Nick's Notes

Telling Stories

Humans are storytellers. From time immemorial we have told stories to explain things we didn’t understand, and to paint a picture of a present and a future that others would accept and help make a reality. Inevitably this addresses the big questions of our existence and so encompasses religion, philosophy and politics where, unlike science, there are few objectively correct []

Yes, but No, but Yes…

Everyone dislikes dithering. It is particularly frustrating when someone you report to can’t make up their mind and give clear direction. Equally, it is difficult when so called decisions are revisited, and things you believe to be settled get reopened and discussed further. I have no magic wand to make these things go away. But it is possible to look []

Life Changing

My maternal Grandmother was born in 1901 and died in 1995. When our three sons were small, we used her lifespan as an anchor for 20th century history and to illustrate how much had changed over the course of one life. From a world where transport was dominated by horses to ubiquitous cars; from being born years before the Wright []

From Atoms to Electrons

Last night I went to a meeting of the local history society – I know, some people get all the best gigs. The speaker was excellent and showed many images demonstrating the history of our area. For some reason, I particularly noticed one image. It was an old building and it had one of the early Sun Alliance insurance plaques []

Use your NED

Many organisations have Non-Executive Directors (NEDs), or similar individuals, even in the public sector. Sitting on the Board with wide experience they are just as responsible for the lawful operation of the organisation they are involved with as are the Executive Directors, with the main difference that they do not have to run anything within the organisation and should be []

Making the case

The laws of physics are the same anywhere in the universe we’re told. But when it comes to economics, human behaviours and the human willpower all mean that the stated “laws” are really empirical descriptions of what has happened before and not necessarily rules that drive a future outcome. For example, people confidently predicted that Quantitative Easing after the credit []

Digital Reflections

I am sitting writing this in Dublin. I’m on a day trip visiting clients. In the UK, my car registration plate was automatically recognized to gain access to the car park which was pre-paid online. I’d an electronic boarding card. I flew here in less than an hour, waved a piece of paper at a customs officer and walked into []

Moving people on

Last week we ran a story in the Daily Intelligence email to our clients about a CIO who was involved in the transformation of his business. He said the hardest thing was to “let go” people who had served the company well but for one reason or another he didn’t think they could make a contribution to the change underway []

Succession success

I heard about a CIO leaving their job recently, one who hadn’t been appointed long ago. Their appointment followed the long term tenure of the previous incumbent who had a taken up a new role in the same business. I wasn’t surprised. It happens a lot, and not just in business, but in politics and in sport too. Just think []

Publish and be damned

In the last few days information has been in the forefront of the news in the UK and US for different reasons. In the UK the public consultation on what is known as ‘Leveson II’ comes to an end very shortly. This is about enacting one of Sir Brian Leveson’s proposals from his inquiry a few years back which would []

Leviathan

I was going to start this first blog of 2017 – Happy New Year, by the way – talking about mergers and acquisitions, and particularly the CIOs role in such work. Because of the Brexit vote Sterling declined in value and UK companies look to be very good value to foreign investors. Despite the experts fears following the Brexit vote []

Resources

In our dealings with CIOs we often hear the refrain ‘I don’t have enough resources’. Not surprising perhaps – demand for IT services grows very quickly, and it is the role of the senior executives to make hard decisions about what to do which is realistic and achievable, recognising all of the constraints and opportunities. By resources people usually mean []
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