Saturday, 25 January 2014


I want a new guitar. I admit I don't need one (I have 4)... but I want one.

The problems is that my wife says we don't have the space.  She has initiated a new house rule for guitars - one in, one out.  But I'm emotionally attached to my guitars so selling one is difficult. However, I admit we are running out of space.

We all know that what we have to store continually expands to fill the available space.  So we end up storing 'rubbish', stuff we might need one day when it 'comes in useful'.

The same is true at work. Most workspaces are full of unused tools, equipment, files, papers - taking up space, getting in the way, making us less productive.  This is why the 5S (google 5S if you don't recognise the term) process is so valuable - if we declutter, we work more effectively and more productively.

So, if you take a look at your workspaces and declutter them, I promise to think about considering getting rid of one of my guitars.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Stick with plan B

Marks & Spencer, the large UK retailer has an environmental strategy branded 'Plan A' .... "because there is no Plan B.  They are trying to get over the message that we HAVE to look after the environment and they are doing what they can.

Of course, in business, you have to have a Plan B - except in severe emergencies.  We have to have the flexibility to respond to changing circumstances - competition, legislation, technology or whatever.  This is, of course, the real strength of small businesses - they are flexible enough to respond to change ... and, if they are smart enough - they anticipate it.

So, by all mean make yourself efficient and 'lean'- but alongside the lean programme carry out a risk assessment and keep a little resource 'in the bank' for emergencies.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

If you Google the word 'productivity', you get lots of results. Many of them relate to 'personal productivity', and a smaller number of them to organisational productivity

So, which is the most important?

One way of looking at it is to assume that collective personal productivity makes up organisational productivity.

However, this is not so.  Organisational productivity depends much more on the effectiveness of the systems, processes and procedures involved than it does on the personal effectiveness of the workers ... except perhaps for the effectiveness of the few key people (like you) who shape policy and strategy.

So, don't ignore the personal productivity of your workers ...but don't expect it to transform your business if you don't pay attention to those systems, processes and procedures.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Are you helping?

It seems the world's government are looking to us (small businesses to lead them out of the economic mess precipitated by the banks and the big guys.

They see us as being a major component of GDP (which we are), and being small and flexible enough to sort ourselves out more quickly than those big guys (which we can).

Of course being governments, they can't ask us to do something without first tying one hand behind our backs - by making it very difficult for many of us to secure access to finance.

Still, we're fighters.  We've weathered economic down turns before.  We'll pull through - well enough of us anyway. We'll pull those governments out of their mess - but in spite of, not because of their 'help'!

See you on the other side.