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the pressures of work

The Search for Value – an intelligent response to the pressures of work

The Pressures of Work

No pressure no diamonds – is a great quote from Thomas Carlyle that epitomises a winning response towards the pressures of work…and life. I recall being told quite early in my career that a diamond was simply a dead piece of wood put under immense pressure. This insight changed my perspective towards pressure. Suddenly pressure was a potential force for good rather than a negative emotion caused by the overload of life.The Search for Value 1

Clearly, pressure is a relative term. When circumstances change for the worse some people can only see and feel negative energy. Others see the opportunity it provides. Put simply some people wilt whilst others thrive on the pressures of work. In this short piece I will explore the pressure created by an organisation being asked once again to do more with less. This is a reality for many organisations in the last few years and, I fear, for many months to come.

The initial reaction always seems to be to reach first for the ‘cost’ lever. “Sharpen the pencils at both ends”, “slash all ‘unnecessary’ expenditure”, “baton down the hatches” are the clarion calls that ring throughout the land. This sends a shiver through most people as they consider, usually not for the first time, what can be cut and what can be stopped? This ‘cut the costs’ call to arms is almost universally received with gloom, worry and despair. The more cynical managers will say ‘here we go again’ and will watch like hawks as the scarcity mind-set begins to paralyse the organisation. They fatalistically observe the consequences as under investment and short term cost cutting begin to break out.

The Search for Value

I contend a better response to ‘cut all costs’ is to start a ‘search for value’. Read more

Challenges and solutions.

Wise words – the change challenges in the post-Brexit VUCA world?

Challenges and Solutions

Challenges come at us from every direction, all the time.  Faced with a challenge this week at school, my daughter said the above to my wife who duly noted it down. We thought it was a really mature and smart way of looking at things. I found the piece of paper last night.

Not wishing to sound political, I woke this morning to the shock of a Leave vote. Selfish concerns aside, driving into the office I reflected on the implications for the projects world (in the broadest sense) of this momentous change. Here are some immediate thoughts on the challenges ahead, for what they are worth.  Building on my daughters wise words – there are always solutions. Would love to hear what you think the implications will be whether you are in the project / programme / portfolio / transformation / change world or not. Here goes: Read more