Stop fighting progress; address the unintended consequences

Surely we’ve learnt from history that it is utterly futile to resist advances in technology? Once something has been invented, it can’t be “un-invented”. Luddites haven’t historically delivered many long-term successes; they haven’t typically been a good investment.

Advances in technology often create new problems – sometimes unintended consequences; other times very much intended. Ultimately, it is the consequences which have to be addressed, rather than the technology itself. It therefore seems odd to me that so much energy is being expended in fighting the adoption of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) – which have been in the news again recently following the publication of an Open Letter to Professor Michael Sandel from the Philosophy Department at San Jose State University.Borsig_steam_locomotive

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The corporate ladder – don’t rush to start climbing

Wanting to climb the corporate ladder is a perfectly natural feeling feeling for most of us. After all, it is a clear demonstration of progress – not just to ourselves, but also to our peers. Few graduates would deny that they have such aspirations.

Corporate organisations are like a jungle. There is a clear hierarchy, with a well-developed food chain and an inherent superiority at the top of the trees. The view from the top is no doubt spectacular and far-reaching but it is a long way from the jungle floor where most of the activity is.rainforest
The further up the tree one climbs, the more distant becomes the view of the undergrowth and the life which thrives in it. Learning about how a business operates involves a great deal of studying the undergrowth – spending time there, understanding how everything fits together and what makes it work.

Slow down, and get more done!

Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to get things done, and how little time there is?

The usual reaction to seeing time ticking away is to pick up the pace; to work a bit faster; to cut corners. And that sometimes works – if you’re running late to catch a flight, it might pay to hurry along before it’s too late. But I find that more often than not, the faster pace becomes the new norm, and the next step is to increase the pace once more in a never-ending cycle.

I have recently been encouraged to do things differently, and it is working. I’m deliberately slowing down, and I’m seeing the benefits – I’m getting more done.Slow Continue reading