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Talking to your car…

When was the last time you spoke to your car and what did it answer back?  I talk to mine nearly every day; asking it to phone someone or to guide me to an address.  My car doesn’t always understand me, especially when I forget to speak in an accent it understands, i.e. English phonetics.  Nonetheless, the process is fairly efficient and helps me keep my eyes on the road and my hands on the wheel. Although speech technology in cars has been around since the early 80’s, it never really caught on.  It appears that us humans don’t like [...]

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The Perfect company

Recently, I was working as a change manager on a gigantic roll out project for a massive multinational.  Everything was exactly as it should be.  When the business had an idea they spontaneously reached out to their IT colleagues to seek advice and support.  And when the IT team hit a technical problem the business was always there to help them. The senior managers too, were very supportive, asking how they could lend a hand. Everywhere I went, people understood the problem that our project was solving and the benefits of solving it. The communication department were fantastic, they anticipated [...]

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How many hours do you work a week?

Once upon a time this was a simple question to answer, you started at a given hour and finished at a given hour, deducted an hour for lunch and twenty minutes for tea breaks and multiplied by five. The only ambiguity for some office workers was if to include their commute time or not. For most people, today, the answer can be extremely difficult to calculate. (Now let’s immediately agree that, for most office employees, working today has got to be a lot more inspiring than it was in the 1950’s, or even up to the point where the short [...]

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How not to reward someone

I was driving to my quiet place this morning when I heard a very interesting story on the radio.  It was being told by Dan Ariely, a professor in psychology and behavioural economics. A few years ago Dan had met a locksmith whose clients were complaining about how much he charged. ‘It never used to be the case’, he had said.  ‘When I started out, I wasn’t very good at my job. When I was called to someone who had locked themselves out of their house, it used to take me quite a while to get them in.  Often, I [...]

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It’s always necessary to speak the truth but…

Like most people, having been brought up always to tell the truth, I learnt quite early on just how tricky it can be. Later, in my younger adult years, I became a Quaker and speaking ‘truth to power’ was considered an important foundation.  In fact, Quakers have, for centuries, had the right to refuse to swear on the bible when giving evidence in a court of law, asserting that their ‘word’ is sufficient. However, as we all know speaking the truth can be almost impossible (or even foolish) at times.  Therefore, it was with light relief that I heard the [...]

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