DiscoverThe One-Eyed Man with Mike Stopforth
The One-Eyed Man with Mike Stopforth

The One-Eyed Man with Mike Stopforth

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In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king

Welcome to The One-Eyed Man with Mike Stopforth

It's a messy, complicated world out there. We need better solutions to the problems around us, and better leaders to them. No one person has it all figured out, but in a quest to discover a more impactful brand of leadership, I'm having conversations with people who have at least some part of it figured out, and specifically in the fields of business, entrepreneurship, impact and technology.
65 Episodes
My guest on this week’s show is Dean Oelschig. I met Dean on Twitter in the early days of social media, where we’d share notes on advertising, rugby, and just about any other topic both cared about, and which we inevitably argued about. We still argue about everything. Dean is a pure ad man and the founder of Halo Advertising. Halo has built an excellent reputation over the last decade and has done extraordinarily well in recent years, with some truly standout and award-winning, above-the-line creative work. In this episode, we discuss why creativity matters more now than ever and how advertising agencies can better assist clients in producing brave and meaningful work. We also discuss the problems with purpose-based marketing and Halo’s exciting upcoming conference, Conspicuous, where Mark Ritson will be the keynote speaker. Enjoy the conversation. Halo's website · Halo's Creative Marketing Newsletter · Connect with Dean on LinkedIn · · Connect with Mike on LinkedIn · Follow Mike on Twitter · 48h crisis communication consultancy
Aasiyah Adams is the inspirational founder of Abaguquli4IR and called herself the Gig Economy Driver. What does that mean? Well, few people are more passionate about equipping the unemployed, small and informal business owners and traders, and aspirant entrepreneurs with a platform to accelerate or incubate their businesses or ideas for business. She does this by providing entrepreneurship skills, applications, programs and tools in all functional areas that prepare this critical notch of the South African economy for the Gig Economy. In this episode, we discuss her background, her interest in digital literacy, the challenges of her work, and making a meaningful impact at scale. Abaguquli 4IR's website · · Connect with Mike on LinkedIn · Follow Mike on Twitter · 48h crisis communication consultancy
Do you truly understand your customers? How seamlessly and effectively are you integrating customer feedback into your operations and strategy? Are you measuring success in CX? My guest on this week’s show is Michael Renzon. Mike is the CEO & co-Founder of inQuba which is a Customer Journey Management SaaS platform. Mike has built multiple successful internet, technology, content and Customer Experience. He is an Endeavor Entrepreneur, and honestly one of the most intriguing minds I’ve ever had the pleasure of engaging. I first met Mike on a ski trip with mates over a decade ago and was struck immediately by his monk-like disposition. He doesn’t speak often, but when he does he has a deeply thoughtful, zen-like impact on the room. We’ve since collaborated on conferences and shared many deep conversations about work and life so it was only a matter of time before I convinced him to be on the show. In this episode, we talk about customer experience, how thinking in the field of CX has evolved, and where we can expect it to go in future. inQuba's website · · Connect with Mike on LinkedIn · Follow Mike on Twitter · 48h crisis communication consultancy
It's hard to know where to start on this one. Psychedelic-assisted therapy has been such a revolution in my personal health journey that it's really difficult for me not to sound like a zealot when discussing the topic. Could psychedelics be the revolution the mental health industry so desperately needs? Maybe. Are there dangers to be cautious of? Absolutely. But in my mind, these dangers are no different to those inherent to any of the powerful drugs readily prescribed by thousands of doctors to millions of patients around the world every day. But don't listen to me, listen to my guest. Not only does he understand this topic intrinsically, but cares perhaps more than anyone I've met about the integrity of the work being done in this field and on the frontier of mental healthcare. Brad Kallenbach is a Clinical Psychologist and co-founder of Equanimity Wellness - Africa’s first psychedelic-assisted therapy centre based right here in Sandton. Brad is also a co-founder of Reach (beta), a mental health tech app that offers real-time, science-based tools for anxiety regulation and emotional mastery. The Equanimity Wellness Centre · · Connect with Mike on LinkedIn · Follow Mike on Twitter · 48h crisis communication consultancy
Do the names League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Dota, Fortnite, and Call of Duty mean anything to you? If not, you could be missing out on something massive. The global esports market was valued at $1.39 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach $3.96 billion in 2023. The global esports audience is expected to reach over 500 million in 2023. Esports and gaming compete with the biggest sponsorship opportunities in traditional sports and many brands have zero idea how to participate. In SA, the esports and gaming landscape is emergent, vibrant and an exciting unmined possibility for forward-thinking brands. In this episode, I speak to SA esports pioneer Barry Louzada about his vision for what the industry could look like, now and into the future. Mettlestate · · Connect with Mike on LinkedIn · Follow Mike on Twitter · 48h crisis communication consultancy
Today we are talking about mental health. If you follow me or if we follow each other online, you will have noticed that this is a topic that I care deeply about and have spoken about increasingly over the last couple of months and years, and it has been a feature of my entrepreneurial journey. It's been a feature of my life, really. But I've realized that not only is it helpful for me to talk about it, and to share some of my story, but there's also sort of a widespread stigma around talking about mental health issues, especially amongst men, especially amongst businessmen and I'm really committed to changing some of that stigma and creating spaces where we can talk about some of the stuff that we're struggling with, in the same way that we would talk about all the other topics that are tough to tackle in the business world. My guest today is somebody who also cares specifically about creating new spaces and new spaces at scale, to assist you in whatever capacity you need. Alon Lits is the founder and CEO of Panda, a revolutionary app dedicated to bringing mental health resources to more people in a more accessible and affordable way. Before Panda, Alon was the country manager for Uber in SA. We talk about his new venture, experience gained from his Uber journey, and more in this inspiring episode. Panda mental health app · · Connect with Mike on LinkedIn · Follow Mike on Twitter · 48h crisis communication consultancy
2022 was a significant year in the world of crypto, the collapse of FTX being a watershed moment. But what does this mean for Bitcoin and crypto in general? Has anything changed? Could it be that all the negative press and naysaying is actually good for decentralised finance? I ask Simon Dingle, arguably SA's leading expert on crypto, these questions and more. His answers may surprise you. Enjoy! Connect with Simon on LinkedIn · The Zarp stablecoin website · Simon's book, Beyond Bitcoin · · Connect with Mike on LinkedIn · Follow Mike on Twitter · 48h crisis communication consultancy
What do we really mean when we call things artificially intelligent? Is AI significant progress or a significant threat? And when does SkyNet some online? My guest is Daniel Hulme. Daniel was a guest lecturer on my Master's program back in 2019 and by some distance, the most impactful certainly for me. The reason is that he covered in his talk the very foggy topic of artificial intelligence, and specifically how it's understood and approached by business. I firmly believe that one of the things going really wrong in digital transformation is a lack of consistent unified definitions for all of the trends and technologies that drive disruptive change. So much money, time and effort have been spent on these things that everyone at the boardroom table seems to have a different definition for. Daniel is the CEO of a business called Satalia, which focuses on developing workable AI solutions for businesses around the world. It was also incidentally recently acquired by WPP, which is the same network that bought my agency. Dr Daniel Hulme's Singularity University profile · · Connect with Mike on LinkedIn · Follow Mike on Twitter · 48h crisis communication consultancy
Erik Kruger is a prolific author, public speaker, podcaster, YouTuber, video creator, the guy is everywhere. And that's very intimidating to people like me who are in his industry, it also makes it virtually impossible to introduce. So I'll introduce him like this instead, Erik Kruger is also my friend, he is a person that I've come to know over the last couple of years as a profoundly authentic, accessible, interesting human being genuinely committed to personal well being personal mastery, and to finding ways to change the world for the better. And he really means it. Erik and I have been meaning to have this conversation for a very long time, and I thought it perfect to insert it towards the end of this Glenlivet original by tradition series. We talked about Erik's approach to modern leadership and how he helps company leaders, organizations, entrepreneurs, senior business leaders, reconfigure recalibrate their headspace around leadership and around change. We also spoke extensively about Erik's approach to producing content. And I think there are some incredibly valuable insights and gems in the practical tips, the approaches, the strategies that he shared, not just for individuals who want to build a personal brand, or create the same level of impact and network and influence that Erik has, but also for organizations for brands that want to replicate this kind of success. So often, we see brands creating really beautiful content, but creating it once and never been able to scale it beyond that. And Erik share some really great insights about how to avoid those pitfalls and mistakes. Yeah, this is a conversation that I love. It's filled with a lot of insight. It's filled with a lot of great experience. And I trust that you'll enjoy it as much as I did. If you do, please go straight from this conversation and follow Erik online. He's at Visit · Connect with Erik · · Connect with Mike on LinkedIn · Follow Mike on Twitter · 48h crisis communication consultancy
What are the conditions that need to be created to develop innovative thinking, innovative products, and innovative organisations? Is it about a type of space, or a type of structure, or a type of culture? Or is it a combination of all of those things? My guest on the One-Eyed Man podcast today is Kieno Kammies, a well-known media personality and broadcaster turned entrepreneur, innovator and teacher. We discuss a broad range of topics, and Kieno dropped a few nuggets pertinent to our #originalbytradition series. The Glenlivet Website · Connect with Kieno · Watch on YouTube · · Connect with Mike on LinkedIn · Follow Mike on Twitter · 48h crisis communication consultancy
Do you remember your first formal job interview? I do. It's not great memory. I did a horrendous job of representing myself and my enthusiasm for the position I was applying for. That's understandable if you consider the typical job interview setup. There's a young, uninitiated, nervous person being faced with a panel of influential decision-makers- people who appear to have it all together and literally hold your destiny in the palm of their hands. It's a bit hit and miss - and not necessarily an accurate representation of your capabilities at all. My guest on the show today felt the same thing. He had this problem in his professional capacity as an industrial psychologist and used that frustration as motivation to create a business that would solve his problem - is the result. It's an innovative use of asynchronous video technology to solve a very old problem. As you know, that's the theme of the series that we're doing the Glenlivet - #originalbytradition is all about showcasing smart solutions to long-standing challenges. I look forward to your feedback, your shares, your comments, your ratings, as always. Visit Website · Connect with Francois · The Glenlivet Website · Watch on YouTube · · Connect with Mike on LinkedIn · Follow Mike on Twitter · 48h crisis communication consultancy
And we’re back! This is the One-Eyed Man, my name is Mike Stopforth, and today we’re jumping head first into the second half of our #originalbytradition series brought to you by the Glenlivet. We took a short pause to extract and share some highlights from the first five episodes, and of course to give away some premium Glenlivet prizes, so if you missed that, please follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram – you’ll be the first to hear about future updates and giveaways. I’m really excited about this show. It’s hard to think of a better example of entrepreneurs challenging traditional industries with original solutions than my two guests, Sam and Dom Moleta of the Refillery, an eco-friendly, plastic-free grocery store. Both their online and real world offerings have grown significantly over the last few years (which is saying something in itself), in no small part due to a really beautiful brand and product design and a crop of loyal, passionate customers. The secret behind their success will be obvious when you hear them talk about this project. I was deeply inspired by their vision, intention and work ethic. I’m sure you will be, too. If you’d like to watch the conversation, catch it on my YouTube channel. Off we go. Mike Stopforth on YouTube · Connect with Dom · Connect with Sam · The Glenlivet Website · · Connect with Mike on LinkedIn · Follow Mike on Twitter · 48h crisis communication consultancy
If you’re anything like me then many of your proudest moments as a South African are closely associated with sport. Whether it’s underdog victories or feats of individual brilliance that inspire us and give us hope, it’s hard to ignore how sport is inextricably woven into the fabric of the tapestry that tells the story of the proverbial new South Africa. One such moment recently was seeing our athletes – their broad smiles hidden behind masks but not from their eyes - entering the stadium under our flag during the opening ceremony of the ill-fated Tokyo Olympics. Perhaps it was my surprise that the event went ahead at all in the midst of multiple disruptions, or the fact that it came at a time when my national energy was at an all time low but the sight of our beautifully and eclectically dressed athletes reinvigorated me with all of those feelings that I’m almost certain are unique to the experience of being South African. One of the most noticeable aspects of those outfits were the brightly soled Veldskoen shoes that each athlete wore. These weren’t just veldskoene with a small V, there were Veldskoen, with a big V, the now internationally famous footwear and lifestyle brand born out of SA, for the world, and inspired by the traditional footwear. These comfortable, rawhide shoes, rumoured to date back to 17th century Dutch settlers who were in turn influenced by the traditional Khoisan footwear of the same period from the DNA of an incredible story of entrepreneurship. Now funded by notable international venture capitalists the likes of Mark Cuban, Veldskoen and their flip flop off-shoot, Plakkie, are a product, a brand, and a story we can all be very proud of. Talk about doing something original with something traditional! The 5th episode of our #originalbytradition series, brought to by The Glenlivet, is a conversation with Nick Dreyer, one of the co-founders of Veldskoen. Easily one of my favourites so far, and I know you’ll feel the same. Veldskoen Shoes · Nick Dreyer · Glenlivet Website · Watch on YouTube · · Connect with Mike on LinkedIn · Follow Mike on Twitter · 48h crisis communication consultancy
My next guest in our Original By Tradition series brought to you The Glenlivet can only be described as superhuman. Imagine running two successful production businesses, maintaining roles on various industry boards and panels as a lobbyist and commentator, public speaking, mentoring and training up and coming talent, producing and appearing in a wildly popular and impactful TV show, and raising a family, all in a normal work day. Somehow, Relebogile Mabotja does this, and does it exceptionally. This series as you know is all about inspiring entrepreneurs who spend their time finding original and creative solutions to challenging problems and Relebogile embodies that more than most. Having come from a very traditional broadcast and media background, she is constantly innovating and reinventing this tremendously exciting space with a fresh approach to content and engagement that we can all learn from. We spoke about a broad range of topics, but I could easily have spent another hour or two tapping into her experience and wisdom. Again, I’m really grateful to the Glenlivet for making conversations just like this one possible, and look forward to your feedback on this one in particular. Enjoy! Glenlivet Website · Connect with Relebogile · Watch on YouTube · · Connect with Mike on LinkedIn · Follow Mike on Twitter · 48h crisis communication consultancy
"The only social responsibility of business is to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits. So long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say engages in open and free competition without deception, or fraud." - the words of famed economist Milton Friedman from his seminal essay on the topic of social responsibility and what businesses should be responsible for and prioritise their time on. Now, 50 years old, that essay, and we've seen fluctuations in the understanding of businesses and its responsibility towards social impact over the years and certainly in the last couple of years, more and more prominence of big organisations and corporations putting purpose, putting causes at the centre of their focus, or at least pretending to do so. It's not always the case that it is really their number one priority. But I'm really interested in this topic, of course, and I've covered it at length on this podcast in the past, and as part of our "Original by Tradition" series with The Glenlivet, which, of course, I'm glad you are participating in, and of course, want to hear your feedback on. I'm speaking to a really special guest today, Michael Baretta, who runs an agency called [dot]GOOD, South Africa's leading cause-based marketing, cause marketing and implementation agency. [dot]GOOD’s focus really is on helping organisations not just discover their purpose, but communicate that purpose effectively to their audience, to their employees, to various stakeholders, to the population at large, and I really wanted to tap Michael's brain to understand how he helps typically complex corporates distil their intentions in the space, how they incorporate that into their traditional marketing efforts, and how they ensure that really authenticity is held at the core of these efforts, otherwise, they tend to fall flat. Michael's got a great story, runs an incredible business an was very generous with his time. Enjoy! Connect with Michael · Glenlivet Website · [dot]GOOD Website · Watch the video · · Connect with Mike on LinkedIn · Follow Mike on Twitter · 48h crisis communication consultancy
In this second episode in our #originalbytradition entrepreneurship series, brought to you by The Glenlivet, I talk to Neo Moleko and Brad Symons from Manaka Coffee. What would make a couple of old school friends start a new coffee brand when the likes of Seattle, Vida and even Starbucks exist as competition already? Well, these two will tell you it’s a firm belief that African innovation and originality can bring something truly unique – something fresh - to even the most crowded industries. The Manaka story really is one of hope and that’s my wish for you as you listen to the show today - a ray of optimism. A sense of possibility. Watch on YouTube · Manaka Coffee Website · Glenlivet Website · Connect with Neo · · Connect with Mike on LinkedIn · Follow Mike on Twitter · 48h crisis communication consultancy
I am thrilled to tell you that we're partnering with the Glenlivet to bring you a series of conversations with innovative entrepreneurs over the next 10 episodes. The whiskey connoisseurs amongst you will know the Glenlivet as an award winning sought after collection of Speyside single malt Scotch whiskies, just like that collection, this series of conversations, we'll have a little something for everyone. We're going to be talking to inventors creatives, financial wunderkinds, problem solvers and more, celebrating those who strive to find answers and solve problems, where others have given up even asking questions. In our first episode, I talked to arguably South Africa's leading expert on branded content, an old friend and colleague in the digital marketing industry, Mike Sharman. Mike is the CEO of marketing agencies Retroviral and Retroactive and more recently a co-founder with ex-Springbok rugby player Bryan Habana and Ben Karpinski of a company called Match Kit, an exciting tech startup that was recently included in a prestigious alpha code incubator program. I talked to Mike about this, and other remarkable achievements. About his insatiable and infectious enthusiasm for creative work, and about the lessons he learned building these incredible businesses. Before we get into the show, please remember to pay close attention and keep an eye on my social media. Toward the end of the series, we'll be giving away some incredible Glenlivet hampers to a few lucky listeners. Glenlivet Website · Connect with Mike Sharman on LinkedIn · Retroviral · Match Kit · · Connect with Mike on LinkedIn · Follow Mike on Twitter · 48h crisis communication consultancy
Lesley Waterkeyn and Dawn Nathan-Jones (you may recognise Dawn as one of the investors from Shark Tank SA) have a vision for economic growth by inspiring and supporting entrepreneurs to start and grow successful and impactful small businesses. They provide resources in the form of training, coaching and business tools through Over The Rainbow (, and we talk about their offerings and learnings in this discussion. Over The Rainbow Website · Connect with Dawn · Connect with Lesley · · Connect with Mike on LinkedIn · Follow Mike on Twitter · 48h crisis communication consultancy
In the wake of a series of protests, riots and lootings across South Africa and especially in KZN, many of us are trying to make sense of what we saw and experience. Those of us fortunate enough not to be caught in the middle of the unrest juggled misinformation, panic, a limp government response, and the visible and visceral impact on thousands of our compatriots who are already in dire straits. We've also seen the juxtaposition of extraordinary hope and unity demonstrated as a response to heinous acts of a destructive minority. How do well-meaning South Africans make sense of all of this? Is this the final straw, or the beginning of a new era? Is it neither? Is it naive or even irresponsible to hope, or has it never been more important to do so? I explore these and other questions I've wrestled with my dear friend and ex-colleague, futurist and public speaker extraordinaire, Dr Graeme Codrington, in this very personal episode. I trust you'll find some value in our discussions. Connect with Graeme · Graeme's Website · An article I wrote in response to the countrywide upheaval · · Connect with Mike on LinkedIn · Follow Mike on Twitter · 48h crisis communication consultancy
We're back from a brief hiatus, in the midst of a trying time for South Africa and South Africans. Well, a more trying time - it feels like being and believing has been an uphill battle for years now. In this episode talk to Bridget McNulty about grief. About loss. About how we think about loss, respond to loss, and live with it rather than get over it. This episode is a bit out of the ordinary for this podcast, but the last few months have been months of loss for me personally, and I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge that many of you will be feeling the same, and need a space to reflect on it. The Grief Handbook website · Bridget's website · Buy now on Takealot · · Connect with Mike on LinkedIn · Follow Mike on Twitter · 48h crisis communication consultancy
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