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  1. Like many busy working parents I juggle things. A lot. Thankfully, I'm not a perfectionist or I think I'd be permanently stressed. Instead, I do 'enough' of the the things that matter to keep things working properly. For example:

    • I get my car serviced and periodically check that oil, water and typre pressures are OK... though I don't keep it partcularly clean or tend to minor scratches.
    • I take around 2.5 hours exercise a week, generally eat balanced meals and keep my weight in the healthy range...though I do eat too many crisps and cheese and am a bit wobbly in places.
    • I pull out the big weeds, chop the ivy down (often!) and make sure the lawn is mowed....though our borders are wonky, the paving stones dirty, and there are ALWAYS small weeds popping up.


    I do enough to keep things working as they should: My car, my body, my garden. They aren't perfect: I could hoover and polish my car from time to time; I could stop eating unhealthy snacks; I could weed more often; but I look after them enough. If I don't, I'm going to get problems.

    The same is true with teams. 

    Managers often feel under enourmous pressure to build and maintain a perfect team, and whilst this is a great aim, you don't need to be Mr Motivator or Miss Inspirational to build a GOOD team i.e. one that works. 

    Like my car and my body, it's about making the sure that the team has everything it needs to function well. Things such as:

    • Clarity of purpose
    • Good communication
    • Clear roles and expectations
    • Good working relationships
    • A common way of working


    If you concentrate on giving your team what they NEED, you give them the possibility of developing into something more. Without the basics in place, you are likely to run into problems sooner or later.

    We have 2 packages aimed at Building Teams: Practical Team Building and High Performing Teams - Buy both together and get both for £60 (PDF versions) or £100 (Editable versions). Simply follow these links:


  2. I'm writing this on my iPad NOT because I'm showcasing how mobile I am, but because I've infected my office PC, and it's currently in its 5th hour of surgery :-/
    I'd been having problems with my internet explorer, so I decided to download it again. By mistake I downloaded a chameleon programme which caused chaos. Luckily, I realised I had made a mistake quite quickly. Even more luckily, I have insurance and support, which meant that one call to the PC Support Group, complete with a full confession of what I'd done, has allowed them to set to work putting things right before the virus spreads.
    We all make bad decisions and do the wrong thing from time to time. If you are new in a role, you will almost certainly make mistakes. It's normal. However, to stop a mistake turning into a disaster, we need to recognise it, stop making things worse, and ask for help.
    For some reason, many people (particularly people promoted internally to a management position) feel that asking for help is a sign of failure or weakness. It isn't. It's a sign of maturity. To recognise that you have made a mistake in the first place takes a level of self-awareness. To decide to NOT to try and solve it yourself (unless of course you know the solution) shows rational thinking. To ask for help shows a willingness to learn and collaborate.
    I work with many first line managers and their line managers. I can't bring to mind a single Area Manager or Department Head who would rather deal with a problem that's got out of hand and escalated, than a mistake that's just occurred. Of course, they would all prefer not to deal with any mistakes at all, so taking time to ask advice and develop our skills is the best option. But second best is owning up when we've made a mistake and asking for help as soon as possible: Damage limitation and a learning opportunity all rolled into one.