Saturday, May 30, 2009

My take - Bullshit baffles brains

I’m currently reading Alan Webber’s book “Rules of Thumb.”

Mr Webber is co-founder of Fast Company Magazine and has over 30 years experience of interviewing many leading leadership and management gurus, CEO's and authors in his career.

He says this:

“Some people think they need to “speak business” to prove they belong in business. They think a compulsive use of consulting buzzwords and MBA jargon makes them sound like they’ve learned the secret code. Unfortunately that kind of acronym-laced talk doesn’t demonstrate a business-smart brand; it comes across as “the brand called insecure.” A far better strategy is to know all the right jargon but to translate it into words and ideas that ordinary people can understand”

Amen and thank you Mr Webber - I rest my case for simplicity.

Friday, May 29, 2009

No leadership - our country is sailing with no captain

The incredible continuing revelations about our Members of Parliament and the abuse of their expenses is making me think the whole political structure of Britain is in serious danger of being destroyed. At the moment it feels to me like that destruction cannot come soon enough.

The current party system is in total disarray. After all, why would anyone choose to vote for any of the three major parties when all three of them have been tarnished?

The three major parties are equally guilty.

I heard tonight on BBC Newsnight that as many as 100 MP’s may be forced to resign and that could be an under-estimate in the opinion of some political experts.

I suspect we are living through an historic seismic shift in the political structure in Britain.

We don’t need tampering at the edges; we don’t need committees to think about this for two years before they report. We need a complete purge of the current system together with the people responsible.

We cannot allow shifting of the deck chairs on the Titanic.

This is serious - far more serious than any political scandal in my lifetime. The more I hear, the more serious it becomes.

Leadership is conspicuous by its complete absence from anyone in politics in this scandal and that tells me more than anything.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Barcelona 2 Manchester United 0

No complaints from me as a lifelong United fan.

The best team won – well done Barcelona you deserved it. My beloved Manchester United just did not turn up on the night - we were well beaten.

Pictured above is my Blogging friend MarkJF who is well pleased tonight as a Barca fan - he dared me "to Blog this" - enjoy it Mark!

Roll on next season.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

We are right to have hope

This weekend, Annie and I have the joy of looking after beloved Grandsons Sebastian (4) and Reece (20 months) – pictured above.

When I look at the wrongs we supposedly intelligent and advanced adults have created, I continually thank God for the innocence of children and the hope they provide.

Time for REAL Change

It feels to me like we are at a time of real opportunity.

We have a political crisis that gets deeper day after day. We are being told daily of expenses abuses by Members of Parliament (MP's). The MP's
'fingered' so far are from all three major political parties. The list gets longer and longer. No party comes out of this smelling of Roses. Frankly this stinks. I think it is definitely the most serious political crisis in Britain in my lifetime.

And yet this may be a time when we have a real opportunity to change things.

MP’s seem frightened of their shadows at the moment. They are no doubt worried about just what and who are going to be exposed
by the Daily Telegraph each day.

MP’s are supposed to be the people we look up to and they have totally destroyed any trust we are supposed to have in them. So many of them seem to have had their head in the trough.

The public of the UK are very angry and are demanding change.

Someone said to me this week – “It’s fine having a General Election … but who the hell do we vote for?”

We have a real opportunity to see radical change – the emergence of new politicians who are motivated for the right reasons.

A phoenix can rise from the flames. Let’s hope so.

I would like to see a complete change with the creation of new political movements that stand for ethics, integrity, common sense and simplicity.

Sometimes I think to myself ... “Am I exaggerating? – is it really as serious as I'm thinking?”

I keep answering myself – “Yes it is as serious as that.”

As far as I can see MP’s have lost all credibility – none of them are now trusted, simply because we don’t know all the information about this expenses scandal …

Yet ….

Friday, May 22, 2009

A busy but fabulous week.

My apologies for lack of postings this week. It’s been because of:

• 'Busyness' at work.

• Having wonderful friends
staying for a week. David and Alisan and their two lovely children Caris and Etienne. David is a South African Christian Minister. He and his English wife Alisan are doing missionary work in Namibia. They have been working in Namibia for 3 years and are returning next week for a further 3 years. (Picture above of all of us, including our dogs Rusty and Bertie, was taken yesterday on our front doorstep.)

• Recovering from the euphoria of Manchester United’s brilliant Premiership title victory last Saturday.

By the way I received a funny phone text midweek from a fellow Manchester United fan:

“Liverpool Football Club has been dragged into the expense scandal. It seems they have been claiming for silver polish for the last 20 years for no good reason”

Don’t you just love football rivalry and friendly banter?

Bad luck all you Scousers … I fear you may have to wait another 20 years for your next title!

Amazing to think that thousands of Liverpool fans who are 25 years of age or less don’t know that wonderful feeling of actually winning the Premiership title. In that same 20 year period of course my beloved Manchester United have won the Premiership title 11 times!

But hey …. I’m not gloating.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Congratulations Manchester United!

Another magnificent season.

My beloved Manchester United are Premier League Champions for the third successive season.

And now we are level with Liverpool on 18 title wins … with more to come under the great man Sir Alex.

And of course we are the best team in the world.

Thank you Sir Alex - the greatest ever football manager in Britain.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Double Standards - Do as I say not as I do!

Ever since I became interested in politics around 35 years ago, MP’s of all parties in the UK have come out with public criticisms of ordinary people they call such names as 'benefit scroungers.'

There have been derogatory comments by MP’s about ordinary people who ‘abuse’ the social security system.

There have been criticisms by MP's of people from overseas allegedly claiming benefits without legitimate cause.

It has always seemed to me the poor and most vulnerable in our society are often the victims of personal insults by these privileged people we are supposed to look up to for leadership. Well …… Now the chickens have come home to roost in a big way.

Thanks to Freedom of Information regulations we – the public – are now allowed to discover absolutely scandalous stories of our elected MP’s claiming all sorts of expenses that are apparently allowed within 'regulations' but are reprehensible by most ordinary people’s moral standards.

Click here for details of the BBC Report

Thank God the media have their teeth into this.

We have seen MP’s scurrying around all day trying to avoid questions and those brave enough to speak to the media are coming out with statements like ‘I claimed these expenses within regulations'

How the hell can we look to our MP’s for inspiration when they have such appalling double standards?

They criticise the poor and vulnerable whilst at the same time they help themselves from the public pot of money apparently with no sense of remorse – or even awareness - that they have done anything morally challenging!

Sorry - I no longer have faith in politicians of any party.

They really couldn't make this stuff up!

Friday, May 08, 2009


I’ve never been a fan of those large ‘business networking events.’ So I stopped going to them after less than a year of trying them out as an experiment in my then new world of self-employment in 2005.

You know the sort of thing I’m talking about. An unhealthy breakfast or lunch where you have to stand up and talk for 60 seconds about why you, or your company, are the best thing since sliced bread and why the world would be a much better place if everyone sent business your way.

To me it’s always seemed a bit contrived and quite frankly scores high on my ‘cheesiness’ scale. Sometimes it was downright embarrassing.

Instead I’ve always preferred to concentrate on getting to know - really well - the people who use my services and are likely to refer me to others by recommendation – usually by word of mouth.

I am delighted to report that today I met, for the first time a new and small group of similarly-minded folks. We had our first get together over a very pleasant, quiet lunch in a local hostelry in beautiful Warwickshire.

We are five, err, … lets say …. mature folks who met informally to see if there is anything we can usefully discuss about our very different worlds of business. We had no agenda other than to ‘suck it and see.’

After a couple of hours it was felt there had been enough learning for us to all agree it was worth having another get together, so we will.

This is an interesting journey that may lead us somewhere – it may not. Sounds a bit like life.

David, who organised the meeting has set a nice hare running methinks. Kim, Chris, Andrew and I all contributed and the consensus was – ‘This was ok – it may help us.’

One of our number reported there was already some useful practical learning for him from this, our first meeting.

Thank you guys … I said I would report this on my Blog with your permission. It’s a pleasure to know you all. I think we just might make this thing work. Who knows?

I love unstructured meetings with an agenda agreed on the day – it depends on what is on our mind at the time as far as I'm concerned.

This of course is an approach used often by the very best management consultants and explained by the well known and credible management theory: MIUAYGA

Make It Up As You Go Along

I am always up for MIUAYGA.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Creeping closer to our target for Carers

Incredible is the only word we have to describe it. Donations to our charity “Carers UK” have now topped £2000 which is just amazing.

We know of pledges still to be paid amounting to over £200.We are still aiming to reach our target of £3000 and it is getting closer.

Latest pictures and update can be seen on Annie’s Blog at this link.

We can accept donations on our Just Giving page for a while yet – the last day is 26th July 2009.

Please tell your friends!

Donations are easily processed on this secure Just Giving website

Friday, May 01, 2009

The NHS - a sacred cow, or a dead one?

Delighted to say my latest article has been published on Training

Click here to read it

This is the full link

Back to normal ..ish

It’s great to be back in the land of relative normality after a few days enjoying the euphoria of our London Marathon adventure.

Annie and I recovered amazingly quickly from the physical exertion on Sunday and want to thank once again all those who have given us such terrific support both emotionally and financially.

Life is good and we are truly blessed to have so much support.