Many apologies for the late delivery. While the Ed would like to blame this on the pace of life on the canals, Occam’s Razor makes natural indolence the more likely cause. But hey — try to reframe it positively as the Friday 27th Edition being early ….
One of the advantages (and there are many hem hem) in having such a talented and interesting group of TAB Board members (in the words of brother Crispin, “time spent crawling is seldom wasted”) is that one picks up ideas from each of them.
On a recent visit to one Board member (HT Lauras International’s Jeremy Praud, who has the good sense to work in an office at the Stables at Newby Hall) the eagle-eyed Ed observed a fish on his desk. Not a real live (or dead) fish, you understand, but a soft toy type fish.
Further enquiry revealed that this was a prop used in a management development programme for one of Lauras’s clients, and derives from the Fish! Philosophy.
You, dear reader, are no doubt familiar with this, but the Ed was not, and on the off chance that there are one or two others out there who also were not paying attention when this was taught in class, here’s a brief recap ….
On a visit to Seattle in 1997, Mr John Christensen, owner of ChartHouse Learning, observed fish sellers at Pike Place Fish Market (named on a slow Friday afternoon at City Hall, one assumes) tossing trout and salmon through the air of the market with every sign of joie de vivre and bonhomie (you can tell who won the World Cup, can’t you?). This in turn gave enjoyment and inspiration to many pedestrians passing by on their lunch breaks.
Mr C noticed that the actual work of selling fish was repetitive, cold and exhausting. It occurred to him that the fishmongers might not enjoy every part of their job, but they chose to bring joy to how they approached it. They gave their complete attention to each customer and ensured each had an enjoyable visit …. and they also sold a lot of fish.
He asked the fishmongers if he could film them and they agreed, and this led in turn to a management book (entitled Fish! A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results), which identified four simple practices anyone could apply to their work and life –
1. choose your attitude
2. enjoy play (n.b. last week’s post, when the England footy players were encouraged to ride inflatable unicorns in the pool)
3. make someone’s day, and
4. be there (i.e. be fully engaged in what you do)
Much of work and management practice in Blighty is (even now) derived from the Protestant work ethic — work should be a serious business ect ect..
It is of course true that work should be taken seriously – but it’s all too easy to morph this into believing that work is not something to be enjoyed – whereas those of us who believe that work should be fun tend to find that happy people work harder …. it’ll never catch on of course.
You, of course, dear reader, already employ the Fish! Philosophy …. but it’s worth stepping back from time to time to remind yourself! You might even consider asking your fellow TAB Board members to challenge you ….
Moving on to other items you may have missed in the news recently –
• in another followup to last week’s post, Wallace the Great (the mule who wants to do dressage like a horse) celebrated the sport’s governing body’s change of heart by winning his first event (in Gloucester)
• if you hear faint ghostly laughter, it’s probably the shade of Eric Morecambe celebrating one of his favourite jokes (with which he used to wind up James Alexander Gordon) – this week finally saw the footy result (albeit on penalties) Mr M wanted Mr G to have to read out – East Fife 4, Forfar 5
• if you’re looking forward to the hols, but bored by the rigmarole of reapplying sun cream after every dip in the oggin (#twentiethcenturyproblems), you need to stay at a hotel with a Snappy-Screen (a booth which will spray on the cream automatically)
• two stories which the Ed strongly suspects were encouraged by the PR departments of the companies concerned —
1. Toblerone are going back to their original shape (having generated loads of free publicity when they reduced the number of choccy peaks)
2. and Burberry have destroyed over £28million of stock “to preserve the brand”
• psychological profiling of job applicants gets ever more complex – some large companies and Government departments have started using a new form of “deep” profiling, using questions like “have you ever had an imaginary twin?” to uncover “subconscious latent potential” (but potential for what, one wonders? – Suspicious Ed)
• keep a good lookout at sunset on Friday – there’ll be one of the longest “blood moons” (during a lunar eclipse) this century, combined with Mars in opposition (but I thought that was Jeremy Corbyn? – Confused Ed)
• ever anxious for our welfare (?), the US military has developed an algorithm for the perfect coffee fix (in both timing and frequency) to enable tired troops to achieve the same alertness as someone who has had eight hours’ sleep (but couldn’t they just let the guys have eight hours’ sleep? — Ed) – it’ll be available to download as an app in about three months’ time
• talking of the US, and moons, boffins from the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington have discovered twelve new moons of Jupiter – while searching for Planet X (beyond Pluto) ….
• …. and not to be outdone, our own dear Government is planning two new spaceports, at Newquay and in Sutherland (though whether you’ll be able to whiz from one to the other is not known)
• other boffins (at Apple) have developed a walkie-talkie app for the Apple Watch (available this autumn)
• and going rather lower tech, a pensioner who caused panic at a flower show in Norfolk by putting her foot on the accelerator of her Toyota RAV4 rather than the brake, causing the vehicle to plough through a marquee, was found to have a handwritten “how to drive” note stuck to her dashboard, saying “key in ignition/foot on brake/start engine/gear lever into D/foot off brake” (she needs to add “don’t plough through marquees”, I guess – Ed)
• if you’re a bird (especially if you’re pink), best avoid Somercotes (in Derbyshire) for a while – two bird-eating tarantulas (which have a leg span of up to (gulp) ten inches) are believed to be on the loose there after three spiderlings were found abandoned in a car park (awww – Ed). The poor wee things were discovered among ten discarded pots, with labels including “Brazilian pink bird-eating tarantulas” (not sure if it’s the spiders which are pink or the birds – Ed). The beasties don’t normally live long in the wild in Britain because they prefer hot and humid conditions, but the warm weather may have increased their chances of survival …. so that’s all right then. But don’t fret about the spiderlings – they were taken to a veterinary centre in Nottingham, where they will be cared for “until they can be re-homed” (any volunteers?)
• the Blue Peter presenter Richard Bacon has woken up after six days in a coma (hurrah) ….
• …. while in another bacon story, Mr Ronald James (68) has been fined more than £200 after he berated cabin crew on a Tui flight from Palma to Exeter because they weren’t able to serve his granddaughter a bacon bap
• Kidderminster Hospital has spent £80,000 on lifelike dummies created by special effects experts at Elstree Studios. The dummies are connected to a computer and can talk (and be programmed to have a heart attack), and will be used to train hospital staff (at last Resusci Annie will have someone to talk to)
• and dummies of a different kind made themselves very unpopular with boaters on the Kennet and Avon Canal by leaving lock paddles up and draining a 300 metre section of canal (d’ohh)
On to Columbo Corner, and the Ed’s two favourite stories of the week –
1. archaeologists have discovered the oldest bread ever found, pre-dating agriculture by 4,000 years, but rumours that the loaf (found in the remains of a fire in Jordan) was labelled “best before 12,000 BC” have not been confirmed
2. and Kent Plod are investigating the theft of 21 skulls from an ossuary at St Leonard’s Church in Hythe. The report says that they were grabbed from a display in the crypt “after thieves broke a door lock” – but surely they would have used a skeleton key? I’ll get me coat …. Ed
Have a great week and weekend (next post will be on Friday 3rd August) – and remember to keep the Toblerone away from your imaginary twin ….
Cheers for now
I presently run three Boards –
Dark Blue (for people who run large businesses) – one spare seat
Light Blue (for people who run large businesses) — two spare seats
White Board (for people who run fast-growing businesses) — two spare seats
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has” (Margaret Mead)
“Galileo …. discovered the Moon while searching the skies through a telescope” (1066 And All That)