How to Improve (at Just About Anything)

There are two ways to improve: 1. The classic way: Do – make an improvement Do – change a process Do – implement some training Do – install a system When you have been through the 4 do’s keep right on doing. 2. The recommended way: Plan – develop an idea or innovation, work out how […]

Do You Know a Good Doctor?

Does publishing performance data make people perform better? The National Health Service in the UK has developed a cunning ruse to improve patient care. They have started to publish data about consultant’s mortality rates.  Before you go and see a specialist you can go online and see if he is competent or not.  If you don’t like what […]

Ever Been Motivated by a 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 […]

The 5 Sins of Management

Deadly diseases In 1982 W. Edwards Deming wrote about the 5 deadly diseases that inflict most organisations: Lack of constancy of purpose Emphasis on short-term profits Evaluation of performance Mobility of management Running a company on visible figures alone Are we still infected? 30 years on have we found a cure?  Have a look at the slide […]

What Can You Learn From a Murderer?

I’ve just spent an hour playing Cluedo with my children (it felt much longer). Admit it, you’ve played it, the detective game.  The idea is to work out who committed a murder, where they did it and how. I think it was Miss Scarlet in the Hall with the Lead Pipe I think it was […]

World Class Rhetoric

The other day I was sent a report.   It went a little like this… (The names have been changed to protect the guilty)   World Class Performance It has been implied that our performance could be improved.  All available data suggests that this cannot be the case Market Context We have the highest satisfaction […]

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 […]

Are You Cruel to Your Children?

I tore into my 10 year-old-daughter yesterday. It wasn’t a half-baked telling off. It was a full on balling out. I was so angry, I must have screamed at her for 10 minutes. The poor little mite was in floods of tears by the time I finished.  She sobbed for half an hour. Why was I […]

Arnie Says “Do It”

I don’t like Arnold Schwarzenegger much, he is at best smug, and at worst, well it’s probably best if I don’t go there.  There is a lot that can be learnt from him though. At the age of 15 he started weight training When he was 23 he won the Mr Olympia body building title […]