Even if it
was free

I'm Paul Russell.
I help people become more courageous
when using technology to solve problems
and create opportunity.


I coach business teams and individuals on how to adapt their thinking to solving problems when confronted with the lure of technological solutions and the uncertainty of human outcomes. I run fast sprint workshops called "Mother in Law and Bullet Hole and How Might We Make It Easier", designed to shake off bias and illusion and open up minds to explore fresh possibilities. It is great fun and rewarding to watch people prise open closed mindsets - no matter how senior you might think you are or how much you think you know.


In my head there is a buzz going on.

I am thinking about 'mess' and how when we come down to it, the problems we face - big and small - are messy and will always be that way.

A messy thing to say in fact? A human thing to say?

And isn't this what technology is supposed to figure out?Take AI. Surely this is what all the fuss is about. Take messy and complex things like climate change, social injustice or predicting sales forecasts and let the AI take the load. Or even the most fundamental like educating ourselves and looking after ourselves. Hasn't these subjects become even more messy despite what we thought was supposed to happen?

Are we better off?

As leaders we have decades of operating inside frameworks, methodologies and philosophies to embed into how we do business. And there is nothing wrong with this because business needs to be anti-fragile - especially nowadays - and creating structures, principles and processes is how mankind has survived.

But is there room for messy too?

I believe decade after decade of saying we are innovative and creative whilst reducing risk and removing uncertainty has created a situation where we often come up short. Whether it is creating bigger gaps between Haves and Have Nots, or making the workplace a less happier environment than we say it is or because we believe the 'computer is right' no matter what we common sense suggests, we are getting squeezed by overconfidence and intellectual arrogance.

I believe we can and for me in 2024 I intend to find out.

I believe we need to messier in how we approach solving problems.

I believe we can do this whilst still working within the lines set by ourselves and the businesses we work for.

Many will disagree or scratch their heads of course.

I would have done a few years ago.

So in 2024 I am going to embark on some 'messy research'.

I will meet new people and talk about messy.

I will write a book ( oops said it now so better had ) that will be about messy.

And I will talk to anyone who wants to share stories and thoughts on the role of messy in our world today.


Is business language getting in your way?

  •  02/11/2023 05:39 PM

Ever feel like you're talking in circles when it comes to change and transformation? You're not alone. Tune in as Paul Russell and Mark Vincent dissect the 'Language Trap'—the sneaky words and phrases that undermine our best efforts. Discover why these pitfalls exist and how they can lead to confusion, disruption and disappointment.

Good Ideas - Where do you get yours?

  •  21/09/2023 03:38 PM

Ideas. We all have them. We need them to survive and thrive whether in personal life or in the world of work. But where do they come from? And when we are talking about new ideas does our track record of ideas success (and failure) matter? Should we forget the past and only look forward? Will this time be different? And for those employed to be 'ideas people' can we rely on them alone to be the saviour or can we simply take a look on social media and use what strangers are seducing us with?

The question we rarely ask each other

  •  25/08/2023 12:36 PM

If we just find the time to ask this question - what question have I not asked you that you feel I should have what would we learn? Questions are the lifeblood of how we grow. They seek information to help us understand each other but too often we are converged too much on asking questions that suit a situation constraining us unfairly into closed mindset moments. Yet the human is desperate to learn more. Why not try the question and see what you learn? It might surprise you.

Fall BACK in love with problems

  •  06/07/2023 10:51 AM

In our instant gratification lives we are often guilty of relying on the 'heard it before' auto pilot response when thinking about problems. Despite our attempts to think differently at some point or other we can get caught out and miss the opportunity to see something we might miss.

I was never trained to tell stories - were you?

  •  05/12/2022 04:14 PM

We might be good at telling stories to our children but why do we struggle to tell good business stories? Have we become lazy or too reliant on others or social media to do it for us? But hang on we were never trained to tell stories so we have to go with what we think.

What is the trilogy of temptation?

  •  05/11/2022 12:12 AM

How we are seduced by technology through innovation that fuels our confidence we can do better and at a greater pace. Where agile and fragile are often too close for comfort. the ChatGPT AI debate in early 2023 sort of underlines my perspective.

My first book

  •  06/10/2022 09:01 AM

My first book! A book about sales but really about you and me. How we can rediscover our inner Diverger to get more from the conversations we have. What is a Diverger? You and me for a start. It is just years of curiosity gets stripped away from us. My book is about how you can put it back.

The power of diverse thinking

  •  06/09/2021 04:37 PM

How a community came together joined by the desire to share stories and mutual respect. 48 amazing people.

60 minutes to make a difference

  •  02/12/2019 10:01 PM

How can we use time better to understand the other person whilst still getting our point of view across - in 60 minutes.

If you're not design thinking, you're not thinking design

  •  02/12/2019 09:57 PM

Understanding the person with a problem is a much under-utilised aspect of selling today. Instead we prefer to assume.

  • Hidden in plain sight workshop

  • Introduction to Design Thinking course

  • 60 minutes to make a difference

I love talking through problems with people so if you have a business challenge please do get in touch.