The executive summary: A reader’s plea

I love executive summaries. I like to read as many things as possible, but don’t always have as much time as I’d like. So a good executive summary allows me to get the gist of what something’s about, quickly and without fuss. And depending on what I find, I can then digest the key points and move on, grab a cup of tea and read the whole thing, or throw whatever it is in the recycling without feeling that I’m missing anything important.

So it pains me greatly when I come across an executive summary that doesn’t cut the mustard. And quite recently, that’s been happening a lot. Continue reading

On the usefulness of measuring things

There’s something about management thinkers and measuring things. They just can’t get enough of it. They have a congenital need to count stuff. In fact, they just don’t seem to be able to get through the day without quantifying something. But there’s a reason for that. It’s because they’re right. Continue reading

Telling better stories

A while back, I had the good fortune to visit the vast cave complex at Lascaux in southwestern France. But these are no ordinary caves. They are famed throughout the world for their beautiful display of paleolithic cave paintings, created by our ancestors over 17,000 years ago. These paintings tell the stories of what life was life. How these early humans lived. How they survived. And how they died. Continue reading

This changes everything

If you’re anything like me, you haven’t had a lot of sleep in the last few days. The result of last week’s referendum has come as a shock to many – if not all – of us. Our government is in disarray. The opposition appears to be tearing itself apart. And it is far from clear what is going to happen next.

It will take time for us to understand the ramifications of Thursday’s decision. Leaving the European Union will present massive challenges to all organisations delivering public services. And it is still too early to know what the specific impacts will be.

But there are things that we need to do right away. Continue reading