Friday, 31 August 2012

Of Season 2 "The Silly Season"

We're all furiously busy at the moment preparing for Season 2 which begins in earnest next week. Season 2 is known in the company as "Silly Season" for it is the three months of the year in which we do the majority of our work. We have 7 Annual Review Conferences to do throughout the UK and Ireland and an awful lot in between. The "awful lot in between" bit includes The Resolution Revolution which has also gone huge attracting to date upwards of 100 people. I'm billed in the marketing literature for this event as saying "It's the most important event we've ever done" and I genuinely believe it is. It's our attempt to persuade a large no of employers that the way they handle workplace conflict at work at the moment is wrong. Not only wrong but inefficient, costly and counter productive. It's a brave message but hey what are you about if you have nothing to say?

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Of Years Gone By

A strange thing happened to me today and it went like this. Early this morning I went to the local car boot sale to look for a couple of friends more than to buy anything in particular. But there about three rows in was a rather nice coffee table which, I thought, suited my lounge. A little later and it's on its way to my car. The seller, a guy about my age looked very vaguely familiar. As he helped me to the car with it he kept on looking at me as I did him. Finally, I took the plunge and stated that I thought I'd seen him somewhere before. It turned out I had, 30 years ago at school in Northampton!
We talked about that strange old school and how we both managed to survive it neither of us having particularly good memories of it or indeed the school bully, who happened to be in our class. He got 15 years for manslaughter when he left school I was informed. Funny world innit?

Friday, 24 August 2012

Of The E-Myth Revisited

Last December I read a book called the "E-Myth". The title is a little misleading. Many might think it is to do with Email or the electronic world and why it is not up to what it is generally thought to be. But it is actually to do with entrepreneurship and how most of business people continue to get it wrong big time.
The author argues that every entrepreneur should start and develop a business like he or she plans to franchise it. Only then will they create the distance from the day to day activity that will allow them to grow it and expand.
He gives some great examples in his book and looks closely at how McDonalds works its franchise system and how so much of it is done exactly the same throughout the world.
Today, we have a consultant coming into Legal-Island to help us draft workflow processes and begin to put into practice much of the advice dished out in the E-Myth.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Of The Dolce Vita

 I've just spent a cracker of a holiday in Lake Como and I mean a cracker. Beautiful weather, lovely location and scenery and great company.
Now back to porridge. In Antrim. I mean, how difficult can it be?


Monday, 20 August 2012

Of Super Mario

I've just had a glorious 12 days in Lake Como, Italy. One of the highlights of this magical place is a little gem of a restaurant called "II Cavatappi" hidden away in the back streets of Varenna about an hour from Milan. It's run by a little gem of a man called Mario. His restaurant contains just five tables and we were lucky enough to get one of them one evening.
The night we were there Mario was doing everything. He would do the "meet n greet" then take the order, then nip into the kitchen prepare your food and serve it with the sort of tender loving care that money just can't buy.
This was Italian cooking at it's very best. Simple food done really well in oils that caused an explosion of taste to linger in your mouth long after the food had gone down.
It's great food like this that makes Varenna and indeed Italy oh and, of course, the distinct lack of restaurants and cafes with signs that say "Full English Breakfast Served here".

Monday, 6 August 2012

Of The Big Girls in the Big Time

I attended the Women's Weightlifting final at the London Olympics yesterday and what a fantastic contest it proved to be. It was the battle of the giants. Zhou Lulu against the Russian Tatiana Kashirina.
The latter opened boldly by starting at a weight that would be a new Olympic record if lifted. And it was. Kashirina then lifted a full 6 kilos more than she's ever put above her head in her life for a new snatch world record at 153 kilos. You'd think this would be enough secure her gold but it wasn't. Lulu came back in the clean and jerk with a new world record of her own making her queen of the weights big style.
These women were lifting almost twice their body weight and they aren't light. Astonishing stuff.