(It was early 1980s: I had my marketing degree, and a new job at an agency. Not long after my first day, I met Larry - a new client who was adding a security hardware business to his growing portfolio. I asked him how he started…) Larry’s first venture was selling carpets.
His office was a back bedroom at home, his logistics operation was a white van. He gave the impression that he ran a big company because his wife answered calls by saying “this is reception”, and he had t
This series of ‘TGJTC’ blogposts was originally prompted by an email signed by the Chief Deputy Auditor. Not Deputy Chief (the second in line) but Chief Deputy. I imagine that there were more than one ‘Chief’ at that level too, just to keep everyone on their toes. TGJTC #1 started with my General Manager role, which was a misnomer at best. I’ll come back to that in a moment. Subsequent postings about VP, CMO, Director and Partner tried to give each some context, definition an
"Every man, every woman who has to take up the service of government, must ask themselves two questions: 'Do I love my people in order to serve them better? Am I humble and do I listen to everybody, to diverse opinions in order to choose the best path?' If you don't ask those questions, your governance will not be good." Pope Francis "I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen." Ernest Hemingway “An appreciative listener i
William Muir has known more plucked poultry than you've had hot dinners. As professor of Animal Sciences at Purdue Agricultural University, he's an expert in breeding and genetics. Not that he always roosted on the lofty perches of Rhode Island Reds and Plymouth Rocks. His studies started with flour beetles. Specifically, Muir examined the beetles' evolution in an (artificial) environment of very little food. Those who survived did so at the expense of others: they grew faste
February 1994. Lillehammer: The first Winter Olympic Games to be held in a different year from the Summer Games. And after being involved for 30 years, Xerox finally became a full TOP Partner. A TOP participant, without discretionary budget. Olympic sponsorship is an expensive, complex commitment. And getting value from participation is not guaranteed. There are two factors that play against you. Factor #1: the multiple tiers of deep pockets. At Lillehammer, there were three
40 Books in 2018 Tim Harford MESSY 328pp Abacus 2016 The argument: that we often succumb to the temptation of a tidy-minded approach when we'd be better served by embracing a degree of mess.
Harford weaves dozens of vignettes to illustrate his case. Here’s one from each chapter: COURAGE!
(Chapter 4 - Improvising) When Martin Luther King Jr. started giving sermons as a young boy, he also began his lifetime habit of practicing. Before each Sunday sermon, he’d spend as much a
I don’t know the origin of this story; there are several variations out in the digital ether. Sometimes the moral is spelt out explicitly; I prefer a looser interpretation. The professor stood at the front of the lecture theatre behind a large workbench. On it stood a large glass specimen jar, the sort that collectors of the macabre use to exhibit animals with too many limbs. It was the start of term, so he was playing to a full house. From beneath the table he lifted a bucke
40 Books in 2018 Natalie Haynes THE ANCIENT GUIDE TO MODERN LIFE 275pp Profile Books 2010 “Caecilius est pater” That wasn’t much to remember after two years at ‘big school’ grappling with the orange-covered Cambridge Latin Books. At the time, I didn’t see the point of learning a dead language. Only when we were told that father Caecilius and his family had perished in Pompeii’s ashes did the interest level increase. Not that it had any impact on my summer exams. My percentage
40 Books in 2018 Jaron Lanier YOU ARE NOT A GADGET 223pp Penguin Books This is the fourth draft of a blog post. By the time you reach the end, you’ll know why. Two scenes from last week: Scene A). Five diners in their mid-20s, sitting at the next table. All looking at their smartphones, occasionally at each other to share a story or a message. When the restaurant servers arrive with their meals, all the phones are put away into jacket or trouser pockets. Within ten minutes, a