Disappointment v Regret

Disappointment v Regret

What’s the difference between disappointment and regret? And why does it matter? During challenging times for our business, we may find ourselves feeling down about the things that happen – or don’t happen. This is entirely understandable – and it’s important to recognise and acknowledge our emotions, but how we frame things is vitally important. REGRET can be a useful emotion. We feel it when we look back and can see how we might have acted differently. This rumination is an opportunity to improve ourselves by learning from our mistakes. DISAPPOINTMENT is what we feel when we miss out on something for reasons beyond our control. The crucial difference is […]

Planning » Preparation » Progress

Planning » Preparation » Progress

First, you make a plan.Then you prepare to execute.Then you take the action needed to progress. It’s a fairly obvious sequence. Ready … Aim … Fire I’ve done things where I tried to move too fast. Ready … Ai -FIRE! Fire again! FIIIIIRREE! It didn’t end well. I tried to learn from that. Ready … Aim … OK, left a bit – now up a bit … yeah, I think that’s it … Fi – no, wait – I think it’s down a bit … And so on. That didn’t get me very far, either. Ready … Aim … Fire Like so many things, it sounds simple – but simple […]

Effective Optimism

Effective Optimism

Pessimists just aren’t nice to be around. All that doom and gloom drags you down. The attitude of helplessness is draining. On the other hand, excessive optimism can be just as frustrating – particularly when it ignores the fact that there’s work to be done. Where’s the balance? It’s not about thinking everything will work out, but we do need to continually believe in the possibility of finding a solution. What we need is persistent, realistic optimism.

My Best Reads of 2019

My Best Reads of 2019

In 2019, I again beat my goal of reading a book a week – 64 in total. I try to read a diverse range of material because I believe it’s important to learn from a variety of different sources. Here are my ten favourites, in no particular order… “This Is Marketing” by Seth Godin Quite simply, if you do any marketing at all, I believe this to be essential reading … And as Seth explains, in today’s world, we are all marketing, all the time – whether you call it ‘brand’, ‘reputation’ or something else, every action we take says something about us. What are you saying? “Meaningful Work” by […]

ZigZags and Zebras

ZigZags and Zebras

It’s fair to say that I am addicted to podcasts, and one of my favourites is ZigZag. In the words of host Manoush Zomorodi, it’s about “the changing culture of business and work” – but I’d say there’s a bit more to it than that. There is a business thread that runs through the episodes, but the themes they talk about have much wider applications. Really, it’s a podcast that asks questions about the impact we have on the world. One of my favourite recent episodes was called “An Alternative to Silicon Valley’s ‘Unicorn’ Bullsh*t”. A ‘Unicorn’ is what all investors are looking for – the company – the Facebook, […]

4-minute miles and 2-hour marathons

4-minute miles and 2-hour marathons

Last weekend in Berlin, Eliud Kipchoge set a new world record for the marathon of 2:01:39. He averaged 4:38 per mile, and took an astonishing 78 seconds off the previous record. Kipchoge has trained for years in order to set that world record. For decades he has monitored his diet and sleeping habits, has run hundreds of miles a week and spent countless hours in the gym, all to get his body into the best condition possible. Without that physical preparation, he couldn’t run the way he does. But there’s another side to the story. Back in 1954, Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile barrier. Before Bannister’s run, most people […]

Letting Go v Holding On

Letting Go v Holding On

I have been interested in Chinese martial arts for as long as I can remember – and whether I was watching the ‘Kung Fu’ TV series, or Bruce Lee in ‘Enter the Dragon’, it was always the philosophy that caught my attention more than the physical side. I’ve been re-reading “The Shaolin Grandmaster’s Text”, and there’s an interesting point in there about how if you ever find yourself in a confrontation, in their view this is regarded as a ‘failure’. The idea is that you should be able to anticipate potential issues, and deal with them long before they become problems. One of the ways to do this is to […]

Is Technology a Symptom or a Cause?

Is Technology a Symptom or a Cause?

After hearing his TED talk, I became very interested in what Tristan Harris was doing at the Centre for Humane Technology. Essentially, he is one of a growing number of tech experts who are concerned about the impact technology – particularly social media – is having on us both as individuals, and society as a whole. With research showing that ‘pull to refresh’ features activate the same part of our brains as fruit machines, it’s easy to see where there might be a problem. If you knew a child who spent three or four hours a day playing fruit machines, you’d probably be concerned – and rightly so. There’s no […]

Setting Goals v Acquiring Skills

Setting Goals v Acquiring Skills

“Man is a goal setting machine,” said Aristotle, more than 2000 years ago. That message has been echoed time and again by lots of very smart people in the intervening years by everyone from Seneca through to Benjamin E. Mays. I’ve had some success with goal setting, but the simple fact is that none of us achieve every goal we set ourselves. Using the idea that goals are set in stone but that deadlines are flexible is one way to deal with the ‘disappointment’ of not hitting a goal as quickly as you’d hoped, but I recently came across another way of thinking about goals that has really helped me, […]

Should NGOs do an Amazon?

Should NGOs do an Amazon?

The five Big Tech companies together are valued at about $3.5billion. The entire UK economy generates around $2.6billion. The combined influence of Apple, Alphabet (who own Google), Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft is extraordinary, affects all of our lives on a daily basis, and is only going to increase. Amazon purchased Whole Foods last year, and this week the rights to some Premier League football – which Facebook were also interested in. Speaking of Facebook, they are reportedly spending upwards of $1bn on original content for Facebook Watch, due this summer. These companies are only going to get bigger – who might their next targets be? Tesco? Next? Coca-Cola? Over the […]