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"A graveyard of missed opportunities..."

January 4, 2017


I came across a load of my old work notebooks whilst cleaning out the spare room over Christmas. A fascinating read. Like many I don’t attend any meeting without one and have saved them all for some reason, probably have almost 10 year’s worth. Two a year seemed to be my run rate. Interesting to note how the quality of the actual ‘pad’ had progressed over the years, from Poundland to John Lewis, bic’s to Monte Blanc and back to bic’s when consistently loosing £90 pens started to wear a little thin! Irrespective of said pen my handwriting is truly terrible and years of F7 spell checker has made my spelling quite frankly awful. I before E accept after C…..oh and about 10k other scenarios!! 


Funny the amount of brilliant meetings I have had over the years with lots of diverse companies and people. What struck me though was how few of the opportunities contained within them actually turned in to anything. A damning indictment of my own capability?! Maybe. 


Reams and reams of ‘stuff’ that should have happened however I worked out a very rough conversion rate of circa 5%. That’s a lot of time spent on things that add no value. I appreciate that some of them wouldn’t have worked but it did make me think how much unrealised revenue was contained within these books.

I remember most of the meetings, how I felt, who was there, what they were about. Lots of meetings for the sakes of having meetings its fair to say, busy fools and lots of box ticking going on. Amazing how inefficient it all is.   


It amused me that I could tell the things I was actually interested in, lots of notes, very detailed, passionately written. Equally it was very obvious the things that didn’t float my boat, lots of notes but only to avoid having to look somebody in the eye pretending to be interested in what they were talking about. Lots of instances of perfect getting in the way of progress. A ridiculous cycle of seeking perfection and as a result doing nothing, standing still at best, going backwards at worst. 


I concluded having read a few that most companies seem scared of innovation. Its amazing how few companies are actually truly innovative when you think about it. Most are just happy to do what they have always done, if it aint broke don’t fix it I guess. Feels like a dangerous game to play though, sleep walking in to obscurity. The innovation gap for many just keeps getting wider. Not many companies actually embrace technology, loads of legacy systems and outdated architecture inhibiting growth. Doesn’t seem acceptable in 2016. Lots of ‘digital strategies’ so you can say you have one. I’m afraid if you have a ‘digital strategy’ you have missed the point.


Anyway, I will continue to document my working life through my leather bound comfort blanket. I really need to work on that conversion rate though! 

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