James Lawther

Christmas Measures

Father Christmas had a problem… His planning elves had confirmed it. It was mid October and it was looking increasingly unlikely that he would get...

The Motivation Sink

Can you motivate someone? The gurus tell me that you can’t. You can’t give your staff motivation. It is not within your gift. Motivation is...

Ever Been Motivated by a Poster?

Imagine you make fish fingers for a living… Don’t laugh, it is a tough job I used to do it, I smelled awful after an...

Are Sales Incentives a Good Thing?

Should you incentivise your sales staff? It is widely known that if you want to drive sales you need to incentivise your staff.  Sales men are...

The “A” Team

The escalation What do you do when things get out of hand?  When your staff are bombarded with queries that they can’t handle? There are two...

The Sure Thing

Pain and despair Imagine you run a servicing centre. You have a staff of 100 who fill in forms to order things for customers. Maybe they process...

Books won’t Make you Clever

Correlation does not imply causation There is an apocryphal tale about an inner city education department in the American Mid West. In their efforts to increase...

The “Can’t Fail” Way to Success

Under-promise and over-deliver Adrian Swinscoe writes an interesting post… His bank found fraud on his card and sent him a new one.  They told him it...

Is Your Platform Really Burning?

You know this already… We respond to change differently.  There are lots of different categorisations, but we are usually described in groups a bit like this… Dangerous...

The Elephant Problem

Manage the numbers We love to manage by targets and numbers.  We divide our organisations up and target managers with very specific goals: And off we...

Chelsea Tractors, Rapport and Process Improvement

Process improvement should be easy You just stop doing the things a customer wouldn’t be happy to pay for. Spend a day with some brown paper and post...

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...

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