The Lomu Legacy

In a week that has seen the western world sent into  a reflective pause thanks to the violence of a few lost men hiding their truth under an all encompassing  cloak of religious radicalisation, the rugby world learns of the loss of a modern sporting icon.

For those of us privileged to have watched Lomu evolve into one of the games most exciting players, we smile broadly at the joy he bought us as a superb athlete.

As a man, Jonah was a simple soul with a cheeky streak.

He knew where he came from and spent the last part of his time here on earth trying to inspire others to strive under the belief that with a bit of hard work and commitment anything was possible, using himself as the example.

Thoughts and prayers are with Jonah’s wife and young children as well as his broader rugby family.

Although Jonah had been suffering ill-health since 1995, his was a talent retired too soon and a life ended prematurely.


The Brave finally blossoms @ #RWC2015

On 4 June 1995, Japan Rugby Union’s national side, the Sakura (Cherry Blossoms) took the field against the New Zealand All Blacks at the Rugby World Cup in South Africa, only to suffer a humiliating 145-17 defeat.

In 2003, in their opening game at Rugby World Cup, they threw everything at Scotland, earning a standing ovation from the Townsville, Queensland crowd and a guard of honour from the Scots at full time.

On 19 September 2015, the Brave Blossoms took the field against twice rugby world cup champions, South Africa’s Springboks and fought their way to victory with a tenacious 34-32 win in injury time.

At the Japanese helm, was a previously deposed former Australian national coach, and Australian hooker, Eddie Jones.

A man, some players and officials in Australian rugby circles preferred to ridicule rather than support with resources and common courtesies when he was at the helm of the Wallabies, ACT Brumbies and Qld Reds.

Thankfully for World Rugby, Japan Rugby Union had a little more foresight and embraced a stray Aussie with Japanese heritage and an affinity with the land of the rising sun.

Subsequently, a man who has already confirmed he will be stepping down post #RWC2015 has gallantly and intelligently led the Brave Blossoms to their first RWC Cup win against a top tier nation.

Take a bow Eddie, can’t wait to see what your boys deliver for the rest of the tournament.

Up all night thanks to Online Gravity

Earlier in the week I received an inmail via LinkedIn from the overachieving Mr Paul McCarthy, letting me know his new book, Online Gravity  had been released.

Very generously, he forwarded a copy via post.

I first met Paul at a social media conference we were both presenting at last year and I was suitably excited for him.

Last night, before heading off into the land of nod, I thought I’d have a quick look through the newest arrival to my bedside reading collection.

This would soon prove possibly the most enjoyable mistake I’ve made in a long time.

Online Gravity is proof red bull now comes in paperback.
After flying through the first couple of chapters, my eyes were closed for less than 20 minutes before my brain sparked its first ‘must write down’ idea.

Wrestling out of bed and into the office to ‘brainstorm’ said idea, attempts to return to bed proved futile.

What is Online Gravity?
Paul McCarthy’s concept of the phenomenon of Online Gravity – an invisible force driving development (form and behaviour) in the age of the internet (online world) – is brilliant in its simple logic.

Online Gravity – the book,  demonstrates what the phenomenon does, how it develops and how it can be harnessed by individuals.

It marries the science of the universe, technology and business in easily digestible chunks – that makes you want to keep reading, to keep questioning and in consequence promotes deep and diverse, critical thinking.

With the unprecedented rates of change expected in global business structures, processes and workforce in the next five years thanks to digital ubiquity and the Internet of Things, Online Gravity is a tool every good educator should want to share with their students today to prepare them for a more evolved and much changed tomorrow.

While I still have a couple of pages left to read (full review to follow in due course), what I do know is Online Gravity should be on every digital media, communications and business syllabus.

It is an articulate, accessible guiding text on what we as digitally dependent individuals and businesses can expect in terms of process and practice. While articulating as a workforce, how best to harness the phenomenon of online gravity.

It is what true thought leadership looks like on paper and in practice.

What Online Gravity has given me
As someone who has been struggling with refining my PhD research question (just part of the joy of the process so I’m told), thought leadership such as Online Gravity motivates this humble researcher to stretch beyond convention in articulating the synergies and antagonisms of the new social business frontier and beyond.

As the principal mentor at, Online Gravity feels like a supportive hug as I jump off the new business precipice, confident in my ‘hunch’ of the ever-present need for and cultural importance of proactively enabling humans in and around new social and digital technologies.

Thank you Mr McCarthy for sharing the phenomenal read that is Online Gravity!


Online Gravity is published by Simon & Schuster Australia and is available in paperback ($32.99) and e-book($17.99) formats.

If you are looking for a copy to call your own, Paul’s website provides the following guidance:

A number of eBook versions are also available including:

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Eat, Exercise and Abstain: Introducing the Witches of Woe

Patience is a virtue, but sadly not one of mine when it came to starting a family.

I turned my husband into my dietician and personal trainer, I started picking the brains of doctors, specialists, and sourcing insights from friends and acquaintances.

So I know we are truly blessed we were able to conceive, especially considering we are both in our fabulous forties.

Which is why, like most first time mums, as soon as I realised I was pregnant, I started reading…

Subsequently, my diet continued along the path that would best give my body the ability to concentrate on nourishing our little egg into a healthy bub.

From the research my husband and I conducted, we surmised that rather than fighting to function against preservatives and other hidden hinderances, we would focus on nurturing my body, rather than pursue my diet of habit.

It had to be a ‘we’ effort, as self control and a hungry pregnant woman simply don’t exist – at least not in my world.

Not surprisingly, enter my heart-to-heart with my pesky little mates: Little Miss Gluten and Little Miss Lactose, aka the Witches of Woe.

You see WOW, have proven to be no friends to me at all. Consequently, I have shared a love hate relationship with them both since turning 37 and while I’d like to think their say over all things dietary for me in my forties is due to a misspent youth, sadly I think the truth is decidely more vanilla.

My body – for whatever reason – doesn’t respond warmly to gluten or lactose. Bloat being the main side effect followed by a fogginess that descends on me making even the simplest of tasks a little challenging.

Now what some may call baby brain – and let’s be honest, that little beast is real – the gluten haze as I like to refer to it, is a reality that can be avoided, if you’re willing to forgo the habits of western dining founded in years of poor practice rather than any health science.

Step 1: Rethinking the Weekly Shop

Now before you think this is about to turn into a ‘All hail the Paleo diet’ diatribe to which MKR’s Pete Evans would be proud, rest assured – there’s no room for that kind of crazy in these parts.

More a focus on careful observation of the variant parts contained in the highly processed foods we have learnt to keep as ‘staples’ in our pantries.

As you’d expect, gone from my pantry are the delights: Special K, Nutri Grain, White bread, raisin loaf, Pasta, flour, full cream milk, … you get my drift.

Instead, I have specific variants on the traditional with labels reading gluten free, lactose free and dairy free. So my alternative staples include: soy & linseed bread, rice bubbles, gluten-free pasta and zymil milk – small and simple adjustments to the weekly groceries and nothing too confronting for my tastebuds.

To be honest, I apply the 80:20 rule. If I’m good good 80% of the time, then I can be ‘not so good’ the other 20% :P

Which sees me enjoying a glass of bubbles now and then.

To Wine or Not to Wine – Everyone has an Opinion

As luck would have it, it was also my body’s choice, that alcohol didn’t pass my lips while I was pregnant.

Believe me, I was as surprised as anyone, that a bubble had lost all of its appeal but I was also a little relieved too.

I’d been lucky enough to have been introduced to FAS through a chat or two with the wonderful Dr Elizabeth Elliot who among other things, conducts research into foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD).

However, detailed information on drinking while breastfeeding – and by this I mean managing the milk production with safe (alcohol-free) feeding was tricky to come by.

While I downloaded the ‘Feed Safe App’, planning ahead and expressing milk for bottle feeds were my best available solutions.

I can hear some of you screaming judgementally, ‘abstinence is best’ (Yes, Mum!), for those of us who enjoy the odd tipple, it’s a bloody good treat post partum when you’re sick of feeling like Bessie the Cow and you just want to have an hour or so of pure unadulterated ‘me time’.

Selfish right…?

Probably. However, the way I reconcile it in my head is simple:

I eat healthily and exercise regularly (don’t worry, I’m not referring to strenuous gym sessions thrice daily, moreso leisurely walks around the block most days!) as part of my WOW management plan.

I abstain 95% of the time, so I’m entitled to have my 5% of me time now and then :)

While bloat is no longer a problem, although fatigue remains. I put that down to bub’s demands rather than an unsavoury byproduct of indulging my pesky little mates: Little Miss Gluten and Little Miss Lactose, aka the Witches of Woe.


If you’d like to find out more information on FAS, start here: Foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) – Better Health Channel

I’m back… sporadically :P

Apologies to those of you who have felt abandoned by my blogging hiatus of the last couple of months.

The simple truth: My analogue life got in the way of my much loved digital one.

While I now sport some new labels (mum and start-up founder), the good news is I’m back and in the swing of all things research, writing and strategic business.

Inspired by @BrianSolis’ keynote at the Telstra Australian Digital Summit at the end of last year, the creative juices have been flowing…in between giving birth to my daughter and giving birth to our ‘digital’ baby, which we’ll be officially launching in June 2015.


xo Tiff