Why is it so hard to learn from our Mistakes?

A key precept in the self-improvement manual is to learn from your mistakes. If you can do that then you can keep growing and getting better. Yet many people find this very hard. And the same story applies to organizations. If a company wants to be innovative then it must try many new things, stop the unsuccessful experiments, learn the important lessons and rapidly move on. It sounds straightforward... Read More--

How do you Revolutionize a Complacent Company Culture?

Burton Lee It is said that when it comes to business success, ‘Culture eats Strategy for Breakfast.’ The biggest single barrier to agility and innovation is a stodgy corporate culture. So how can you revolutionize a complacent culture? Changing the corporate culture is one of the toughest tasks that a new CEO faces. If you want to replace comfort with energy and risk aversion with innovation where... Read More--

Ten Great Ways to Promote your Book

So you have written a book and had it published. Congratulations. Now you are faced with the challenge of what to do next. Many authors think that marketing is a job for the publisher so they sit back and wait for the royalties to roll in. You might have a very long wait. The market for books is extremely crowded and most books do not sell well. However, there are a number of things that the author... Read More--

How Business Strategy Really Works

Alan (AG) Laffley was CEO of Procter and Gamble for 10 years (1999 to 2009) and during that time he oversaw the consumer goods giant double its sales, dominate new markets and increase margins. He is revered as legendary leader who delivered great returns for the company and its shareholders. He claims that his success was based on implanting a rigorous approach to business strategy in every department... Read More--

A Collection of Forehead-Slapping Fun

Try your hand at these six puzzles: 1.  What can I put in my left hand that I cannot put in my right hand? 2.  If two peacocks lay two eggs in two days, how may eggs can one peacock lay in four days? 3.  How may cubic feet of earth are there in a hole measuring 3 feet wide by 4 feet long by 5 feet deep? 4.  Why do Chinese men eat more rice than Japanese men? 5.  In what sport do half the contestants... Read More--

Remarkable Words make Great Puzzles

Des MacHale and I have put together a word puzzle book that contains some great puzzles about remarkable words.  For instance try these questions: What is the longest word containing just one vowel used once? What is the longest word containing just one vowel used as many times as you like? What is the shortest word which uses all five vowels? What is the longest country name which has alternating... Read More--

No Good Joke Survives a Committee of Six

Velocity; the Seven New Laws for a World gone Digital, is an excellent book on business strategy by Ajaz Ahmed and Stefan Olander.  One of the ‘seven laws’ is this, no good joke survives a committee of six.  In the book the story is told of Tony Blair’s final speech as leader to the Labour Party Conference in 2006.  The day before the speech was to be given, Tony Blair’s... Read More--

Teams that Get on Well Together are Less Creative

If you ask hiring managers what they are looking for in a candidate they will often say, ‘ I want someone who will get on well with the team.’ They want someone who will fit in and reinforce the team spirit. Homogeneous teams that get on well together may be good for executing clear plans but the evidence shows that they are less creative than diverse teams that have some internal tensions. In... Read More--

Brilliant thinkers relish ambiguity, dull thinkers loathe it.

Brilliant thinkers are very comfortable with ambiguity – they welcome it. Routine thinkers like clarity and simplicity; they dislike ambiguity. There is a tendency in our society to reduce complex issues down to simple issues with obviously clear solutions. We see evidence of this in the tabloid press. There have been some terrible crimes committed in our cities. A violent offender received what... Read More--