Archive for November, 2011

It’s enough to know it’s broke..

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

I was up at St Pauls yesterday, and visited the protest camp.  I have heard various comments from ‘experts’ and commentators condemning the fact that all these people have different agendas, and the fact that they have no clear message or agenda.  I disagree.  I think it can be very important, and valuable to recognise that something isn’t working and to say so clearly.  Indeed it is the first step towards Change (see step 1 of our 5 step Change model.)

These issues are complex, and they impact many people negatively.  It is little wonder that these people don’t have a solution.  It is okay, however, for them to tell our leaders that they need to be focusing their energy on this issues.  Change begins with the recognition that something isn’t working!

Healing from the outside in…

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

It is now 20 months since Carys died, and many people have told me that that is no time.  Subjectively it feels like an eon.  I feel separated from my previous life by a rift he size of the Grand Canyon.  

I realised something the other day which, on reflection,  seemed important.  It maybe be glaringly obvious to everyone else, but was a revelation to me.  I realised that we heal from the outside inwards.  Which is to say that all of the outward facing bits seem to be fully adjusted and we are coping with our lives; business is being done, lessons are being attended, houses cleaned and meals cooked.  However, it feels like I have a hollow centre.  The bit which contained the meaning and purpose, is empty.  I am also very aware that all the bits people can see are working well, but of course they don’t realise that the motor force is missing.

I write this more in the hope that it may help someone else find their way through this maze or perhaps better guide and support a loved one…

When innovation is a new spade…

Monday, November 7th, 2011

I loved this story.  Here is a major telecom company who are usually all about highly technical innovations who have discovered a quicker, cheaper way to dig a hole!  It only goes to show that we should never fail to re-examine how we do what we do.  So much of the way we work, the way we live goes unexamined and taking a fresh perspective often reaps unexpected fruit, like BT and their new spade.  When you believe that you already are doing everything the best way you fail to challenge yourself and your thinking.  If you create a culture or a mind-set that enables/encourages people to ask questions and challenge assumptions, then innovation flows.

“Innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea, or because they realized something that shoots holes in how we’ve been thinking about a problem.”  Steve Jobs

How important is how important you are?

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

I was listening to Professor Michael Marmot talk today.  He is an epidemiologist and studies what makes us ill / adversely affects our well-being, and to his surprise, discovered that they are one and the same thing. In seeking to find out what caused stress etc in the civil service, he discovered, against all his presumptions, that far from it being tough at the top and the stress of high powered jobs making more senior civil servants more ill, that the lower down the greasy pole you worked the more likely you were to suffer from ill health.  In other words, your well being was in direct proportion to your ability to control your destiny.

In a workplace that is growing increasingly more competitive due to the economic downturn, it means that more and more people are forced to take jobs on terms that they would otherwise not accept and this will in turn adversely affect their health.  For the individual the consequences are obvious, however, for the company, it means lots of hidden costs in terms of disruption and efficiency when they force people into doing things that they are not really best suited for or not interested in.  

So whether you are a boss or a minion, it is directly in your interest to ensure that you work in an environment that enables you to have some control over what you do.  Think about it, companies like Google encourage its employees to spend a day a week working on projects of their own choice, as a mean of encouraging original thinking and innovation.  The fact that it also boosts morale and well-being is just another plus.

From Yes Minister:-

Humphrey: Minister, a Minister can do what he likes.
Hacker: It’s the people’s will. I am their leader. I must follow them!