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Posts Tagged ‘social media’

perception versus reality revisited


Perception is belief. How you see things is the truth as far as you are concerned and it will stay that way until something comes along that might change your mind. It is a trait that we humans will probably always have.

It is fine as long as we are open to new ideas and are prepared to be proved wrong. If we are not then we are bigots and that is one of the problems with society today; there are too many people who are not willing to have their beliefs challenged.

I grew up through a world of change, not just in what was happening in the post WW2 period, but also because we moved house every couple of years or so. By the time I left school in 1969 it was my fifth school in 12 years. That revolving cast of teachers and other adults that helped form me fell broadly into two groups. One group lectured me in their beliefs whilst the others gave me their opinion, but pushed me to think for myself.

That carried on into my working life where there were many people who were dogmatic about how things were or should be done, the “My way or the highway” type, but there were also the rarer people who would ask “Why” or “What happens if…” and these people were also open to allowing me to challenge their thinking.

I learnt that to be certain was a dangerous thing. Weigh up the available evidence and make your decision, but be prepared to explain why you had come to it and never be afraid to allow others, especially subordinates, to offer their thoughts.

Today in society it seems that informed debate is dead. Social media appears to dominate people’s thinking and if you do not line up with the way others see things you are wrong. In a time when people’s rights are trumpeted everywhere the fundamental right to free speech has been lost. Offence is taken freely, but the way that we react to something that we hear or read is our own choice; we do not have to take offence at anything and personally I don’t, no matter how abhorrent what has been written or said is to my beliefs.

Hatred is everywhere as opinions become more polarised and topics are dealt with at a purely superficial level and, sadly, it is at that slim veneer that people’s perceptions become fixed. What people today seem to believe is not critically thought out, it is based around sound bites on social media which is the last place to be looking for informed debate. Because people gravitate towards sources that support their way of thinking and so shut themselves off from anything that might balance their opinions.

There is no short term fix to this and eventually there will be a swing the other way. It may not be in my lifetime, but it will come. I hope that there is not too much damage done before it happens. There is an old adage that The Truth Will Out and one day we will get back to a place where there is more congruence between perception and reality than there is now.

the lockdown log 11


I was distracted by other things on Thursday and forgot all about writing a lockdown log so here it is a couple or so late. Part of my distraction was self-imposed in that I was taking an absence from social media. Every now and again the puerile level of content gets to me and I just use the off button so to speak. Other than to check in to see if there are requests to join a group that I run or to pass on birthday wishes I will continue to ignore it for the time being.

Most of my disgust at Fb content at the moment is around people seeming to want to apologise for being white. As no-one can influence where they were born nor the colour of their skin it seems to be an extraordinary thing to do. As for some of the behaviour being demonstrated at the moment I despair of the human race.

At a time when we need understanding and compassion the level if anger seen on the streets of some countries is unhelpful to say the least as is the desire to eradicate history. When should be learning from history and seeing how far we have come not wiping it from the slate. Living forty miles or so from Bristol it appals me to hear people talking about all off the slaves who were brought through the port when the reality is that whilst Bristol ship owners were amongst those plying that trade they were not wasting time bringing them back here before taking them to the Caribbean and the USA. Ignorance is not a virtue.

I really do not know what the world has come to and am glad that I am approaching the end of my time here.

the power of words


Language has fascinated me for as long as I can remember; to listen to someone speak well or to read something well written is a joy. Language evolves though and even in my lifetime there has been a lot of change. Read more…

instant communication does not imply good communication


Communication has been on my mind this week and I have been reflecting on the way that it has changed so much in the last twenty years or so. The vehicle for that change has been technology and it has affected verbal and written communication by giving us an opportunity to interact in different ways, the most striking of which, perhaps, is in the immediacy with which we can reach others. Read more…

mid week musings on blogging and plans for this site


I am in the process of taking a look at how this blog should work and to reduce the amount of time that I spend each week on keeping this and its companion web site running smoothly. Read more…

technology should push us as well as pull us


If you’ve followed my Tweets over the last few days you’ll know that I have changed my mobile (cell) ‘phone last week. This was part of a long overdue strategic issue for me; overdue because I had been procrastinating about making the change from something that I used for calls, and the odd text, to something that made sense as an integrated office tool for the itinerant way of working that is my life. Read more…

Nobby Styles, Wayne Rooney – Teamwork & Leadership


The differing fortunes of two men inextricably linked by the fame of the football club for which they have both played highlight one of the teamwork and leadership issues that I was taught and which I continue to try and pass on.

Teams are made up of individuals, but the synergy that a team can generate to become far greater than the sum of its parts is what makes great teams. In the case of football, not the eleven best, but the best eleven will be the team to beat.

Not everyone reading this will remember England winning the world cup, but most will remember us failing miserably in the recent competition in South Africa. In the recent series, we took a squad of decent players and yet, on the pitch, the performances were largely pathetic. In 1966 we had a squad with a few genuine world class players; Bobby Moore, Bobby Charlton, Gordon Banks and Jimmy Greaves were genuine top class internationals who would have graced any country’s side. Wilson and Cohen at full back likewise maybe, and these were backed up with experienced club pros like Jack Charlton, Roger Hunt and Geoff Hurst plus younger coming men such as Ball and Peters.

We lost Jimmy Greaves part way through due to injury and Alf Ramsey chose to leave him out thereafter. One of the finest goal scorers in the world and he had to sit on the sidelines. And yet we won. We won because the best eleven were on the pitch. Ramsey had chosen a team that worked and would not drop one of them even to allow one of the most lethal goal scorers of his time back in.

By contrast, the recent England squad also included one of the most lethal goal scorers of the current generation, but despite him being on the pitch we failed embarrassingly. That player was Wayne Rooney, in the news in the last few days for a spat with his club that saw him agree to stay after all for a massive pay rise.

At the same time another man who had worn the same club and international colours was having to sell his treasured mementos of 1966 to help him in his old age. That man, and what a man, is Nobby Styles. With all due respect Nobby was not a world class player, but he was a team player and, like the others, he played his heart out during the ’66 campaign. He played for his team mates, he played for his country, for the fans and for pride. They all did and they won; we won.

It was all about the team. Even Greavsie, grounded in the dug out in his team blazer, exploded with joy when the final whistle blew.

I think that Manchester United were absolutely stupid to bow to Rooney’s demands. No-one is bigger than the team and they should have set the example by sorting the lad out. There is no sign of leadership in the outcome of that sordid affair and it was brought into sharp contrast by the gratitude of the little man with the big heart for the sum he got for selling his treasures.

I don’t begrudge Rooney his wages. He’ll pay his tax and spend his cash so the economy will get it back in various ways, but he’ll never have what Nobby Styles has: Nobby is a World Cup Winner. No-one can ever take that away and the memory of his jigging around with the Jules Rimet trophy will live on long after Rooney’s greed is forgotten.

press cuttings that feature or quote me


I often get enquiries about various articles, interviews and other press reports that I have written, or articles that have quoted or featured me, so here are the business related ones that I’ve been able to track down:

Jackie Le Poidevin, editor of LexisNexis publication Facilities Management, covered my interactive session on good practice in FM procurement with the Rising FM group in London on June 2nd and will feature that in an article for the August 2011 issue of Facilities Management.

FM World give me a kind mention in their preview of the Public Procurement Show in London, where I will be speaking on FM procurement good practice, see pages 16/17 of the 2nd June 2011 issue.

In the April 14th 2011 edition of Supply Management magazine, the CIPS journal, I helped out in the Adviser Q&A section. (Unfortunately they spelt my name incorrectly).

The March 2011 issue of Truck & Driver magazine features a tongue in cheek article by me on the life of an agency truck driver.

FM World kindly feature the Monday Musings column in the FacilitiesBlog section on their web site and in the fortnightly magazine that goes to BIFM members and other subscribers.

FM World featured the Monday Musings column of 28 June 2010 on its web front page. You’ll find the full bog on this WordPress site, but the FM World link is: http://www.fm-world.co.uk/comment/blog/could-you-recognise-a-customer-if-you-saw-one/

A feature in the 20 May 2010 issue of FM World magazine where I was quoted on the impact of purchasing in the FM sector http://www.fm-world.co.uk/features/feature-articles/fm-and-procurement/

A report in the November 2009 issue of Swindon Business News on my assisting the British Council with providing strategic purchasing training to the Jordanian Government http://swindon-business.net/index.php/2009/10/30/local-firm-to-assist-jordan-government/

A feature in the 1 September 2009 issue of FM World magazine on a Public vs Private Procurement round table debate organised by BDO Stoy Hayward at which I was one of the invited panel. http://www.fm-world.co.uk/login/?ReturnUrl=/features/roundtables/pound-for-pound/

Editorial in the 15 March 2007 issue of FM World magazine where I was quoted on the 2012 Olympic site project http://www.fm-world.co.uk/login/?ReturnUrl=/news/fm-industry-news/articles/olympics-procurement%3a-look-at-t5/

Editorial in the 25 January 2007 issue of FM World magazine where I was quoted http://www.fm-world.co.uk/login/?ReturnUrl=/news/fm-industry-news/articles/fms%2c-purchasers-need-to-cooperate/

A Day in the Life style feature on me in Romec Business magazine from 2003  http://www.romec.com/pdf/business/issue2/RB2-page14-15.pdf

At the time of writing all of these links are functioning, but some may require you to subscribe to the sites to obtain the full text. I’ll update this list as I track down other links.

Thanks to those who have enquired for their interest. I am happy to speak with journalists on business topics, especially in the procurement, facilities management, supply chain and logistics sectors.