Alignment: The key to achieving your goals

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

Turning a hobby into a living

Making a living from their hobby is the dream of many craftspeople. In a slight change of pace, I explore here how they can turn this dream into reality. I’ve focused on woodland crafts because, as an amateur green woodworker, that’s what I know about. But the lessons are the same for pretty much anyone wanting to turn pro.

As our jobs become more stressful and less secure, an increasing number of us spend our few idle moments wondering what it would be like to jack in the day job and make a living by doing something that we truly love. Whether it is managing a woodland, making chairs or carving spoons, the thought of using our skills to create an exciting and profitable business holds many of us in its thrall. But what would it be like to turn our hobby into our livelihood? And how can we make it happen? Continue reading

Trying something new

I read with interest the other day that a number of Dutch municipalities are introducing a pilot scheme in which a small group of benefits claimants will receive a ‘basic income’ of about £650 a month. Nothing novel there, I’d admit. But what’s interesting is that, if these individuals are in work or manage to get a job, then they will be allowed to keep any additional money that they make. Continue reading

Is it time to say goodbye to the annual planning cycle?

As we make our way steadily into the new year, most of us will have an idea of what we would have like to have achieved by the time Christmas comes around again. It seems like we have all the time in the world. Yet as the year progresses, our grand plans so often get lost in the mass of other ‘stuff’ that accumulates as the months progress. This annual cycle of planning and doing might have worked well when we were all farmers, tied to the rhythm of the seasons. But is it still the best way to get things done? Continue reading

The times they are a-changin’

Things are moving quickly. Whether you work in higher education, local government, the health service, the not-for-profit sector or somewhere else, it’s likely that things look very, very different from how they looked ten years ago. And ten years from now, they’re likely to look even more different from how they do today. How we deal with this rapid pace of change will determine whether our organisations survive, thrive… or disappear. Continue reading