Welcome to Ideas to Action, the GIFT Blog

Ideas to Action has been a strapline of GIFT since we started more than ten years ago. Bridging critical analysis and breakthrough business thinking with practical implementation on the ground is a hallmark of GIFT’s original approach to executive learning. 

We feel it’s time to reach out to a wider audience.

The Economist recently proclaimed, “Management theory is becoming a compendium of dead ideas.”

The medieval clergy’s sale of indulgences, by which believers could effectively buy forgiveness of their sins, is echoed by management theorists selling fads that will solve all your business problems… The gurus have lost touch with the world they seek to rule. Management theory is ripe for a Reformation of its own.
— The Economist, 17 December 2016

Those at The Economist are perhaps more qualified than us to compare the $130 billion management consulting industry with the clergy of Medieval Christianity.  Yet we believe we have uncovered a profound alternative to the proliferation of business problem-solving fads. It starts with getting out and experiencing what the world is really like. 


Insights from the real-world for the digital-world

Since 2006 our team has had the great fortune of working with hundreds of high potential managers on experiential projects at the physical frontiers of global business – from Myanmar to Mongolia and Sri Lanka to Iran, among many other locations. We also engage them at the frontiers of leadership effectiveness, those essential but often under-appreciated skills such as:

  • Self-awareness
  • Empathy
  • Curiosity
  • Intellectual Boldness
  • Sense of Purpose
  • Cultural Sensitivity, and many others…

This online space will be a log of what we have learned. While the anecdotes will be anonymous, they are based on real, often difficult and uncomfortable situations drawn directly from our experience in classrooms and on field projects.

Ideas to Action will allow the rich discussions and debate from GIFT’s leadership programmes to extend far beyond the in-person cohort. Clearly not the most tech-savvy (too busy cutting our teeth in the real world), we will strive to package our insights in a format that is accessible and useful, with a focus on original, meaningful content rather than gadgets and gimmicks. We hope you find it thought-provoking, practical and even a bit entertaining.


In the GIFT Blog you can expect to find:

  • Insights from GIFT’s original approach to experiential leadership learning
  • Informative stories and observations from classrooms and field projects across Asia
  • Tips, tools and recommendations for how to apply lessons from our programmes in your own teams
  • Critical views on the challenges of people and organisational development
  • Extracts from our core curriculum to stimulate your thinking and that of your colleagues
  • Commentary on contemporary business-related issues, including taboo subjects that other forums might choose to ignore

Ideas without Action are like those tired management theories, becoming ever more useful as bedtime reading.

Action without Ideas means more “Business as usual” which society can no longer afford. We hope our material will provoke fresh thinking and contribute to your own continued success, in business, learning and life. 

Please support us by:

  • Sharing our posts with your networks
  • Following us and staying tuned for more
  • Commenting and sharing your own views, materials and links
  • Asking questions and offering suggestions for future topics
  • Contacting us OFFLINE, which is always what we prefer!

Call us or drop by our colourful office in Taikoo Shing, Hong Kong.

+852 3571 8103