The Monday Morning Quote #51

People are empowered

when they switch from a perspective of

“I can’t”


“How can I?”.

Thomas Leonard

How to Work Better

This came from the blog Jean-Marc Le Tissier // Fresh Ideas at Work

1. Do one thing at a time
2. Know the problem
3. Learn to listen
4. Learn to ask questions
5. Distinguish sense from nonsense
6. Accept change as inevitable
7. Admit mistakes
8. Say it simple
9. Be calm
10. Smile

Refreshingly simple common sense! About this list.

Try this yourself or with your team.

  • Keep it simple.
  • Brainstorm a list of specific, short ‘dos’ like these. The question to brainstorm against: how can we work better?
  • Choose, say, the top 5 ‘dos’. Selection criteria: things you can do straight away, requiring no extra time or money.
  • Then do them for a month and review – what was different? Did you work better?
  • Repeat

Death spiral! (Seth puts his finger on it again)

Another great blog post from Seth Godin.

You’ve probably seen it. The fish monger sees a decline in business, so they have less money to spend on upkeep and inventory, so they keep the fish a bit longer and don’t clean up as often, so of course, business declines and then they have even less money… Eventually, you have an empty, smelly fish store that’s out of business.

The doctor (dentist? AKR) has fewer patients so he doesn’t invest as much in training or staff and so some other patients choose to leave which means that there are even fewer patients…

The newspaper has fewer advertisers, so they can’t invest as much in running stories, so people stop reading it, which means advertisers have less reason to advertise which leaves less money for stories…

As Tom Peters says, “You can’t shrink your way to greatness,” and yet that’s what so many dying businesses try to do. They hunker down and wait for things to get better, but they don’t. This isn’t a dip, it’s a cul de sac. It’s over.

Right this minute, you still have some cash, some customers, some momentum… Instead of squandering it in a long, slow, death spiral, do something else. Buy a new platform. Move. Find new products for the customers that still trust you.

Change is a bear, but it’s better than death.

The Celtic Tiger loses its bite


Irish dentists ‘shocked’ over report’s recommendations

The Irish dental community is “shocked” at the changes recommended in a report released this week by the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes, according to the Irish Dental Association (IDA).

Overall, “The Report of the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes Volume II” (also known as An Bord Snip Nua) recommends 5.3 billion euros ($7.5 billion) in spending cuts. This includes eliminating the country’s Dental Treatment Benefits Scheme (DTBS):

Treatment Benefit is funded by payments from the Social Insurance Fund (SIF) and contributes to the costs of dental, optical treatment, and hearing aids. The group holds the view that given the other pressures on the SIF (such as unemployment and pension payments) continuation of the scheme is no longer affordable. The group also notes that this scheme may have contributed to higher prices for dental and optical benefits.
The full-year savings for this measure would be 92 million euros ($130 million), according to the report.

While the IDA is prepared to discuss reforms, “it will not allow the unilateral destruction of dental services,” the association stated in a press release.

“Dental services in Ireland are the most underfunded section of the health services, and the abolition of the DTBS would remove one of the very few financial supports given to patients seeking dental treatment,” IDA Chief Executive Fintan Hourihan stated in the release. “The consequence in terms of discouraging dental visits may well lead to higher costs for the state dental services at the end of the day and would certainly impact negatively on oral health in general.”

While the association will reserve making a full response to the proposals until such time as they have been studied and considered in depth, its “initial response is deep shock at the suggestion that the DTBS be abolished and the proposal to effectively dismantle the medical card scheme,” Hourihan added.

Here’s the link.

The Monday Morning Quote #50

normanbi“The truth of the matter is you always know the right thing to do.

The hard part is doing it.”

General Norman Schwartzkopf

Bon Voyage Mate

My 16 year old son, Will, is flying to Ecuador in the early hours of tomorrow. Together with 8 other students and 2 teachers from The King’s School and an experienced rep. from Camre Cymru he will spend the best part of 4 weeks on an expedition. After their flight to Quito they move on to Quilatoa and then Pasachoa where they will trek to a height of 4,200 metres and sleep in a (hopefully) extinct volcano.

The next stage of the trip is to work on a project helping the Tsachilla people in the Bua community, they will live with the community and hopefully learn something about their life and about themselves too. This work has been organised by the Yanapuma Foundation.

The last few days are spent on a jungle trek and some white water rafting.

They have raised a lot of the funds needed for this trip themselves (for which parents are very grateful) and whilst away they will be responsible for the budgets, accommodation and arranging transport.

Should be a life altering trip – have a great time folks.


What Are You Suggesting To Yourself?

This is the first half Stephanie Houseman’s current newsletter repeated en-bloc. Stephanie is, like me, an ex-dental practice owner and a trained coach, in addition she’s an international speaker and author. She’s based in Illinois and her newsletter is a Tuesday constant (something I must learn). Her website is sign up for the newsletter there.

What Are You Suggesting To Yourself?

You have a burning desire.  You have written it down, committed it to memory, and you repeat it morning and night. As a result, your desire is seeping into your unconscious mind.  That’s good!

Yet, what are you telling yourself about your ability to achieve that desire?

Napoleon Hill believes that a major stumbling block to living the life you want is often your lack of self-confidence.  “This handicap can be surmounted, and timidly translated into courage, through the aid of the power of autosuggestion.”

Autosuggestion is what you suggest to yourself about yourself.  Moreover, you accept what you say as the truth, so it is to your benefit to suggest positive thoughts of confidence to your mind if you want to achieve your desires, or definite purpose, as Hill calls it.

How can you accomplish this?  Work the Self-Confidence Formula as defined by Hill in his classic book, “Think and Grow Rich”.

The Self-Confidence Formula:

First: I know that I have the ability to achieve the object of my definite purpose in life; therefore, I demand of myself persistent, continuous action toward its attainment, and I here and now promise to render such action.

Second: I realize the dominating thoughts of my mind will eventually reproduce themselves in outward, physical action, and gradually transform themselves into physical reality; therefore I will concentrate my thoughts for thirty minutes daily, upon the task of thinking of the person I intend to become, thereby creating in my mind a clear mental picture.

Third: I know through the principle of autosuggestion, any desire that I persistently hold in my mind will eventually seek expression through some practical means of attaining the object back of it; therefore I will devote ten minutes daily to demanding of myself the development of self-confidence.

Fourth: I have clearly written down a description of my definite chief aim in life, and I will never stop trying, until I shall have developed sufficient self-confidence for its attainment.

Fifth: I finally realize that no wealth or position can long endure, unless built upon truth and justice; therefore, I will engage in no transaction which does not benefit all whom it affects.  I will succeed by attracting to myself the forces I wish to use, and the cooperation of other people.  I will induce others to serve me, because of my willingness to serve others….

I will sign my name to this formula, commit it to memory, and repeat it aloud once a day, with full faith that it will gradually influence my thoughts and actions so that I will become a self-reliant, and successful person.

Hill concludes by saying, “Like the wind which carries one ship east, and another west, the law of autosuggestion will lift you up or pull you down, according to the way you set your sails of thought.”

Set your sails of thought to those of positive autosuggestion and sail away to your definite purpose in life.

And Deliver Us From Inappropriateness

I have enjoyed David Hepworth’s comments on music and beyond for more years that I care to remember. I recall him introducing the first live film of Bruce Springsteen on The Old Grey Whistle Test in the 70’s, and I have never looked back. In recent years I have subscribed to Word Magazine and kept up with his views there. He blogs, twittters and podcasts too. This is from his most recent blog and I think the message in it applies to any business big or small.

And Deliver Us From Inappropriateness

No single word pops out of the mealy mouth of modern management more frequently than “inappropriate”. It manages to avoid being specific about the transgression while suggesting that the person using it has moral standards significantly higher than everybody else’s.

And now it’s “inappropriate” behaviour involving a researcher that has got Hardeep Singh Kohli suspended from his roving reporting role for BBC’s The One Show. Somebody reported somebody else and before anyone could stop it the corporation’s disciplinary procedure had swung into action and he’s being hung out to dry for six months – and this is where it really sounds as if the captain of the second eleven has got pissed and thrown up at the back of the coach – “to reflect on his behaviour”. Honestly. Wouldn’t we rather be dismissed in shame than sent off to reflect on our behaviour?

A couple of thoughts occur:
1. In the media the standard interpersonal stuff which makes every work environment interesting is often further, er, enlivened by the presence of fame, money and influence. Part of me thinks that if you don’t want to tangle with what’s involved when highly competitive show-offs work closely together for long periods of time you should get a job with, say, the Church of England. But then I’ve read “Barchester Towers” so I know that it goes on pretty much everywhere. And the researcher who was on the receiving end of the “inappropriate” behaviour didn’t formally complain. Which makes the whole incident even more puzzling.

2. What with this and the Carol Thatcher case you do wonder who’s supposed to be managing The One Show. Local difficulties like these shouldn’t turn up on the front pages. In my experience if you have to instigate a disciplinary procedure you’ve lost control. This particularly applies with freelance contributors. Surely you take them for a walk and warn them how they might be coming over to people. If that doesn’t work you just don’t ring them any more.

An alternative to Amazon and a fun site to watch

I like and respect the Amazon brand for what it has done to retailing and the way imitators and competitors have appeared. One of these is The Book Depository which I had used a few times before discovering they were based a few miles from Rees Towers. In addition to very being competitive on book prices they have a wonderful “who from where is buying what” page, it’s strangely addictive.

Take a look here

The Monday Morning Quote #49

“Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.”

Dwight D Eisenhower.

“Motivation is an external, temporary high that pushes you forward.

Inspiration is a sustainable internal glow which *pulls* you forward.”

Thomas Leonard

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