Nick's Notes

Run for the hills

“Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” Samuel Johnson was wrong, tragically so. Traveling to a recent CIO Connect workshop I was struck by how much I dislike London. It’s noisy, dirty, dusty, full, rude, smelly. There are too many people in too small []

Alphabetic Serendipity

I have rediscovered bookshops, and with them, books. Perhaps bookshops have been reinvented since I last indulged, Bookshop 3.0, you might say. I’m up to Kindle 6.6 on my iPad after all. 2.0 brought coffee shops some time ago and 1.0 always featured knowledgeable staff, who knew about the books as well as the shop, especially in the independent bookshops. []

I’m back

It has been a while since I last blogged, though through the wonders of foresight not quite so long since you read my last blog. A lot has happened over the past few weeks, most notably for me my Mother died. Those of you who read this blog regularly know she had dementia, so in many ways it was a []

Rules not Recipes

Throughout the Spring many people look at their lifestyle and make resolutions to fix some of the things they are most concerned about. This includes the amount of alcohol they drink and leads to ‘dry January’ or the amount they eat – especially following on from over indulgence over the holiday period. The newspapers and magazines pick up on this []

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 []
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