Strategy (5): Strategy is about plans (part 2)

This is the second part of the fifth post in a series* – start here. Definition of Strategy (as a skill or activity): Strategy is the practice of making, implementing and reviewing big-picture plans (strategies) with the intention of increasing the chances or speed at which you’ll achieve your major goals. Strategic plans provide structure Planning is also about structuring…

Seeking (better)

Seeking better … seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Jesus of Nazareth – in Matthew’s Gospel There are times that we know what “better” is. We’ve been there before, or seen it from afar, or can at least imagine it. So we seek it: we head in its…

Seth Godin on the gift of fundraising

Let’s say you were head of fundraising for a cause you really care about. Whether it’s buildings on campus, or the ACLU, or anything in-between. Clearly, free is not an option, because then it’s not a donation anymore. Why would someone give $100,000 to have a building named after them? Is it rude to ask a billionaire to spend $100,000…

Worn out tools

[Javert] had lost his bearings. The law was no more than a broken stick in his hand. Victor Hugo – Les Miserables If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools: Rudyard…

Who was Victor Hugo?

Part Jean Valjean, part Thénardier. “I want to destroy human inevitability; I condemn slavery, I chase out poverty, I instruct ignorance, I treat illness, I light up the night, I hate hatred. That is what I am and that is why I have written The Wretched. As I see it, The Wretched is nothing other than a book having fraternity…

Castles on Clouds

I’m a couple of chapters away from finishing Les Miserables,* thanks to the enthusiasm of a friend** and to Nick Senger’s excellent chapter-a-day read-along schedule.*** It’s a fantastic read – hard going at times, but deserving of its reputation. Beside the story itself (forgiving its long string of ridiculous coincidences), I most enjoy the little**** insights into life in another…

What’s News? And other stories

Questions for self: Why do you read the news more than once a day? Will things really have changed since the last time you had an empty moment? Same again but for sports scores, election results, the price of Bitcoin and even… the number of visits to your blog. Substitute activities: Mull over whatever it is that you’re taking a…

Story, not premise: 2000AD writing guidelines

These are great writing tips, applicable – with a bit of adaptation- to any medium. Future Shocks are self-contained, four page science-fiction short stories with a twist ending. That means you only have four pages to establish your situation and protagonist, develop the situation through dramatic conflict, and then resolve it with an unexpected twist ending. “Dramatic conflict” doesn’t just mean…

To do lists (1)

I have still never found a to-do list format and medium that works consistently for me. I’ve been a Filofax user, tried GTD, experimented with various flavours of Kanban and tried Asana and a few other apps, but nothing’s quite stuck. I’m hoping to fix this in the coming weeks, so I’ve been thinking about what makes a good to…