The Weekend Read – Freakonomics by Levitt & Dubner

I know little about economics but from what I can gather economists know not a lot more. A refreshing and intriguing read.

Buy it here.

Company Logos After The Crisis

One of my favourite newsletters is written by John Niland of Success 121

In the last edition he produced these logos which he attributed to Gerard MacNamara of Schumann Associates.



The Monday Morning Quote #29

“The last of human freedoms – the ability to chose one’s attitude in a given set of circumstances.”

Viktor E. Frankl

Uplifting stuff from Tut

Mike Dooley writes a daily message that rarely fails to raise my spirits. Here’s a recent one. Subscribe at

When in doubt, Alun, show up early. Think less. Feel more. Ask once. Give thanks often. Expect the best. Appreciate everything. Never give up. Make it fun. Lead. Invent. Regroup. Wink. Chill. Smile. And live as if your success was inevitable, and so it shall be.

Happy global domination,    The Universe



Is this any way to run 1) a Business 2) a Health Service?

From HSJ website an article by Sally Gainsbury

Trust blames IT for £10m loss.

Royal Free Hampstead Hospital trust has lost as much as £10m due to problems installing a new digital care records service, its chief executive has claimed.

The trust was the first to attempt to go live with the Cerner LC1 system for managing patient admission, transfer and discharge details in June last year. But a series of problems meant appointments could not be booked automatically and bills for work done were not sent to commissioners.

Chief executive Andrew Way said the trust had spent £4m on trying to fix the problems and had lost another £6m through taking fewer patient referrals and not being able to bill for work.

The trust’s latest board documents show it blames its IT problems for the “majority” of its monthly £1.8m underperformance against its plan. But they also reveal that the trust hopes to recover some of this, in part through catching up on invoicing.

More stable

In a statement today, Mr Way said the system was now “far more stable”. He added:

“Over the coming weeks and months we will be adapting its use to the way in which our staff want the system to work to enhance the services we provide to our patients.

“It should be emphasised that we now have the basics of one of the world’s most highly regarded IT systems established at the Royal Free.”

The basics….well that’s alright then.


Time Away

I’m with the family in West Cork for a week, dividing my time between:

So there’s no Weekend Read as I’m catching up on the reading.

For the Monday quote have a whole poem here.

Jeremy Clarkson’s Favourite Video

From John Naughton’s blog.

Take three minutes and smile here.

Networking for Profits

I was a member of BNI for several years and found it to be a benefit but more long term patients came to my practice from my ‘non-business’ networks. 

Phillip Humbert summed up my feelings in his most recent newsletter. Subscribe at

One of the most common “rookie mistakes” business people make is confusing the act of exchanging business cards, or handshakes, with effective networking.

Networking is not about how many people have your card. It is about how many people know you, value what you do, and feel comfortable referring their friends and colleagues to you. 

This is such a critical distinction that it’s difficult to over-emphasize it. Over the years, I have heard dozens of professionals and business people complain that they joined a service club or professional organization “but it never did any good.” When I ask how they actually spent their time, they usually say they attended meetings, exchanged business cards, and schmoozed with as many people as possible.

When I ask how many referrals they made TO the people they met, I often get a blank look. When I ask about how many luncheons or follow-up phone calls they made, there’s silence. When I ask if they served on a committee or as an officer, the predictable answer is “No.”

Networking is about bonding and building connections. It’s about building trust. It’s about building a mutual relationship that benefits both parties.

Think about how many people the average physician, attorney, stock broker or salesperson contacts in a year. If your attorney knows and understands the value of your business and feels comfortable referring to you, he or she might make dozens of referrals per year. 

Think of networking as the art of building a solid, long-term alliance with a circle of fellow business people. A circle of a dozen can be worth a million dollars a year in referrals. It’s not the number business cards, it’s the quality of the relationship that counts.

Build your network and hone your networking skills in terms of solid, reciprocal alliances that benefit everyone in your “quality circle.”

The Monday Morning Quote #28

“When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

Steve Jobs CEO Apple Computers Commencement Address Stanford University June 12th 2005.

Full address here.

The Weekend Read – Avoid Boring People by James Watson

This book was a present from my brother who has looked upon  James D. (Jim) Watson as a hero since his early teens. Watson (as in Crick & Watson of DNA discovering, Nobel prize winning legend) has written a very readable account of his life from early years through to his departure from the faculty of Harvard in 1976.

Amongst the things that make this autobiography special is its style. The chapter headings are all started with “Manners..” whether they be learned, acquired, passed on or whatever. Then, found in the appendices, there is a “Cast of Characters, listing those individuals with who he has worked or who have had a particular influence on his life and a list of “Remembered Lessons” recorded on a chapter by chapter basis.

The Remembered Lessons include:

  • “Two obsessions is one too many”,
  • “Knowing “why” (an idea) is more important than learning “what” (a fact),
  • “Delegate as much authority as possible”
  • and, my favourite, “Manage your scientists like a baseball team”.

A fascinating insight by a great man.

Available from Amazon here.

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