How Technology Is Changing Our Conversation

In 2013 a Communications Director named Justine Sacco landed in Cape Town after a flight from New York. As she switched her phone back on she was met with two messages. The first was from someone she hadn’t spoken to for years: “I’m so sorry to see what’s happening.” The second was from her best ...

An A-Z of Office Jargon

Apparently – ‘Touch Base” is the most-hated office phrase for a second year in a row. Certainly – it’s a mainstay of contact requests I get from Linkedin. And if I fail to touch base I usually get someone ‘circling back’ to remind me. But surely the most in vogue phrase is ‘we’re on a ...

How Technology Can Increase Collaboration And Build Trust

This post is an shortened version of a plenary talk delivered in Cardiff for the Wales Audit Office  Depending on your age it’s likely that the two things you were not taught in school were: a) how to collaborate effectively and b) how to use technology to connect and share with others And yet these ...

The Smartest People Will Never Work For You

Joy’s law is the principle that “no matter who you are, most of the smartest people work for someone else”. Bill Joy, the computer engineer to whom it’s attributed argued that if you rely solely on your own employees, you’ll never solve all your customers’ needs. It’s a quote that’s never been more true. Joy ...

a short post about death

Even during the most pivotal moments of our lives we are only a few minutes away from being digitally distracted. Twelve to be precise. We check our phones for new messages every 12 minutes.  Four weeks ago today we were just arriving in Ubud, Bali on day six of a planned 3 week trip. Within ...

Why Do We Hate Our Offices?

If you are working in an office today you will be interrupted – or you will interrupt yourself – every 3 minutes. And what’s worse is it will take most of us up to 23 minutes to recover from that distraction. If your boss lets you, go home. Walking out the office door is likely to be ...

What If We Replaced All Our Managers With Robots? 

Most of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to get their work done Peter Drucker Management is the greatest inefficiency in any organisation. Many of you will be familiar with the work of Gary Hamel , but his explanation of how management ‘spreads’ is always helpful. Typically a small organisation might start off ...

How To Kill Doomed Projects

The challenge for managers in the “can-do” culture of business is to distinguish between belief as a key driver of success—and belief as something that can blind managers to a project’s ultimate failure – Isabelle Royer  It’s always easier to start something new than it is to stop doing something. Many of our organisations are ...

Why We Are So Bad At Defining Problems

If I had an hour to solve a problem I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about solutions. – Albert Einstein I don’t know whether Einstein ever used those words. It may be just like the Henry Ford “Faster Horses” quote – something perfectly phrased and also perfectly true that ...

Does Regulation Really Stifle Innovation?

Last week I did a presentation to a group of managers when the issue of governance and regulation ‘getting in the way’ of innovation came up. People often think regulations stifle innovation, new business and services. They assume that regulators are there to control and curtail what they want to do. “We are so heavily ...

The No.1 Problem With The Digital Workplace

“Collaboration is an essential skill of the digital economy. And yet how to collaborate productively is hardly ever taught either in universities or in the workplace.” – Gerry McGovern It’s only a couple of months since I posted Why We Don’t Collaborate, but a few things I’ve been reading and observing make it a subject ...

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