I was delighted the other day to be approached by the person responsible for a local government procurement exercise in which I had expressed an interest, to enquire why I hadn’t submitted a proposal. She was somewhat horrified when I explained that the tender requirements were biased rather heavily against small businesses such as mine. And she asked how the procurement process could have been improved. So here are my top five tips for small-business-friendly procurement. Continue reading
I’m not an economist. But I do know that economics doesn’t seem to be working as it should. We seem to spend far too much time talking about profits and growth, and not nearly enough talking about people and our planet.
The economic models of the past have failed to predict, to prevent or to respond to the financial crises that have shaken our society. And yet they are still taught in classrooms and lecture theatres across the world.
We need a new way of thinking about economics. And we need it now. Continue reading
It’s a sad fact of life that, as mere mortals, we’re distressingly unable to control the passage of time. We can try all the tricks in the book, but the seconds just keep ticking by. Yet while we can’t control time, we do have complete control over how we spend it. The key is to choose carefully what we do and how we do it. The key is to prioritise. Continue reading
The late computer science professor (and author of the truly excellent ‘Last Lecture‘) hit the nail on the head when he said that the way to achieve your goals is to chip away at them a little bit every single day.
And as we get into the new year, I suspect that you – like me – have a shiny, brand new list of goals ready to go. But in the hustle and bustle of doing all the things we need to do in a given 24-hour period, it’s all too easy to let our longer-term aspirations slide.
There is, however, a surefire way of making sure that we do indeed spend our days working towards the achievement of our longer-term aims. And it’s called alignment. Continue reading
With universities coming under growing pressure to justify how they use their resources, efficiency is back in the spotlight. But the focus will increasingly be on how well institutions meet the needs of their students, while accommodating growing cost pressures.
Our universities operate in a challenging environment. Expectations of funders and fee-paying students are rising. Competition from traditional and alternative providers is becoming more intense. And costs continue to increase. All of which mean that institutions need to do ever more with the resources at their disposal.
When it comes to improving efficiency, our universities have already made great strides. They have streamlined processes and eliminated waste. They have improved space utilisation and reduced energy consumption. They have shared services, pooled assets and co-located professional services staff. And they have become lean, mean procurement machines.
This is all great news, but it is no longer enough. Continue reading