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Jez's Notebook

The Culture Claptrap – why is culture not more important?

Ask any CEO, anyone with the title “Head of”, a Brand Manager or anyone in human resources and they’ll all tell you – no matter what industry or organisations type they’re from – that culture is key.

And why wouldn’t they? They’re hardly going to say: “we don’t really care what working environments are like; we’re far too busy for that investing in product and margins – people should put up, shut up and bloody well get on with it”, are they? Yet organisations don’t need to verbalise that as actions speak louder than words: what we do – or don’t do – often has a greater impact that words.

The dreary impact of a lack of focus on environment.

I’m still hearing

Do Rabbits Get Screen Fatigue?

Just some 100 years ago I’d have been locked away for being insane. A statement that might not be especially surprising to many reading this but I do talk to myself. I’d never noticed before but Mrs Jez does like to point out just how much I chatter to myself and to the dogs, and the bees and even the vegetables. I don’t expect an answer, so in terms of a assessing myself on some informal madness scale I think I’d score fairly low – unlikely to show you my knife collection at the bus stop or crumble Rich Tea over my head but I might say “hello” in a lift.

Sometimes I surprise myself with my seemingly inherent ramblings: “oh Jez what are you doing?”; “let’s take this caterpillar off of your leaves you poor plant”; “oh Mrs Bee, come on now get with it”; “Mr Weed you’re beginning to annoy me” – those are just this morning’s. But yesterday’s was a real corker and even surprised me.

Walking to the vegetable garden I asked myself – no one else around, not even

How To Make Them Remember

I set out to write this blog post this morning, as part of my bid to share with you some of my top tips on speaking and presenting every day this week – I’ve been doing so all week on social media, however, I quickly was distracted when I heard about the passing of my good friend and mentor, Eugene Burger. A name, I know, will mean nothing to almost all reading this – but that’s okay because Eugene is going to remembered here and I’m going to share my top tips simultaneously as without Eugene, I wouldn’t have learnt the real meaning and power of today’s tip.

Eugene was a story teller; a magician; a performer; a humble and mightily learned man: selfless and verily dedicated to the art of creating and maintaining mystery.

I perhaps pay too much attention to those no longer living but I can’t help it: it reminds me every day just how lucky I am to wake up; to be. Eugene shared that same philosophy: life is

Tales from the Farm – The Hungry Hungry Caterpillars

Through no one’s fault but my own, we’re battling an infestation of caterpillars and white fly in our brassica bed. I HATE caterpillars.

“TV’s favourite gardener”, Monty Don, inspires Jez Rose, a frustrated behaviourist and amateur gardener, to grow a new life, as detailed in Tales from the Farm. Monty Don’s book inspired Jez to buy a farm in the countryside, create his own garden and write about the joy, obsession and mud.

If you’ve been following this blog and our journey, you’ll know that Mrs Jez and I applied to the Soil Association to licence our farm as organic. We’re currently in the “conversion” process, which means we document our planting, growing and management activities and have inspections to ensure that we’re upholding organic farming principles – essentially not putting any nasties into the ground like pesticides, fungicides etc.

We’ve found the whole process quite cathartic and learnt so much over the past 6 months, not just about organic gardening and farming but about food, soil, the ecosystem and just how critical it is for us to be aware of where our food comes from and exactly what we’re putting into our bodies.

We’ve been happily plodding along and enjoying the steep learning curve (having never grown anything before, let alone organically). Until this past weekend when

Supercharging Your CSR

TOP 10 TIPS FOR SUPERCHARGING YOUR CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

Simple, thoughtful planting benefits your local environment, employee wellbeing and brand awareness, too.

Corporate social responsibility, or CSR, is al the rage. It has been for a while but for too many organisations it’s simply lip service. That’s not necessarily a big problem but it is a really wasted opportunity to make your brand stand out, enliven your organisational culture and benefit from strong altruistic action. Just last week I was asked to share my top tips for CSR, so here are my Top 10 Tips to Supercharge your Corporate Social Responsibility whilst helping make the world a better place, too…

1. Aim to engage

Listen to the Bees – Work In Silos!

Honeybee hives can teach organisations a lot about efficient and efficacious models of teamwork.

You may – or may not – know that Mrs Jez and I are beekeepers

As we launch the nationwide expansion of Bees for Business, I’ve written this short article on what observing the honeybee teaches about working more effectively, communicating better and more efficient teamwork in your organisation.

During the peak, summer season the average honeybee hive can

Taking Meetings Back to Nature

More photos and full details can be found at www.hirethebarn.com

Business training is going back to nature with a new breed of courses aimed at stimulating delegates through a more natural take on the traditional conference set-up.

Chicken Training for Managers and Bee Keeping Team Building are just a couple of the courses – still teaching innovative, business-relevant, professional skills – offered by Behaviourist and conference speaker Jez Rose, who launched the project after 13 years of speaking at conferences around the world where delegates often struggled to concentrate in uninspiring conditions.

Jez on the Punks and Suits Podcast

Blaire Palmer hosts the business podcast ‘Punks in Suits’

The crazy lady with the dog is Blaire Palmer and she’s as lovely as she is crazy. I can’t help but be innately suspicious of people who don’t like dogs, so when I met Blaire at a business roadshow event we were both working at, we hit it off right away because she loves gardening, grows her own, wants to buy a smallholding and keep alpacas (that bit was a bit weird) and she has dogs.

Blaire interviewed me for her business podcast series, Punks in Suits, which is available to listen free on iTunes here and also free here on Podomatic for people who hate Mac.

I did once have a mohawk but I’ve never been a punk so I’m not sure why I was asked onto her show but I was flattered and also very pleased to be interviewed by Blaire. We talk about the research project I launched, The Good Life Project; one of our new courses ‘Chicken Training for Managers’; dogs (of course); the problem with leadership and management and why so many managers are ineffective; solutions for truly effective leadership and a spooky coincidence, too.

Take a listen, I think you’ll enjoy it.

Tales from the Farm – Bees…in the roof

I love bees even more when they are in the right place

I love bees. That’s why we keep them here at the farm. Well,  I say “keep”, but in reality we’re simply guardians of the bees – they are wild animals and we simply provide housing benefit. However, I don’t love the fact that bees (not ours, I might add), have decided to take up residence in our roof.

Some weeks it does seem like this farm is testing the very limits of human capabilities. This week has been one of those.

After we discovered that our bore hole head was leaking (which is in itself an understatement – thousands of gallons of water are pouring out of a crack in it, which we now are in the midst of arranging to

Going Organic! What Organic Means 4 Months On

Behaviourist and broadcaster, Jez Rose, blogs about the process of achieving Soil Association Organic Certification for his Cambridgeshire farm and home to The Good Life Project.

Newly planted apple trees burst into life this Spring.

It’s hard to believe that its been almost 4 months since the inspector from the Soil Association visited us to make his initial inspection and help guide us to achieving certified organic status. So much has happened in that time that it seems so much longer – I had to check the date twice and rummage in my paperwork to find the confirmation letter as I didn’t trust the calendar!

We’ve made so much progress with the development of the farm that I’m sure Mike (the inspector) wouldn’t recognise the place – when he visited the site was technically a building site.

But it’s not just about our progress, having started with a bare patch of land, the impact of Spring was remarkable on the large bare patches of grass and soil. The blank, baron raised beds are now full of life, bursting with potato crops, shallots and garlic, peas, clover, cucumber, tomatoes, parsnips, lettuce, kale, asparagus and the fruits have suddenly sprung into action: strawberries, raspberry, blackberry, tayberry and apples – from bare roots, crowns, plugs and tiny seeds, we’re enjoying every day the beauty and magnitude of nature.

In the short time since we began this journey, I’ve converted