Archives for August 2013


Imagine you worked for McDonald’s and you had a super new idea for a product, the McPizza.  How would you test it? Option 1: Launch it nationwide Create the recipe Build a supply chain for the ingredients Buy the ovens Train all your staff Develop the marketing Put up the in-store banners Run the adverts […]

How do you Make a Pencil?

In 1958 Leonard E Read wrote an essay about making pencils. He described: The growing of trees The work of a lumberjack The operation of the saw mill The making of the saw The transportation of the logs The mining of the graphite The production of the rubber The mixing of the paint The sourcing […]

How to Sink a Ship

Come at once. We have struck a berg. It’s a CQD, old man You have heard this story On the 15th April 1912 the Titanic sank on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York. Whilst steaming at high-speed through an area of pack ice she hit an iceberg and broke in two.  Over fifteen […]

Are Tall People Better Managers?

We all have biases; things that we believe are true, that drive our decisions and actions. But those biases can be blind spots, so they may drive the wrong decisions and actions. The worst thing about biases is that we don’t realise that we have them, they are part of who we are.  As the old […]

How to Ride a Bike

My youngest daughter has just turned 5.  She is a big girl now.  For her birthday we gave her a bicycle, it is all pink and sparkly and covered in princesses (you can never have too many pink sparkly princesses).  Last weekend we took her out to ride it then.. My wife and I went […]

Word of the Week

The word of the week is skeuomorph. A skeuomorph is an item that retains old design features even though the reason for them has long since passed. The e-mail icon on your PC may well be an envelope, but the days of licking and sticking are gone.  When my iPhone rings it sounds like a […]

The Beauty of Low Tech

This is a guest post I had my eyes tested at Specsavers a couple of weeks ago: First I tried their website, it told me that if I wanted an appointment in the next 48 hours I would need to contact the store. Then I rang the store and they told me that they didn’t […]

The Shocking Truth About Your Improvement Project

Yesterday I read that only 5% of the changes we make at work are changes for the better.  Only 1 in 20 improvements actually improve things. Allegedly everything else we do is ineffective or, worse still, counter-productive. Ungrounded statistics I thought that sounded horribly harsh.  Only 1 in 20 improvements are really improvements?  It sounded more […]

The Problem with NPS (Or do I Look Fat in This?)

I am 45. They say that when middle-age is upon us our broad minds and narrow waists swap sizes. It is happening to me, (certainly around my waist, and as I no longer enjoy finding strangers in my kitchen first thing in the morning, probably my mind as well). I need to lose some weight […]