Archive for July, 2016

Britain – post Brexit

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

Readers will perhaps know that I was against us leaving the EU and I was truly shocked when I awoke on the 23rd to discover we had decided to sever our ties with the EU.  I don’t think we are necessarily any less European now, though we will certainly be more British (if Britain survives the post-shock waves of this decision and Scotland does declare independence.)  Whilst I feel we rushed into this and did so for all the wrong reasons, and I strongly believe that this will have little impact on our national concerns about immigration, jobs and regulations, I don’t think we need to despair.  Britain is basically a very pragmatic nation, one with links to other nations that go back centuries and with the skills to innovate.  We can think our way out of this, and who knows, we may even prosper.

However, it isn’t the politics or even the economics of Brexit that inspired this blog; what I wanted to reflect on was the opportunities for Change (with a capital C!)  You only have to look at the total chaos and realignment in our political world to see that we have witnessed more and bigger change there in a matter of weeks than we have seen in decades.  No one one really knows the rules of the game, no one knows what is and is not possible.  There is no ‘right’ way at present.  This leaves the door wide ajar for innovators, leaders and the daring to try something different.  Of course, some of these ideas will fail, but there will be many people, and businesses that will build their future success on the ruins of our membership of the EU.  Why don’t you decide to be one of those?

Now is a time to do something different, to push the bounds of what is possible, to find the quickest, easiest way to satisfy demand.  If tomorrow, you continue doing exactly what you have always done you are more likely to become ensnared in the swamp that out leaving the EU will create.

Learning from Failure 2 – recognising your limitations 

Monday, July 11th, 2016

I wrote the other day about learning from failure, and I thought I would develop the theme a little further.  One of the keys of a successful leader / business person, is to learn their own limitations and to ensure that they compensate for them by building a balanced and team and by co-operating with others.  I learnt that carrying more 25 lbs is a recipe for no fun whatever.  You might learn that you are great at the big picture stuff but poor on detail, or maybe good with numbers but poor with people.  Whatever your weaker suits, and we all have them, there is no shame in acknowledging them and ensuring they don’t impact the overall performance.

Learning from failure

Friday, July 8th, 2016


I set out last week to walk the Ridgeway, it starts in Avebury and I was walking to Whipsnade, about 100 miles.  It wasn’t my first long distance path, but it was the first time I was doing it camping and carrying a big pack.  Despite some careful thought and planning I still ended up with a bag that weighed 35 lbs or more, and I have to say that it turned the whole thing into more of an endurance challenge than an exploration of the English countryside.  West Ilsley

After 3 days, 40 miles and little sleep thanks to a rather noisy road and very strong winds, I decided to bail.  After all, it had been an experiment to see if this version of long distance walking worked for me and I had concluded that it absolutely did not!  Once you know that something isn’t working that’s a good time to stop, reassess options and strategies and find out what might work.  It is common in these times of macho leadership, to assert one is right and cling to one’s decisions as a sign of strength. However, a much better example of courageous leadership is Eddie Jones, England’s rugby coach, who twice on the last successful tour of England in Australia pulled off players after only 30 minutes (which was pretty much unprecedented) and radically altered the outcomes of the games. 

It would have been nice to have achieved my goal of getting there, but actually that was a subordinate one to finding a new way to enjoy something I’d found hugely rewarding in the past.  Edison, apparently tried thousands of different things as filaments in his new electric light bulb, and each time he encountered one more that failed, he felt he was narrowing in on the one the that would work by eliminating another thing that didn’t. 

So perhaps in this success obsessed culture, we need to find ways to learn from failures.  Maybe, despite the fact that most experts and world leaders seem to feel that Brexit was a horrendous mistake, we can find a way to make it work for us… I pray we can!