The Retirement Speech Test. “I wish I’d said that years ago”

The Perfect Retirement Speech. I’m thinking of offering a course on how to write the perfect retirement speech. Nothing fancy, clever or sophisticated, just three bite-size chunks. Part 1 is just a case of, writing down what you really think about a specific topic connected to your working life; take your pick from the following […]

The James Reason Swiss Cheese Failure Model in 300 Seconds

James Reason Swiss Cheese Model. Source: BMJ, 2000 Mar 18:320(7237): 768-770 A while ago I was part of the Cardiff pilot of Practical Strategies for Learning from Failure (#LFFdigital). My job was to explain the James Reason Swiss Cheese Failure Model in 300 seconds (5 minutes). This is what I did. The Swiss Cheese Model of […]

Do Mundane Things Culture Club

Here’s a question. How do you find a parking space for someone visiting your organisation? Is it as challenging as securing a visa for a sightseeing tour of North Korea, for you and your friends from the photography club? Alternatively, do you just check for an available space and book it? Simples! Recently I shared […]

Holding Up The Mirror. What does that even mean? How would you do it?

Here’s a thing. Have you ever had a conversation where someone says; “let’s hold the mirror up to that one”, you make agreeable noises and nod your head in a seriously earnest way? However, deep down you are wondering; “what on earth does that even mean?”, “how do we stick a project review action plan […]

Failure is Not an Option, and Neither is Blame, Most of the Time.

Here’s a quick quiz.  Where did the phrase ‘Failure is not an option’ originate?  Queen Boudicca AD 61, in her famous  rallying call to the Iceni Tribe before taking on the occupation forces of the Roman Empire. Chief Engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel 1835. In his brief memo to all Great Western Railway staff, stressing the importance […]

Beating the Inspectors Number 7*. Satisfaction of Search Bias

My old friend Martyn tells a lovely story about one of the most important jobs he’s done during a lifetime of working on building sites – distracting the Site Agent. Basically this exploits one of Martyn’s superpowers, the ability to talk to anyone, for quite a long time if needed. This superpower comes into play […]