Blog

Home / Blog

What you don’t learn in business school

By Aaron Templer

Higher Ed

When you go to fancy-pants MBA school, you learn a lot of fancy-pants terms. It’s nice at first to throw them around and sound smart. Kind of justifies the expense of the degree. But pretty soon you realize they aren’t that meaningful if (a) they really aren’t communicating anything other than you’re a snotty MBA with some fancy-pants terms, and (b) you really don’t know what it means in the first place. And by means, I’m talking about the experience of driving through the barely-settled hills of Ghana and happening upon a working gold mine. Towering processing machinery clustered together, the size of ten, maybe twelve city blocks. Caterpillar’s repair facility four stories high, two football fields long. Security check-points […]

Read More

Machetes and mowers

By Aaron Templer

Higher Ed, Reputation Management

When you’re anxious to go on a tour of an African mine site, sitting in a florescent lit room listening to presentations makes you a little jumpy and inattentive. Even so, when Jay Bastian started talking about the mowing operations at his mine, my ears perked up.

Read More

Jumpsuits are all the rage in Ahafo

By Aaron Templer

Ghana

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.”

Read More

Power trip

By Aaron Templer

Ghana

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 this arrangement.

Read More

Here’s to the roughnecks

By Aaron Templer

Ghana

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 little of that educating. Many Newmont ex-pats come from raw materials and excavation industries. Oil and mining mostly. Rough guys […]

Read More

Here’s to the roughnecks

By Aaron Templer

Leadership, Strategy

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 little of that educating. Many Newmont expats come from raw materials and excavation industries. Oil and mining mostly. Rough guys […]

Read More

Alignment

By Aaron Templer

Three Over Four Approach

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.

Read More

The balanced brain

By Aaron Templer

Three Over Four Approach

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.

Read More
X