I'm not sure now why I once thought travelling for business was fun. The idea of it is great but sometimes the reality is very different. The early morning starts; the rushed transits from the plane to the taxi to the worksite and back again; then the inevitable flight delays and hours in terminal buildings. I've eventually worked out ways to make the most of it and use dead time to best advantage. I now travel with some food (I always manage to be delayed on the return flights);
Problem solving is a key management function and a common trap busy people may fall into, is to go for the first solution that springs to mind and not spend much time identifying and evaluating a range of possible alternative solutions. The model to keep in mind is this: (a) identify the symptoms of problems – notice things like uneven performance, lateness, poor financial results etc then (b) define the problem –
This myth – you need to have worked in a particular sector before you can coach in it – is often held by people who want a coach yet feel nervous about coaches who haven't worked in their particular sector. It has been said to me often enough over the years when I’ve spoken to prospective clients in non-profits, government departments, local government, quasi-government and private sector. What I’ve found over the years is that regardless of the sector managers,
It may seem a very strange thing to say, but sometimes thinking is just hard work. By this I mean sitting down, or walking about thinking about the business or a piece of work and doing nothing else but thinking about it, for a period of time. Have you ever noticed how easy it is for the mind to wonder off onto a million different things and go "off topic" in a very short space of time?
The tricky thing for employees in most workplaces today, is that aspects of the internal physical environment they work in, is outside of their control. The lack of or placement of windows; lighting; air conditioning or heating vents (someone always gets to work under them); the placement of desks in open plan areas; the choice of radio station on in the background – are all factors that may be fine for some employees,
I do often think that annual business plans are a stunning waste of time. You know the sort of thing – lots of people involved, a whole day or more out of the workplace, heaps of work, enthusiasm, good intentions and careful word-smithing of the final document – that once written, sits in the bookshelf, unopened, from one year to the next. And the pity of this situation when it happens (for it is quite common),
I've been greatly moved watching the television programmes and tributes about Sir Ed. I am amazed at how one person's determination, energy and drive focused on a particular goal, enabled an entire region to have education and health care facilities. A story he often told was when at school a particular teacher once assessed him as being physically inadequate and overall, in general, pretty well useless. I like the story because it illustrates how we were at school isn't an accurate marker to how we are going to be as adults and what we are capable of.
What is the ideal amount of time to be in a role? I suspect the maximum amount of time may be 2-4 years for maximum learning and beyond that, familiarity and comfort zone factors kick in and the lure of any "golden handcuffs" becomes too strong. People who stay years and years in a role may believe they are accruing years of valuable experience, but is it really new experience or merely 1year of experience,
I've had people tell me that "to do" lists are for sad creatures who really need to get a life. Moreover, I've heard lists are boring, stifle creativity and stop people being "in the moment". Do they really? I think not. To do lists are a key time management technique for busy people to use and give an effective way to record what tasks need to be done and also the priorities within them –
Well yes, I'm kidding, because no amount of training in time management will eliminate procrastination in procrastinators. I say this because the reasons why people procrastinate are many and varied. They may not know what to do; they may be waiting for additional information to come to them; they may lack the necessary skills to do what the task requires; they may be waiting for the issue or task to mysteriously disappear out of their inbox and into another's inbox;