The level of your systems

You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. James Clear – Atomic Habits If you want things to be easier tomorrow, it really helps to have strong systems in place. Most of the important things that you do go a lot better if you have a system for making sure…

John Gardner on regeneration

Values always decay over time. Societies that keep their values alive do not do so not by escaping the process of decay but by powerful processes of regeneration. There must be perpetual rebuilding. Each generation must rediscover the living elements in its own tradition and adapt them to present realities. To assist in that discovery is one of the tasks…

Peter Drucker on Freedom

Freedom … is not the same as individual happiness, nor is it security or peace and progress. It is not the state in which the arts and sciences flourish. It is not good, clean government or the greatest welfare of the greatest number. This is not to say that freedom is inherently incompatible with all or any of these values,…

Ordinary people. Good work.

Good to Great is all well and good, but what about Pretty Good to Very Good? I’ve been mulling over the DC podcast and this is what I’m going to focus on: ordinary people doing good (and important) work. Not multi-million pound-dollar businesses and organisations, but those working with tens or hundreds of thousands. Not companies boasting world-class-execution-across-the-board, but individuals…

Caterina Fake: 5 Cs

If you look at all of the companies that I’ve been involved with and the investments that I’ve made, they are companies that emphasise creativity, communication, connection, collaboration and community. Caterina Fake – Tim Ferris Show #360 Caterina Fake co-founded Flikr, where they popularised – newsfeeds, tags (which later evolved into hashtags), followers and likes. She played a key role…

In the way of it

For my youngest son, putting on his shoes is a BIG JOB. Catch him in the right mood, and he’ll get it done. But if there’s the slightest distraction in his path or in his mind, if he’s upset about something, if there’s an excuse, he’ll take forever to put them on, stropping all the way. You are probably something…

Contact

Next time you read an article, listen to a podcast, watch a program that you like – why don’t you get in touch with whoever made it? Not just the person who was in it – the ones we normally notice – but the people who made it too. Drop them an email, or even that hand written note that you…

Raising the tone

Lowering the tone is easy, often funny, and sometimes desirable: lofty conversations gain traction (or evaporate) when touched to earth. Laughter liberates. It’s much harder to raise the tone, and harder still to do it with humour and grace… but it’s almost always desirable. It’s a way to lead. I propose that we aim for a 2-to-1 ratio of raising…

Bits for atoms

We’re repainting our house – this is one of the colours about to be mixed at our local hardware shop. A small snippet of the colour catalogue looks like this: Say you needed to have five tins of each colour you sold in stock – how big a shop would you have to have to stock them all? How much…

Conflicting values

If you keep butting up against the same problem with a colleague – a problem you think you’ve fixed, but that comes up repeatedly in slightly different variations – it could be a sign of conflicting values. Values conflicts often seem to arise over: Money (fees, salaries and expenses) Time (working hours, punctuality) Effort and focus (work ethic, productivity, accountability)…