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Backwards and Forwards

Pocketblog comes out on Tuesdays, which means that this year, it coincides with both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.  Which means that there will be a short hiatus before the next edition.

But never fear – I shall be busy.  I will be preparing for next year’s exciting new project.  More about that later.  But first…

The Best of 2012

As before, here is a selection of my own favourite Pocketblogs from 2012.

Early in the year, we did two blogs about Emotional Intelligence: ‘There’s more to Emotional Intelligence than Daniel Goleman’ and then offered practical tips to ‘Boost your EQ’.

Emotional Intelligence

In this Jubilee year, we let you into The Management Secrets of Queen Elizabeth II.  Sadly, advance orders for the Modern Monarch’s Pocketbook have been disappointing (we just received our third, with the same address as the last) and we are holding back on publication until orders pick up.

The Modern Monarch's Pocketbook

Another big event for us was the launch of our Management Pocketblog 100 Day Challenge.  We know (from orders) that some of you took it up.  Please do tell us (on the blog page comments) about your experiences.  If you have not yet, it is not too late to take up the challenge.

The Management Pocketblog 100 Day Challenge

We were able to offer readers insightful business and management tips from to impeccable sources this year.  In ‘What matters today, in Business and Management?’ we extracted tips from Time Magazine’s 2012 100 Most Influential People in the World.  In ‘The Oracle of Omaha’, we took guidance from some of Warren Buffet’s top CEOs.

Our three-part series: ‘The New Manager’s Guide to Interviewing’ will be a helpful resource if you are new to this role.  It covered:

  1. Preparing the Ground
    Increase your chances of success well before the interview
  2. Getting it Right
    Hints and advice for conducting and effective interviews
  3. Polishing your Process
    Tips and tricks of the trade

And, for people on the receiving end, we wrote ‘Seven Ways to Interview Well’ just for you.  If you want to stick with your current job, but spice it up a little bit and renew your motivation, try ‘Same Job: New Job’.

Edward de Bono's Six Thinking Hats

Closest to my own heart were:

Our three-part series about dealing with poor performance in staff, ‘Let’s sort out poor performance’, parts:

          1. Infrastructure
          2. Turnaround
          3. The Alternative

These followed on from two blogs, ‘What is Performance Management?’, and ‘The Root of the Issue: Dealing with Poor Performance’.

Bruce Tuckman: Group Development model...  forming - storming - norming - performing - adjourningOur blogs about Bruce Tuckman’s model of Group Development (Forming-Storming-Norming-Performing) continue to be the most heavily read.  In February, we provided a link to all four of them.

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And finally…  Pocketblog honoured two sad losses this year: Neil Armstrong, the astonishingly humble all-American/all-global hero; and Stephen Covey, who wrote one of the very best of the best personal effectiveness book: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

Neil ArmstrongStephen Covey


Coming Next Year

Pocketblog is nearly 3 years old (we started on 23 February 2010) and has chalked up over 150 posts to date.  It’s time for a little refresh.  So 2013 will see a new style of Pocketblog.  Not a radical departure: more of a shift in emphasis.

Next year, we’ll be presenting our Management Pocket-Correspondence Course.  Over the course of the year, we’ll be blogging about the full range of management skills in a structured way.  Why not Subscribe to the Blog by email (towards the top of the column to the right of this) to receive them all in your inbox.

Until then…

From everyone at Management Pocketbooks…

Have a very merry Christmas,
and a happy and healthy New Year.

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Innovation, Creativity and Heroism

Neil Alden ArmstrongNeil Armstrong died last week (25 August 2012).

He died a pilot, a professor, a scientist and a hero.

There are a lot of pilots, a lot of professors and a lot of scientists.  But if the word is to mean something worthwhile, there are few heroes.

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Hero

Like many words, the word hero has become debased somewhat, by overuse, but my 1988 Collins dictionary defines it well (although old-fashionedly in its gender assumption) as:

‘a man distinguished by exceptional courage, nobility, etc’

That’s my emphasis, please note.

Curiosity

One of Armstrong’s exceptional etc’s was curiosity.  And anyone who reads my own newsletter will know that I am a big fan of what NASA has started to achieve with its Curiosity rover, on Mars.

The development of this project was an exercise in astonishing boldness, heaped upon massive innovation, grown out of remarkable creativity.  And what makes it particularly appealing to me is that I believe curiosity to be the magic ingredient of creativity.

We choose to do these things…

In launching the Apollo space programme that put Armstrong on the moon, John F Kennedy made two key speeches: the first to Congress in May 1961 announced the goal of going to the moon.  Then, in September 1962, speaking at Rice University, he spoke at length about the project, saying:

‘We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.’

Is that not the nature of creativity and innovation?

What is the nature of heroism?

Innovation, by its very definition, is risky.  It is new, it is uncertain, it could fail.  But if it presents a challenge that is truly worthwhile, if it addresses a deep hunger for knowledge and a nobility of endeavour, then being prepared to take that risk, for its own sake, is heroism.

Neil Armstrong was a hero.

Neil Alden Armstrong was an American astronaut and the first person to walk on the Moon. He was also an aerospace engineer, U.S. Navy pilot, test pilot, and university professor.
Source: Wikipedia

Born: August 5, 1930
Died: August 25, 2012

Education:
University of Southern California(1970)
Purdue University (1947–1955)


Creative Manager's PocketbookNurturing Innovation PocketbookProblem Solving Pocketbook

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