Jack of All Trades Master of Non

What makes a successful scientist? In the 1950’s, Bernice T. Eiduson started to wonder why some scientists had a greater impact than others.  Some scientists produce insight after insight, racking up papers and prizes.  Whilst others just plod along and never account for much. What makes some scientists more innovative than others? To find out, she picked a […]

Avoiding Death by PowerPoint

Selling ideas We spend our time selling ideas.  We invest hours persuading people to give time, energy and resources to our projects.  Then we spend more time letting them know how those projects are going.  Ensuring that the all important funding and investment keeps on coming… The weapon of choice It doesn’t matter where you work  — with the odd […]

What Do You Believe?

Weltanschauung An interesting word.  It ranks alongside bier and keller in my grasp of the German language noun, German (plural Weltanschauungen /ˈvɛltˌanʃaʊ(ə)n/) A comprehensive conception or image of the universe and of humanity’s relation to it A perception of the world especially from a specific standpoint A particular philosophy or view of life; the world view of an individual […]

Do You Know Where You Are Going?

Stating the bleeding obvious… When I was in my 20’s I went on a course.  The instructor put up a slide.  It looked like this: His point was simple.  To be successful create alignment.  Make sure everybody is pulling in the same direction.  It was such an obvious point that I wondered why on earth […]

Selling an Idea

Presentation skills I guess that you — like me — spend lots of time selling ideas.  Trying to get funding and resources for the projects and improvements that you want to do. My standard approach is to bang a load of information into PowerPoint and hope for the best.  I want to show the man […]

Short-term Management

The curse of short-termism We focus on the immediate future:  The stock market obsesses about interim returns Politicians like to see instant results Managers must hit quarterly targets  We rarely look beyond the next 6 months. It is easy to hit a short-term target It doesn’t take too much talent or imagination: If you have to cut […]

The Ultimate Business Constraint

Running a business is tough I used to run my own business. It was hard work. I have the utmost respect for anybody who does it. The constraint on my business wasn’t the lack of good ideas or cash — I have plenty of ideas and I could always find somebody to lend me money. […]

The Rules of the Workplace

The 20 rules: Prioritise the work Don’t make your customers wait There is always more work than people Study the work Understand how the work works Standardise the work If the work is important write it down Train your staff Make the work easy Build systems Stream line the work Find the bottleneck Clean the […]

What Type of Boss are You?

In most businesses there are two types of bosses (maybe more): Some are managerial Managers think strategically, they work out exactly where they want to go and then create plans to get them there, as effectively as possible.  They plan, organise and execute. Managers… Have big plans Search out resources Exploit and optimise Work out the […]

5 TED Talks

You can find just about anything on the internet The web is full of ideas, answers and solution.  Some of it is good, some of it is bad, and some of it — for some reason that is beyond me — is about laughing cats. If you must waste your life surfing the net (and I […]