Confucius On Management

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It’s easy to get caught up with the latest management fads, but hard to know which ones will endure. Indeed, Nassim Taleb writes about how time is the ultimate test for the fragility of ideas. So with China in the news, what better ideas to look at than Confucius’, who lived over 2,500 years ago. His sayings are in the “Analects”, which are said to have been recorded by his disciples. What I’ve found is that Confucius was very good at understanding how to get the best out of hierarchical structures, which today would equate just as easily to corporations as governments. So I’ve picked out the best bits for business and modified the language to sound more contemporary: Continue reading “Confucius On Management”

Don’t Iterate, Be Bold

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“We were promised flying cars and we got 140 characters” says Peter Thiel. He co-founded PayPal with Elon Musk, Palantir* and was the first outside investor in Facebook. Thiel is perhaps one of most original thinkers to come out of Silicon Valley. In his book “Zero to One”, he outlines his take on the world. Continue reading “Don’t Iterate, Be Bold”

St Francis and the Tattooist

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“Author, artist, connoisseur, madman, thug, pirate, villain, Buddha, sage, Satan, gypsy and most solid of brothers” so said Johnny Depp about Jonathan Shaw. For those that don’t know Shaw, he’s a famed New York tattooist and mythic figure in underground circles and is profiled in the excellent Huck magazine. Here are some of his words of wisdom: Continue reading “St Francis and the Tattooist”

Revolutionise Corporate Performance

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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

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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”

The Foresight of “The Matrix”

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The deeper meaning of “The Matrix” has been much debated since its release in 1999. The three most common have been that is about the ultimate struggle between man and machine, “the brain in the vat” (i.e. world as illusion) paradox or the  coming of the Messiah. The last one is especially popular. In one version, Neo represents Jesus, Morpheus represents John the Baptist and Trinity represents Mary Magdalene. While all of these are appealing, I recently came across another which I prefer.  Continue reading “The Foresight of “The Matrix””

What the Kids Are Watching These Days!

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It’s summer, so silly season. I thought I’d check out what the youngsters are watching these days. The first two are their popular choices, while the second two are my choice from the YouTube universe where tweens seem to live! Continue reading “What the Kids Are Watching These Days!”

Our Pet Chow, Sherlock, On Holiday

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We took our pet Chow, Sherlock, to visit Cliveden House in Buckinghamshire. The place has a sordid history, which includes the Profumo Affair, which eventually brought down the Conservative government in the early 1960s. Sherlock wasn’t too aware of the history, but did enjoy the grounds: Continue reading “Our Pet Chow, Sherlock, On Holiday”