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RECHARGE :: Alan Hargreaves
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by Alan Hargreaves



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Recharge Archives

 

Tuesday
Aug122014

Why simple is better

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For clarity, de-clutter.

We often make things complex when something simple would give us a better result. We think we’ll make things clear by adding more detail.

Sometimes it feels we are doing the right thing, like setting lots of different speed limits for different road environments. Yet research shows that fewer changes in speed zones lead to fewer accidents.

The obvious reason might be that drivers concentrate less on the speedometer and more on the road. But complexity can be more devious than that.

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Tuesday
Jul292014

Work happens to be part of life

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Is work-life balance such a good idea?

It has a nice ring to it, like it’s a state of calm. In the office, we’d competently manage stressful issues. At home, the family room would overflow with fulfillment.

Yet the conversation is never balanced. The focus is always on time, mainly a demand for more of the free variety. Work is the enemy, somehow divorced from life rather than an integral part of it.

Other judgments intervene. Women feel guilty of being absentee parents. Men feel they should be more than just providers. The conversation gets hijacked by working mother arguments.

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Tuesday
Jul152014

The Mindfulness Thing

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How doing nothing helps.

What do Google, Rupert Murdoch and KPMG have in common with Apple, eBay and Ford Motor Company?  

All of them embrace the notion of mindfulness.

A decade ago, it was virtually unheard of outside spiritual circles. Now everyone is trying it. Even Goldman Sachs offers employees in-house courses on the practice. That’s a firm that regularly turns up in lists of the world’s least-respected corporations. What’s going on? 

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Tuesday
Jul012014

Planet of the Apps

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Old ideas for managing new technology.

Your business is ticking along nicely. Out of left field a low-cost start-up zooms into your market and starts picking off customers. They’re small, so they can cherry-pick. Their cost base is low and they undercut you. They sell via an app that’s soooo easy to use and they outsource delivery to a logistics firm that gets the product to the customer quicker than you can.

Welcome to the digital challenge.

It is hard to think of an industry where this isn’t happening. For many managers it’s overwhelming. Wherever they look, everyone is talking digital delivery on mobile devices. The sheer breadth and scale of new technology can be threatening. It’s constantly changing. How do you cope?

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Tuesday
Jun172014

The upside of your limitations

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Focus is as important as effort.

There are infinite ways to improve your life. Trying to do them all is a recipe for underperformance. Success often comes down to doing a small number of things extremely well.

Business is no different. Quality rather than quantity makes customers come back for more. What you do is what they want.

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