Archive | July, 2014

Less speed more haste

29 Jul

ferrari

 

When I left school and joined the family business, I was very lucky to have been shown the ropes (mentored these days) by my mother who had herself left school at 15. We ran a very successful fashion business. Even though mum wasn’t tertiary educated and she’d never been trained in management or retail or anything really she was an amazing teacher.

One day I was doing something and she said to me ‘less speed, more haste.’ 

These words ring true today especially in the manic world of the internet where there is often a slight tinge of panic in the air. 

Yes we have to respond fast. But what about strategy?

There’s always time to think.

Think about strategies which lead to plans.

I work fast. I love it but I also like to use my mind and be innovative.

Innovation is key these days …

How can we do this well?

How can we do this better than the competition?

Less speed more haste!

Think about it. 

Ferrari’s are fast but they need to have a driver.

it’s a mad mad mad world of metrics

12 Jul

harold lloyd

We all know about metrics. The back end of the internet. The analytics. The tracking mechanisms of sites. 

They come in all shapes too. Line graphs. Dials. Segments. Bar charts. 

And they are great and necessary. How else do we know ‘how we’re doing!’

This is about productivity and we all have to be productive don’t we? Work, work, work …

There’s no time in an asynchronous world to stop and think. 

Why would you do that? There’s stuff to do. People are restless and they want it NOW.

I’ve spent time in organisations where metrics are key drivers, and that is fine. But when dials and graphs are key drivers, then strategy can go out the window if there is weak and lazy leadership.

Strategy is of the utmost importance. It’s the beginning of innovations. It’s the way to do things differently and better.

The fast knee-jerk get this done now attitude is a band aid solution.

Metrics can freak poor managers/leaders out because these measures make them or their area look bad, so they rush to fix something and it sets an unrealistic pace where mistakes are made and people break down or worse – feel like galley slaves, rowing to the beat of a drum.

I’m all for measurements and monitoring because I like change. 

But don’t let it freak you out. Sit down and think about things. Come up with new ways of doing things.

Calm down

Avoiding Captain Queeg

5 Jul

The Caine Mutiny (1954)  Directed by Edward Dmytryk  Shown: Humphrey Bogart

The Caine Mutiny is a 1954 Oscar nominated movie starring Humphrey Bogart as an erratic US Navy disciplinarian posted to the U.S. Navy destroyer minesweeper, the USS Caine.

The crew is undisciplined but perform their duties well.

Bogart plays the role magnificently, depicting Queeg as a ball-bearing rolling paranoid sociopath with little self knowledge. He makes authoritarian decisions that have negative impacts on the vessel, crew and missions.

My past few blogs have been about putting up with bad leadership and management – focusing on the team and just plain ‘getting over it and on with it.’

Bad boss personality a fact

But this week an article was published around a Norwegian business school research project identifying that people with narcissistic personality disorder often assume leadership positions through their strength of personality, self confidence and willingness to make tough decisions. In fact these types are destructive and “don’t think twice about using others to achieve their own goals.”

It’s fair to say that not all human beings are high minded. People can act badly and unconscionably and hurt others in the blink of an eye. It’s a fact. There are also great people who lead and inspire. Who are open to innovation and creativity and work well with others.

Should you suffer under the stewardship of a Captain Queeg and hope that things will get better?

No.

Speak up. Move on and find a place where you can flourish and create.

Like cornered animals they will fight and manipulate with amazing ferocity.

Life’s too short.