After a few decades stumbling around the topic, two things became clear.
1. You have to change the way business thinks if you want to change how it works.
2. If businesses change how they work they can change how their audiences think.
Businesses have the chance to change the world. That’s bloody good news because it’s obvious governments won’t. This is disgusting because they could.
I’ve spent a lifetime challenging convention. First, when I was a client and now as an advisor and collaborator. I believe businesses have a critical responsibility to step up.
It’s going to take a step-change in leadership, which means it either won’t happen, or at least it won’t happen quickly. Unless we become a ‘we’. …
We used to define the future in units of 5, 10 – maybe even 50 years. Science fiction painted us the pictures.
Now it’s possible to achieve almost anything we like in weeks or months if we put our minds to it. If you are awake then you are already putting your mind to it. If you are awake you are only limited by imagination.
The business world is racing to create new/better services at less cost and increased utility. …
“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.” — Sir Winston Churchill
Whatever size, type or age of your business right now the pressures are the same — increase performance at the lowest cost and without risk. Do that while ensuring investment (or revenue) and avoid being disrupted, outspent or dismissed.
I’ve lost track of the plane journeys I’ve been on this year. The only saving grace of air travel is the refuge it affords. A disconnected space up here on top of the clouds — a welcome respite from the deluge. A chance to pause — to catch up on all the things on the list.
Except for this flight, it has WiFi.
I just realised how terrifying my list is. If it fell into the wrong hands I could get struck off. I’m not on anything that I could be struck off from though.
“The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn.” …
For reasons of physiology, we each have our own perspectives on everything. That means different definitions and different meanings for everything. That signals, waste, risk, cost and frustration. That’s never good.
“If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be ‘meetings.’” — Dave Barry
Getting agreement on things comes with a heavy tax. In business, it’s as hard as it is vital to get the agreement. …
It might sound a bit grand but I’ve spent my life trying to get people to think. To my mind it’s only by thinking that we can bring about any progress. And only by thinking critically might we avoid solving the wrong problems really well.
Being the one trying to be the catalyst for thinking is often an uncomfortable place to be. It creates tension on occasion — but rather that than an absence of cognition.
It try to get people engaged by firing up their own minds. I hunt for any missile that will work. That can be anything that wakes them up — pay attention. A well written one liner — a quote that will work alongside an image in Instagram or Twitter — a piece of music, a film or a story — anything that stirs the imagination. …
We all remember how Kodak completely missed the digital photography industry. A bit less well known yet equally salutary was Nokia’s demise. Shortly before its Capital Markets Day in 2011 this speech was given by the CEO Stephen Elop and posted to the internal Nokia employee system.
It became known as the ‘burning platform’ memo.
There is a pertinent story about a man who was working on an oil platform in the North Sea. He woke up one night from a loud explosion, which suddenly set his entire oil platform on fire. In mere moments, he was surrounded by flames. …
I’ve always deconstructed a ‘thing’ to figure out how the thing works. It’s been a preoccupation throughout my life. I’ve applied it in business as well — take a challenge then explode all the bits. It means I can understand it — modify it — then put it all back together again — hopefully better.
This works most of the time— until it comes to human beings. …
So — I’m going to give you all my data. Because that way you can sell me a whole lot more stuff and, while you are at it and because you will then know me that well, you will charge me a premium because you will be able to figure out that I can afford it. Right? Nope.
I’ve been very interested in new technology for years — my first proper job was helping friends launch the first microcomputer in the UKand ever since then I’ve been a very early adopter of just about every gadget available. Sad I know.
Thing is I’m an analogue person and I don’t actually know anything about the technology. …
Not because I like them but because (some) others need them. I accept that a title allows us to be positioned. But that’s why I don’t like them. I’ve met far more brilliant Receptionists than brilliant Senior Executives.
I have been ‘Head Of Crayons’ for a few years. I don’t think that label stopped me getting meetings or anything. I don’t know if I’ve been literally positioned that way. Maybe I have.
It could be that I am perceived as the bloke that manages hordes of mischievous whiteboard markers and coloured pencils that would otherwise be running amok in the business. It’s true, I try to motivate them — keep them on track. …