Friday, March 31, 2006

Someone has to give

Listening to a recording of Nicky Gumbel talking the other day we heard a wonderful story about a prisoner who had found Christianity in prison and was asking for various reading materials to help his mother at home to consider Christianity.

Nicky read out a letter that a senior person in the Alpha Organisation had written saying, if there is no money in the budget 'then just send the bill to me.'

As Nicky said - for anything to happen in life 'Someone has to give.'

Whether that be in 'money' or in 'time' - 'Someone has to give.'

I like that!!

It got me thinking about how often in my healthcare career I saw passion and enthusiasm of staff stifled or even completely crushed, simply because the system says
'Sorry pal - there is no money for that.'

What a let down! What a terrible thing to say to someone.

How refreshing if managers could just say – ‘To hell with the cost, we are going to do that because this member of our staff is so passionate with the idea that she will probably make it work!’

Then I realise I am just dreaming about some ‘promised land’ that I am always accused of seeing through my well known rose tinted glasses.

Let's put the record straight immediately - I am not saying – ‘ignore budgets and money’ - I am not silly.

I am saying – how wonderful and liberating it would be to hear managers saying – ‘I don’t care what the policy says - we are going to encourage this person.’

Is it really that radical?

I am not suggesting anarchy - just a little common sense please about how to motivate staff.

Someone has to give - Is this asking too much?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Do you know where your wells are?

Last Sunday at church we heard some interesting thoughts from our Minister about the need for taking time to rest and let the world ‘stop a while.’ Helen talked metaphorically about how, on a long journey, we need the sustenance of water to carry on.

She said "We all need to know where our wells are."

I liked that metaphor and it made me think about work, management and leadership.

Do you know where your wells are? OR .....

Are you one of those all too typical A-Plus managers who;

  • Works endless hours?
  • Sacrifices your home life for work?
  • Doesn’t have time to rest?
  • Doesn’t know when you are tired?
  • Believes you will have plenty of time to relax once you are well off?

Maybe it’s time to identify your wells to make sure you don’t metaphorically 'die' of thirst on your journey to the top.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Getting nowhere!

"Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing." - Thomas Edison

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Have faith in yourself

At work when you are really struggling and people do not want to buy into your vision and views about something you strongly believe just remember these wonderful words given to me by Tony Benn and taken from a Hymn which I will publish in full later.

Many times in my NHS career I felt no one was listening to my views and I was very much going against the grain. I kept at it and discovering these words now has made me even more convinced that I was right to stick to what I believe in my heart - even if bosses did not agree.

Dare to be a Daniel,
Dare to stand alone,
Dare to have a purpose firm,
Dare to make it known

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Accountability means looking in the mirror

I like this quote received this morning from one of my regular subscriptions - The Untoppable Website

"Man must cease attributing his problems to his environment and learn again to exercise . . . personal responsibility." Albert Schweitzer

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Fitting tribute to a genius!

A wonderful tribute has been paid to George Best today as we hear Belfast City Airport is to be renamed in his honour.

In future it will be called "The George Best Airport"

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Rogue Project Leader

Message from Dan Ward of Rogue Project Leader

Look up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's the 7th issue of Rogue Project Leader (now with super powers!).

That's right, your favorite Rogues are back with another exciting episode for your reading enjoyment!

We've got new guest writers, we've got poetry, and did I mention we've got superheroes?

Check us out at the same Rogue Time, Same Rogue

Up, up and away!

- The RPL Crew

Friday, March 17, 2006

Irish Delight!

Happy St Patrick’s Day to all.

To have a good laugh and see more St Patrick’s Day pictures go to Simplicity Gallery

Run for Moore

I’m doing a 5km run on 4th June to raise money for Cancer Research

The Run for Moore event commemorates the life of Bobby Moore who was captain of the football team when England won the World Cup in 1966.

Wonderful memories. I was 13 at the time and all us youngsters hoping to make it in football in 1966 wanted to be just like Bobby Moore! He was - and still is - a national hero.

Sadly Bobby Moore died of Bowel Cancer in 1993 at the young age of 51 and this event at West Bromwich, Birmingham is one of many across Britain to raise money for Cancer research.

I have a target of £100 sponsorship and anyone who wants to sponsor me can do so at this secure site:

There is no pressure so please do not feel obliged!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Nice quote

Came across this quote this morning ....

"Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity." Charles Mingus

Love it!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Simplicity tip of the Month!!

In our modern management world of high tech and complex solutions I came across this wonderful new idea the other day from Tom Peters.

Step 1 – Every day write a list
Step 2 – Do the things on the list

Wonderful – don't you just love that?

The basics are the new cutting edge!

Monday, March 13, 2006


Regular visitors to my Simplicity Blog know about my greatest frustration in our new world of e mail communication. I am returning to it again here!

Annie and I often discuss why it is that people can be so rude as to ignore an e mail that asks a genuine question. The good news is that all my regular contacts are briliant and reply very quickly so this rant is not aimed at those folks.

Then I wonder whether the problem is mine rather than the other person and whether I am a wee bit obsessional about communication. I admit to being a bit obsessional but on reflection, why should I blame myself for someone else's apalling manners?

I am intrigued why some e mails are not even acknowledged. As I have said many times before that is quite simply bad manners in my opinion. It is like meeting someone down the street, making eye contact, smiling at them and being completely ignored!

This weekend for instance I checked my sent folder to chase at least 12 e mails that had not been responded to despite my original e mail asking a question.

An excuse in the in the ‘old days’ was;

“Sorry - your letter must have got lost in the post.”

Now I suppose it is something on the lines of;

‘I didn’t receive your email – it must have gone in my junk folder"

Mmmmmmm …

Sunday, March 12, 2006

What is Great Leading?

What is Great Leading? – This is the excellent question being discussed on Blog Synergy at the moment

In my career there have been leaders for whom I would happily work for more hours for less pay. There were those who I would not work for again if I was paid double.

The great leaders are those who encourage; they are humble; they are competent; they are kind.

I don’t sign up to the often quoted – ‘You have to be hard to get on’ or ‘You have to be ruthless’ etc., etc.

I advocate getting alongside the people who do the work. Spend time with them. Listen to them. Hear their stories and their ideas. Encourage them. Learn from them.

Great leaders are decisive at times when they need to be; they make decisions and they are consistent. The greatest quality is integrity and professionalism. I do not think charisma necessarily equates to good leadership. The best leaders will emerge as those who have done their homework – who have listened to the people around them and led by example. They walk the talk. They are interested in the small stuff.

This is still my favorite quote of all time about leadership;

Go to the people
Live with them

Learn from them
Love them
Start with what they know

Build with what they have
But with the best leaders
When the work is done
The task accomplished

The people will say
”We have done this ourselves.”

Lao Tsu (700 BC)

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Friday, March 10, 2006

Simplicity is spreading

Great to see a discussion on Simplicity at Tom Peters Blog

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Update on 'Simplicity is the Key' Manifesto

I heard today from 'Change This' that my manifesto proposal 'Simplicity is the Key' has been accepted.

Thanks to all who voted for it!

I now have to write it by 5 April and my head is full of ideas.

Thanks particularly to my Amigo Felix for providing me with the idea and the inspiration from his excellent Manifesto 'The Life Cycle of the Creative Soul' - isn't that just a beautiful title?

Why do we visit Blogs?

Why do we visit Blogs?

I am interested what keeps us 'hooked' on certain Blogs. I visit about 6 or 7 Blogs regularly. For me it is a few things and I would love to hear others views about why we keep ‘coming back.’

Here’s my list for starters - I like:

  • Regular Postings
  • Variety of postings
  • Originality
  • No jargon – simplicity please
  • No pretentiousness
  • Professional yet some light relief as well
  • Feeling like I am part of a community
  • Friendliness
  • Stories
  • Good quality argument
  • Non confrontational
  • Plenty of smiles with comments
  • A Blog where the owner makes me feel like a customer
  • Some personal stuff about their life from the Blog owner

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Two new Simplicity additions!

Pleased to report two additions to Simplicity

First a new Simplicity Web Site which we will be using to promote ideas about simplicity and information on what Simplicity services we offer.

I deliberately chose a very basic site design and template in line with Simplicity principles and so the site has limitations. The template does not allow flashy text, nevertheless its overall presentation looks professional, yet warm according to comments received.
The site is easy to navigate; I hope it is informative; and of course I am open to suggestions to improve it.

I've had great feedback from friends and colleagues since the site went livel ast weekend. I have listened to what people have said and amended it so thanks for that.

The new Simplicity Web site is at this link;

Secondly and just as important is a new Simplicity Gallery Blog that Annie will be to looking after. On Simplicity Gallery, Annie will be posting photos about what we do at work and also some photos for a bit of light relief.

I can tell you there are already some pretty scary photos on there! Take a look!

You will find the new Simplicity Gallery Blog at this link;

Monday, March 06, 2006

Love is ......

Sometimes I just like to remind myself what is most important in my life.
PS ... the picture is meant to look like that :-)

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Interesting .....

Some things make me laugh .. maybe I have a weird sense of humour.

Things like:

  • How do 'Keep off the Grass' signs get there?
  • How come there is always a tea spoon left in the washing up bowl?
  • How come non stick labels stick to non stick frying pans?

This sign was seen by Annie and me recently in the International Conference Centre in Birmingham...

My immediate thought ... Who is the sign for?

Friday, March 03, 2006

Vision Monthly

Vision Monthly is a new magazine intended for anyone who is committed to professional development, continuous improvement, and lifelong learning.

I am pleased to say Ethan Johnson, the Editor, kindly accepted my article The Power of Story Telling for the March edition which is now available.

Thanks to Troy Worman for putting me in touch with Ethan

You can read the Magazine a this link