Ban the TLA

I’m fed up with acronyms. Of course they can help you remember stuff but often they are used to exclude you from conversations or make the user look smart. So next time someone uses a string of acronyms just tell them you are fed up with their TLA’s and FLA’s. (Three and Four Letter Acronyms). And suggest that you ... Read more

Noddy at Work

I always liked Enid Blyton’s Noddy. He seemed quite a simple character to me. And he spoke a language that was easy to understand. Next time someone explains things in terms you don’t understand stop them. Ask them to explain things to you in ‘Noddy Language’. If they can’t explain things in simple terms or terms understandable to an ... Read more


Bosses can be a problem. They have a habit of telling you what to do. Often this isn’t the same as what you want to do. However, occasionally even I have to admit they can add value. One of mine used to say ‘Keep It Simple, Stay Accountable, Make It Happen’. Usually I dismiss such sound bites as superficial ... Read more

Knowing You- Knowing Me

Sometimes you realise that money can be better spent. I once took a group of managers from different countries away on a ‘cross cultural course’ to understand how people from different geographies and backgrounds see things differently. The aim was to help them learn how to work better together. It was two days of intensive lectures, group work and ... Read more


I never liked nicknames as I found it patronising and crass. What I’ve realised in later life is that nicknames are often a demonstration of having built rapport and to a degree friendship. Unless you build rapport with the people you work for/with it is far more difficult to get results. A key quote from the American leadership expert ... Read more

Do you Know the Kid’s Names?

We are humans, not apes. How often have you heard people say “I’ve no time to chat; I’ve got work to do” These days at work simple hierarchies where you tell people what to do are disappearing. Decisions are increasingly made as part of cross divisional or cross functional teams. Agreement needs to be forged rather than imposed. It ... Read more

Profit is an Opinion but Cash is a Fact. (Part One)

I wasn’t very good at maths in school. Working in business has taught me that if there is one financial statement that is more important than any other it is cash flow. Thankfully it is the easiest one to understand. Cash in and out. Lots of orders and invoicing might make you think you are profitable but if they ... Read more

University of Common Sense (Part One)

MBA’s from leading business schools can help you get a job. However it is easy to forget that common sense is more important than any qualification. Here is a common sense example you will all know but maybe forgot about. Before going into an important meeting or negotiation play act the meeting from different perspectives. Imagine you are at the ... Read more

I Don’t Know What I Don’t Know But I Pretend I Do

I find in business that humility is often in short supply. I sometimes attribute this to arrogance but more likely it is a ‘cloak of protection’ that owners put on as they feel they should know about everything & don’t want to admit any weakness. For me being able to accept that there are things you don’t do so ... Read more

Ten Key Lessons for Business Success

Everyone will have their own list. This is mine! Appreciating what you do well and not so well. Recruiting (or outsourcing to) great people & motivating them. Remembering that profit is an opinion and cash is a fact. Many profitable businesses fail because they run out of cash. Being aware of external sources of finance and the implications of giving away equity. Recognising that ... Read more