Written in 1967, Peter Drucker’s “The Effective Executive” has to be the best management book ever written. All other ones are simply a footnote to his book. His recognition that firms which employ knowledge-workers require fundamentally different management techniques to those that employ manual workers was far ahead of his time. His recommendations on how to be an effective executive is still as relevant to any organisation today as it was then. Best to read the book, but here’s my summary (part 1 below, part 2 later): Continue reading “Double Your Effectiveness At Work (Part 1)”
The best book I’ve ever come across on coming up with ideas is a very short one called “A Technique for Producing Ideas” by James Webb Young published in the 1940s. The summary of which is:
“An idea is nothing more or less than a new combination of old elements”
“The ability to bring old elements into new combinations depends largely on the ability to see relationships”
His 5 step technique is: Continue reading “A Technique For Producing Ideas”
In an earlier blog, I wrote about the impact of social media and smartphones on children, but it also has a deeper impact on us all. Indeed, it could mark the beginning of the “Age of Transparency”. Everything we do, say or think can now be tracked. I include thinking, because any thought you have often leads to you quickly checking it on your smart phone. All of this is recorded somewhere. On top of that, we know from spy agency revelations that our cameras on our phones, computers and TVs can be accessed and so we can be watched at home . We know that our smartphone microphone can be remotely accessed. Any websites we visit, most our purchases and what we are reading (e-books) are all tracked. Continue reading “You Are Being Watched”
1. Creativity Inc by Ed Catmull. One of the founders of Pixar describes the secret of their success including turning Disney Animation around. It comes down to focusing on how people interact with each other. Their “braintrust” meetings are a core part of this where ideas are debated, but the idea-owner can ignore or take on whatever he or she wants.
Continue reading “8 Books To Read”
It’s easy to forget how young social media is: Facebook, Twitter and the iPhone were all launched around 2006 and 2007. Since then, it has connected people in ways never seen before. The young live through it, the very young are educated on devices that will lead them into it, and older people complain about it while voyeuristically using it.
Continue reading “Let Your Children Take Risks In the Real World, Not the Digital One”
Each of us look at the same world in very different ways. The same can be said of change, some loathe it, some embrace it.
Lao-Tzu, the founder of Taoism, who lived 2,500 years ago said:
“life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like”
“If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to. If you are not afraid of dying, there is nothing you cannot achieve”.
This is echoed by a more contemporary sage, Arnold Schwarzenegger. He is quoted as saying
“strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength”.
He also had more mundane wisdom such as
“It’s simple, if it jiggles, it’s fat”.
(Speech given to high school students of Economics last year). Eight minute read.
It’s nice to meet so many fresh-faced budding economists. You haven’t yet become jaded with the subject as you will when you enter the real world. So let me give you a head-start and tell you how even the basics you are learning is wrong. Continue reading “Everything You Learnt Is Wrong”
Global corporations get a bad rep. They are easily derided as sinister, sometimes even called psychopathic. It follows that those that work for them share similar characteristics. But is it possible to imagine an alternative? Below is an excerpt from a speech I gave to newly hired graduates in a global corporation which tries to do just that: Continue reading “How Not To Be Evil Working For A Big Company”
Yesterday, I attended a talk on Napoleon by the British Historian Andrew Roberts at the School of Life BusinessWise conference. Napoleon of course is known to some as one of great military commanders in history. But this time, Andrew Roberts instead focused on his broader leadership style and character. This is what I took away from the talk: Continue reading “Napoleon As Management Guru?!”