Revolutionise Corporate Performance

Moreno_Sociogram_2nd_Grade

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”

Improving My Running

Muybridge_runner

I run one or twice a week, not far, often just a few kilometres. Despite that, I’m always on the look out for running tips. Ironically, a book on meditation and running by  Sakyong Mipham got me interested in the mechanics, while another called “ChiRunning” by Danny Dreyer provided the details. Their tips were: Continue reading “Improving My Running”

What I’ll Be Reading/Listening/Watching On My Summer Holiday

Soley

I’m about to take time out for my summer holidays. I like to fantasize about what I’ll get up to; that is, before reality hits and I end up doing admin, some DIY and vegging around. Here’s what would be on my fantasy list: Continue reading “What I’ll Be Reading/Listening/Watching On My Summer Holiday”

Weniger Aber Besser. Less But Better.

Braun_SK_2_Radio

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.”

Double Your Effectiveness At Work (Part 2)

Drucker-portrait-bkt_1014

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)”

Double Your Effectiveness At Work (Part 1)

Drucker

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)”

A Technique For Producing Ideas

Bulb

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”

8 Books To Read

Owning Earth

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”

Napoleon As Management Guru?!

Napolean

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?!”

Doubling My Productivity

Bundesarchiv_B_145_Bild-098967,_Aufnahme_der_Bundesrepublik_in_die_NATO

Since the start of the year, I’ve been tracking my every work activity using an app called Toggl. What surprised me was the amount of time I spent on just two activities: email and internal meetings; neither of which are particularly value-added or productive. The problem with an email habit is that I have the itch to check every 10-15mins, which interrupts my flow, and time is needed to gather momentum again on any piece of work. Moreover, my inbox is a list of other people’s priorities, not mine [1]. Continue reading “Doubling My Productivity”