How clean are your communications?

Tom McCallum
4 min readAug 16, 2018

image from a SlideShare deck from OneFish TwoFish called

“How to communicate values without telling people to ‘live the values’ “

So, yesterday I wrote: “Be rid of Brilliant Jerks”. I didn’t say “Fire your Brilliant Jerks”.

So, how can you be rid of brilliant jerks without firing them, particularly in this world where hiring and firing can be a minefield laden with so much employee legislation, policies, procedures, protocols?

My answer? Lead your organisation rigorously based on values (ie where values are not just words framed on a wall or on a website!), then brilliant jerks will leave of their own volition, you won’t need to fire them.

In fact, keep reading my daily posts, as I’m going to keep riffing around this as feel like I’m on a role, and coming soon will be a post on “no fire” policies and companies that have successfully put this at their core.

Now, perhaps it feels like there is a big gap to bridge here between what you may have learned to believe to be the way to operate (eg firing the brilliant jerks) and my perhaps seemingly magical approach of having them choose to leave themselves?

Today, then, I’ll touch on a concept from psychology called Transactional Analysis (for an introduction, read here), then also on an application and evolution of this that is a passion of an inspirational friend.

Transactional Analysis:

“a system of popular psychology based on the idea that one’s behaviour and social relationships reflect an interchange between parental (critical and nurturing), adult (rational), and childlike (intuitive and dependent) aspects of personality established early in life.”

The image above is from a slideshare deck from OneFish TwoFish, a business founded by my friend Carrie Bedingfield. Carrie is currently a candidate for a PhD at Cambridge University, and her bio there starts:

“I’ve been making ‘products’ to improve and enable better human interactions at work for nearly 20 years (including Clean Communication) and now my research at Cambridge is exploring opportunities for improving the outcomes of group information sharing, idea generation and decision making events, specifically in



Tom McCallum

Sounding Board for Visionary Leaders ready to make a Massive Impact. Daily posts here, or