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Developing ability, belief and character - as easy as ABC

One of my great pleasures is leading the Emerging Scholars' Intervention Programme, a Saturday school which supports girls from schools in Newham, London.

We work with a diverse group - multicultural, multifaith and a variety of attitudes - but they share one passion. The intention to do better and make something of themselves.

We have structured the programme around three things - developing ability, developing belief and developing character. It's as easy as ABC. We support them to improve their skills, to encourage a positive and growth mindset and to develop the character and characteristics that enable each one of us to take risks, fail and get up again and succeed.

You can learn more about the programme at www.esipforest.org.uk - it's as easy as ABC...


Jumping off the cliff (together)

There are known knowns - things we know we know.

There are known unknowns - things we know we don't know.

And there are unknown unknowns - things we don't know we don't know.

Where would we be without the wisdom of Donald Rumsfeld?

As a consultant I have two primary uses - to help clients find their 'known knowns' and 'known unknowns' (and work out what to do about it) and to spot the 'unknown unknowns' coming. I'm not psychic but the value of experience (and expertise) in the projects I work on means I can see the potential risks and challenges coming. I know what should happen (and when) and what might happen (and in most cases how to avoid the negative implications).

I liken it to jumping off a cliff. New ventures, projects, call them what you will, are scary. They're the unknown unknowns. I know the project might look to you like we're jumping off a cliff. And we are. But I've jumped off this particular cliff before. Sure, the weather is different and I've never jumped off it with you but I know the equipment we need and the safe space to land. You can stand there and admire the view if you want but you needn't be afraid. We can take the risk and make a safe landing together.


70p a day - the price of enabling your team to do their job

70p is the daily equivalent cost of purchasing a brand new computer which lasts three years. Here's the maths...

£450 divided by 220 working days (44 weeks at 5 days per week) times 3 years.

£450 might seem a lot of money to your budget right now. Losing half an hour of staff productivity each day (a conservative estimate) because your computers are slow and pretty much useless is costing you a similar amount every four to six weeks.

Guess it's up to you how you spend your money...



The Value of ICT (IT, technology)

ICT should be like electricity and running water.

I want to be able to turn the tap on and for the right information to come flowing out when I need it.

I want to flick a switch which enables me to open communications with who I choose when I choose.

I want my ICT to just be there, to not have to think about it.

All this comes at a, very reasonable in my opinion, price.

I pay for my electricity by the quarter and by water by the month. My suppliers know what to charge and I accept the price for the value it offers.

Every now and then I need expert help - a plumber or more rarely an electrician - to fix a problem urgently or improve something. 

Every now and then I buy a new piece of equipment which may (e.g. Washing machine) or may not (e.g. Lamp) need help to install.

I value these tools and the utility of running water and electricity for what they offer not what they are. For what they enable me to do, to share, to achieve for myself and others.

I am close to my goal for ICT being a utility - like running water and electricity. It serves my needs, is good value and with forethought requires only modest, and acceptable, maintenance.

My ICT costs me less than two pounds per working day to cover all my equipment, running costs, maintenance and support. It's as cheap as a cup of coffee and often as valuable as another colleague in enabling me to make things happen.

Please don't turn off my tap or switch off my light. Life is so much harder without it.


On value - what is it worth?

What is the value of a service? Is it the cost of the person delivering it? Is it the least amount the person needing the service is willing to pay? Or is it related to the benefits of that service? Effort is important but knowing where to make and apply that effort is what makes the difference. We rely on people with both expertise and experience to deliver services and provide us with benefits.

Click to read more ...