Category: Leadership

  • Just because you can, it doesn’t mean that you should

    I was first given the keys to an organisation’s IT infrastructure in early 1997 at the tender age of 24. In previous roles I’d been the person tinkering away with a PC, trying to find ways of using computers to help my “proper job” – but this was my first experience of IT being the…

  • Spotting stress and bottlenecks in your team with RACI

    RACI is a well-established tool for clarifying roles across a set of tasks undertaken by a team. RACI stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed. The idea is simple: create a table (in excel, on a whiteboard, on a piece of paper), with a row for each objective, and a column for each team-member. For each objective, identify…

  • The ethical challenges of big data personality profiling

    A recent BBC News article (Personality tests: Are you average, self-centred, role-model or reserved?) came up for discussion in an online coaching forum recently. These moves are simultaneously exciting and terrifying! Let’s take the Facebook example. The insight from the data won’t be from the fact that you “like” kitten pictures or Liverpool Football Club…

  • How to avoid becoming a HiPPO

    [siteorigin_widget class=”SiteOrigin_Widget_Image_Widget”][/siteorigin_widget] This isn’t diet advice. Not sure if I can talk with authority on that subject. No, this is some advice for you if you’ve become a HiPPO. You’re the founder, the CEO, the CTO, the General Manager, the Head of Sales. You’re a “senior decision-maker”, and the important decisions in your world are…

  • How to Survive the End of the World (When it’s in Your Own Head): An Anxiety Survival Guide

    The sudden feeling you get when you think you’ve forgotten your keys when you leave the house, but all the time and for no reason. This is Aaron Gillies’ definition of anxiety, from “How to Survive the End of the World (When it’s in Your Own Head): An Anxiety Survival Guide“, published last month. Gillies…

  • Finding the time to be strategic

    I frequently encounter leaders who struggle to find the time to “be strategic” – focussing on important but not urgent activities such as: Evolving their business model to find new revenue streams Understanding external technological trends, such as cloud computing, CRM and marketing automation Reviewing their organisation structures and processes, to ensure they’re fit for…

  • Have you tried asking them?

    “I don’t know what the sales team leads are going to make of this marketing plan.” “I can’t figure out how this is going to go down with our German customers.” “We never get useful product feedback from our support team.” “He’s really disengaged. He just doesn’t contribute to our daily stand-up. I don’t know…

  • Cutting back on digital – the gains, and the withdrawal symptoms

    I’m trying to wean myself off ubiquitous digital connectivity. Over the last few weeks my trusty iPhone 6 has been running more and more slowly. I took the plunge, backed it up and wiped it over the weekend which cured its sluggish symptoms. But it also allowed me to deal with something I’ve been aware…

  • People debt is like technical debt

    Software development has the concept of “technical debt”: the cost of the shortcuts you have to take in the interests of time, money or available skill when you’re building a system. Essentially, your software will work for now, but it mightn’t scale to cope with new users, or be as easy to use as it…

  • Reddit Place – closer to your organisation than you think?

    Something wonderful happened a couple of weekends ago. From “When Pixels Collide“: For April Fool’s Day, Reddit launched a little experiment. It gave its users, who are all anonymous, a blank canvas called Place. The rules were simple. Each user could choose one pixel from 16 colors to place anywhere on the canvas. They could…