The Potato King

behaviour change and the potato

They were dying of hunger In 18th Century Prussia bread was expensive, people were malnourished and famine wasn’t uncommon. The King at the time was Frederick the Great. He was wise enough to realise that unfed subjects were not a good thing — it is hard to run a kingdom effectively if people keep dying of starvation — […]

A Bad Attitude

Bad Attitude

It happens… Some times it all goes a bit Pete Tong. (An explanation for any American readers).  Things don’t go according to plan: Your deliveries are too slow Your operation costs too much Your customer service is too…  Well it is rubbish. How do you respond?  There are two ways: When it goes belly up there are two […]

Management Beliefs

Performance Management

The way we act is based on our beliefs Sometimes these beliefs are based on strong evidence and sometimes, well, less so. Of course this is as true in management as any other human endeavour. Are our management beliefs based on evidence? Have a look at the slideshare below and tell me what you think? […]

Trust and Improvement

trust or control

Improvement needs trust To improve your organisation you need to understand what needs to be improved You will only find out what needs improving if your staff tell you what is really going on Your staff will only truthfully tell you what is going on if they trust you Your staff won’t trust you if you don’t trust them Therefore, […]

A Management Fable

Mechanic

Frank and the Spanner In the Midlands there is a factory.  They make bits, which fit into other bits, which eventually find their way into washing machines and lawn mowers. It is a grimy old factory that bumps along the bottom of the industrial supply chain, just about making enough money to keep its doors […]

Strengths and Weaknesses

Harry Hopkins

Harry was not a well man He was in a terrible state of health.  Cancer had eaten away at his digestive tract, it was so bad that surgeons had removed three-quarters of his stomach. He was constantly in and out of hospital, surviving on a diet of caffeine, nicotine and blood transfusions. A friend’s daughter […]

Management Beliefs

Management Beliefs

Do you believe in self-help? One of my favourite quotes is from Henry Ford: Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right Personally I am all for a bit of self belief, but does it work for organisations as well as people? Does belief have a place in business? In 1974 […]

Free Gym Membership Anyone?

gym membership

Morale is low… It is a big problem, staff turnover is high, skills and expertise are walking out of the door at an alarming rate and my business is heading for a melt-down. Two solutions have been put forward: Solution 1. 1. Review the benefits package, make it more competitive. Do some job matching and pay over […]

The Motivation Sink

demotivated

Can you motivate someone? The gurus tell me that you can’t. You can’t give your staff motivation. It is not within your gift. Motivation is intrinsic, it comes from within. It isn’t something you can hand out with a carrot or a stick. You can make somebody do something, but you can’t motivate them, not […]

Ever Been Motivated by a Poster?

Quality Poster

Imagine you make fish fingers for a living… Don’t laugh, it is a tough job I used to do it, I smelled awful after an 8 hour night shift cutting up blocks of frozen cod.  The icy, sleety, wind from the North Sea was a positive boon when I walked out of the plant 6 in […]