotle believed we, living beings, special function was to reason. Used properly leisure enabled people to realise human nature at its best. The exercise of reason for its own sake – intellectual reflection practised by excellent people (like us today, of course!)

Epicurus, had a different view: we are a random collection of atoms, which desire pleasure. Leisure is a means to find pleasure- a sanctuary from the hassles of public life.Simple pleasures produce a healthy body and a tranquil mind best appreciated by his followers, children and animals.(like? fill in the blank……)
What would the two have made of the Internet? Aristotle would have surely eulogised about the potential for all to use the universally available knowledge to realise human nature at its best. But, what would Epicurus have said? ‘stick to Facebook, Twitter and angry birds for innocent amusement only?’ Discuss.

Any similarities to present day circumstances are purely coincidental.
Or, nothing really ever changes….what do you think?
Post your thoughts below:


Unite with a creative network of successful entrepreneurs who understand what’s relevant in 2012.

Like it or not; we are all part of an ongoing Knowledge Revolution. All around us, billions of fellow humans are discovering the joys of accessing unlimited knowledge for the first time in the history of the human race. There are those who ‘get it ‘and those that don’t.  Can they deny its existence?

Conversations that often ‘pop up’ include discussing the merits of a particular device or software. Our ancestors would have tested the best way of lighting a fire or designs for a wheel. Zettabyte man, ‘’you’’, listen to your friends discussing whether they should use a ‘BlackBerry ‘or an  ‘iPhone’, or saying  ‘I don’t do Facebook’ and ‘all this twitter stuff is rubbish’.  When you understand the wireless Internet Knowledge Revolution, you realise that all the new superfast ways of communicating are relevant; enabling you to grasp opportunities as they happen, to put you ahead of the game.

Phineas Fogg – Around the World in 80 days – needed to ditch excess weight from his balloon to get over the Alps. Nowadays you can fly around the world at light speed, but the need to ditch excess baggage is just as relevant. Do it now!

So why join our Network?  Well, it’s ‘virtual’, global and full of Knowledge Revolutionaries! A meeting of minds with all their potential will inevitably spark new thoughts, creativity and opportunities. That is The Knowledge Cloud  Network. Accelerate your chances of success by meeting others who have benefitted in The Knowledge Revolution.

On this site we post the regular London monthly meeting dates that are organised to give you the opportunity to meet other Knowledge Revolutionaries.

There is a blog on this website for Network members. We will post comments and examples of  ‘How to make the most of the incredible opportunities available to us’. Members will also be encouraged to share their stories.

On reading my page, you will see that I’ve had the privilege of coming across some pretty impressive Knowledge Revolutionaries in my time. I’ve invited a number of them to ‘inspire us’ for twenty minutes at each meeting! Their theme will be ‘Taking Advantage of the Knowledge Revolution’. Fascinating people, taken from all walks of life; I hope you will feel free to suggest additional speakers. Being a ‘virtual’ network, we will share the evening live on the site for those who are unable to attend in person. We would like  to offer members a number of opportunities, to enhance their potential in various ways, at a discounted price to the general public. Our aim is to give you the equivalent in discounts to your subscription. The subscription enables us to build a better and better network. Our goal is a ‘win win’ for all.

Rollo Clifford will run a number of three-hour ‘headware’ updates – venues, dates and details on this site.  In addition, we’re constructing a number of two-day ‘Ultimate ‘experiences. These will combine the ‘headware’ update with an unusual experience. These will be based around Exmoor in the West Country, sailing in the Solent and Historic Malta. Here, Revolutionaries will join 20 others in an experience designed to give them a broader perspective on the world. We aim to make these two days a mind stretching experience that is both enjoyable and unique.  You will come away recharged, with a changed perspective on the world.

See the network page for details. Come and join the Revolution!




The Revolution!

It’s a curious thing, for anyone with a sense of the historic, to be living midway through a genuine revolution. Few people would now dispute that our often painful transition to a digital era is likely to be as significant as the industrial revolution or the Reformation. But from our mid-point, what’s fascinating is the sense of powerlessness in the face of this rapid change. It’s as if we’re waving stop signs at a tsunami.

Antonia Senior Guardian 13/5/12


We couldn’t have put it any better ourselves….

The Nelson Touch

“Traditionally a sea battle would be fought with the two opposing fleets drawing themselves up to form two lines of battle. This tactic did not favour what was perceived to be the faster, more accurate gunnery of the Royal Navy and would often bring about indecisive results, usually with the enemy escaping. Nelson’s idea was to quickly bring about a melee in which, due to superior gunnery, the British would have a distinct advantage.”

” Creating trust amongst his officers was crucial to Nelson. It allowed him to rely on simple strategies rather than complicated battle plans, certain in the knowledge that his subordinates would support one another in achieving the overall objective and be confident enough to use their own initiative when required.”

‘Do you remember that in classical times when Cicero had finished speaking, the people said, “How well he spoke” but when Demosthenes had finished speaking, they said, “Let us march.”?’
Adlai Stevenson and The World: The Life of Adlai E. Stevenson (1977) by John Bartlow Martin, p. 549:

“Bloodless bean-counters rule over us – Where are the leaders?” Charles Moore The Daily Telegraph 12/5/12.

‘Managerialists..are a group who consider themselves separate from the organisations they join’.They are not interested in the content of the work their organisation performs. They are a caste of people who think they know how to manage. They have studied the “24 hour MBA”. There is a clear benefit from their management, for them: they arrange their own very high salaries and bonuses. Then they can leave quickly with something that looks good on the CV. The benefit to the company is less clear’

‘But it struck me that the qualities of a tribal chief are now shockingly rare in big modern organisations. The point about a tribe is that it unites its members by ties that are very hard to break. Tribalism, for sure, can be a bad thing, but a tribe understands matters of life and death ….the chief of the tribe is not a manager: he is a leader’

Understanding the above combines ancient beliefs tried and tested but adding up to date ‘headware updates’ equips you for leadership in the Internet age – the Knowledge Revolution.

Shareholders are Revolting! The worms that turned…….

The recent rash of shareholder revolts in companies such as Barclays, easyJet, Trinity Mirror, Credit Suisse, and Citigroup is just the start, ‘but more looks like the start of a trend’.

‘So while the bosses made millions, the people they are supposedly working for made nothing’
”Eventually shareholders are going to become fed up with a stock market that rewards the people who manage companies but not the people who own them.’
Matthew Lynn 4th May 2012.

Oh, the revolution again….Pensioners who have saved all their lives are seeing minimal returns, when they expected comfortable twilight years. Then they discover what charges were taken from their returns. Governments seeking to clear their deficits by allowing inflation rates of 3%+ while deposit holders receive a pitiful 1% are seeing anger and frustration in recent polls. As for Greek, Spanish and other European countries – well, they are revolting. The US elections will be upon us soon, and the tax hikes will become Obama’s nightmare.

The talk around the board table will be all about ‘doing something’. The rise of the revolt led by Internet ‘noise’, will see a growing number of corporate charm offensives using a means new and unknown to many – the Internet. They dip their toe into ‘web water’ with misgivings at best and a naive innocence at worst that spells danger. If you, as a director, can put your hand on your heart and say, we know where we are, why we are doing it, where we are going to, and – most important, – that all of us are committed together to our shareholders (and our staff who are also in many case shareholders) then a properly portrayed web presence and message can be vital, virile and effective. If there is the slightest doubt or lack of integrity, you will not just be found wanting, but double the risk of being found out with consequences posted for all to see. Who’s for the ‘muppet award’?

Frightening, but full of potential to get it right. If you know how, great, – you will be a world leader, if not its risky. Talk to the experts – talk to us!

Why Boris won?

First I should admit bias, the Johnson’s are also an Exmoor family. As I write, about  Savannah man to Zettabyte man, I elude to ancient British sites on Exmoor, as opposed to the hi- tech Knowledge Revolutionaries in the Capital.

There’s an echo of ‘the rumble in the jungle’ about Boris. The Knowledge Cloud is focussed on constantly asking ‘what is RELEVANT – to you, your job and your family and vice versa; why? Because to the rest of the world it is irrelevant, ‘Twas ever thus, from Exmoor to City Hall. Voters vote at polling stations today,they gave up the bludgeons of their forebears long ago (no lifts in those days!), to settle their differences!

Our long developed instincts do shed a view on the contest. In a tribe, we all circle around the potential leaders. Ken is associated with his newts – perhaps newts if they talked, would sound like him. He’s keen on protecting his bit of the river bank and his supply of worms, he’s quite happy to share your worms, but not his own! Whereas, Boris could only be a ‘big beast’! Do we instinctively like the leonine mane, the roars, the disdain for the others in the jungle – with a kind heart not unlike the lion in The Wizard of Oz?

London is the pre-eminent financial centre of the world and produces £1 in every £5 of UK tax revenue. The big beasts meet around the City watering hole. Alpha males and predatory instincts abound.

The other ‘Big Beasts’ instinctively ‘felt he understood the drivers of commerce and the need for wealth creation …  others for more prosaic reasons…changing mayors would be unsettling’. James Ashton, City Editor, Evening Standard. Timeless judgements, but with no disrespect to the other candidates, the others were like hyenas at the heels of the Lion and the Newt.

Boris also exhibits other ‘real’ or ‘perceived’ characteristics:  most people would find it hard to be the character he is – Boris doesn’t know he is…’s instinctive! In the genes, sorry, Stanley! He appears somewhat bemused by the observations of the media jackals. However, since none of us can tell our Peloponnesos from our Peloponnesus, he does not feel the need to explain!

Just ‘keep on runnin’ Boris! Let’s ensure London is the finest city in the world – and learn to be proud of it, even if you come from Exmoor!

A Tale of Two Screams

the scream by edvard munch Pictures, Images and Photos

The iconic picture of the Scream by Edvard Munch was sold for a record £73m yesterday. Most of us would never envisage paying that amount of money for a picture. Why is this relevant? It probably isn’t – so we’ll put it in the ‘interesting’ box.
The second scream is that of parents who are watching their child’s life ebb away for lack of a suitable organ doner.
Mark Zuckerbergs enlightened addition to Facebook yesterday is a remarkable illustration of the Knowledge Revolution in action. By clicking on your account you can elect to donate your organs if you should die – have you done it yet? It is not the concept that is so remarkable –  it is the consequence……US donors rose a staggering 700-% in a matter of hours and we will see what happens in the UK.
Bill Gates has philanthropically won Gold medals for his various health campaigns in Africa. Mark may achieve the same result in days in north America and Europe by the click of a button.
In the UK we have had campaigns to carry donor cards costing millions. Where’s yours? In the bottom of your handbag or briefcase? Or has it ‘got lost’ ? It’s difficult to say to the doctors that you had one somewhere when you are unconscious. Your family would be placed in a horrific situation whilst unbeknown to you the parents of that child are down the corridor in a similar state.
What a scream!   Make it a scream for joy and remember this every time you see ‘the Scream’.