“The inquiry in England is not whether a man has talents and genius, but whether he is passive and polite and a virtuous ass and obedient to noblemen’s opinions in art and science. If he is, he is a good man. If not, he must be starved.”
In spite of Messrs Downes and Horne’s prophecy it didn’t.
In much the same way that the death of dentistry has been prophesied many times in the 40 odd years of my involvement it hasn’t died, yet. Evolved, grown, changed in many ways certainly but rumours of its death have been greatly exaggerated.
I remember being told that a vaccine to rid the world of Dental Caries was just around the corner, it didn’t appear but did contribute to our knowledge of the disease.
It is easy to say that the old ways are gone, the new will sweep everything away just look out! Two years ago the talk was of how the “clever” dentists having made a killing with Short Term Orthodontics were now looking to Facial Aesthetics for their big bucks.
I’m reminded of the story Colin Hall Dexter told of dentists complaining that areas were “worked out” as if they were talking about gold, diamond, or probably, coal mines.
Change is rarely, if ever, like that. Change does occur but when? Overnight? Not even Covid was that quick. There are always those who wake early in the morning and go to it, those who arrive at 8.55 and somewhat bewildered, deal with the day and of course the laggards who say “What happened, nobody told me, they wouldn’t do that to us.
I read this after meeting Michael Baker recently and being impressed with his ideas. When he couldn’t quite reconcile existing management theories with the real world he decided to write his own practical book. A fable of a newly appointed manager discovering that life after promotion isn’t quite as easy as it looks, it deals with the problems of getting the best out of people.
He meets his saviour, Jan, by chance on the train travelling from his office in Bristol to his home in Cardiff. She introduces him to the concept of PAMBO which is summed up as Performance = Ability x Motivation x Behaviour x Opportunity.
Coming in at 142 pages it’s a relatively short read which is big on practical advice and will stimulate and help anyone who works with people, face-to-face or at a distance. Great for new managers or those who want to remind themselves that things are best kept simple. Recommended.
From Jonty Bloom’s, blog: …..Just look at British Gas; it is in the middle of firing its engineers and re-hiring them on worse terms and conditions, I have not heard anything from the government on this and the reason is simple. They don’t care, in fact they think it is good for business….gradually remove employment rights and then watch as big business squeeze their workers until the pips squeak. It should mean cheaper services and bigger profits, in theory. What it really means is lower productivity and wages…..gradually remove employment rights and then watch as big business squeeze their workers until the pips squeak. It should mean cheaper services and bigger profits, in theory. What it really means is lower productivity and wages. Also it costs me more to insure my boiler with British Gas, than the rest of the house combined. Anyone like to explain that one?
Perhaps management had something to do with it? The Gas Act 1986 sold the company to private investors as British Gas plc….read the full story here. Was Sid right to get involved or are his children and grandchildren picking up the tab? Especially the ones who trained as Gas Engineers…
I am a great admirer of Brian Eno’s work, both what he does and how he does it. A unique individual and also an excellent collaborator, not always easy to be good at both. Some people know him as part of the original Roxy Music, some due to his producing credits, others for his “ambient” – way too small a word – music. His 1996 memoir, A year with swollen appendices is a fascinating read and gave me some insight into the way he works. One of his collaborations, Oblique Strategies, is used regularly in the Woodshed here at ReesAcres.
Here’s how Eno’s website describes them: Over One Hundred Worthwhile Dilemmas by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt. In 1975, Peter Schmidt and Brian Eno created the original pack of Oblique Strategies cards, through thinking about approaches to their own work as artist and musician. The Oblique Strategies constitute a set of over 100 cards, each of which is a suggestion of a course of action or thinking to assist in creative situations. These famous cards have been used by many artists and creative people all over the world since their initial publication.
When I get stuck I turn to the box. Sometimes when I am coaching clients, I will pull a card from the box for inspiration and share what it says. I have one favourite, permanently on view, which never fails to get me off my backside or (to quote Hemingway) to apply the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair. Today is one of those days.
Taken a couple of weeks ago from the Space Station, a picture of Ireland from a cloudless sky. For those who wonder where ReesAcres is, it’s in the County of Cork, the Townland of Fahouragh, and the parish of Castlehaven, comfortably close to the sea about 3 miles or so from Skibbereen. Right down the bottom (if you’re looking north south).