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Sorry, but we can’t get away from the C word.  We had hoped that by now it would be on the wane, but instead, the disruption it brings is still wreaking havoc.

So, how are companies adapting to this Covid-19 limbo, in which the only certainty is uncertainty?  What are speakers and thought leaders doing differently?  What are we doing differently?

In this blog, we bring you news and resources from the world of thought leadership that will hopefully get you thinking or simply lift your spirits.

Here goes.

Leadership Literature

Terence Mauri, best-selling author and a leading global disruption thinker, has written a new book called The 3D Leader, exploring how each of us can proactively change our mindsets to become a fully three-dimensional leader who is both empathic and effective.

Terence Mauri’s new book, The 3D leader

This is practical advice on how to lead faster, smarter and better in what he calls a VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity) world.  Terence is now also giving webinars and presentations in which he elaborates on the strategies highlighted in the book.

Revisiting the Past, Mapping the Future

The crisis has led people to revisit books from the past which are now proving prescient.  Amongst the most popular is Wilful Blindness (2012) by CEO and author Margaret Heffernan, whose 2020 book Uncharted:  How to Map the Future Together has already made the longlist for the Financial Times & McKinsey Business Book of the Year.  Bravo, Margaret!

Uncharted, the new, much-praised book by Margaret Heffernan, speaks to the current crisis in unexpected ways

Margaret has long argued that we need to change our mindset in a world where our ability to forecast has become dangerously short term – something like 400 days at most.  Both of these books serve to frame the current crisis in ways that help you to adapt positively.  She has also developed two new presentations (live streamed from or pre-recorded in studio) based on Uncharted which are aimed at supporting leaders to rise to the challenges that Covid-19 – and uncertainty in general – presents.

Surprise learnings from the virtual world

With live events looking unlikely to return for quite some time and perhaps altered forever,  virtual events are now by necessity the norm for anyone seeking to do training, learning or development.  And while we all miss the buzz and banter of live events, our speakers who are now operating solely remotely have observed some really positive things come out of delivering their work in this way.

Perhaps the most surprising observation is that where there is a Q&A, panel discussion or opportunity to interact, the conversations are deeper and the insights richer.

Some really compelling insights are emerging from the world of virtual events (photo: Shutterstock)

Why is this, we wondered?

Well, Mental Fitness expert Neil O’Brien was the first to notice it, but it would be no surprise to Susan Cain, whose seminal best-seller Quiet showed companies (and the rest of us) just what they are missing when they overlook introverts.  It seems that the virtual world is creating a ‘levelling’ effect that is encouraging those who might otherwise not speak up or contribute, to share their views and ask questions.  As a result, those who take part are getting a richer, more complex experience.  A win-win, we’d say! And an interesting trend that might just be here to stay.

New video series on Mental Fitness

And speaking of Neil O’Brien, he has been busy working with us to deliver a byte-size series of six videos on Mental Fitness which are designed to help individuals and teams deal with the current challenges and stresses. 

Neil O’Brien’s new Mental Fitness series helps companies build resilient teams

Neil shows how to establish new habits and ways of thinking that support people to become mentally well—and stay well, using straightforward, practical advice that makes sense.  These videos are available immediately and can be branded with your logo for the full personalised experience.  You can view a taster here, and if you would like to know more, Joanne is happy to chat on 01 475 0360 or you can email

Onto the airwaves:  The B Side podcast

As a teenager, I harboured what some might call ‘notions’ about being a radio presenter, and in the last six weeks this dream has been realised with the development and launch of my own podcast series, The B Side.  And I am blown away by the response!

The B Side – conversations that make you think again (Design by Zayne Dagher)

I’ve always been curious about the world, and with proximity to so many incredible thinkers through my work, it felt like the most natural thing in the world to invite them to share their stories, influences and ideas in a more intimate setting.

And so far, it’s been equal parts fascinating, fun and inspiring.  These interviews allow listeners to get something of the back story, to get a feel for the personality, of some truly amazing guests.  So far, I’ve interviewed Margaret Heffernan, David Rowan, Caroline Casey, Mark Little, Min Kym and Sean Fitzpatrick.  This week it’s Professor Luke O’Neill, and then Brent Pope brings the current series to a close just before September.

Me in studio with Mark Little for The B Side

If you fancy a listen, The B Side is available on Podbean, Spotify and iTunes.

New website, richer experiences

And finally, to what we are doing here at Personally Speaking Bureau in this ‘new’ environment.

The answer?  A lot.  We’d been flirting with the idea of a new website for a while and, with expert help, had been deep diving into our branding – things like our values, ethos and vision.  With Covid, that process of change has been massively (and at times, exhilaratingly!) accelerated.

I had long foreseen that virtual events were going to become a more permanent feature of the speaking/events circuit, if only because of things like climate change and fast-evolving technology which allows functionality that was unthinkable five years ago.  And then Covid came along, live events went off a cliff (hopefully, not forever!), and suddenly, virtual is by necessity the default option.

All things virtual is now the norm, from webinars to masterclasses (Photo: Shutterstock)

What I hadn’t foreseen was just how quickly clients and speakers would adapt. Covid has brought much that is difficult, but there are good things too, not least the resilience and leadership being shown by many.  And there are some distinct pluses.  As well as the richer insights Neil has observed in virtual presentations, another unexpected benefit is that because they don’t have to travel, some speakers who might have been unavailable before are now available.

And the upshot of all this?  Our new website will launch in the next six weeks and will fully reflect not just our personality and ethos, but also the richness and diversity of the experiences we can offer our clients.  We’ve always had amazing people available to us, but now we’re using technology to bring their knowledge and expertise to audiences in new and exciting ways.

If you would like to learn more about any of the above, email  And in the meantime, watch this space.

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