Positive side of pessimism

December 10, 2013

… and now there’s some research on how pessimism can actually be good for you. Take a look at this article in The Third Metric (Huff Post): http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/09/pessimism-health-benefits_n_4392525.html?utm_hp_ref=tw#! Bah! Humbug!


Skills most (serial) entrepreneurs lack…

April 16, 2013

There’s a good article on the HBR blog about entrepreneurial skills. Amongst other things it confirms that serial entrepreneurs are persuasive, goal orientated leaders; however it also covers the skills they tend to ‘lack’. These include analytical problem solving (as opposed to the strategic ‘visioning’ stuff), planning & organising, self-management and the like.

What’s interesting about the list, apart from the fact that it confirms some of the things I recognise in successful entrepreneurs, such as being far too busy to check the details (the analytical stuff), is that it mirrors research on dyslexic entrepreneurs. Research by Professor Julie Logan at Cass Business School, for example, suggesting that 20% of UK entrepreneurs are dyslexic, compared to a rate of 10% in the general population.

Strange coincidence, or perhaps a clue as to why there are so many dyslexic entrepreneurs? It might be that linear thinking, planning and self-organisation are not important to business creation. It would be fascinating to know.

HBR article: http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2013/04/the_much-needed_skills_most_en.html

Julie Logan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0NQcljwdKI


Forget interviews: hire everyone

August 1, 2012

Interviews are a poor indicator of success. Why not abandon this expensive, old-fashioned practice and just hire the next person who walks in the door? Now there’s a thought. Read Margaret Heffernan’s thought provoking Inc. article:

http://www.inc.com/margaret-heffernan/hiring-recruiting-forget-interviews-hire-anyone.html


Soccer brain

June 27, 2012

Swedish researchers have discovered that elite soccer players achieve higher scores on certain tests of cognitive ability than their lower division colleagues, and both sets of players do better than the general public!

Over the moon

It seems it’s all about ‘executive functions’ and working memory. Specifically that successful players are able to constantly assess the situation, compare what’s going on with past experiences, create new possibilities and make quick decisions. In short it’s all about making fast decisions under extreme time pressure. Sounds great! Do the England team know about this?

Sick as a parrot

Of course, there may be a physical explanation. Sports psychologists have known for a while that cognitive abilities are correlated with aerobic capacity. So it may just be that footballers, and other athletes, do better simply because they’re fitter. Mind you, if all this is true, it’s a good argument for getting out there and doing a bit more exercise…

Read the article here.


Do one thing at a time…

March 30, 2012

Do one thing at a time (well!) or multi-task, that’s the question. Watch this interesting CNBC video clip in which Tony Swartz talks about how to get stuff done whilst balancing your energy needs.

http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000081194


Top 40 management models

January 30, 2012

All models are wrong, but some are useful.” George Box, 1979.

Most management models are simple tools, frameworks or checklists. And any self-respecting model also has a self-explanatory (often 2×2) matrix to go with it, of the sort that looks good in a presentation, or on a flipchart or whiteboard. That being said most models are based on theories and have been checked out in practice. They also provide a means of framing (the useful bit!) strategic, functional, process or people-orientated issues; and are of course a source of plenty of new jargon to use in meetings…

So what are the Top 40 models? Here’s a starter list:

www.markparkinson.co.uk/management_models.htm


Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a KPI!

June 17, 2011

Just a quick note to say that we all talk about Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), but actually very few people know what they really are. Read this ICAEW article and be enlightened…


Do more in less time

June 10, 2011
It seems the key to getting more done, and getting it done better, may be in working in intense bursts for short periods of time… and also giving yourself plenty of breaks.
 
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/leave-work-early-2011-5

How big is big?

April 15, 2011

A timely reminder from Richard Donkin on why it’s important to exercise caution when trying to measure things, especially in a management context:

http://donkinonwork.blogspot.com/2011/04/how-big-is-big.html


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