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Success is up to the individual

I started reading some article on Medium by someone about something vaguely interesting when a single sentence stopped me in my tracks.

It is for each employee to invest what they think they need in order to be successful in their role.

I read this in the context of company culture and work/life balance, and to it said to me that it is for each person to choose how much time and effort they should put into their job, as long as they are working towards the success of the role and the company. This unorthodox and (to me) liberating approach to challenging the Industrial Revolution idea of ‘work’ being about bums-on-seats from 9 am to 5 pm is simply brilliant. It makes the individual take responsibility for the success of themselves and their role.

If one person wants to be creating complex spreadsheets that accurately measure the performance of a business at 1am (mentioning no names), then the company with this kind of culture would say, “It’s up to you to decide what you should be focusing your efforts on, how you organise your time, and when you do your work, just aim to be successful.”.

I think this idea also connects to my previous idea about achieving Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose at work, which said that Autonomy should come from management, and this idea takes it big step further.

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Difficult decisions at Bucks Mind Board Meeting

We had some difficult discussions at today’s board meeting, and had to make decisions that feel like a compromise between what is best for the service users and what might be better for the organisation in the long run.

Having to make these kinds of decisions is exactly why a charity needs a board of trustees with a diverse range of skills and broad experience, to bring different opinions to the discussion, and a good chair to ensure that all opinions are heard and considered, and that a clearly understood decision is reached.

As Bucks Mind’s board of trustees grows in size with each new recruit and each board member gets to know each other with every meeting, I think we are becoming a board that can balance complicated and conflicting discussion and reach decisions that are as good as they can be for all concerned.

 

 

 

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The ECG of projects

I was given some advice about running projects. Just as an electrocardiogram is used for measuring abnormalities in heart rate and rhythm, this ECG helps to ensure the health of the project.

Expectations
Setting clear expectations for the project, it’s time scales, budget, etc., not only prevents surprises it also gets people to support the project and not be so quick to dismiss it when things go wrong.

Communication
Communicating well and often builds confidence in the project. Providing the right kind of information at the right level via a formal means of communication, and talking about the project in an informal way are both vital for getting the message across.

Governance
Good governance is essential. And if the decision-makers have clear expectations and have been communicated to well, then they’ll be in a good position to provide good governance.

Ask yourself:

  • have I set clear Expectations?
  • have I got clear Communication
  • have I got good Governance?

Answer “Yes”, and prevent the project from flat-lining.

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Setting strategic-level goals for ecommerce

Setting goals is essential for an ecommerce business, and of course they should be SMART goals, but I’m also interested in how the goals can be meaningfully aligned to the strategic priorities of the business and be balanced across all the activities of the business. I think the strategic priorities and strategic goals should be developed together rather than one coming from the other, and should have both quantitative and qualitative measures.

 Internal-looking GoalExternal-facing Goal
Quantitative measure X
Qualitative measure  

Let’s take ‘Increasing revenue’ as a goal, as making more money is probably a pretty good goal for most ecommerce businesses to have. It would be an external-facing goal that is measured quantitatively, so it would go in the top right box above.

If all of the business goals fit in this box then I would suggest that the business doesn’t have a balanced approach to a) setting goals, and b) growing the business as a whole. Having a broader set of strategic goals that are spread across all four boxes would better represent the business as a whole.

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Smart speed cameras

Speed cameras that can only be set to detect one speed, which is fine for fixed speed limit areas like 30 miles an hour, but doesn’t really work for national speed limit zones. In national speed limit zones cars can drive at up to 60 miles an hour but lorries are supposed to drive at 50 miles an hour. This means that lorries could break the speed limit without the cameras being able to detect it.

A smart speed camera could scan the approaching vehicle and know what speed it should be going based on the size of it’s profile.

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Safe Driving App Idea

This app would have four main aspects:

1. Sat nav
Pretty standard functionality but essential for getting users to put their phone into windscreen holder and open the app.

2. Looped video recording
Lots of drivers are using in-car cameras to record what’s going on in front of them so they’ll have evidence if they have an accident. This app would make use of the phone’s camera to record short videos that loop so erasing the previous recording unless you press a button to save the video.

3. Braking distance warning
Since the app is already using the camera and the GPS it could also use both to detect the vehicle in front, measure the distance between the two, and calculate the stopping distance at that speed. It would then alert the driver if they are getting too close and not leaving themselves enough safe braking distance.

4. Driving efficiency reports
Since the app is collecting data about the driving it may as well show the driver with a simple dashboard with things like top speed, average speed, etc., and more interestingly driving efficiency by calculating all the accelerating and braking and providing a score that encourages more efficient driving next time.

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Reading

How to hustle

How to hustle – 10 habits of highly successful hustlers

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Times have changed

It used to be that you had device that told you the time (a watch) and it was up to you to know what you were supposed to be doing at that time. But now our devices notify us of what we are supposed to be doing and when. We’ve skipped over needing to know the time and taken away the need to remember what we’re doing.

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Sgydau Sychryd

Sgydau Sychryd
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A day without Diet Coke? Challenge accepted

I drink a lot of Diet Coke. Eight to ten cans a day. But I’ve always said that it isn’t an addiction, so when a friend challenged me to go an entire day without Diet Coke, I said, ‘Easy. Challenge accepted’.

And it was easy. I didn’t miss it at all, hardly thought about it, and drank water instead. The only slight difference I noticed was feeling a bit more tired towards the end of the day as my caffeine levels dropped.