The Power of DIY

We come across so many leadership teams that want their people to take more responsibility for their actions.  In order to achieve more as an organisation, to get to the next level, they have realised that everyone needs to be engaged, involved and taking a personal responsibility.  Sound familiar? When we break this down it raises some interesting points. There …

Role Models

As a schoolchild I had compulsory swimming lessons at the local baths every week. Being quite competitive, I was determined to be in the top set which meant the chance to go in for the hard swimming achievement badges. On the day of group selection I was horrified to find we had to swim across the pool using front crawl. …

Vinegar Vera’s

Welcome to the matriarchs of the shadow side, a group of people skilled at undermining any change initiative.  Ignore them at your peril because they certainly won’t ignore you.  Your shiny new change programme is ready for launch.  It’s going to vastly improve the way you approach your business.  Everyone has been consulted and is apparently on board.  Naturally there …

Come Fly With Me… (Or Not)

Without Freddie Laker and his Skytrain flights to New York which started in September 1977 we may not have the budget airlines of today. Until this point air travel was enjoyed by the rich, with luxury flights on National carriers being the norm. Freddie Laker challenged this dominance with Skytrain offering a ‘turn up and go’, no frills service at …

‘I Thank You’

A great story from my friend Mark Greenop. As a child growing up in the Cumbrian coastal town of Workington he was often dispatched to the local grocery store for bread, cheese and the like.  The shop was run by a kindly lady called Amy Daglish who gave 24 hour service, 365 days a year.  This was remarkable because she …

5 ways to upset your customer

I’m not suggesting you create a charter which expects employees to deliberately upset customers.  I’ve come across many people who are masters at this without any encouragement or intervention.  There are even some restaurants that have made rude uncaring waiters their unique selling point which attracts diners eager for the ultimately bad experience. This is simply a technique which helps organisations …

Service Delivery Channels

I was behind a Staples (office supplies) delivery truck on the motorway recently which carried the advertising strap line ‘Three ways to buy’, with online, by phone and in store the options offered me by the lorry.  Since we had ground to a halt in an M6 traffic jam I reflected that this was indeed an interesting stationary choice. This …

Cirque Du Soleil

 On Saturday we all had a trip to the Circus, not any ‘old’ circus but a spectacular experience which I can thoroughly recommend and which represents a great example of transformational change. Nouveau Cirque as exemplified by the most excellent ‘Cirque Du Soleil’ has drawn audiences of millions back to the circus. When the traditional circus began to lose its appeal …

Sir Clive Sinclair

There are many examples of Paradigmeers who invented products that have changed the world.  Sir Clive Sinclair certainly belongs amongst this esteemed group for his early ground-breaking electronic calculators and the ZX Spectrum home computer. What interests me is those products that broke the rules and could have transformed the world but didn’t.  The legendary Sinclair C5 was decades ahead …

Lessons from the ‘No-Work’ Garden

It’s Friday.  Antics from the garden this week. I came across an amazing book which has, on the one hand, revolutionised my life and on the other has given my family, friends, colleagues and neighbours hours of amusement at my expense.  It is called ‘The no-work garden’ by Bob Flowerdew, a well known gardening broadcaster.  I was particularly attracted by …