I challenge you to think positively about the #EtisalatChallenge

The laws of physics demonstrate that for every trend, there is an equal and opposite counter trend and I am a firm believer in this principle. There never is an absolute truth, rather a series of forces that shape our lives and we get to choose what suits us, there is no black and white but a series of grey.

And so it is with the #etisalatchallenge. For years people have been complaining that the Telco “doesn’t listen” “is old fashioned” and “doesn’t reach out to the community” – and then finally when it does, it gets bagged out on social media.

I know there are only 2 Telco’s in the UAE but that is precisely why the #etisalatchallenge is so bold because rather than rest on their laurels, Etisalat demonstrates that they are serious about offering best in market products and services. If you check the Etisalat website, they have offers that are first in the market and quite useful for various audiences.

What this campaign has done is create a conversation around Etisalat and it invites people to be part of that conversation either through the #etisalatchallenge or via opinions about the campaign and that’s what every brand wishes for, to start a conversation.

Rather than critisizing Etisalat’s move, we should support and encourage this gesture by a prominent and iconic UAE brand. Maybe it could have been done in a more relevant way (using meaningful brand ambassadors and having a better customer service response across social media) but it takes guts to challenge people and live up to the challenge. And, taking a Challenger position is not something usually done by an established player.

Brands that want to stay relevant constantly innovate and challenge themselves. And this is exactly what Etisalat has done. So now Etisalat should continue to challenge itself by listening and learning from customer feedback.

And I challenge other brands in the UAE to be open and transparent about their products and customer service and to put in place mechanisms that help identify and resolve customer complaints.


Internet Connected Coffee Jar

A coffee jar that sends you a message when the coffee runs low? Sounds awesome to me, I often run out of my (locally roasted, direct trade) coffee 😉

Internet-connected devices can be applied to other things that regularly need top-ups like medicine, milk, diapers. Imagine if it was connected to the local supermarket, butcher, fruit & vegetable market or pharmacy.

Though, for those times when our desire for exploration trumps our need for convenience, it’s good to have an off-switch.

Source: http://bit.ly/1EOgpZi

Generosity of Spirit.

Too often we find it easy to judge others based on our own limited perceptions of the world and some ingrained memories.

But I believe that we are all on our own developmental journey whether emotional, psychological, spiritual, physical, moral, intellectual or any other paradigm.

Each of us may be quite advanced in one area of life whilst slower to develop in other areas.

If we agree with this premise, then our role is not to judge others, but to have the compassion and generosity of spirit to help others we encounter on our journey, and to expect that others who are more advanced than us on certain paths, in turn help us.

Live consciously,


Break free from Bias.

Cognitive is a word relating to cognition, which is the mental process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses. It is our way of discerning what is going on around us. It is basically the way we mentally process information around us to gain understanding.

Cognitive Biases, therefore, are unconscious inclinations or prejudices that are based on our historical environment and psychological development and in this way, they limit our way of interacting with the people and situations around us, and they deny us our full human experience.

When we become aware of the existence of cognitive biases, it becomes easier to break their hold by noticing when we are defaulting to that mode of thinking.

Confirmation Bias

Confirmation Bias is one type of cognitive bias that refers to the tendency to search for, interpret, favour, and recall information in a way that confirms one’s preexisting beliefs or hypotheses.

When you default to that mode of thinking, you tend to approve ideas that confirm what you already know, thus staying within your comfort zone and rejeting ideas that are totally new or unfamiliar.

In order to negate the effects of confirmation bias, it helps to detach from your usual way of thinking by asking yourself a few questions:

  • Am I selecting this idea because it sits within my comfort zone?
  • Am I taking the path of least resistance?
  • How can I break down this idea into its various components to make its adoption easier?

Hope this helps you to push your thinking into more courageous territory.

Live consciously,


The demise of Sparta. And the rebirth of Greece.

Ancient Greece is a complex topic but from what I can summarise about Sparta, it was a wealthy state with a strong education system called the Agoge where elite boys would take part in physical training to mould them into the strongest and most disciplined soldiers. Spartan girls were also brought up to be strong and supportive so they could provide strong babies to continue the Spartan lineage. But Sparta ruled over the Helots – peasants who farmed the land and provided food for their wealthy Spartan overlords. Over time, resentment between the Helots and the ruling Spartans led to a war. Even though the Spartans won the war, this class struggle plagued and weakened them for a long time until eventually they had a war with Athens over the city of Thebes which led to Sparta’s demise.

Similarly, fast forward a few thousand years to modern Greece with huge levels of inequality and impoverishment leading to the election of Syriza on an Economic platform. Greece is saying “we’re going to be playing by our rules now and we will no longer be subjected to EU humiliation and Economic imbalances”.

To me, there’s a few lessons in Authenticity and Equality that my University Professor Yanis Varoufakis – the newly appointed Greek Finance Minister demonstrates.

  1. We can’t solve problems using established systems and entrenched models of thinking. We must be trailblazers even though it might ruffle some feathers along the way.
  2. The solutions we design must be based on symbiosis and nurturing a win/win scenario. The current mess that the world is in can be attributed partly to the inequality that many feel at the hands of the few.

If we want to improve our situation – or that of a corporation or brand – we should add real value to society, we should be authentic and we need to be fearless. References: Inequality isn’t inevitable, it’s engineered. That’s how the 1% have taken over. By Suzanne Moore

Are we in for another Financial Crisis?
Are we in for another Financial Crisis?