Monday, June 22, 2009

Brian Moore - Speaker

Brian V Moore, International Speaker and Facilitator Extraordinaire! Brian V Moore, international speaker and facilitator, is the  Managing Director of Celebrating Humanity International (formerly Mthimkhulu International.

He is a Zambian born South African , of Irish descent , brought up in Port Shepstone and adopted by a
Zulu Tribe.

He speaks several languages fluently, including English, Zulu and Afrikaans. He currently greets in more than 60 other languages.
He received a Community Builder Award from Archbishop Desmond Tutu for his contribution to bringing peace to the once troubled Dusi Canoe Marathon.

Brian is the key founder and creator of the Celebrating Humanity Programmes. His vision, focus and commitment toward Transformational Team Building has transformed lives across the board and instills a new sense of hope for all who attend his courses and presentations.
Known traditionally as "Mthimkhulu, or Bungane", in the Zulu community, he has lived an incredibly full South African life - and is filled with passion for Africa and its peoples.

He is the author of an e-book, titled, “Team Conflict Resolution Strategies”, which is currently used locally and internationally i.e. USA, UK, Australia and South Africa. He has a great depth of knowledge and experience in business, customer care, conflict resolution, communication, diversity, relationships, traditions and traditional proverbs.

Brian was recently the guest speaker and Chairman of the World Learning Summit in Hong Kong in February 2009. He was also the Business Sponsor and Speaker at the Annual Diversity Conference held in London.

He has spoken and facilitated change with thousands of people in Zambia, Namibia, Hong Kong, Rhode Island - USA, Connecticut - USA and across South Africa.

Brian’s storytelling, ability to involve his audiences and his tremendously human touch will delight, wow and entice multi-diverse audiences to see diversity at a much different and deeper level.

Brian is willing and able to travel anywhere in the World, to enchant your people! Experience the Magic!

Monday, June 01, 2009

I want that medal!

The full Umgeni river thundered and surged around and over the mighty rocks in Graveyard rapid, as we paddled hard for the finish of 1986 Dusi Canoe Marathon. The rear cockpit of our blue racing K2 kayak was cracked from an earlier spill in the tricky uMzinyathi rapid. Suddenly the brown water threw our craft towards the Graveyard’s final obstacle a huge, partially submerged rock.

We pulled hard, Mother Nature laughed at our puny efforts and within an instant we were facing each other. Our weakened canoe was wrapped around the rock. As I fought to push off the rock, Terry elected to roll out into the current. As he did the old blue Foxbat lifted up its tail and sank into the pool below the rapid.

As we pulled the kayak to the bank Terry said in a matter-of-fact way, “Oh well Moore, that’s it.”
I looked up from the boat, and said, “I haven’t come this far not to finish this race. I want that medal!.” He looked thoughtfully at me and, in his tough way, said “Ja, you’re right! Let’s fix this ... thing!”

As he spoke, my old VW Kombi came winding around the corner loaded with our seconders and patching materials. It was a miracle that we met at this critical time on the 120km race. This merely proved to me that when we total commit to a goal, the necessary resources will miraculously be there for us. The kayak was broken in half, held together by a token strip of fibreglass and resin.

As we began patching it with tree branches, duct tape and fibreglass, I reflected on the events of the past three days. This was my third attempt at the Dusi canoe marathon - an epic journey from Pietermaritzburg to Durban. I was ill-prepared on the first attempt and narrowly missed cut-off on a very dry river on the 2nd day of the following attempt.
Terry and I were known as the “Heavyweight Champions” of the Dusi - based only on our weight and little else! We weighed a combined 210kgs which we packed, tightly into a 45kg canoe. This excluded drinking water, wet life-jackets and paddles! We had already covered about 100kms in the intensely oppressive January heat in sub-tropical Natal (KwaZulu Natal) and had according to our growing tradition and a lack of training, just made cut-off on each of the previous days.

We had the strength and skills to negotiate rapids and the mental fortitude to handle long paddling sessions but distinctly disliked the many steep portage sections. In a full river portaging was the safest option, but we ignored the easy way - in pursuit of exciting paddling experiences.
Now 20kms of paddle and portage lay ahead of us. There was plenty time left if the canoe was in good condition, but the need to carry the craft would make it difficult to get to the finish before the cut-off.

As soon as we had finished applying the wet resin, fibreglass and branches we picked up the misshapen craft and set-off. Good wishes of our crew and some local residents rang in our ears as we set off on our mission improbable. W

e laughed at the fact that we, of all people, were carrying a canoe next to a perfectly flowing river. We occasionally forded the river, climbed hills and forced our way through “wag ‘n bietjie” (wait-a-bit) thorn bushes.
I carried the front of the boat. Behind me Terry was beginning to stumble. Suddenly he and the Foxbat hit the deck. The canoe took on a definite and permanent banana shape! “Are you ok?”, I asked. “Ja.” came the response, “Just a little bit goofed!” Unbeknown to me the resin and catalyst were beginning to gel and the Terry was breathing in the hot fumes. He had never been that high in his life!

After breathing in un-polluted oxygen for awhile we once more headed for the finish. Terry must have become accustomed to the fumes, or begun to enjoy the effects, as he never complained again.
Eventually the repairs to our “banana boat” had set and we took to the water below the last rapids and paddled and emptied, paddled and emptied our way towards Durban.

We ran out of drinking water and at times a severely dehydrated Terry seemed a little delirious. We met a group who gave us ice-cold drinking water, just when we needed it most.
The news of the pending arrival of the “Heavyweight champions” had preceded us.

Many hours later, with just 14 minutes to spare, we paddled our sinking canoe past hundreds of cheering spectators. We were stone last. As we crossed the line I silently began to cry tears of tiredness, elation and relief. This was my first Dusi finish. We had done it!

Terry still talks today of the steely look in my eyes when I refused to give up, saying, “I want that medal.” He says that knew then that we would definitely finish the race. Often in our lives we make choices. We go with the flow and the naysayers, or we say, “I have come this far... there is NO way that I will give up!”
It is at these points in our lives that our destiny is determined. And it is then, when the Universe celebrates our commitment, and brings to us all the necessary resources to attain our goals. In the power of a decision lies huge opportunity. It is at times like this that we need to honour not only the people who receive the awards, but those who made it possible. To our supporters - the unsung heroes - thanks it is your giving and caring that makes all of life’s successes possible.

Brian V Moore© +27 82 554 2188
Diversity Training in South Africa 

PS... My Lessons

Whatever stress you are under now - there is a still another “medal” to be won.
Live in gratitude for the people who love you, believe in you and support you! Set your goal, patch up your “canoe”, and head for your next critical stage in your life. Together, you can do it!


The annual South Africa Dusi Canoe marathon covers approximately 120kms of mountainous terrain and the courses of the Umsundusi and Umgeni rivers. The Kwa-Zulu Natal based race starts in Pietermaritzburg, and ends in Durban - 3 days later.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Diversity Collisons

Linked in Discussion

From Billy Vaughn, PhD

Editor-in-Chief Diversity Officer

What are three examples of cultural collisions in the workplace?

Studies show that cultural diversity leads to increased innovation, competitiveness, and impact on the bottom line. However, harnessing that diversity is the key. One of the challenges is that cultural collisions increase as cultural diversity increases. This is one reason that cultural sensitivity training is so popular. What are some common cultural collisions you have experienced, witnessed or heard about?

My response

Good day to you Billy!

Our experience is that there are many very visible cultural collisions. Yet the most dangerous are those that run below the level of consciousness. These emanate from deep programming and affect the decisions that we make in terms of who to work with, talk to, confide in and select.

The visible results of these decisions often emanate in cultural them and us collisions. You always choose "them", and never "us." (This is not always cultural - in fact it is often other areas of diversity - be they gender, personality, communication style, history, experience, level, education, age etc.)

It is at this point that all the normal signs show up - backstabbing, gossiping, negativity, clashes and arguing. It is then that personalities clash and work styles just seem so incompatible.

And this is where transformational team building plays a huge role in building diversity intelligence, as a component of emotional intelligence.

Brian Moore

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Team Building Video

Here is a team building video on our team building with the DFA in South Africa. We worked with over 120 people, over 3 days, in Johannesburg.

It was exciting, it was fun and we had great results from it.

Please note we vary all of our team building activities according to the country, culture, tradition and belief systems of our clients. We love to resolve team conflict, diversity issues and to power up non-performing teams


Brian Moore

Monday, December 01, 2008

Ownership - Victor, or Victim

November 30, 2008

One of the most amazing things that I have observed, time and again, in our transformational team building programs - is how easily some people give away ownership for their lives. In so doing they destroy themselves, their relationships and groups that they belong to.

The deeply ingrained, Industrial revolution-linked, top-down management style prevalent in many families, companies and organizations, has left behind a bundle of non-performing victims. They do not take action for their own behavior and are constantly looking for reasons why things “just will not work.”

They are the perpetually unhappy, not-yet grown-up adults who constantly run to “mommy”, with their problems. Of course “mommy”, is either their manager, or some member of the team/ family or community who happens to listen to their stories.

In our more extensive Celebrating Humanity Harvest team-builds, teams set-up its own Values Circle. This is a peer-created and managed code of conduct - where the team determines what is acceptable and desired behavior within the team. And, as importantly, they decide which behaviors are undesirable and taboo. This invariably includes gossiping and backstabbing.

In these sessions there is a clearing, of all past inter-personal challenges. The team and its members are rewarded with an agreement, in which they are safe and accountable for their own behavior and for that of the members of their team. They are empowered to be in charge of their future interactions, as fully-functioning adults, working together in harmony. “Mommy” is no longer needed.

Case Study 1 - Still infiltrated by Victims

I met this team for our normal follow-up - 1 month after the initial team build, clearing and agreement session. And their case is not unusual.

Most of the team members had gained through the team building and found a marked difference in the way in which they, and the team related to each other. They commented in the following manner:-
“ I am feeling more comfortable with the care within the team. Previously no-one cared, and I felt it.”
“I really enjoyed understanding more about other cultures. I now know how to work differently with different people.”
“Understanding my communication style, and having the ability to assess other people, means that I now adjust my communication for each individual person.”
“When you know your personality type, and how it can affect others, you can change your behavior to get better results.”
“I am always monitoring my overbearing personality, to ensure that I grow my team without dominating them.”
“What I realised is that if I want respect, I must be respectful.”

The bulk of the members of the team had taken responsibility for their own behavior. One even owned up to gossiping, prior to the team building - saying that this had now stopped.

And yet there were a few strongly verbose people, of varying levels, within the room, who stated that “nothing had changed.” “There are still people not adhering to the agreements,” they said. These are the victims and they are very dangerous and will actively, or unconsciously, work to destabilise harmonious environments.

I was not surprised. These were the spectators, that will be found in any organization.


Spectators are observers and complainers - they wait for things to change. They do nothing positive to ensure that good things happen.

If all is going well, they cheer for their team. Sadly, when there are problems - they immediately complain to, or about “mommy. “They must do something about this.” Or, “This was just a waste of money, nothing changed.” Challenges have nothing to do with them.

These poor people simply have no power whatsoever, unless they are bringing something, or somebody, down. Unfortunately their ability to destroy is very strong in weak organizations, and divided families and teams. They will never have anything because they are victims. And victims will make sure that they do not allow others to succeed either.

7 Rules to work with victims.

1. Set behavior principles and behavior rules with the entire team/ family. List and decide on what you will and won’t do. Set the amount of transgressions, before action is taken. Ensure that all of you manage the agreements, fairly. No-one is above the rules and they must be applied at all times.
2. Involve them in finding solutions. Challenge them to look for answers.
3. Don’t listen to their negative stories, or gossip. When they are complaining, ask them what they are doing about it - or put them in front of the person with whom they “have a problem.” Then open their conversation with, “X has a problem, with something you have done. You should talk about it.” And move on.
4. Never agree with, or get involved in their negativity. Once they have you in the “inner circle”, you will find it very difficult to get out.
5. Praise them for what they do well.
6. Guide them on what they can do differently. Never attack them, as a person. Always talk about the actions that they can change to get better results in their lives.
7. Remember to focus on your team agreements and love the victims anyway. If the team/ family environment is sound, they will either adjust their own behavior and fit in, or find other places to be destructive. Let them go.

Case Study 2: Once victims and now victors

15 months after the first intervention, the supervisor sent this feedback, about where their team was before the transformational team build, what had happened during the Celebrating Humanity© program and their new workplace situation:

"I had a group of 30 people from diverse cultures. They could not get on with each other.
There was continuous friction between the different race groups, and between people from the same race and cultural group. The people were negative and were not satisfied with anything.
1. Complaints were the order of the day; this also placed our team in a bad light with management. We decided on the Celebrating Humanity© training. The
2. people were very negative about the program initially.
3. As the course progressed the people’s attitudes changed from negative to positive.
4. Communication, respect and ownership improved from all sides by 100%. The respect between different race groups has been restored.
5. Some of the people who were negative have changed so much that they have been promoted to higher positions with greater responsibility.
6. The foundation of the entire course was so successful that the group is now going ahead with a leadership course."

This team decided that enough was enough and took a strong hold of the power of ownership. They decided that they would work together, irrespective of the disrespect that had consumed their team for years before.

This was their chance to enjoy work, be more professional and above all to work in a safe and respectful environment.

Is your team suffering as a result of inter-personal, inter-level, or inter-group conflict. Are personality or mis-communication stresses tearing your team apart?

On a more personal note, are you a victor or a victim. Do you look for the good, or are you focused on the bad? If it is the latter, there is noting out there for you but misery and blame. These are normally attached to personal loneliness, stress and disease.

Here are 10 things that you can do.

1. Work from the principle that “at the level of respect, all people are equal.” Treat people with respect and you will get respect.
2. Take ownership for your life - because the quality of your life, your happiness and your successes are dependent upon your own actions.
3. Focus on making a positive difference. You will find opportunities for great change where “things are just not right.”
4. Look for ways to respect your family and your team, in the way that they want to be respected.
5. Learn to listen more and complain less.
6. Ask people - “What can I do to help.” Or, “What can I do to make this work.”
7. Don’t let your problems poison the people around you. Talk to people about your challenges and resolve them, or move on.
8. Speak up when you see something good and speak up if you are unhappy/ or uncomfortable with another person’s actions, or unacceptable situations.
9. And here is the big thing, speak to the people who are the challenge, for you - or to people who are responsibility to make changes. Never speak to people who have no power to make any difference at all.
10. And if you come across a spectator - use the 7 rules to working with victims. You will make a difference - and it will be positive.

The good thing in formulating the right kinds of team agreements together, is that those teams that powerfully guard and keep to their agreements, will take absolute personal ownership for their future. They will make sure that they have a positive empowering environment - and they will make things work.

When this happens - the victims will either change their behavior, or look for another place to be unhappy. Either way, the team and its future is safe.

Enjoy life! You only get one chance!

Brian Moore
Author - Team Conflict Resolution Strategies.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Team Conflict Resolution Interventions. Standing at a Crossroads.

Team Conflict Resolution Interventions.
Standing at a Crossroads.

Teams, businesses and organizations that are under pressure to transform their troubled teams, are often challenged by the wealth of “solutions” offered, by companies. Some of these solutions are great - and many are doomed to failure.

If your team is being forced to find a solution, your team is at a crossroads of danger and opportunity.

The danger lies in choosing the wrong “solution(s”) and yet, if you get your choice right, there are huge hidden opportunities to build individuals and teams, and thereby reap great rewards.

Self-defeating team conflict resolution programs will have strategies that:-
• try isolate to the “troublemakers”, and get them to resolve their differences.
• exclude any member/s of the team in the process.
• hand the management of the team’s behaviors, with agreements from “team agreed resolution”, to your managers/ supervisors.
• isolate, intimidate, or simply ignore certain team members.
• neglect the development of communication skills, team and individual personality skills, understanding of the carious diversities within the team.
• Go with a talk-down and divisive diversity training program.
• Use unsuitable and un-focused team building programs - that isolate even 1 member of your team..

If any of these factors form part of your attempts to resolve team conflict, the process, and your money, will be wasted. More so, it could negatively impact your team - in the long term..

The opportunity to build teams is found in the wisdom, uniqueness, talents and skills of your team. When we hire people, we hope that they are mature enough to manage their own behavior. After we sign the employment contracts, we then begin to control their every action. We put managers in charge of all decisions. Soon we have people who will not even go to the toilet without permission.

Our over-control has taken away their sense of value, ownership, accountability and responsibility. And this is where team conflict begins.

The methodologies included in Celebrating Humanity Diversity Training and Transformational team-building programs - outlined in our book - Team Conflict resolution Strategies - ensures that team transformation is non-threatening, unifying and inclusive. It ensures that we give the power back to your teams - to manage their own behavior - through their own agreements.

This takes incredible stress off managers and supervisors, and the business/organization. In turn, empowered people drive your business in a safe and respectful place created by themselves.

Our teams have been called in to resolve conflict when the psychologists, and conflict resolution specialists have been unsuccessful. The people that we meet are often disillusioned, angry and isolated. Management is stressed, backstabbing, gossiping and labor disputes are the order of the day. And all of this is after numerous “conflict resolution solutions.”

Our teams bring fun, communication, respect and understanding into the team - before we even look at developing team-based codes of conduct. And when we leave - we have put in place ongoing team-managed processes - supported by our follow-up processes. Our feed back is always taken at least a year after the initial program. And the results are always excellent - without fail!

Read the book - and use the lessons therein, or call in our teams. Whichever way your go - this will be the best decision you will ever make.

Brian Moore - Copyright. October 2008
Mobile: +27 82 552 3352
Mobile: +27 82 774 5521

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Team Building in South Africa

We are really excited to announce the arrival of our Team Building in South Africa website!

This is our dedicated South African and African website.

We are really focused on making a difference in South Africa and with our new book

And with this new Team Building in South Africa website, we will be doing just that!

Please feel free to comment!