Archive for May, 2014

Thought for the day

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

I was today reminded of something I’d not considered for a while. We all encounter people in our lives we find particularly hard to handle.  They are often either people at work or within our families.  A moments reflection will quickly identify those you often moan about.  The thing is,  quite often, (and this is an uncomfortable thought) it is because they are reflecting something within ourselves …. They are in fact mirrors.

If I think back to playground squabbles,  people I fought with quite often ended as friends for this very reason.   We tend to feel comfy with people who are like us.

Maybe there is a better way of dealing with them?

It’s the future

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

About 10 or 15 years ago I said to my wife that I could not understand why the government was not investing in projects for car design that were just big enough for one or two people and had tiny engines.  These cars would be allowed to use a special lane, and you could get 2-4 of them in the space one car took up.  The same for parking, special bays and rates.  These could then have cheap insurance and tax to encourage use by commuters.  Surprise, surprise, they never did that…  but yesterday it was announced that Google stole my idea and improved on it!

They have announced driverless cars, presumably electric.  So no pollution, and you can work or play on the way to work.  In fact they can take junior to school and your daughter to ballet class too.  They won’t need parking as they will just pick up the next person.  You won’t buy them, just use them like taxis.  So pollution and congestion are both radically improved.  Presumably they are also quiet, so less noise in our environment.  They have the potential to transform our cities, our lives and the economy.

It wasn’t announced but you can bet your bippy that they will also be connected and encouraging you to browse the web and consume Goggle adverts and online services whilst you are chauffeured to your destination.  This is the kind of visionary change that has the potential to change lives, and Goggle has deep enough pockets to explore its potential.

This may or may not work out like this but there is no denying it is a bold move, imagining a different future and then pursuing it.  Most of us don’t have Goggle’s resources but we do have to take the time to imagine how we can invent a different and better future and then invest our efforts in reeling that in. 


  1. Telegraph

If you build it, they will come…

Sunday, May 25th, 2014

My partner is a beekeeper (a sad but honest confession) and last year like many others her hive died. It stood vacant and cold through the winter and she resolved to get some more bees this spring. She even donned her beekeeping suit and rushed off to gather a swarm that was terrorising a young mother with a baby…

Last week we were away and came back to find that a swarm had found her empty hive and made themselves at home. It only goes to show that sometimes, all you need to do is provide the right environment and the results will ‘spontaneously’ manifest!

The converse is true too. Don’t tell people you want to run a tight ship and provide a professional service then put them in a dump of an office without adequate resources. People will mirror how you treat them usually.  Provide the right kind of environment and you are much more likely to get the right results.  Think of examples like Google and Apple…

Lessons from the Ceredigion Way–part 1

Monday, May 19th, 2014

This was the final hill down into Aberystwyth, and this picture doesn’t do justice to just how steep it was!  We had just finished the walk from Cardigan along the Ceredigion Way.  It was unbelievably beautiful and if you like walking I can certainly recommend it. 

We learnt a lot about the local flora and fauna; it was an amazing show of spring flowers including, to my surprise, drifts of clifftop bluebells (in Surrey, they only grow in the woods), gorse, thrift and even orchids.  We saw over 30 species of birds.

However, it made me think a bit about work and leadership too.  The first two days were magnificent, but having walked a marathon and climbed over 9,000 ft carrying heavy packs we were pretty tired.  We thought about the prospect of yomping off first thing on the third day and it didn’t feel either fun or ‘on purpose’; it was, after all, meant to be a holiday!  So we decided that if we wanted to finish the whole thing and enjoy it, we’d give ourselves a bit of recovery time and catch the bus to Aberaeron and cut the day short by about 5 miles or so.  It might seem like a ‘cheat’, but it was a really smart decision.  It meant we enjoyed the day, and as we slogged the final mile and a half all uphill to the B&B, we were mighty glad we had! 

The thing is that the object of the holiday was to enjoy it and return refreshed, not knackered!  Sometimes one has to change one’s plans when you learn new information.  Plans are great for guidance, but you often (like us) don’t know what you don’t know.  Change is a journey, and you have to be prepared to change your plans as you learn.  You might even discover that you need to alter your destination, adapt and survive!