Monday, February 28, 2005

Mistakes are good learning!

"Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes." Mahatma Gandhi

How many managers in large organisations can relate to this wonderful Gandhi quote?

In organisations we are told
  • 'You are free to experiment'
  • 'We want innovation here'
  • 'We want to be creative here'
  • 'We want to be leaders in the market place'

The manager is however punished for making a mistake. Great motivation!!

The legendary story of IBM where the middle manager made a mistake costing the company three quarters of a million dollars is well known. He arrived at the Chief Executives office admitting his mistake and took with him his resignation letter. He asked the Chief Executive not tell him off - he knew had made the mistake - he wanted to just apologise and leave. The Chief Executive declined to accept the letter and said;

'Why would I want to sack someone I just spent 750,000 dollars training?'

I guess such managers are very few but what a fantastic story - allegedly true.

In my experience it is usually the opposite story.

In reality the slightest risk taking is frowned upon and with that goes all the enthusiasm and energy of the average manager.

Let's have a bit more risk taking thus fulfilling Gandhi's wonderful words.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Love Conquers All!!

In Britain we are all eagerly looking forward with great anticipation to the most celebrated and regal wedding since the turn of the new century.

Yes it is finally here …..

It is a wonderfully romantic story of two middle aged people who have both had traumatic lives. They have overcome much adversity and opposition and, despite it all, have remained jointly committed for many years to their goal of happiness together forever.

He became a widower a few years ago when his young wife died in tragic circumstances and the sympathy of the country went out to him and his two young children at that time.

She always loved him and hoped that one day circumstances would allow them to be joined legally in support of the message their hearts were giving them.

Now in 2005 - at last - the entire population will be able to watch on television their joining together after a long, but enduring courtship. It gives hope to all of us that eventually we get to walk the path in our lives that our hearts always desired.

So now all us subjects of Her Majesty the Queen look forward immensely to seeing them joined at last.

What was that? ....Oh sorry! you THOUGHT I meant these two?

Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles? .........NO NO NO! NOT AT ALL!..... I meant these two........Posted by Hello

Ken and Dierdre from Coronation Street! Posted by Hello

Friday, February 25, 2005

At Work and at Play - Different People?

"The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he's always doing both."

- James A. Michener, "attributed"

I just love that!!!

Many times in my career I have met people who become 'someone else' when they cross the threshold of their place of work ... and they revert back to 'the real me' when they get home!!!

Crazy!! ....why can't we just be the same person all the time? .... different hats for different occasions of course ...but surely not a total personality change??!!!

Back online what a relief!!!

The great news is we got the landline fixed and we are now back online - thanks British Telecom.

Having said that ...... we were very unhappy cusotmers when we were was told an engineeer would call on Wednesday between 8 am and 1 pm.

No one arived and I had to phone at 1.30 pm to find out why.

When we eventually got through the pre-recorded messages to a human being I was told the information we were originally given was wrong and an engineeer did not need to come to the house after all ....

Sadly no one in BT thought to tell us that ... well ...what more should we expect .... we are only the customers after all.

The workmen digging up the road obviously must have fractured some telecom lines as many people in the street were apprently simliarly affected.

It is amazing how reliant we have become on e mail and the web generally.

Of course I survived for the last three days .... but God ..... do I miss the web or what!!!

It was great to be able to catch up on the e mails that had build up in my inbox and things are now buzzing again.

Paradoxically it enabled me to catch up on some work I could do off-line and that feels better - so I guess every cloud does have a silver lining.

Now I have to visit the many blogs I read to catch up on what I have missed for the last three days.

Happy Friday!!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005


Sorry everyone .... my phone line is down so I cannot post properly on Simplicity Blog again till Friday this week!!!

I really miss it!! ... I am having withdrawal symptoms!!

This posting is done very quickly in a visit to my local library so forgive any errors.

Best wishes to all Simplicity Blog readers - back to normal Friday ... I hope!!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Regular Companions - Genius and Fragility.

“Great talents are the most lovely and often the most dangerous fruits on the tree of humanity. They hang upon the most slender twigs that are easily snapped off”

C G Jung, Psychological Reflections

This Jung quote got me thinking about my greatest sporting hero of all time – George Best.

George is four years older than me and he played football for my beloved Manchester United in the mid 1960’s to the early 1970’s.

I was in awe of his ability and I watched him play many times when I was a young man. He was everything we all wanted to be on a football pitch. He was worshipped by the fans at Manchester United and still is to this day.

In a nutshell - although I am unashamedly biased George was the greatest footballer ever produced in this country if not the world – and then some.

No modern day footballer approaches his natural ability.

He did things on the football pitch that most mere mortals can only dream of being able to do. He was frankly a genius with the ball. His talent was awesome.

The sad thing is that off the football field things seemed to go wrong for George and he regularly hit the headlines for his ‘off the field’ activities. These included alcoholism and living life in the fast lane as far as relationships are concerned.

His football career ended prematurely as he was only 28 when he finished at the top level. It was quite sad to see him turn out later for teams that were many levels below Manchester United.
He had become a shadow of his former self.

The Jung quote sums up George well … he had more natural talent than any footballer I have seen. He also had charm, good looks and frankly had the world at his feet.

And yet … George stumbled on bad times.

Living with his incredible ability must have caused immense pressure on him and his own fragility presumably was one of the causes of his slide from the dizzy heights he reached in his prime as a footballer.

It seems to me genius comes with fragility sometimes. So sad.

Monday, February 21, 2005

We listen but do we REALLY hear?

“A good listener tries to understand thoroughly what the other person is saying.

In the end he may disagree sharply but before he disagrees, he wants to know exactly what it is he is disagreeing with."

Kenneth A Wells, "Guide to Good Leadership."

Kenneth Wells uses the male emphasis - I can forgive that - because his words are so powerful.

Really great listeners probably master this skill early in their lives.

For most of us it takes a long time to really learn how to listen.

I believe judgements often cloud our listening.

However hard we try our minds are often already made up before we start to listen I fear.

It is refreshing and wonderful to meet someone who will not allow their judgement or prejudices to influence what they are hearing from you.

I guess the most celebrated people with this ability include Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Theresa and Nelson Mandela (in later life).

It is a quality possessed by many people who are not famous - at present!!. Annie is one. I know only a few others.

It is an aspiration of mine to become a better and more intent listener. I know I am sometimes impatient as a listener.

Let’s celebrate the Kenneth Wells quotation and maybe we can all try to learn from it.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

A message from Goggle Eyes.... see below. Posted by Hello

Men and Women are Definitely Different!

I have increased the font size on my blog - hopefully it is ok now - thanks for feedback from one or two people!!!

As I have said before I agree with Allan and Barbara Pease … men and women are different!!!

Last week at the swimming pool I was delighted to invest in a new pair of goggles - £6 well spent I thought!

Like a typical ‘boy with a toy’ I couldn’t wait to get into the pool to try them.

After one short underwater swim I quickly realised and admitted to myself they were far too tight around my head – so tight in fact it felt like all the blood was being squeezed out of my head!

I stood in the pool disillusioned and distraught as I struggled manfully to pull and therefore force the rubber headband looser.

For fully two minutes I struggled growing increasingly impatient.

Annie gracefully swam toward me wondering what the problem was … I explained my predicament … she calmly looked at the goggles – unclipped the rubber band from its housing – loosened the rubber and gracefully swam off into the distance leaving me content but confused and wondering why I had not worked this simple thing out myself.

I guess it is the difference between Activist and Theorist as Honey and Mumford’s learning styles inventory would tell us ….

Frankly I think it is far simpler … it is the difference between someone with calmness and logic and someone who is convinced there is a simple way – just keep trying till you discover it ….

In other words the difference often between men and women!!!

Sorry chaps … I believe this is an accurate reflection …

See story below! Posted by Hello

We are all Vulnerable!

‘My own vulnerability’ is an expression not often uttered by the stereotypical modern male manager.

To admit to being vulnerable is perhaps to admit you feel weak and that is not seen perhaps as a positive quality in management teaching to date.

I would love to think things are changing and the male macho manager is able to admit his fragility and vulnerability and see that as a positive thing.

Let’s be clear about this – I am not talking about weeping and wailing at the slightest upset – I am simply suggesting WE ARE ALL VULNERABLE and when we can just accept that - we will not feel so bad about the occasional experiences we have that make us feel edgy and nervous – even scared.

Let me illustrate this with a comical but true example about my own vulnerability.

One day last week I was naked on the scales weighing myself as part of the diet I am sharing with my wonderful partner Annie as part of our fitness campaign.

The phone rang – it was for me - Annie brought the phone to me.

It was a client (an elderly woman) returning a call to me about the quality of service in a doctor’s surgery.

I felt unable to have the conversation walking around in the nude carrying a phone!!! …

And yet when I had pulled on a pair of underpants I somehow felt less vulnerable.

Discussing it with Annie afterwards ….. it struck me that although this was funny - it illustrated very powerfully my own vulnerability.

That made me think about how it is so much better to just accept vulnerability as a part of one’s make up and learn to cope with it.

The great news is …. We do not have a video phone - so my blushes were spared!

P.S. …..

This has had a profound effect on me as you will see from the pic above – I now shower fully clothed just in case!!!

Friday, February 18, 2005

SMILE AT WORK - and go in the opposite direction to everyone else!

In my long career in the Natinal Health Service I did luckily meet a few people who have a sense of humour.

One GP Surgery in Torquay that I worked with and knew well advertised for a new Doctor in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) in 2003.

The BMJ is the most credible and widely read professional magazine in the medical profession in the UK.

The advert was not your normal 'run of the mill' standard advert.

It was a bit different. It prompted a better response than the normal boring advert.

It may not be academic research and it may prove nothing but at least the interest it prompted raised a smile.

Anita Roddick, Founder of the Body Shop, used to say the secret of success in business was - "Always go in the opposite direction to everyone else"

The message for managers and leaders? ... it often pays off to be different.

The message for all of us? - it is not compulsory to be miserable at work - you can laugh - even if you are a Doctor!!

Anyway ... here is the actual advert that appeared on the British Medical Journal in 2003


A lazy, full-time Partner is required to join a burnt-out team of five disparate partners in a backward-looking practice of 11,000 heartsinks from July 2003.

We are located in a dismal part of the country, with failing schools, zero culture, and miles from London. Partners’ problems include alcohol abuse, female sexual dysfunction and financial impropriety.

A one in one out-of-hours rota. Well below average income. Notes, if made, kept in a state of the art shoebox under the bed of a partner’s mistress.

Awful links with local “Murkton Moor” style DGH. If you share our grave concerns about this new confounded 1966 contract, and would like a more accurate practice profile, then please contact:-

Mrs Yvonne Bagg (in name and nature), Chilcote Surgery, Dewerstone Practice, Hampton Avenue, St Marychurch, Torquay, TQ1 3LA

Thursday, February 17, 2005

My wonderful partner and wife-to-be Annie outside the Royal Shakespeare theatre. Posted by Hello

Seek out Great Mentors

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great."

Mark Twain

I love that ...

I guess as a 'half full glass' person I would agree with Mark Twain but it feels close to reality in my experience.

I got tired of people saying why things can't be done.

There is little wonder so many people give up in the face of negative feedback and being told
  • "We can't do that here"
  • "That won't work we tried it before"
  • "Your idea is far too radical to introduce"
  • "We must not put ourselves in a position where we might be criticised".
Amen to Mark Twain - what we can do as individuals is find great people who encourage us and not put us down.

Truly great people will recognise the passion someone has for their ambition and great idea

Truly great people recognise that they were probably the same - they probably had a dream that became reaility.

How many millions of ideas world wide are lost because people have been discouraged rather than encouraged.

Yes I believe it really is that simple.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Grit your teeth and remember ..... the customer is always right!

Sometimes it is really difficult to remember the customer is always right.
I am fully signed up to the concept that the customer is always right.
I love the following
Rule A
The customer is always right
Rule B
If the customer is wrong refer to Rule A
When dealing directly with customers at the front line in any organisation it is a real test to remember this when faced with difficult and 'patience testing' people who just don't want to listen or cannot let you try and explain a situation that may not be within your contol.
Congratulations therefore to the young lady featured in the following comical and yet profound example of customer care.
I hope you will laugh and enjoy reading it ... and at the same time remember there is a real message in this for anyone wanting to maintain good customer care.
Happy Wednesday ... the sun is shining!!!

We can learn a lot from this girl.... How to handle a difficult customer.
If you ever have a difficult situation to manage, you might consider the approach offered by this obviously well trained Customer Service Officer.
Indeed, an award should go to the Virgin Airlines gate attendant in Sydney some months ago for being smart and funny, while making her point, when confronted with a passenger who probably deserved to fly as cargo.

A crowded Virgin flight was cancelled after Virgin's 767s had been withdrawn from service.
A single attendant was re-booking a long line of inconvenienced travellers. Suddenly an angry passenger pushed his way to the desk. He slapped his ticket down n on the counter and said, "I HAVE to be on this flight and it HAS to be FIRST CLASS."
The attendant replied, "I'm sorry sir. I'll be happy to try to help you, but I’ve got to help these people first, and I'm sure we'll be able to work something out."
The passenger was unimpressed. He asked loudly, so that the passengers behind him could hear, "DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHO I AM?"
Without hesitating, the attendant smiled and grabbed her public address microphone: "May I have your attention please, may I have your attention please," she began - her voice heard clearly throughout the terminal. "We have a passenger here at Gate 14 WHO DOES NOT KNOW WHO HE IS. If anyone can help him find his identity, please come to Gate 14."
With the folks behind him in line laughing hysterically, the man glared at the Virgin attendant, gritted his teeth and said, "F*** you!"
Without flinching, she smiled and said, "I'm sorry, sir, but you'll have to get in line for that too."

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

EUREKA!!! - Men and Women ARE Different!

Happy Valentine's Story! ... I think!

Yesterday on Valentines Day I had the most fantastic example to underline Barbara and Allan Pease wonderful book - 'Why men don't listen and women can't read maps''

My wonderful partner … and wife to be Annie …. decorated the lounge with four huge red balloons yesterday morning to celebrate Valentines day – a fantastic and thoughtful gesture that sums Annie up well.

Although I was working at the PC in the lounge I didn’t notice the balloons for two hours until Annie told me!! – that was after I had not noticed earlier the other two balloons she had tied on to the light pull cord in the bedroom!! – I didn’t notice those two till I went to switch on the light!!!

Annie later showed me the letter received from the local council about some road works that would cause some disruption in our street for a few weeks and I made a comment about the name of the guy writing the letter – his surname was PLANT and it just struck me that was ironic when talking about road works and heavy equipment being in the road!!

Annie said "How come you notice that detail …but didn’t notice 6 huge red balloons!!!"

That is an absolutely true story word for word!! Another example about the difference in men and women.

The great news is … Annie still loves me … she is the most special person in my life ‘cos she knows me so well and always forgives my eccentricities!

We had a great Valentine's day by the way

Monday, February 14, 2005

No Right .. No Wrong ... Long live DIFFERENCE!

Question 1:

If you knew a woman who was pregnant, who had 8 kids already, three who were deaf, two who were blind, one mentally retarded, and she had syphilis, would you recommend that she have an abortion? If you said yes, you just killed Beethoven.

Question 2:

It is time to elect a new world leader, and only your vote counts. Here are the facts about the three candidates.

Candidate A - Associates with crooked politicians, and consults with astrologists. He's had two Mistresses. He also chain smokes and drinks 8 to 10 martinis a day.

Candidate B - He was kicked out of office twice, sleeps until noon, used opium in college and drinks a quart of whiskey every evening.

Candidate C - He is a decorated war hero. He's a vegetarian, doesn't smoke, drinks an occasional beer and never cheated on his wife. Which of these candidates would be your choice?

Candidate A is Franklin D. Roosevelt. Candidate B is Winston Churchill. Candidate C is Adolph Hitler.

Food for thought ....
I am sure many people have already seen this when it came around the Web a year or so ago.

It made me think about judging people and situations.
The older I get the more I try NOT to judge. However tempting it is I honestly do try NOT to assume anything!
I am more and more unhappy with words like 'right' and 'wrong' and I am more and more comfortabe with words like 'difference.'

It seems one of the greatest attributes of people who really make a difference is a single minded focus that prevails and sustains above all else.

Perhaps what comes FOR SOME alongside that great genius or talent .... or whatever you want to call it ….. is a kind of vulnerability to things that are considered 'wrong' by the general norms of society.

It is interesting to muse about how history will recall some of our current fallen idols

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Are you taking part or watching from the touchline?

"Commit! Engage! Try! Fail! Get up! Try again! Fail again! Try again!

But never, ever stop moving on!

Progress for humanity is engendered by those who join and savour the fray by giving one hundred percent of themselves to their dreams!

Not by those timid souls who remain glued to the sidelines, stifled by tradition, and fearful of losing face or giving offence to the incumbent authorities.

Commit! Engage! Try! Fail! Persist!"

Tom Peters April 2004

Typical Tom Peters and in there are some real gems.

It seems to me we have at least a couple of choices.

One choice is to take part and try and make a difference and the other choice is to stand on the sidelines and watch those who are prepared to put their head above the parapet (and risk having it shot off) in the name of learning and moving forward either personally or for the greater good of society.

I guess we all need to make up our minds on which side we sit.

For all of us that decision is going to be influenced by many things. Not least the need for security that some people crave and the natural risk aversion in some individuals.

I do not think there is a right and wrong answer - it is entirely up to indivduals and their cicumstances.

Wherever you sit .... you must admit it is an interesting quote from the ebullient Tom - his rants are legendary - I love them - and this one really made me think.

Friday, February 11, 2005

The best is not necessarily the best!

Why do we promote the best 'technical person' to manage the department?

For instance;

The most highly qualified accountant runs the finance department.

The best sales person is in charge of the sales department

The most qualified Doctor runs the operating theatre.

And so it goes on.

In sport or entertainment the best player or performer does not usually make the best manager. How many top class footballers from the past have ever made top notch managers? - You can count them on the fingers of one hand.

In fact most 'performers' do not want a management role. They want to do what they are good at.

It simply does not follow that the ‘best player’ is necessarily the ‘best manager.’

This got me thinking about organisations and selecting people to run departments.

Why not - for instance - have the Chef who runs a huge and busy hotel kitchen in the best hotel in the local town recruited to run the Operating Theatre at the local hospital?

Why not get the person running the factory line of 100 people working to acute and very testing time frames to came along and run the time tabling department of the local bus company?

Why not have a professional film director running the local retail mega store?

Why not get a mother - who has brought up two children and successfuly managed the budget for the family for 18 years as well as looked after her husband and run the home and all that goes with that - to run the finance department in the hospital?

We are usually ‘pigeon holed' into a predictable career progression moving from one level to the next as part of what has become known as 'natural progression.'

My feeling is things are changing dramatically and the organisations that will flourish in future will be those that realise they should be recruiting people who will do 'interesting things' - rather than follow traditional thinking and career paths.

Food for thought mybe?

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Trust your staff - and reduce expenditure

I always say .....
Trust your staff - they always know the right answers.
The following extract from Liberation Management 13 years ago is a perfect iullustration.
Sadly it is my experience that there is still far too much checking and double checking in most organisations and we do not dare 'take the risk' of trusting our staff.
What an awful statment that is anyway! ... we still see 'trusting our staff' as taking a risk!!!
I just love this extract from:

“Liberation Management” (1992)
Tom Peters
The Boss Will Not Approve Travel

Don't show any purchase orders to Ralph S. Heath III. He just might set them on fire. The president of Ovation Marketing, Inc. in La Crosse (Wisconsin) already has done that once, and the message apparently has been burned into the minds of his employees.

Purchases and travel budgets had to be approved by middle management and Heath until the end of last year. Then Heath issued an order. Employees were told to approve their own expenses. Heath found out it was easier to issue the order than make it work. A couple of weeks later, he was still being swamped with purchase orders. “They weren't quite comfortable with the new responsibility,” he recalled. “ So I decided it was time for a meeting”

He explained again that requisitions were now an individual responsibility. Then he set fire to his stack of purchase orders. The demonstration was effective. He hasn't received a purchase order since. The change has been effective in more important areas, too. Six months after the beginning of the experiment, Heath has found:

· Ovation's travel expenses are down 70 percent
· Entertainment expenses have dropped 39 percent
· Car mileage costs have declined 46 percent
· Office supply expenses were reduced by 18 percen
I rest my case - trust your staff!

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Tom Asacker - he will make you think!

If you want some really interesting insights about leadership, management and how things get done then please pay a visit to the Blog of my friend Tom Asacker from over the pond in the United States.

Tom Peters in his latest best selling book 'Re-Imagine' calls Tom Asacker a 'marketing Guru.'

Tom has written three fabulous little books that you can see details about on his site. He also provided me with great encouragement in my writing.

I am fortunate to be able to call Tom Asacker a friend.

Tom provides inspirational ideas about the modern world of customer care - in fact anything Tom says is likely to provoke a response.

Take a look at Tom's site at the following link

He (or of course She) Who Hesitates is Lost!

Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.
Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that moment when one definitely commits oneself then Providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one that would otherwise never have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision raising in one’s favour.
All manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt, could have come his way.
I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets: "Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”

W. H. Murray

I came across this very interesting quote the other day.

It reminded me of the thousands of good ideas that are lost because someone 'backed out' - probably just when they were on the verge of something great.

What held them back was perhaps 'hesitancy.'

I have discovered over many years that we sometime see doors as closed that are in fact open. Often I have been surprised that I am pushing at an open door.

I had a boss once who helped me a lot with this hesitancy dilemma.

I was very hesitant about doing something that could have rebounded badly if it had gone wrong - not only on me - but on the organisation as well.

The advice of my boss was "Just do it Trevor!”...

I did it ... guess what? worked! - he wasn't surprised and I was relieved!

My boss was not necessarily the greatest leader I ever worked for but one thing he did have was the ability to go with his feelings.

Sometimes it is essential the heart rules the head methinks.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

The only constant is CHANGE!

"Most organisations pay lip service to innovation. That is very different from doing anything about it. Executives do not really like new ideas at all.

Executives get to senior positions through managing continuity. This means keeping things running as they are and solving problems as they arise.

Innovation means disruption. Innovation means risk. Innovation means new resource allocation.

That there might be rewards is of significance to the organisation but not to the individual executive."

Edward de Bono 20th March 2004

I just love this slide from a DeBono talk.

I am sure we all know the type of organisation he talks about.

That company where managing the status quo is all important - don’t encourage change – this is the way we have always things here. You have heard them all.

As I get older I am more and more signed up to the concept of encouraging change - even creating change so that the organisation does not become comfortable and therefore complacent and therefore loses to its competitors because they tried something different that worked.

I am not a change junkie - I just feel that ‘staying the same’ is no longer an option because the customer is often one step ahead of us.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Richard Branson - style, charisma and common sense

I visited a Virgin fitness centre over the weekend and it got me thinking about Richard Branson.

The place was different to the average health club/fitness centre.

The staff all seemed as if they really wanted to be there and could not have been more helpful. The place was immaculate and quality oozed through every aspect.

I am pretty sure the influence of Richard Branson is felt at the sharp end of any Virgin enterprise - whether that be Virgin trains, Virgin planes, Virgin fitness clubs or Virgin record stores.

The man definitely has something about him that runs through his businesses.

Well done Richard Branson I say - great that you are British! - let us all be proud of that and Richard .....please keep up the good work.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Four Easy Steps .... Oh Yeah?? - Who said?

Four easy steps is what it said on the box ....

I wanted to network three computers in the house ... so I got the necessary software and hardware from my local computer retailer.

Four easy steps it may be for youngsters

But at my grand old age of 52 this stuff does not come naturally - I have to work at it.

To cut a long story short I ended up calling in two IT youngsters who sorted out the system and got us up and running so that all computers in the house can be on the net at the same time - all can talk to each other and all can print on either of the two printers in the house

BRILLIANT ... I thought

That was fine for two hours .. then the problems started which means I am having to call back the two lads to sort me out again

The language used in the Four Easy Steps guide is about as simple as reading the theory of relativity and frankly I do not understand a word of it ....

I am pretty sure most people my age will struggle with this new language of I.T. .... but I am really impressed by the way youngsters talk and understand this langauge.

Don't get me wrong;

I love I.T.
I love the Web
I love e mail - I live and die in my business through the use of e mail which I beleive is the most fantastic development in communications in my lifetime


AHA ... computers for Dummies!!! ...what an original idea ..must visit my local bookstore

Happy Saturday

Friday, February 04, 2005

Women Rule the World?

“A woman knows her children’s friends, hopes, dreams, romances, secret fears, what they are thinking, how they are feeling and usually, what mischief they are plotting.

Men are vaguely aware of some short people also living in the house.”

“Why men don’t listen and women can’t read maps” (Allan and Barbara Pease)

Tom Peters has been on a roll for the last five years telling us that women are the future in management, leadership and business generally.

  • Women do all the purchasing
  • Women know about relationships
  • Women see things men don’t see.

I believe Tom Peters has hit on something really important and one of the powerful illustrations he gives is some research on customer recommendations in a major finance company in America on customer recommendations.

The research showed that - on average - men recommend the company to between 2 and 3 friendswomen recommend the company to over 22 friends.

The message surely has to be - think about how your product appeals to women...if it does …and you do a good job...the chances are you will be recommended to more people … WOW … this is not rocket science.

Clearly women are better at the ‘relationship stuff.’

The wonderful quote above from Allan and Barbara Pease best seller is precious … and in my experience .... pretty damn close the truth.

I remember quoting this at a talk I did last year and I got shot down by many 'politically correct' folks who told me this was unfair to men!!!

Mmmmmm ….. that really made me think ....

I am a man and I reckon most of my male friends would agree if they are perfectly honest!

My favourite band is Lonestar and they have a track called 'Women Rule the World' .... interesting thought .....

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Great leaders are humble

To appear wise, one must talk; To be wise, one must listen. To appear to lead, one must put oneself first; To lead, one must put oneself last.

Nicholas Gordon

I just love this extract from a Nicholas Gordon quote.

Leadership is a subject that has always intrigued me.

How come there are some people I would take a pay cut to work for ... while there are some people I would not work for if they paid me double my current wages.

The greatest leaders in my experience are humble and not conceited.

Extrovert charisma is not necessary to make a person a great leader.

The most important qualities I recognise in people who I have followed are humility and selflessness.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Rapidly moving forward .... to the past

Bombay Hospital Motto

"A patient is the most important person in our Hospital. He is not an interruption to our work; he is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our Hospital; he is a part of it. We re not doing him a favour by serving him, he is doing us a favour by giving us an opportunity to do so"

I hear you saying …..This brilliant mission statement must have been written by a communications guru... maybe it was designed through a focus group that spent weeks considering the words to get it right …aided by of course the necessary expensive management consultant skilled in marketing.

NOPE ... this was written by Mahatma Gandhi in the mid twentieth century

Who said new ideas are best?

After 35 years working in the National Health Service I came across this wonderful motto that I think should be displayed in every office of every healthcare establishment in the world.

Sometimes it seems to me that processes of healthcare organisations and issues of accountability make us overlook that our reason for working in healthcare - whether a finance clerk or a surgeon - is that the patient must always be central to our thinking.

Let's get our thinking focused totally on the needs of the patient and then worry about everything else.

That feels better ... it is good to have an early morning rant!