Latest Thoughts . . . Evolution

Welcome to our refreshed website. We are introducing a theme of “Occasional Thoughts” – this is our first.

Charles Darwin said: “it is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change”.

The article “The Darwinian Workplace” appeared in Harvard Business Review in May 2012 and attracted quite a bit of interest – clearly several different ways of thinking about evolution and business.

We have some thoughts we would like to share with you as well….. >Evolution

I hope you find these thoughts interesting – please let me know.

Paul McIntee
Managing Partner

Evolution – our thoughts . . .


Hello and welcome to our first “ Latest Thoughts” article.

All businesses evolve – or slowly die – and Obsidian is no exception. This is why we have selected this as the title to stimulate a few thoughts for our first “Latest thoughts” – but more about Obsidian’s evolution later.

If a business ceases to evolve then it will eventually wither and die or in the words of Charles Darwin “it is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change”.

In a recent article Harvard Business Review stated that one benefit of successfully implemented evolution is it allows managers to “focus more attention on activities that really count and other efforts that add to a business’s long-term value”. The article, in general,  suggests that the benefits of evolving appear pretty clear.

However this raises a question around the ability of the management team to be able to understand and successfully respond to this ‘evolutionary change and challenge’. Who is the right person to lead this? Who are likely to be uncooperative? Who will shine as facilitators? Who has the appropriate mind set to deliver the commitment the detail requires? Who can ‘stand the pace’?

We are now crossing from business and technical skills into the emotional capabilities – particularly resilience. Sports psychology has been a growing area of influence on management thinking for some years – the critical aspects of resilience and drive are brought together under the banner of ‘Mental Toughness’.

Mental toughness is a term which is becoming more widely used following the success at the Olympics of Team GB, who credit much of their medal winning performance to the ‘Mental Toughness’ aspect of their preparation. Businesses across all sectors are becoming increasingly aware of the value and benefits that high levels of resilience can deliver. Mental Toughness is an awareness and behaviour set which can be taught and grown meaning managers can invest time and resources into fostering this approach amongst their team and themselves.

We are adding this dimension to our services to complement the individual, team and board level development that we have traditionally offered.

Which brings me back to the evolution of Obsidian. I recently became the Managing Partner, some partners have moved on to pastures new and we have been joined by Peter and David. As well as broadening our services we have evolved the website so that it is accessible to iPads, tablets and the like.

I would welcome any thoughts you have on our thoughts above, or any aspect of what Obsidian does or might do that could help you and your business be more effective. Please write to me with your thoughts.

With kind regards,

Paul McIntee
Managing Partner

Occasional ‘Thoughts’

An ongoing collection of occasional ‘thoughts’ read more

Client Feedback

Obsidian are excellent change and management facilitators. They understand fully our complex business of people, science and logistics and that we work in one of the most challenging places in the world. Our partnership has resulted in significant improvements in the performance and joint working of my senior management team”
Dr.John Shears, British Antarctic Survey Board Member

Dr.John Shears, London