I recently stumbled across a fascinating talk by the excellent Margaret Heffernan called “Why it’s time to forget the pecking order at work”. She cited a study that showed that top-performing teams were those where each person spoke for an equal amount of time and were good at reading each other’s social cues. What did not matter was the individual intelligence of each team member. It was the quality of interactions, not the quality of the individuals that mattered. This turns the focus of companies on hiring and retaining stars on its head. Continue reading “Revolutionise Corporate Performance”
Elon Musk is hailed as the new Steve Jobs. He has been immortalised in the movies thanks to the character Tony Stark/Iron Man being modelled on him. He created the first private company, SpaceX, to launch a satellite in space and the first to dock with the international space station. Oh, and his Tesla electric car company is the first major American car company to be established since Chrysler in 1925. So what makes him tick? I recently read Ashlee Vance’s biography of him, and 3 things stood out: Continue reading “The Sweet Smell of Musk”
The above utterance of Dieter Rams best sums up his approach. He was the Chief Design Officer at Braun, the German consumer products group, from 1961 until 1995. His aesthetic and influence can be seen today in Apple products. As for his philosophy he outlined ten for good design, these included: Continue reading “Weniger Aber Besser. Less But Better.”
This notion that it is only through trauma that we can truly change is not an outlandish idea. Indeed, it is the common understanding throughout cultures and throughout time. Take the story of Joseph, son of Jacob, that Christians Jews, Muslims and theatre musical lovers are well versed in. Joseph/Yosef/Yusuf, was the favoured son of Jacob, the grandson of Abraham. His brothers were terribly jealous of him, though. They threw him a well and allowed him to be taken as a slave by some passing travellers, whilst telling their father he had been killed. Continue reading “The Transformational Power of Trauma”
I attended an excellent one-day workshop on “The Voice of Leadership” run by Bernadette O’Brien at the School of Life. She’s an actress, voice coach and therapist. Rather than focusing on the usual “how to start and end a presentation”-type approach, she taught us how to use our voices better. Continue reading “Speak Like a Leader”
In my last post, I summarised half of Peter Drucker’s amazing “The Effective Executive“. The post introduced the context, and discussed two of five essential practises of effectiveness: knowing where your time goes and focusing on outward contribution. In this post, I complete the summary with the remaining practises. Here goes: Continue reading “Double Your Effectiveness At Work (Part 2)”
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)”
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.
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”.