Category Archives: efficiency

November 01

Product leadership part 2 – getting things done

“Actual productivity = potential productivity – coordination & motivation loss” Rich Kalgradd However, productivity is not the most important factor in team or company success.  Like running a race, you will not win by running the fastest in the wrong direction.  If you have chosen the right direction, .e., made a good decision about what […]

November 22

What you can learn from ‘Talent is Overated’ by Geoff Colvin (2016, 206 pages)

What separates the truly exceptional from the rest of us?  Is it talent or is it hard work? In ‘Talent is Overrated’ Geoff argues that while there are some qualities that make us more predisposed to certain achievements, it only when people spend a lot of time (10,000+ hours) in deliberate practice that they can become world […]

November 18

Leadership hack 017 – you can only fix what you can see

The amount work expected of leaders keep growing, increasing the chance that important tasks are missed.  As companies adopt a flatter, agiler, structure leaders get more responsibility and more people to work with.  It is now very easy for one of your many spinning plates to drop crashing to the ground. The way we manage tasks […]

November 11

Leadership hack 016 – what 80/20 actually means

5There is much advice out there ‘don’t boil the ocean‘ or be ‘80/20‘.  A lot of people think that this means just do 80% of the work.  Few understand its true meaning that you should only focus on the very small, but very significant 20% of the work which creates 80% of the impact. Understanding that […]

September 15

Leadership hack 009 – running a good meeting

Meetings are the bane of the modern world.  They are unsexy, and often very, very dull.  Many of us have so many meetings that we struggle to get any ‘real’ work done. One way to claw back time is to get rid of meetings.  While this nuclear option has its advocates (see here and here), unless […]

July 29

What you can learn from ‘The Phoenix Project’ by Gene Kim,Kevin Behr & George Spafford (2014, 338 pages)

How do you ensure that IT supports the business? How does your business transform in the digital age? In the book ‘The Phoenix Project, the authors argue that closer integration of development, operations and risk provide a competitive advantage by enabling the other business functions to succeed.  The authors argue that the ‘Three Ways’ are […]

July 23

What you can learn from ‘Agile project management for Dummies’ by Mark Layton (2012, 306 pages)

Being agile is now seen as a requirement for many companies.  Start-ups are agile, innovators are agile, cool companies are agile.  But what does agile mean?  What are the benefits of agile? And, how do you ‘do’ agile? There is a lot of writing about the ‘digital’ way of working, where companies are trying to […]

July 08

What you can learn from ‘Sprint’ by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky & Braden Kowitz (2016, 220 pages)

How do you deliver a product or service that customers want?  How do you make progress in a short time on a critical project? Agile methodology (see the last book I reviewed here) suggests that work should be approached in short bursts of intense activity or ‘sprints’.  In these sprints, you can bring the right people […]

June 06

What could you learn from ‘Decisive’ by Chip and Dan Heath (2014, 252 pages)

You make thousands of decisions each day.  Some are more important than others.  Research by many academics (for example, Daniel Kahneman, Gary Klein and Amos Tversky) has shown that the way you think, and your emotional state, play an enormous role in your decision-making ability. In their latest book,’Decisive’ Chip and dan Heath argue there four reasons […]

May 24

How you can get faster by using speed reading and auto-summary tools

  Whether you are studying or working, one area of research that takes up a lot of time is being able to read and analyse piles of written information. I have found that two approaches help.  Speed reading and auto-summariser tools. I have found that the best speed reading tool is spreed (  A Chrome add-on, […]

May 11

Staying on the leading edge – Part 3. My top science and technology podcasts

The pace of technological advancement is still increasing.  In some industries, digitisation has crushed incumbent giants and spawned thousands of new entrants.  While some industries are emerging from this digital apocalypse, others are just starting to see that change is on the horizon. The following podcast will help you keep up-to-date with the latest science and the […]

April 26

Optimal stopping theory – how maths can help you maximise your decisions by Max Eskell

In life and business, there are many problems where the main issue is that there is a high number of available choices.  In business, these could be finding deciding on a primary contractor, choosing a joint venture partner or even recruiting key individuals. Optimal stopping theory possibly provides help.  Briefly, optimal stopping theory suggests that you should reject […]