Jumpsuits are all the rage in Ahafo

Many Newmont employees are required to wear jumpsuits. Makes them easier to spot by the mining vehicles, and a little easier for security. Apparently they’re a hot item. Counterfeit Newmont jumpsuits started popping up in the small towns around the Ahafo mine site. Newmont folks tell me they have yet to see them used in any kind of fraudulent ways. Ghanaians are telling Newmont that they’re simply a status symbol. They signify you’re employed. It’s impressive around town. “You see them on the streets at night in some of the villages,” one Newmont employee told me. "They're all the rage."

Power trip

Around Ahafo, 12-foot flag posts (like the kind you used to have on your bike only... well, taller) are attached to full sized, two-ton Chevy pick-ups so the haul trucks don't run them over. Haul trucks, it should go without saying, always have the right away. You wait at intersections in the mine site for the "all-clear" over the two-way radio before proceeding. Haul trucks won't stop. The director of training at Ahafo tells me women Ghanaians make better haul truck drivers. “They aren’t as arrogant. Not as attracted to the power. More responsible.” I didn't hear any complaints from anyone about…

Here’s to the roughnecks

I went to Ghana thinking I was open-minded about people and different cultures. I mean, I’m from the center of the universe (Boulder, Colorado). I’m married to someone from India. I listen to jazz music. I use a Mac. I have stubble. I’m hip. I’m down. I figured one of the student outcomes of this trip would be a little mind-expansion that comes from interacting with a different culture. That it would be good for the students to learn and experience people who look and live very differently than they do. I was wrong. I was the one needing a…

Alignment

Inspiration comes to me from a variety of places. None more important than jazz music. And the groove that drives it. Groove is about alignment. Welcoming a variety of voices with humility and aligning them toward a common vision. (more…)

The balanced brain

Rare is the mind that can develop strategic directions within a diverse company. Or a new financial tranche for financial advantages. Or data mine new customer buying preferences. Rare also is the mind that can make a logo represent a company’s vision. Or an ad headline that sticks and spreads. Or tell a story through a viral video. But the most critical mind to any enterprise’s talent pool is the mind that understands the importance of all those activities. And that can create aligned plans to pull them together. (more…)

Communicating

A few words (very few) on communicating. Effective creative execution is about telling stories, facilitating a discussion about them, and in the end, showing an innovative enterprise at work. It's not at all about tag lines. And presentations? They should help, not hurt. Enough said.