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The Black Swan Effect

The Black Swan Effect
The Black Swan Effect
The Black Swan Effect

Black Swan is a movie that follows the story of a ballerina in a New York ballet company. Her life is consumed with dance.

Oops. Wrong Black Swan.

The Black Swan is a book that sets out the nature and impact of rare, improbable events. The author, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, coined the metaphor of Black Swan to describe them.

Continue reading The Black Swan Effect

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ERP: Enterprise Resource Planning

ERP: Enterprise Resource Planning
ERP: Enterprise Resource Planning
ERP: Enterprise Resource Planning

ERP, or Enterprise Resource Planning is nothing more than a big piece of software. It sits at the centre of big organisations, handling lots of important tasks.

More recently, smaller scale ERP applications have come onto the market. These allow new and small businesses to get the benefits of  linked back office functions. This is due, in large part, to the availability of managed, cloud-based software.

Continue reading ERP: Enterprise Resource Planning

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Eating Frogs

Eating Frogs
Eating Frogs
Eating Frogs

Many of us are good at procrastination: putting things off to some unspecified ‘later’. For some, it’s a minor inconvenience. For others it’s a chronic drain on their productivity. One of the many solutions is eating frogs.

Not literally eating frogs, of course. This is a literary allusion. Although it’s not wholly clear where the credit should go. But in its modern form, Brian Tracy popularised the principle of eating frogs.  His best-selling 2001 book on personal productivity was  ‘Eat that Frog!’ (US|UK).

Continue reading Eating Frogs

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System 1 and System 2

System 1 and System 2
System 1 and System 2
System 1 and System 2

In understanding how we think, one big idea has dominated in recent years. It became widely known through Daniel Kahneman‘s phenomenal best-seller, ‘Thinking, fast and slow’. It’s the idea that we process information in two ways. There are two parallel thinking systems in our minds: System 1 and System 2.

There are many terms for these two systems. They have been called:

  • associative and rule-based
  • implicit and explicit
  • intuitive and analytical
  • experiential and rational
  • and many more

The terms System 1 and System 2 are marvellously neutral. They first emerged in a paper by Keith Stanovich and Richard West. But it’s Kahneman’s adoption of this language and the popularity of his book that gave them fame.

Continue reading System 1 and System 2

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FISH! Philosophy

FISH! Philosophy
FISH! Philosophy
FISH! Philosophy

What if excellent customer service and great team working could be fun? How could that transform your workplace? Those are the questions behind the FISH! Philosophy. It’s a training programme designed around behaviours that came about spontaneously. And they did so in, of all places, a fish market.

The FISH! Philosophy is a trademarked training programme. So, in this article, we’ll tread lightly in describing its main ideas. If you want to know more, the place to visit is Charthouse Learning’s FISH! Philosophy website.

Continue reading FISH! Philosophy

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Transactional Analysis

Transactional Analysis
Transactional Analysis
Transactional Analysis

If only we could understand people’s behaviour at work. Especially when communication so often seems to create, rather than solve, problems. Well, there is a big idea for that. It’s called Transactional Analysis.

Transactional Analysis (TA) has its roots firmly in psychotherapy. But it is of great value to managers and professionals. Its use of simple models and everyday language make it highly accessible. And, although much is often misinterpreted, the basic ideas give many powerful insights. With the help of TA, you can better understand the workplace dynamics around you.

Continue reading Transactional Analysis

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Kanban

Kanban
Kanban
Kanban

Toyota is a powerhouse for developing ideas that you’ll find around the world. Take for example, Lean, Kaizen, Seven Wastes, Just in Time, Jidoka, Six Sigma and, indirectly, Scrum. And one more: I give you Kanban.

Pronounce Kanban as kaahnbaahn with long aah sounds. It started out as part of Toyota’s ‘Just in Time’ lean production system. The word refers to cards that visibly represented the flow of parts through the manufacturing process.

Now, we use Kanban tracking project work. It has risen in popularity over recent years with the rise of Agile project management. It is one of the more popular Agile methodologies. And it’s also often combined with the most popular approach: Scrum.

Continue reading Kanban

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We’ve Moved Home

We've moved our blog

Action needed…

After over 400 posts, the Management Pocketblog
has moved to a New Home.

We've moved our blog
We’ve moved our blog

Our new home is here, at: pocketbook.co.uk/blog/

There, we are closer to our friends, sharing an address with all the Management Pocketbooks we love so much.

And since so many of them are going digital now, they take up less space!

It’s not just a move to a shinier, smarter new home

From next week (3 October) our articles will take on a new theme. Each one will explore a Big Idea.

So you won’t want to miss any of them.

The one thing we can’t move ourselves…
are our subscribers.

That’s you.

If you come to visit the Pocketblog site, you’ll be redirected automatically, through the power of tech.

But if you subscribe to get our articles in your inbox, you’ll need to do so again. Because tomorrow’s post will be the last one to be sent out from here.

If you have not yet done so…
Please re-subscribe to continue getting Pocketblog articles by email

All you need to do is look up to the top of the sidebar on the left, you can re-subscribe. That’s it.

We look forward to welcoming you to our new home!

 


 

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Management Doers – A Retrospective

When I created the Management Thinkers series of articles, I always intended a proportion of the thinkers to be doers too: entrepreneurs, business leaders, and management practitioners.

In the course of over 160 articles, and nearly 200 eminent individuals, I reckon (because I’ve not counted) around 40 to 50 of them have been active practitioners.

A Range to Choose from

Some of those are pure business-people: entrepreneurs, managers and business leaders. Others have been managers at one stage of their career, and then moved into academic or thought leadership roles. If I were to include all the intellectuals and academics who have monetised their thinking with paid consulting, we’d be up to pretty nearly 100 per cent, I’d guess.

So I have plenty to choose from in selecting my favourites for you.

Next week, we start afresh with a new style of article, so I want you to be able to review my list (if you choose) in good time. This list is therefore as restrained as I could make it.

My Top Pick

And I’m starting with Jane ni Dhulchaointigh. She gets my top place for not just being a massive inspiration and someone I’d not heard of before researching her post. She is also the only entrepreneur, business leader whose product I went out and bought as a result of researching the post. Check out Sugru, if you’ve not heard of it. If you have stuff to fix, or want to adapt things to work a little differently, you need some Sugru in your fridge.

Jane ni Dhulchaointigh

Top Performer, Financially

My next pick is Warren Buffett, legendary chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. I’d buy one of Berkshire Hathaway’s shares if they didn’t cost nearly as much as my house… each. Trading at over a quarter of a million US Dollars ($250,000) per share, you can get a sense of the genius of Buffett and his long-term business partner, Charlie Munger, by looking at the stock price in 1995 ($25,000) and 1965 ($19).

Top Entrepreneurs

Of course, we can learn a lot too from business leaders. I’ll select Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Ingvar Kamprad (IKEA), Mary Kay Ash (Mary Kay), Estee Lauder (Estee Lauder), Walt Disney (Disney), Zhang Yin (Nine Dragons), and George Eastman Kodak), as entrepreneurs who grew massive business empires and who have valuable lessons to teach us.

Top Philanthropists

Eastman was also a philanthropist and ahead of his time in the way he treated his workforce. So too was Robert Owen. His ideas management over pure command and control seem to us now, 160 years on, to be fresh and modern. I knew nothing of Owen before researching the article, and he blew me away.

Top Managers

Among pure managers and business leaders, two names stood out: a classic in Jack Welch (General Electric), and a modern hero in Indra Nooyi (PepsiCo).

Who would you pick?

Take a look at the full list of our Management Thinkers and Doers.

Who would you pick as your favourites, and why?

And who did we miss?

I’ll respond to every comment, and maybe do an article on any suggestions that I like.

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