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Ikigai – the Japanese route to a good life

Ikigai

IkigaiWhy do you get up every morning? Is it out of a sense of obligation, duty, or even compulsion? Or is it ikigai?

In Japanese culture, ikigai is a reason for getting up in the morning. it is the meaning to your life and your reason for being. It is your ‘raison d’être’, but in a more profound sense than English speakers commonly use that French phrase.

Ikigai is a big idea for English speakers, because we don’t have our own word, but the concept is important.

Ikigai is pronounced: ih-kee | guy-(ee)

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Imposter Syndrome

Imposter Syndrome

Imposter SyndromeWho am I to be writing this article? I’m not a psychologist. I don’t know about this stuff. I’m just a hack who reads , reflects, and re-writes. I feel like a fraud… Yup, you guessed it: that’s imposter syndrome.

If you have ever felt inadequate for the task you’ve been given… Or, if you have felt like a fraud among other, better qualified people… chances are you weren’t. What you are feeling is the near-universal effects of what is commonly known as imposter syndrome.

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Multiple Intelligences

Multiple Intelligences
Multiple Intelligences
Multiple Intelligences

The idea of Multiple Intelligences is the brainchild of Harvard Professor, Howard Gardner. As big ideas go, they don’t get bigger and simpler than this one.

Big, because the idea of Multiple Intelligences addresses something fundamental in all of us. It’s about our different capacities to excel in the full variety of human endeavours. It has a lot to say about how we should value the people around us, and the best way to educate our children.

Yet it is also disarmingly simple. There’s no single measure of intelligence. And neither should we reserve the label ‘intelligent’ for a narrow band of people who are simply intelligent in one of a small number of ways. Human potential expresses itself in a vast variety of forms. And so does our intelligence.

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The Paradox of Choice

The Paradox of Choice
The Paradox of Choice
The Paradox of Choice

One is no choice at all. And two is a dilemma. Three is a poor choice. And four is a bit better. The  more choices we get, the happier we are.

Not so fast‘ says Barry Schwartz. Beyond a certain point, more choices make us less happy. And that’s the paradox of choice.

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Customer Relationship Management: CRM

CRM - Customer Relationship Management
CRM - Customer Relationship Management
CRM – Customer Relationship Management

Customer Relationship Management, or CRM for short. The idea is simple: learn about your customers, and use your knowledge to strengthen your relationship with them. Use your stronger relationship to sell them more products or services. Repeat.

Not surprisingly, helping businesses to do this is… big business. A myriad of software solutions are available, with a plethora of consultancies and training businesses available to help you implement them. CRM has a lot in common with ERP. Indeed, some of the big players in the ERP space, also seek to sell CRM services alongside.

As a result, businesses focus on the software tools. This is a mistake. A fool with a tool… is still a fool. The secret to good CRM – as with good customer service – is to focus on the culture you build.

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Situational Leadership

Situational Leadership
Situational Leadership
Situational Leadership

There are more models of leadership than you can shake a stick at. So how should you know which is the best? That’s the question that is answered by Situational Leadership.

The principle of Situational Leadership is simple. There is no one best approach to leadership. To lead well, you must adapt your approach to the situation.

Situational Leadership has deep roots. And let’s start by setting aside our certainty that people have been managing and leading by adapting their approach to the people in front of them, for centuries. The academic study of this approach goes back to the 1950s.

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10,000 Hours and Deliberate Practice

10,000 Hours and Deliberate Practice
10,000 Hours and Deliberate Practice
10,000 Hours and Deliberate Practice

How do you become an expert at something, and truly master it? The answer, some will tell you, is with 10,000 hours of practice.

The so-called rule of 10,000 hours originated in a best-selling book, ‘Outliers’, by journalist, Malcolm Gladwell. He based the ideas at the core of his book on research that Anders Ericsson carried out, along with Ralf Krampe, and Clemens Tesch-Römer.

Then, he was a Professor at the University of Colorado. Now he’s at Florida State University. But here is the thing… Ericsson has been openly critical of the 10,000 hours formulation. And that offers both good news and bad for any of us who want to become world-class masters of any field.

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Seasonal Sales

Seasonal Sales
Seasonal Sales
Seasonal Sales

Seasonal sales are nowadays most closely associated with Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Boxing Day. But it wasn’t always so.

Indeed, the original seasonal sales were in January, and they were known as ‘White Sales’. Not because of the seasonal snow that went with them, though. The story is a little more interesting.

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Boxing Day

Boxing Day
Boxing Day
Boxing Day

Why is the day after Christmas apparently given over to the ancient pugilistic art of boxing? Well, it isn’t. That’s not the origin of Boxing Day.

That said, Boxing Day’s origins are a little unclear. And of the many variant theories, one outlier is that the now traditional Boxing Day sports once did include boxing.

We’ll set that one aside for lack of… evidence.

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PRINCE2

PRINCE2
PRINCE2
PRINCE2

Project Management is an important skill, not just for professional project managers. Increasingly, managers of all sorts are called on to manage projects. And one big idea in project management is PRINCE2.

PRINCE2 was developed in the UK, for public sector projects. But there, some non-Governmental organisations have adopted it. Some have done so because they work with the public sector. Others because it offers a valuable framework for accountable projects.

The same reasons account for the uptake of PRINCE2 outside the UK. It is at its most popular in:

  • northern Europe (Germany, Netherlands, Belgium) and
  • the English-speaking world (Australia, South Africa and the United States)

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