Water Shortages Arise from a Failure to Do Strategic Planning – They Are Not an Excuse Not to Do It

Water Shortages Arise from a Failure to Do Strategic Planning – They Are Not an Excuse Not to Do It

NAO 25th March Tackling water resource issues is one of the five priority risks the Committee on climate Change identified in its 2017 climate change risk assessment. If more concerted action is not taken now, parts of the south and south-east of England will run out of water within the next 20 years. This will of course lead to ever more Coronanimby moaning that we don’t have the resources to build the houses we need. Or as bad that we should force people to move to places where they will be rained on more and be greatful for it. We have absolutely no shortage of water in the UK. Rather we let most of it flow into the sea without being used. Most countries have long ago solved the technical problem of getting water from where it is to where it is needed. Some solutions date back to the origins of civilisation. In the era of privitisation there was a reaction against large scale interegional water transfer solutions as ‘white elephants’ such...
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Resources for Remote Work (March 2020)

Resources for Remote Work (March 2020)

We’re living in extraordinary times, and many people will be working from home for the first time. Trust me, working from home is great. But it is a shift in mentality. And we’re all in this together. I decided it would be OK to share some free and paid resources that you might find useful to help you keep your projects and teams moving forward, wherever you find yourself based over the coming weeks. Mike Clayton has drafted a 7 step response plan for project managers* to prepare your projects and teams. “Hope is not a strategy,” he writes. Zoom* is one of the online tools I use for meetings. They have a basic plan that gives you 40 minute meetings for free (or unlimited time if it’s just two of you on the call). They’ve removed that restriction for schools in certain countries, so if you are part of the education community, check out if that applies to you. They are limiting people joining Zoom calls by phone though, so this is a free option that will...
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Great leaders rise during a crisis

Great leaders rise during a crisis

"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Elbert Hubba ​As COVID-19 has put most of the Western world in lockdown, managers, leaders and their teams are finding themselves with a plethora of new challenges. People have to quickly adapt to working from home, protect the physical and emotional well-being of themselves and others, revamp businesses to better serve the public and simply staying afloat. When a crisis hits it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, to let our emotions run away with us and to get distracted by the many threats and limitations we face. And whereas our physical safety will always come first we have to be determined to not let fear dominate us. Out of crises and extreme threats can emerge incredible opportunities for individuals, organisations and for society as a whole. As we navigate our way through uncertainty, we must seek not just to overcome the crisis, but to learn and grow from it - and that’s exactly what good leaders help us do. Leaders always put people firstJohn Maxwell, author of 21 Irrefutable Laws of...
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The Coronimbys – Lets Quarantine them Forever

A new breed has come forth on twitter in recent days. The coronimbys. They never really liked human beings anyway, seeing them as a resource consuming, pollution creating blight (except for them of course), with this misanthropy used to resist housing, HS2, new airports, new anything all in a pseudo environmental anti development brand of eco-fascism why denies all hope of human ingenuity to fix, mend and restore the environment. Oh how they now welcome Covid, it gives them the perfect excuse to say aha we now no longer need the housing. It has all gone away because of recession. Hang on I havnt noticed a mortality rate, like the Black Death, of 30% (which byu the way led to the biggest wave of new settlement building in history in the 14th Century as the economy recovered.) Of course if we can create trillions at teh stroke of a bankers pen to keep the economy going we can do so for housing. And if every major currency...
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The Social Project Manager [Interview]

The Social Project Manager [Interview]

This interview was first published in 2015. How do you balance the need to collaborate with the governance and control that’s required in a project environment? That’s the question answered by Peter Taylor’s new book, The Social Project Manager. Today I’m interviewing Peter, whom you might know as The Lazy Project Manager. He’s a bit of a character on the UK project management scene and a respected author and commentator particularly since, like me, he also does the job. I’m delighted to have had the chance to talk to him again, so here we go. Peter, we last spoke about your books a while back when ‘Get Fit With The Lazy Project Manager’ came out. Now you’ve written another book! How do you find the time? Well I am ‘productively lazy’ as you know! Actually I find writing a relaxing and inspiring activity, especially when I write about something I feel passionate about. Add to that the fact that I spend a lot of time travelling and being on a plane for hours on end which is a perfect period...
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Get Your Projects Fit with The Lazy Project Manager

Get Your Projects Fit with The Lazy Project Manager

This interview was first published in 2014. I am not fit. Since having my two boys I am heavier than I have ever been, except while pregnant. My only exercise is balancing in small spaces while standing on the train to work. I fuel getting up for the night feeds with cereal bars and chocolate croissants. Luckily, my projects are healthier than I am. All projects benefit from a health check now and again. Peter Taylor, the Lazy Project Manager, has just written a book about it, Get Fit with The Lazy Project Manager. I spoke to him about how to make sure our projects are as healthy as possible and don’t become the ‘ex-projects’ of tomorrow. Peter, how does the Lazy Project Manager get fit? Well, not through excessive physical activity in my case, although there is nothing wrong with that at all of course. The new book is a look at the reason, the value, the process and the opportunities to assess the ‘health’ of your projects in order to sleep easier at night, safe in the knowledge...
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Sychronous Entertainment

Sychronous Entertainment

It’s kind of sad that HQ Trivia, a mobile live game show, is no longer running. This should be its moment. Much of the world has spent the last week quarantined in their homes and are unable to watch live sports as every league has suspended play. Currently, the news is the only live event we are experiencing together – and though necessary, that’s not been a fun experience. The synchronous lighthearted entertainment that HQ provided would be a welcome respite from the day-to-day boredom of quarantined life. While there will always be a place for asynchronous entertainment like Netflix & HBO, it’s already become clear to me that live events satiate a different need. Over the last week of quarantine, I’ve used live products more than I ever have before. This weekend, me and 150k others participated in #ClubQuarantine hosted by DJ D-Nice on Instagram Live. A friend had to cancel his in-person birthday party, so we all hopped on a hangout to toast drinks. Rumble, the gym I frequent in real life, began...
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Teaching Online

Teaching Online

I have been teaching in one form or another since college. I helped pay for graduate school by teaching other grad students. For most of my life, teaching has meant standing up in front of a group of people and explaining things to them in a large group setting. But, like many things, that is quickly changing right now. I mentioned that we have a new group of analysts at USV. And we are doing an onboarding program for them where the various partners at USV take turns teaching them things they will need to know during their time at USV. When we planned this onboarding program, we thought those classes would take place in person. But now they are taking place online. This week, I am going to teach a three-hour class on cap tables and liquidation waterfalls. These are the spreadsheets we use to track everyone’s ownership in a company and how much money each shareholder gets in a sale transaction. While much of this is straightforward, there are edge cases that can be pretty...
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Introducing Everyday Experts: A New Podcast

Introducing Everyday Experts: A New Podcast

For the past six months, I’ve been working on a new podcast called Everyday Experts , where I profile people from a variety of jobs and industries about the people and systems behind the work they do. I know a lot of business podcasts already exist. But I wanted this to be different. Rather than look to people we might traditionally perceive as de-facto experts (that’s to say, CEOs, renowned entrepreneurs, or celebrity figures), I wanted to help uncover great leaders in unexpected places. That’s to say, people you might come across in your day-to-day life, but not necessarily recognize as experts. Bus operators. Physical therapists. Beauticians. The local bar owner who’s always there to take a shot with you when you need one. The veterinarian who sees you only when you’re at your worst and worried sick about the health of your favorite pet. To kick things off, I rounded up a group of people I’ve gotten to know personally — all of whom work face-to-face with their customers or clients — and I asked them:...
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