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Ideas have power.

They shape our lives and create our reality.

They’re so powerful that we need to learn how to harness them to lead us to a place where we want to go.

“Your mind will take the shape of what you frequently hold in thought, for the spirit is coloured by such impressions” — Marcus Aurelius

Inception, Christopher Nolan’s epic film, shows us how we might plant the right ones and watch them grow.

If you haven’t seen the film, let me give you a quick overview.

Cobb, the main character, is a thief.

He’s no ordinary thief…


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You have magic inside of you.

Maybe not the sort of wand-wielding magic in a Harry Potter battle. But magic, nonetheless.

How do I know this? Because we all do. You just need to understand what yours is and how to unlock it. Harry Potter can help us learn how we might gain control of it. Much of what happens to him mirrors what happens to elite business and sportspeople to reach the top of their fields.

The story about ‘the boy who lived’ is one of the most remarkable phenomena of modern times. By weaving such an extraordinary fantasy…


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John Hattie’s review of 500,000 students in New Zealand highlights the impact of teacher quality. It shows that teachers have a bigger impact on student performance than any other single factor — bar the students own identity and ability as a learner.

So, is it right to be concerned as a parent when your kids come home disheartened citing their teacher as the reason for switching off at school?

You may know first hand the pang in your gut when you see your child’s love of learning dwindling when they begin to build resentment to a specific subject they once…


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The most important thing to learn

During my career, I’ve worked with learners of all abilities in both formal and professional education and learning. It spans from teenagers in school, college and university trying to get through exams, to professionals who have been in work for decades which have created and run services in the worlds most iconic companies. I find it amazing that there are so many similarities between the issues and challenges they experience and the things that stop them progressing. One recurring theme that crops up is the ‘why do I have to learn….’ question followed by the ‘….I’m never going to need…


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There is no such thing as ‘the average person’.

‘Average person’ thinking leads to problems. Systems and services that over-rely on averages can serve no-one particularly well, whether in education or the modern workplace.

There is a relatively well-known story about the US Airforce and the problems pilots had with flying their planes in the 1940s. There were many accidents that they couldn’t put down to either mechanical issues or pilot faults. They were at a loss as to why this was the case, but they suspected it might be related to the plane's design. They hired a young scientist…


Many people have a story of a time when the education system failed them. A time when they were left behind. A time when they were not stretched enough or stretched too far. A time when a teacher crushed them or when they couldn’t see the point of the subject they were studying or how it might help them later in life. Maybe, it was a time when there was not an opportunity to explore the subjects that they wanted to do. A time when they felt let down.

Each one of the stories relates to a system of education…


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Like most tests, your GCSEs might be considered a memory test. At least, a significant component of the exams is the ability to remember key facts, figures, equations and models. For many, this sounds awful because they believe they don’t have a good memory. But, this is simply not true! It just means they haven’t found out how their mind works best for them.

Everyone can possess a great memory — certainly, one that works for them. The problem is that schools don’t help every person to discover how their memory works best and simply keeps sharing more and more…


What is a mindset?

There is a lot of chatter today about developing the right mindset. It is associated with Agile — how do I develop an Agile mindset? It is associated with Product Management — how do I develop a Product mindset? It is associated with Design-thinking, Lean Startup, Entrepreneurship and anything else that might help companies adapt and respond to the changing business landscape, technology shifts and consumer preferences. One problem is that most training and education focuses on specific method names — Agile, Scrum, Kanban, Scaled Agile, Design Thinking, DevOps and these wrap up mindset into fairly complicated processes, practices, values…


For most people, when they think Agile Training, they once thought Scrum training. Today, they might think SAFe Training. Both are common. But, they both follow similar formats for the majority of people. The typical setup is 1, 2 or more consecutive days of training in a classroom. The delegates are then let back into their workplace. In many cases, the new learners go back to work and are then supported by a coach. It is the optimal model for ease of training, cost-effectiveness and, in many cases, testing and certification. …


Have you ever wondered what education might look like in 50 years? Could this affect your business? Do you know what future skills your business might need? The internet is changing many things, not least education. How about the political landscape? Would a collapse of democracy affect you? Would a supreme leader of Earth change the way you did business? How would you react if international air travel was banned? What technology trends out there will change the way consumers interact with your product? Do you think your products will make any sense in 15 years time? The world’s population…

Philip Black

Co-founder of Cormirus. We are building new ways to help people learn how to learn and change through every stage of life.

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