Longer and Wider

By |2024-05-14T09:50:11+00:00May 14th, 2024|

Too many executive teams are focused on this quarter’s results - the results that will be pored over by stakeholders and analysts, eager for some sign of development, of improving fortunes, of higher profit potential. The problem is that this narrow, short-term view tends to drive out the longer-term thinking that true strategic planning needs.

Exploit the Zeigarnik Effect

By |2024-02-03T10:21:52+00:00February 3rd, 2024|

The Zeigarnik effect describes the way unfinished tasks remain active in our mind, intruding into our thoughts and our sleep until they are dealt with, much like a hungry person will notice every restaurant and appetising smell on their way home and then lose all interest when they’ve had their dinner. You may have noticed

AI Outside the Box

By |2024-01-22T10:56:38+00:00January 27th, 2024|

Many people - and especially pundits - are predicting significant productivity gains from the use of AI (Artificial Intelligence). However few will say exactly how this transformation will happen. My view is that gains will come in all sorts of places that we do not yet know about - as adopters realise just what AI can

How artificial, how intelligent?

By |2023-05-18T06:36:39+00:00May 20th, 2023|

Some people praise the potential of AI (Artificial Intelligence).  Some are scared by it. Who is right? All of them. We know that all new technologies tend to be misused by unscrupulous and unprincipled actors. The nature of AI technology makes this potential very high. Yet, AI also does have great potential to assist us in

Where is the growth engine?

By |2023-04-12T10:02:56+00:00April 15th, 2023|

Lots of countries that expanded their productivity through the 1980s and 1990s have slowed to a crawl.  Their 'growth engines' seem to have disappeared or been dismantled.  COVID-19 may have been the final nail in the coffin (or the puncture in the tyre). Many of these companies are still trying to restart their engines -

Let Them Laugh

By |2023-03-22T10:16:45+00:00March 25th, 2023|

I remember once walking past an office and the staff in there were obviously enjoying themselves.  They were laughing - at what, I know not.  My first thought was ‘How odd. Shouldn’t they be taking their work more seriously?  We pay them to work, not to play. “ But, of course, first thoughts are quite often wrong thoughts.  This

Know Your Enemy

By |2022-11-02T07:34:11+00:00November 5th, 2022|

If it aint broke, don’t fix it. That’s a useful slogan in some circumstances - but not in business. If you expect the status quo to deliver success, you are likely to be disappointed - or you are in some sort of niche situation or industry. If you aim to maintain the status quo, you

Be Patient

By |2022-06-08T10:38:34+00:00June 11th, 2022|

Many business leaders think technology can give them a productivity boost.   They may well be right.  Addressed properly, changes in technology can transform processes and make them more efficient. However,. the gains are  not easy to unlock - and they certainly take time. There may even be a temporary drop in productivity while new technology or a

Focus – but not all the time

By |2022-01-26T19:22:35+00:00January 29th, 2022|

Focus! Focus! Focus!  That’s the advice we are given. If we focus, we can perform, we can achieve. But as with all such exhortations, such simplistic advice, such trite sayings, there is another side to examine. Those who don;t focus all the time, who don’t keep their mind fixed on the way ahead, on the goal,

The Future Can be Built on Stories

By |2022-01-12T15:24:18+00:00January 15th, 2022|

Story-telling is becoming recognised as a very effective means of communication. People react better to an interesting narrative than to a boring set of facts or exhortations. So, telling people your vision, and what you expect them to do to support it, is largely a waste of time.   But tell them a story set in

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