Peter and Dilbert – the Triumph of Incompetence

St Stupid's Day Parade by Scott Beale on Flickr

St Stupid’s Day Parade by Scott Beale on Flickr

I mentioned the Peter Principle in a previous post, being the idea that in any organisation, people rise to the level of their own incompetence.

This got me thinking a bit and so I actually looked up the phrase in Wikipedia

Continue reading

What Makes a Good Leader? Part One

Gaius Julius Caesar, Rimini Italy Photo by Georges Jansoone

Gaius Julius Caesar, Rimini Italy Photo by Georges Jansoone

The other day I came across this article in the Huffington Post, which suggests that if you really want to get to the top of the tree – at Westminster at least – you need a facelift. And this isn’t just an idle thought – oh, no, this is all according to research by a “facial mapping expert.”  Continue reading

Silicon Valley comes to Newcastle

Newcastle upon Tyne

Newcastle upon Tyne by Neil Thompson on Flickr

Not quite. But this piece from the BBC “Newcastle startup scene reaches ‘critical mass’” is quite edifying.

Apparently,  “Newcastle has quietly built a reputation among entrepreneurs as the place to launch their businesses.” A far cry from seacoal  and other such stuff that made the city what it was when Britain was the wealthiest nation in the world.

A city once dominated by heavy industry offers not just an alternative, but for a growing number it is the preferred location over an over-crowded capital.

Which is also quite heartening. We are so fixated on London and the South East that we forget that there are other bits of Britain somewhere around the map.

The report mentions a £1m accelerator programme, Ignite 100 – haven’t a clue what that means, but here is the website for anyone interested:

Ignite 100

CS Lewis and the Peter Principle

 

Narnia by Steve on Flickr

Narnia by Steve on Flickr

We’re all familiar with the Peter Principle – the idea that in any organisation, people rise to the level of their own incompetence. Which explains why there are so many bad bosses around.

What I find so remarkable about this, is, not only the fact that this has been around for yonks, but we can also found it in children’s books!

I remember growing up with the Narnia stories. You probably know the one about a lot of children who can enter a magical world inhabited by mythical creatures who can talk just as humans do, where they have adventures with wicked witches and sorcerers. Continue reading

Don’t Beat up your Boss

Nicholas astonishes Mr Squeers and family by "Phiz"

Nicholas astonishes Mr Squeers and family by “Phiz”

Remember our old friend Dick Fuld, ex CEO of Lehman Brothers? The one who got his snoot punched by an irate ex employee?

Well, here’s a picture of another disgruntled employee taking out his frustrations on his boss! Continue reading

Commuter Hell – Annoying People who Hold up the Line

Commuter Hell by Adam Tinworth on Flickr

Commuter Hell by Adam Tinworth on Flickr

Just imagine, having stood for ages on a freezing platform, on a dark winter’s morning, and the train eventually pulls in. You’re in luck, as it isn’t too crowded, and there aren’t too many people in front of you. As you enter the train, a nice, warm feeling envelopes you. Soon, you’ll be slumped into a nice, comfy seat, snoring your sleepy little head off…

Oh, the delights of sleeping on the train while others are standing around you! Continue reading

City of London sackings ‘at five-year high’ – but when will the Bankers go to Jail?

The City of London and Canary Wharf by EG Focus on Flickr

The City of London and Canary Wharf by EG Focus on Flickr

Are we, as a society, getting tougher on white collar crime? Are the bankers responsible for the credit crunch getting a good rap on the knuckles and being carted off to jail? Continue reading

Pink Slip – Losing your Job isn’t Funny

Occupy Wall Street by Timothy Krause on Flickr

Photo by Timothy Krause on Flickr

In an age of austerity, I would be surprised if anyone were to joke about losing their job. I have never worked out why it is that this should be a cause for mirth. It isn’t funny when it really happens – being on the dole is grim – so why make light of it? Continue reading

The Tube – 150 years old today!

London Underground Logo

London Underground Logo

Amazing to think that it was so long ago, when people were still getting from A to B by horse and carriage.

The BBC has an interesting article: ‘Sulphurous’ fumes and class division on Victorian Tube. What I find intriguing is the photograph at the beginning of the article, showing an overcrowded platform. The picture dates from 1915!  The caption  is even more intriguing:

“Overcrowding was a big issue by 1915 but it was a recurring concern since 1877”

It seems that not much has really changed! Well, maybe there is one thing. There’s a helpful notice hanging from the ceiling which says:

THERE IS MORE ROOM IN THE FRONT OF THE TRAIN

(There’s also more room at the back).

We don’t have these notices anymore. But then again, I suppose after 150 years, commuters have got so used to commuting that they know their way around by now!