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August 2014
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October 2014

September 2014

Do You Really Want Contract Workers?

It started before the “Great Recession” but that period of economic history has seen it proliferate even more. Certainly reports suggest the trend of hiring contract workers is growing. Yet it is something you need to think about very carefully.

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What’s Accountability Got To Do With it?

Like most people I have been appalled by the recent report on child sex abuse in Rotherham where, for those that may not be aware of it, over 1400 mostly children, some as young as 11, had been sexually abused over a 16 year period. Shocking though that figure is for a single town, what I find even more shocking are the circumstances that enabled this to take place. What were those in authority doing?    

It seems there were 3 prevalent attitudes that enabled things to develop on the scale they did:-

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Teamwork: Fact or Fiction?

 “’Teamwork’ is an illusion created when the individual components within a human system accomplish a goal that is credited to the collective, rather than to the individual efforts of the components.”  That was the theme of a newsletter I received this week. And it certainly made me stop and think. (http://www.mondaymorningmemo.com/newsletters/reliable-truth-or-cultural-myth/)

I suppose, by definition, that makes it provocative and there is nothing wrong with provocative when it makes you think more deeply.  Yet, in order to create this effect, particularly if aiming to change another’s view, any provocation has to be grounded on a reasonable premise. It must be rational or factual, or – at the very least – apparently factual, in order to hold water. So does this statement? Let’s take a closer look.

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Taken for granted?

How much do you take things for granted?

Something that helps keeps me on guard against this is an unforgettable experience I had when in the army. For safety reasons we had to move a powerful sangoma (witch-doctor) from his rural village in Zimbabwe to the nearest town. The situation had been explained to him and agreed and we were sent in a helicopter to fetch him. This man left his grass-and-mud hut and climbed into the helicopter with no hesitation whatsoever, as if it was an everyday occurrence. Yet, once we got him to town, we had to explain to him how to use a tap (faucet) to get water, and he then spent the entire remainder of the day simply turning the tap on and off – absolutely fascinated.

Perhaps you have something that affects you like that? For me it remains the fax – putting a piece of paper in a machine at one side of the world and knowing someone at the other side of the world is printing it out. (And this despite the fact it is already outdated technology!)  

The thing is, taking things for granted is entirely natural. Often there is no harm in it. The problem comes when we start to take people for granted. That’s not so good, but, regrettably, we all tend to do it. So we constantly need reminders not to. Like the one in a TED Talk I watched this week.

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