Archives for February 2014

What are You Working On?

What are you working on right now? What is occupying your time? Is it revolutionary? Will it set you head and shoulders above your competition? Is it new, innovative, exciting and exhilarating? Is it brilliant? Does it matter? What are you working on that makes you proud? Something or nothing? If the answer is nothing… Why […]

Are You in Control?

Simple Birds It was half term last week. I took my children to North Norfolk. We explored sandy beaches, rolling countryside and panoramic skies.  It was as beautiful. The highlight was a walk across the salt marshes and the sight of a flock of startled geese scurrying across the sky.   How do the birds […]

The Problem with Protectionism

When I was a teenager… The gadget to be seen with was a Walkman. Modelled by tall blondes on roller-skates cruising along sun-kissed Californian beaches Desired — in my case — by a spotty youth sitting in a bush shelter in rain-swept North Yorkshire The Walkman was so popular it even lead to social scientists coining […]

Target Setting, Cause and Effect

During the 1990’s and early 2000’s the UK government relied heavily on target setting as a way to manage the public sector.  We had: Targets for education Targets for healthcare Targets for policing Targets for fire brigades Targets for the tax office Targets for dustbin men No doubt we had targets for the target setters […]

Details Matter

POSH Bags There is a rumour about Steve Jobs.  It is alleged that he sacked an employee at one of the first Apple stores. Why?  Because she bought cheap and nasty plastic bags for customers to take their expensive purchases home in.  The story may be a complete fabrication, but history has shown that Steve was […]

Who Taught You How to Manage?

I’ve been to business school After 2 years of studying and a plethora of exams I was awarded an M.B.A.  I learnt about: Operations Marketing Finance Employment Law Book after book after book.  Some of it was fascinating, some of it was tedious but I got the letters after my name and it got me […]

Less is More

All children are artists They can pick up a pen or a crayon and create.  Before you know it they have drawn something beautiful, a flower or a house or a friend.  Simple, clear and elegant. Unfortunately they just don’t know when to stop. The colouring in starts, red felt tips, green pencils, blue crayons, […]

Are You a Fairy Princess?

Remember my daughter? She is five, all blonde curly hair, giggles and she thinks she is a fairy princess. This weekend she went to a birthday party.  A five-year-old girl’s birthday party. It was a fancy dress party with a fairy princess theme — this is called knowing your audience. The local church hall was […]