Sunday, October 02, 2011
What is Simplicity??......................in simple words .... by JK
Peace is Simplicity.Happiness is Simplicity. Simplicity is beauty.Loving and Caring is Simplicity
Choose a day as your "Day of Simplicity."
Speak little, and listen with attention.......i.e simplicity
Do something incognito and nice for a person you are close to. i.e.simplicity.
Eat simple and natural food. i.e simplicity
Create time periods for not doing anything – just walk, look around, live the moment........simply....i.e simplicity
Have your mind open to a more profound and silent sensitivity.i.e simplicity
Appreciate each scene and each person as they are. In the evening, write down your discoveries.
Observe the state of your mind. i.e.simplicity
Simplify your needs and wants and thereby simplify your living.i.e. simplicity.
And be a part of "Simplicity blog" of my friend Trevor Gay and continue to associate with the Blog.
Friday, July 15, 2011
Yesterday I drove my car into Nationwide Tyres in Coventry because I had a flat tyre. I’d managed to get enough air in the tyre to drive to my local Nationwide Tyres about a mile from home.
The young tyre fitter who dealt with my enquiry removed the offending wheel and spent around 20 minutes trying to find the air leak. Despite his best efforts he failed to find any problem with the tyre. So he inflated the tyre to 32 psi and said I could go back later in the day and he would check it just to discover whether or not there was a puncture. I dutifully arrived back at Nationwide Tyres some 5 hours later and he tested the pressure finding it had not reduced. Whilst at it he looked and tested all four tyres.
All in all he probably spent 45 minutes on my problem in my two visits.
I asked him how much I owed him, expecting a minimum charge of maybe £30. The young man shrugged and said;
‘It’s ok mate – I’ve done nothing’
I happily gave him £10 and told him to get himself a drink.
“I’ve done nothing” … And yet he did an awful lot for his own reputation and for the reputation of his company.
How amazing it is that people at the front line know so much more about real customer care than managers far removed from the front line.
This tyre fitter made a positive impression on me and I now have a positive impression of his company. I firmly believe it was intuitive and not taught – he was just good at looking after his customer.
Wednesday, June 01, 2011
Malcolm makes things happen rather than waiting for things to come his way.
He has loads of creative ideas about work and innovation and all are rooted in common sense, pragmatism and simplicity.
I have a feeling Malcolm’s new blog will be as successful as his Bearhunt project and his Its a Goal project
Watch out for Malcolm’s name and get in touch with him if you want to change things and be part of projects aimed at improving people’s lives.
Good luck Malcolm and keep rattling cages!
Sunday, May 15, 2011
It was so popular they’ve created a special motorway sign on the M6 to commemorate the occasion!
Eat your heart out Liverpool FC
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
My understanding of tacit knowledge is knowledge that is difficult to write down or express. It’s kind of intangible and difficult to pass on because it’s so difficult to ‘get hold of.’ I suppose an example might be how some people can play the piano by ear rather than by learning from formal piano lessons. Another example might be a footballer (George Best, Pele or Maradona as examples) who does things that can’t be taught on the training pitch and are not learned through coaching. It’s just part of the person – it therefore makes it virtually impossible to pass on or teach.I love the idea that if we could understand it more and ‘bottle it’ we could use it as a force for good. So ..... Simplicity Blog reader ...... What’s your take on it?
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
"Too many people spend life stuck, going through the motions; believing they know what to do and how to do it, but never really clear on why. Finding 'why' makes 'what' and 'how' become clear. I want to help folks who are stuck being what the world expected to find their why, to find meaning and joy in life, and show the world who they really are."
Visit his new website http://FindingWhy.com/
As expected, there's honesty, generosity, just plain human-ness. 10,000 words already written and hundreds of thousands to come. Free downloads. Room for conversation. A little insanity.
Joel's putting out the welcome mat right now.
Saturday, April 09, 2011
Please Read & amp; understand the contrast between the Managers and Leaders and then decide for yourself what would "YOU LIKE TO BE"?????
Says "Go" Says "Let us Go"
Production oriented. People oriented.
Delegates Responsibilities. Maintains Develops.
Shows who is wrong. Shows What is Wrong.
A Copy The Original.
Asks "How" Asks "Why" & "What".
Drives Team Members. Trains Team Members.
Accepts the Status-Quo. Challenges the Status-Quo.
Short Term Results. Long Term Vision.
Plans & Budgets. Change & Risks.
Can be appointed. Should be accepted.
Talks a lot. Listens a lot.
Seeks control. Seeks commitment.
Works on. Works with
Positional Power. Personal Power.
Keeps distant. Makes contact.
Says what to do. Shows how to do.
Demands respect. Commands respect.
Works in the system. Works on the system.
Gets the best out of the resources. Organises the best resources.
System centric. People centric.
Professional (IQ). Emotional (IQ).
Have schemes. Have dreams.
Says "Some thing must be done". Says "I must do some thing."
Doing things Right. Doing right things.
Moretransactional. More transcendental.
Creates Fear. Creates Confidence.
Creates resentment. Breeds Enthusiasm.
Says "I" Says "We"
Fixes blame. Fixes mistakes.
Knows "How" Shows "How"
Has Employees. Has Followers.
People need Managers. People long for Leaders.
The Ultimate Leader says.......
"I did it".........whenever some thing go haywire.......says......
"We did it"......whenever something is semi good and says........
"You did it":....whenever everything go Right.
Sunday, April 03, 2011
Premier League (11): 1992–93, 1993–94, 1995–96, 1996–97, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2000–01, 2002–03, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09
FA Cup (5): 1989–90, 1993–94, 1995–96, 1998–99, 2003–04 League Cup (4): 1991–92, 2005–06, 2008–09, 2009–10 FA Charity/Community Shield (9): 1990, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2010
UEFA Champions League (2): 1998–99, 2007–08
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup (1): 1990–91
UEFA Super Cup (1): 1991
Intercontinental Cup (1): 1999
FIFA Club World Cup (1): 2008
That is an amazing 35 Major trophies won in 21 years and ….. With a little luck 2 more to add to that list in a few weeks’ time!
Quite simply there has never been a more successful football manager in the long and distinguished history of British football. I suggest there has never been a more successful manager anywhere in world football.
When business authors look for successful people to use as examples of how management and leadership can be perfected I suggest they take a look at Sir Alex rather than the usual suspects from the traditional, boring, stuffy world of business.
I’ve been lucky enough to communicate directly three times in my life with Sir Alex and on each of those three occasions I found him to be a wonderful man who made me feel special. There was no pretentiousness or self-importance we see in some high profile people. Quite the opposite in fact, Sir Alex was genuine, humble, obliging and very kind.
Sir Alex is now approaching 70 years old and has been in charge at Old Trafford, home of my beloved Manchester United since 1986 and shows no signs of losing his competitiveness.
Long may Sir Alex reign at the Theatre of Dreams.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Here goes – By the way I’ve changed names and initials to protect identities:
“I've just had a very sad conversation with Jane. She, just like you and I were in those far off days before regime change, is absolutely passionate about this place and getting it right for the patient.
It looks very much as if she is being side-lined and seconded to some non-post.
Ever since JC left and successor appointed, this organisation has been slipping backwards to the behaviour and ethics that prevailed in the short fat bloke's reign that you and I remember so well - nothing so overt or aggressive just insidious undermining dishonesty/uncertainty/lack of trust. Jane is not the first that it has happened to and no doubt won't be the last.
It got me thinking about how much we take our cues from our leaders and the impact, either direct or by implication they have on our work no matter how diligent we are.
Jane was postulating about what she actually achieved and might it be better, or at least no worse, should she not be around. But like any leader I tried to reassure her that she sets the tone; its intangible, its unwritten, unquantifiable. An organisation reflects its leader's behaviour, standards, pace and direction.
JC, for all his faults, brought a different and more agreeable feel to this organisation after the short fat bloke was ousted. I don't really have to tell you that. Just wanted a rant at the injustice of it but again, as I've told Shelly, you and I both ended up in a far better place.”
Thank you Mr Mentor!
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Some of my rants are blunt and fired straight from the hip without too much thought but I want to share a calmer, more reflective few words.
Today Annie and I performed a 6 minute drama sketch to a group of older folks in a residential home for people with dementia.
It was just magical and an absolute delight to be a small part of.
When we arrived the folks were talking, seemingly across each other, some were wandering around apparently aimlessly and confused. It was pretty clear some of these mature men and women are in the advanced stage of dementia.
AND YET ……..
During our very simple bit of drama there was just a fantastic 30 to 60 second ‘window’ when one could have heard a pin drop …. Such was the attention given to us by our audience. They were totally with us and engaged.
I just don’t have the vocabulary to describe in words what a kick that gave us both. It was as if they found an oasis of reality, solitude and tranquillity in their seemingly, chaotically ordered lives.
It made me ..... yet again ..... realise that generalisations about illness or condition are completely unhelpful and totally unfair. We have to look at individual circumstances and rest assured there can always be great joy, hope and understanding ..... however difficult that may appear at first glance.
Friday, March 18, 2011
I read recently that if you are on the MINIMUM WAGE in the UK you are among the top 11% wage earners in the world.
This is not about charity – it’s about justice!
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
I recall one particular boss in my entire 35 year career in healthcare who explained to me in a private 1-2-1 why I didn’t get the job I’d applied for. I had felt I had a good interview for the job and I was well qualified for the position. To be honest I was pretty angry when I went into his office for feedback. I came out half an hour later agreeing with him that I was not the right person for that job. He was right; I was wrong simple as that. The thing that made him stand out above the rest was he valued me by giving me time, in privacy. Though busy, he was not rushed. He allowed me to talk and asked me how I felt it went – he was clearly a superb listener. Most bosses I had were either: Too rushed; disinterested; too 'clinical' and cold; too personal; or too negative when giving uncomfortable feedback which made me feel even worse.
People only expect (rightly) to be valued as a person - doesn't seem unreasonable does it?
None of us accept criticism well. The good news is there are some bosses who do it well. Long may they reign!
Monday, February 28, 2011
“I’m sorry but it’s a system generated response. Sorry you are upset with its contents but because we deal with so many people it’s not possible to deal with people as individuals”
How sad (tragic actually) is that?
TWO SIMPLE QUESTIONS
1 What is the point of running ANY sort of business if you cannot be responsive to individuals?
2 For crying out loud, why call it customer ‘care’ if you don’t actually give a toss about the individual?
My suggestion is to disband the customer care department in such organisations and have a company motto that simply says:
“We genuinely care for you … Err that is …. If you will be so kind as to fit into our ‘system generated’ profile of what we think a customer must look like”
It makes me sick to be honest but it also makes me even more determined to carry on ranting about it … If I don’t rant about it I’m condoning it at best; and at worst I’m encouraging really crappy companies to carry on ignoring individual customers.
Friday, February 25, 2011
Tom Peters has been the greatest influence on my management and leadership thinking since I read his first book the classic best seller “In Search of Excellence” way back in 1983 – WOW!! -was it really 28 years ago???!!!!
Tom just gets better with age. This 3 minute video is his latest piece of pure wisdom about how to improve communications between teams in organisations.
Is it about the latest cutting edge technology based software system? …. Nope
Is it about sending all your employees on expensive communications workshops? …. Nope
Aha … It has to be about great leadership – Yes? …. Nope
You might be surprised with Tom’s simple solution.
Well said Tom – Unsurprisingly I’m with you 100%
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
But great customer care is still ALWAYS and ONLY about PEOPLE!!!!
I’ve had a huge argument this evening with my car insurance company.
I’ve got 3 months to my annual renewal and I rang them to let them know my new address as we recently moved. I was told my new postcode comes up on their ‘information system’ as a higher premium area than my old postcode area – that’s fair enough I thought. They then tell me I have to pay £70 for the remaining three months because of this.
£70 represents 26% of my current annual premium and if my maths are correct means I would be paying an additional £280 extra premium next year simply because I’ve moved 7 miles!
I argued with the person on the phone who could only say ‘That’s what the system is telling me.’ So I asked to speak to someone higher up. After a while a ‘supervisor’ of some sort came on the phone and I had a similar discussion and a similar stonewall, immovable and totally inflexible, robotic, scripted reply.
I asked why, as a loyal customer of this company for 15 years, I could not get any dispensation. All she could say was what the automatic information system was telling her. I repeated many times how this was appalling customer service – she didn’t see anything wrong with the customer service. The mere fact she cannot understand why I thought it was terrible customer service tells me all I need to know.
In one fleeting moment of weakness she gave away that she was human after all by admitting that hands are now tied by processes and even the remotest element of initiative and flexibility has been wiped out by strict processes and protocols.
It amazes me …. For all the years I’ve been with this company I’ve told friends, family and other people how good they are. I have always recommended them. Will I do that anymore? ….. What do you think?
This ‘supervisor’ finally told me she could ‘escalate’ my compliant if I wanted …. Initially I said that frankly I couldn’t be bothered … I’d almost lost the will to live by this time …. But then I quickly reflected and changed my mind and said that yes I do want to escalate it. She said I will get a call back from a senior person in the next 72 hours about my complaint. I agreed to escalate it ….. Not because I think anyone in this organisation will change their position (I already know there is not a cat in hells chance of that happening) …… But I simply need them to know they now have one mightily unhappy and previously very loyal customer who, on principle, will not now renew with them come May after 15 years as a customer … And they clearly just don’t give a toss about that.
It is desperately sad how a ‘system’ has crushed the flexibility judgement and initiative of humans. These folks now have an ‘information system’ that gives them only exact and totally inflexible answers. It almost makes me cry that computers have been so ‘mis-used’ in this way.
This company has taken away all emotion and human decision making. It has given in to the ‘machines rule people’ concept …. I am saddened.
Some questions to this company …. Unless I’m missing something very obvious this stuff is really not difficult …. Any 10 year old will understand this ….
Give me one good reason why you upset a very loyal and long standing customer for the sake of a process?
Why don’t you LISTEN to your customer?
Why the hell are your humans beings not allowed to make judgements based on emotion, common sense and the real world?
Why don’t you LISTEN to your customer?
Don’t you realise that customers treated badly and made angry will tell as many people as they can about you?
Why don’t you LISTEN to your customer?
Where does your arrogance come from with your lack of customer responsiveness that implies “Oh well … he will stay with us” …. (By the way …I’ve got news for you … Oh no he won’t!!)
Why don’t you LISTEN to your customer?
All summed up perfectly by business turnaround guru, Victor Palmieri who said:
“Strategies are okayed in boardrooms that even a child would know are doomed to fail. The problem is there’s never a child in the boardroom”
Friday, February 18, 2011
Yes ... Yes ... I know the Prime Minister says there are no 'cuts' in the healthcare budget …. I say just ask nurses and doctors at the front line - they KNOW the truth. 35 years working in the NHS taught me lots of things - one is NEVER trust what Tory Politicians say about the NHS. They want to demolish it - simple as that.
Don’t believe politicians - especially Tories. They are ripping our NHS apart for reasons of political dogma and not reality just so that the NHS is ripe for privatisation. Mark my words.
Anyway, here is the missive for some Friday evening light relief .... Enjoy.
Proposed cuts to the National Health Service.
The British Medical Association has weighed in on the new Prime Minister David Cameron's health care proposals.
The Allergists voted to scratch it, but the Dermatologists advised not to make any rash moves.
The Gastroenterologists had a sort of a gut feeling about it, but the neurologists thought the Administration had a lot of nerve.
The Obstetricians felt they were all labouring under a misconception.
Ophthalmologists considered the idea short-sighted.
Pathologists yelled, "Over my dead body!" while the Paediatricians said, "Oh, Grow up!"
The Psychiatrists thought the whole idea was madness, while the Radiologists could see right through it.
The Surgeons were fed up with the cuts and decided to wash their hands of the whole thing.
The ENT specialists didn't swallow it - and just wouldn’t hear or speak about it.
The Pharmacologists thought it was a bitter pill to swallow, and the Plastic Surgeons said, "This puts a whole new face on the matter...."
The Podiatrists thought it was a step forward, but the Urologists were pissed off at the whole idea.
The Dentists are fed up to their back teeth and may decide to extract themselves from any new contracts.
The Anaesthetists thought the whole idea was a gas, but the Cardiologists didn't have the heart to say no.
In the end, the Proctologists won out, leaving the entire decision up to the arseholes in London.
In my new job I’m at last getting back to REAL operational management which means getting my hands dirty. I didn’t realise how much I’d missed it
As Business Development Manager (grand title eh?) I love the new job and doing important jobs like cleaning toilets; cooking meals; making tea for customers and sweeping car parks; THIS STUFF SHOULD BE COMPULSORY FOR ALL MANAGERS.
It’s wonderfully liberating and it sure beats writing those ‘important’ reports in the healthcare business that no one ever reads!
I propose that no manager should be allowed to collect their monthly wage unless they can prove they spent at least 20% of the preceding month actually working on the front line.
There just is no better learning than actually DOING STUFF that all those pretentious, arrogant managers consider ‘menial.’
‘Menial’ rules in my book!
Friday, January 28, 2011
BUT …… if you want evidence that small is beautiful and big is ugly in our brave new technological world …. This is classic.
I discovered Mozilla Firefox a couple of years ago and found it to be better than Internet Explorer as my browser.
I had no problems until about a month ago when suddenly, and for no apparent reason to me, Firefox crashed a couple of times. At first it was occasionally crashing until two weeks ago when it crashed at least 6 times a day. This week I was finding it crashed at least 10 times a day. I kept getting the same message about a crash report being submitted to Firefox and I could add my own comments.
My comments got increasingly angry until I finally lost patience two days ago and said that if someone did not respond to me this time – probably my 20th attempt to get a response - I would switch to Internet Explorer.
Nothing came back and so I switched. Explorer is working perfectly. I didn’t want to change; I was very happy with Firefox; I found it much better than Explorer when I originally changed two years ago.
What irritates me most is that Firefox doesn’t seem to employ human beings capable of answering a message and as a result I left them.
I’m really sorry about sacking Firefox but they have lost me as a customer. I often told people Firefox was a great browser; I now tell people the opposite.
I really wonder about customer service in these large impersonal virtual organisations.
Customers matter whether you are a big or a small organisation. At least with a small organisation there is a good chance you can find a human being who is actually alive.
In large institutions I sometimes wonder how you go about finding someone who gives a toss about customers … or if anyone is vaguely interested in the individual …. Dream on Trevor methinks
Complexity is rife in large organisations and yet overlooking the simplicity of recognising and valuing individual needs, means running the risk of losing your loyal customers.
Oh for the Simplicity of loving your customer – why is that so hard to do?
Monday, January 24, 2011
Simplicity is my mantra and my great friend Dave Wheeler from Arkansas, US has come up with what I believe to be the best original quote in leadership that I’ve come across in all my leadership reading and studies.
Dave says the four most important words any leader can say are:
“What do you think?”
Isn’t that just brilliant? And so wonderfully simple!!
Tom Peters, the most famous management guru on the planet considers this one of the most powerful statements he has come across and that’s a massive compliment.
Take a bow Mr Wheeler Sir!