James Lawther

How to be More Innovative

What have they got in common?  What was the source of their creativity?  What sparked their innovative streak? 1. Charles Darwin Before he wrote the origin of...

There are 2 Types of Manager in the World, Which are You?

Here is a great quote… Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right  ~ Henry Ford I’m going to adapt it… Whether you...

How you Condemn your Staff to Failure

Rats and children are not so different They are similar in the way they behave: Those might be scientifically proven facts, but proof and explanation are not...

What Could a Lab Rat Teach you About Leadership?

In the 1960’s a couple of scientists (Rosenthal and Frode) were busy trying to breed clever rodents.  To see if they had succeeded they...

Snakes, Rats and Your H.R. Policies

Have you heard of the Cobra effect? In Victorian times, at the height of the British Empire, the governors of Colonial India were very worried...

The Wrong Answer

Are your staff stupid? Have you ever asked them to do something so obvious that it simply wasn’t possible to misunderstand?  A nice, easy job....

The Problem with Protectionism

When I was a teenager… The gadget to be seen with was a Walkman. Modelled by tall blondes on roller-skates cruising along sun-kissed Californian beaches Desired — in...

Target Setting, Cause and Effect

During the 1990’s and early 2000’s the UK government relied heavily on target setting as a way to manage the public sector.  We had: No...

Details Matter

POSH Bags There is a rumour about Steve Jobs.  It is alleged that he sacked an employee at one of the first Apple stores. Why?  Because she...

Less is More

All children are artists They can pick up a pen or a crayon and create.  Before you know it they have drawn something beautiful, a...

W.A.I.T.

In his book To Sell is Human Dan Pink puts forward a simple idea.  Whatever your walk of life you sell things: My wife sells...

Estimates and Anchors

Sometimes you will be asked a question and you won’t know the answer… How many customers will call? How many products will you sell? How much will...

Do You Really Need Big Data?

You think you need big data You need to understanding all those interactions and connections You need databases and decisioning tools and analysts and consultants You need...

Six Musts if You Use Voice Response…

It is a bit of a touchy subject Should you use a: Voice Response Unit VRU, Interactive Voice Response IVR, one of those damn electronic...

Are You Above Average?

We love averages They let us know how we are doing, we run our businesses on averages, we judge ourselves against averages, average headlines even...

If Somebody Made a Mistake that Nearly Killed You

In 1989 an air show was held at Brown Field in San Diego. The test pilot Bob Hoover was taking thrill seekers for flights in...

4 Ways to Change Behaviour

There are 4 ways to change people's behaviour: The first is the stick: Beat people until they do what you want. The stick works, but people...

The SMART Goal Myth

I have been on a leadership course. I've learnt that if I want to improve my team's performance I must set them all SMART goals....

The I-Bomb

Bang… There's been an explosion. Not a Car Bomb or a Molotov Cocktail, nothing that crude, it was much more sophisticated, it was an...

Do Dragons Nurture Ideas or Slaughter Them?

Imagine you are an entrepreneur You have a great idea that needs funding, what do you do? Find a venture capitalist or business angel and...

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