Archives for June 2013

Have You Killed any Swans Today?

We live and work within systems, systems that connect things.  One way or another everything is connected. That sounds like psycho-babble, so let me give you an example: Legislation leaves swans starving The In the far north of England on the border with Scotland is the town of Berwick-upon-Tweed.  In 1994 the flock of swans […]

Are You a Lazy Manager?

I’m all for blanket policies, they make life easy, everybody knows where they stand: Everybody on the same pay scale Everybody entitled to the same amount of holiday Everybody gets the same computer If you treat everyone fairly then everyone feels fairly treated. But I’m not so keen on blanket solutions A few years ago […]

You are so Predictable

My Father studied History at University.  I studied Genetics.  This, in my brash young mind, made me a superior person.  After all a science is useful, you can apply a science and make money out of it.  History however, well what exactly can you do with that? I challenged my Dad once with this very […]

The Management Secrets Every Primary School Teacher Knows

This is a guest post. Like most parents of young children I am locked in long-term trench warfare, trying to “encourage” them to go along with all the dull things that me and their mother want them to do. Following the advice of the TV experts, I decided to try using a sticker chart to reward […]

Why is it so Difficult?

The message I preach is very simple: Give your customer what they are paying for Measure your own performance and face into it Fix the things that don’t work Test and learn from your mistakes Don’t scare the living daylight out of your staff I’m a little like a stuck record (I’m showing my age, do […]

Can You Make the Right Decisions?

Decision-making is hard. So hard that we pay people handsomely to be professional decision makers: Doctors Underwriters Bank Managers Tax Inspectors All of them make their living by taking complex ill-defined situations and making decisions. Unfortunately they don’t always decide the same way If you put two professional decision makers in a room at the […]

The Two Reasons why Your M.I. is Always Wrong

My 4-year-old daughter is learning to count.  She is obsessed by it.  She counts everything: 1.. 2.. 3.. 4.. 5.. 6.. Everywhere we go. Most of all though she counts steps.  Particularly in castles and cathedrals (which is fun) and car parks (which when you are laden with bags full of shopping… that you just […]

Accountability: Not all it is Cracked up to Be

We talk a lot about accountability in business.  We like it.  It makes us feel confident and in control. So is accountability all it is cracked up to be? Accountability is good: It provides clarity It gives authority It holds us true Holding ourselves accountable is invariably a good thing. It is wrong and immoral […]

Seven Ways to Make a Difference

And some links to help: Define your purpose.  What are you here to do? Measure your performance.  Are you doing it well? Admit your failings.  Self delusion never helped anybody. Find the big lever.  Work out what really matters. Plan the work.  Maybe even just a to-do list. Work the plan.  Go on, I dare […]