Making things better

There are plenty of problems you could solve. Your job is to choose a couple of important ones and bring energy and intelligence to bear on them in order to find a workable solution. Energy means the effort you bring, but also effort from outside – finding people and resources (including machines) to help you achieve more and better results…

The trouble with the default

Nobody ever looked at an empty calendar and said, “The best way to spend this time is to cram it full of random meetings!” Nobody ever said “The most important thing today is everybody else’s whims!” Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky – Make Time As water flows down hill, as elements tend to iron, so jobs, meetings, distractions wriggle through…

Janus: of dogs, of men, of gods

My off-hand reference to the Roman god Janus at the turn of the year has had me thinking about looking backwards and forwards as fundamental human activities. Rear-view mirror Other species have memory, for sure, but deeper history, stories and cultural memory are (correct me if I’m wrong) unique to humankind. We live in the past as much as the…

Malcolm Gladwell on the disadvantages of wealth

He understood money, and he understood money because he felt it had been a thorough education in its value and function back home on the streets of Minneapolis. … And then he finally came to the point. He had children that he loved very dearly. Like any parent, he wanted to provide for them, to give them more than he…

The Wellerman: state change (key collaborators)

If you haven’t come across The Wellerman meme from tiktok (check out the different versions on the twitter thread above, or the YouTube compilation below), you should. It’s great. What made this meme take off? The first video is great – a good voice, good song, and the black and white adds something extra too. Nathan Evans went first. But…

On learning (For Karthick)

Karthick left some kind feedback and a question but no contact information (I’ve now added a section for that to the form) – this is a reply. Karthick asks: I’d love to know your methods of learning. How do you learn more? What mediums do you learn on (and any more tips on reading too!) Thank you for your time.…

A world class sentence

Could you write a world-class sentence – one that wouldn’t look out of place in a classic or a bestseller? Here are a three for free: “She turned.” “He scratched his head.” “The sun went down.” World class sentences. Very simple. Easy to write. Write some more.

Cohort (2): Seth Godin on peers and practice

Cultural standards and normalisation have enormous power over whether we choose a practice and how we find the guts to commit to our work. Bob Dylan moved from Minnesota to Greenwich Village for a reason. Most of the famous painters of the renaissance came to Florence for a reason as well. When you’re surrounded by respected peers it’s more likely…

In search of clarity

The aim is that every member of the team knows: What you’re working towards and why What each person’s role is (in general terms) What their specific job is and why it’s important How to actually do their job (technical skill) Where they can get help What qualities they’re expected to bring to their work (kindness, enthusiasm, creativity, generosity, rigour,…

Why are we doing this?

It’s essential to keep an eye on this question… Because the day-to-day will be a grind sometimes. Because there will be times when you need it as a lens to evaluate your attitude… … and the things you’re spending your time doing… and the attitudes and commitment of others. Because there will be times when the tasks are thankless (the…