We need to talk about systems

As you probably know, before I started Sockmonkey I worked in a ‘big four’ audit and consultancy practice. And I remember clearly the day I got promoted into my first managerial position. One of the more senior managers took me aside and said “Remember, Simon, management is about dealing with sh*t.”

This was clearly not the company’s official position.

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Avoiding confirmation bias in decision making

The key to success is to wear stripy socks. Barack Obama wears stripy socks. Elon Musk wears stripy socks. Kim Jong-un wears stripy socks. Buy my new book and learn how wearing stripy socks can make you successful, too. Complete with case studies of other successful people who wear stripy socks. And my personal recommendation on the best stripy socks for you.

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Hang on in there, friends

It’s been another hugely challenging year for everyone.

But it’s not been an entirely hopeless year. We have vaccines now, for a start. We’ve worked hard to protect the most vulnerable in society. We’ve kept the wheels turning. And we’ve all finally figured out how to use Microsoft Teams (sort of).

Here at Sockmonkey HQ, I’ve celebrated my first ten years in business (yay!). And as the year draws to a close, I’m thankful that I’ve had – and continue to have – so many interesting projects to work on and so many lovely clients to work with.

Over the last twelve months, I’ve Teams’d and Zoomed my way through countless meetings. I’ve facilitated some surprisingly productive (if I may say so myself) virtual workshops. And I’ve delivered (successfully!) the first course using my new online learning platform.

I also, finally, got around to redesigning my website. I’ve rebranded my newsletter slightly, too. New business cards are next, though I suspect there’s little need for hurry there.

And while I don’t want to jinx things, I’ve started putting together some tentative ideas and plans for the coming twelve months, too.

I’d like to do more work in the local government sector. I’d also like to develop some open online courses (suggestions very welcome). And I’d be keen to team up with other independent professionals or small businesses, to improve the breadth and depth of services that I can provide to my clients.

For the moment, though, it looks like we have another tough few months ahead of us. So hang on in there. Look after those around you. And stay safe.

Whether you celebrate Christmas, something else or nothing at all, I wish you peace, joy and happiness.

Thank you for being part of the Sockmonkey community.

Simon Perks

Director, Sockmonkey Consulting

Breaking the taboo about failure

Nobody likes an Eeyore. When we’re planning new projects, it’s tempting to focus on the positives and to gloss over all of the things that could go wrong. That’s partly human nature and partly a desire to get the go-ahead to do whatever we want to do. The problem with this, though, is that when things do go awry, as they have an inevitable tendency to do, it can catch everyone very much on the hop.

But what if we could think about project risks without looking as if we’re trying to jinx the whole thing? And what if we could benefit from 20:20 hindsight right at the start? Welcome to the world of prospective hindsight.

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We need to talk about heuristics

Things move fast. We don’t always have time to stop and think. And sometimes we need to just make a decision and move on. Preferably without worrying for days afterwards that we did the wrong thing. So how do we make good decisions in a hurry?

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