Dominic Irvine
Founding partner of Epiphanies LLP

Entries by Dominic Irvine

Who wants to be best practice? Not me!

(0) Comments | Posted 2 November 2015 | (16:53)

It was a leading fashion house that stunned me with their thinking. Their brief was simple, "We lead fashion. We don't follow it. This is our culture. We don't want best practice in leadership development - we want leading practice." It turned my own thinking on its head. Rather than...

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Does mental toughness have any place at work?

(0) Comments | Posted 13 October 2015 | (15:06)

With the recent news of AB InBev's takeover deal being accepted by the SABMiller board, there will be many in both businesses who will be anxious about their futures. Expressions such as 'Toughen-up' or 'deal with it' hardly seem helpful. And yet, surviving what will be an intense period of...

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Lessons for Sport from Business

(0) Comments | Posted 24 September 2015 | (13:09)

For a 47 year old business man who spends his life working with companies around the world and a hobby of participating in ultra distance cycling events, it's been one hell of a year. Following a decade or more of mediocre results in a variety of sporting events, this year,...

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C'Mon Be Serious! You've No Chance...

(0) Comments | Posted 25 June 2015 | (17:18)

The business of performance

It's not the greatest recipe for the composition of a team trying to break one of the oldest records in cycling - the tandem Lands End to John O'Groats record. Despite repeated assaults, this 49 year old record has resolutely resisted assaults by truly gifted athletes...

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Success Has Many Parents, Failure's an Orphan

(0) Comments | Posted 20 May 2015 | (11:44)

Lessons from failure and success

Supported by a fantastic team, my riding partner Charlie Mitchell and I broke the 49 year old record for cycling non-stop from Land's End to John O'Groats on a tandem, shaving over 5 hours of the record to complete the 842 miles in 45 hours...

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Breaking a World Record

(0) Comments | Posted 18 May 2015 | (10:51)

At 03:41:02 on Thursday 7th May 2015 the wheel of our tandem bike crossed the finish line in John O'Groats, 842 miles and 45 hours, 11 minutes and 2 seconds after leaving Land's End. We had smashed the long standing record last set in 1966 by over 5 hours, a...

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"Well I Never Knew That!" - Uncovering Hidden Talents

(1) Comments | Posted 2 April 2015 | (11:03)

I remember it well, it was one of those casual throwaway comments "When I rowed the Atlantic...." The very enjoyable conversation with this self-deprecating chap suddenly became a whole lot more interesting. As we probed away, revelation upon revelation of a remarkable past emerged that left us speechless and dumbfounded....

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"What's wrong with these people?" - Part 2

(0) Comments | Posted 9 March 2015 | (17:45)

The cold light of day

"I can't believe I did that!" Ever had that sensation, when you look back and wonder what the hell happened? In the cold light of day it seems so stupid. It might be as simple as eating far too much despite your every intention...

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"What's wrong with these people?" - Part 1

(0) Comments | Posted 3 March 2015 | (10:24)

"What's wrong with these people?" Frustrated at the drivers' seeming inability to stop rescanning all the parcels prior to loading the vans, the IT director of a logistics company had his head in his hands in despair. In the cold light of day it seemed incomprehensible to him that they...

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Innovating Value

(0) Comments | Posted 6 February 2015 | (14:02)

Value is an oft used word in business. We need to create 'value'. But rarely do we take the time and ask ourselves, what do we actually mean by value? From a business perspective the value that matters is that which the consumer deems valuable. In this article I'm looking...

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Lessons from water and lemons: Open Innovation

(1) Comments | Posted 27 January 2015 | (10:53)


There was a time when people believed that cholera was transmitted through the air. This belief was very strongly held, even when the evidence was overwhelming that it was transmitted through water, and many people died unnecessarily as a result. The same thing happened with scurvy, a disease common...

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Productively Lazy?

(0) Comments | Posted 6 January 2015 | (09:36)

You could be forgiven for thinking that we in the UK are a lazy bunch.

The bank-run on Northern Rock in 2007 heralded the start of the Great Recession and since then labour productivity in the United Kingdom has been remarkably weak. Whole economy output per hour stands some 16%...

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It's Not About Teamwork

(1) Comments | Posted 8 December 2014 | (12:13)

Can you believe it? They had promised the customer they would get the work done and they hadn't done it. As one of the partners in the business, I soaked up the criticism from the customer and accepted blame and promised to get it sorted. I listened with boredom to...

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We Need to be More Innovative - But Doing What Exactly?

(0) Comments | Posted 6 November 2014 | (13:45)

Becoming more innovative as an organization can sometimes seem overwhelming and daunting. The challenge is working out what to do. Set out below are the reasons why and some suggestions for how to work out what to do. If you are struggling to get your organization on board, why not...

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It's Not About Change - It's About Control

(0) Comments | Posted 9 October 2014 | (16:40)

I stared at the blank screen in disbelief. I prodded the power button, it burst into life and then died again. It was 9.30pm at night, dark and I was somewhere deep in the Provence countryside. I'd been cycling since 6.30am and had ridden over the equivalent of Mont Blanc...

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How Many of Your Employees Are Actively Engaged?

(0) Comments | Posted 2 October 2014 | (17:31)

How bad must it have been?
Tom drove to work. He walked into the office, left the keys to the van on the desk and told the depot manager in no uncertain terms that he was resigning. He'd had enough. He could no longer take the pressure 'management' were...

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Relentless Curiosity - The Business Culture of the Future

(0) Comments | Posted 29 September 2014 | (16:11)

The CEO of the company stood on the stage in front of the senior leaders of the business. It was a lovely venue; the chairs were arranged in neat rows, coffee had just been served in the atrium and the agenda was on schedule.

"We need to innovate," the...

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Out of Control... Lessons From the Back

(0) Comments | Posted 28 August 2014 | (16:48)

Milking it
As the cardamom flavoured milk was passed to me to try my heart sank. I don't like the mouth feel of milk and am indifferent to its flavour. I had little choice, I was surrounded by delegates at a workshop in Saudi Arabia where we were testing...

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Dragons - All Smoke and Fire

(1) Comments | Posted 22 August 2014 | (14:16)

It's a flaming mess

In their infinite arrogant wisdom, the "Dragons" in the latest series of BBC2's well-known entrepreneurial roasting session Dragon's Den recently turned down Richard and Lynn Bye's request for investment in their cycling apparel business "Fat Lad At The Back", otherwise known as "FLAB".

The Byes...

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Mental Toughness

(0) Comments | Posted 21 August 2014 | (15:45)

Man up!
The deluge from the cloud burst meant the streets had become streams. As I ground my way slowly up the steep hill 150 miles in with 50 to go on a long training bike ride, a driver overtook me. The wave of water from the wheels, taller...

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