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October 2019

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The average office worker in the UK.

Spends 16 hours per week in meetings.

Meetings.

Some meetings are necessary.

Most meetings aren’t.

Some meetings do need to last as long as they do.

Most meetings don’t.

In some meetings, everyone that’s there needs to be there.

In most meetings, they don’t.

In some meetings, every single person is paying attention to every single thing.

In most meetings, they’re not.

Try this.

So try this.

Halve all meetings.

Number.

Frequency.

Number of people at the meeting.

Agendas.

And with a little thought and planning.

I bet you get the same benefits.

And at least 8 hours back.

Per person.

Per week.

One Meeting.

Have a meeting about it.

Just one, mind.

Then act in it.

And it might be the best meeting you ever had.

You don’t have to be a filmmaker to make a film.

You don’t have to be a singer to sing.

You don’t have to be an artist to make art.

You don’t have to be an illustrator to illustrate.

You don’t have to be a website designer and builder to design and build a website.

Adventure.

Life is an adventure.

A short adventure, unfortunately.

So if you want to do something.

Bloody well do it.

Don’t wait for the label you think you need.

Standards. 

There are, of course, standards.

But set your own.

Then work hard to understand what’s required so you can match or exceed them.

And sprinkle creativity and imagination on top.

You’ll be fine.

Proof.

If you want proof that this is true.

So that you actually do get off your backside.

Here it is.

The world contains a lot of (what some people would describe as) crap films, crap songs, crap art, crap illustrations, crap websites and more.

Many of which were created by people with the label of filmmaker, singer, artist, illustrator, web designer or something else.

Opinions.

So don’t wait for the label you think you need.

Block out opinion.

All except your own.

Be confident.

Be yourself.

Have fun.

And off you go.

Sometimes.

I get lost in all this noise.

All the voices that appear.

From out of the blue.

To set today’s agenda.

Voices I don’t even recognise.

Subjects I don’t even recognise.

Subjects I don’t even care about.

Yet the voices chatter on.

And sometimes.

I say ‘yes’.

Just to silence them.

When really.

I should say ‘no’.

Look At Me.

And I get blinded by lights.

Lights that illuminate strange subjects.

So that I am forced to look at them.

So I feel like I have to have an opinion on them.

Subjects that shout, ‘Look at me!’

And sometimes.

Many times, in fact.

I don’t know what to think.

Because my head’s too full.

It’s overwhelming.

I get lost in all the noise.

And blinded by the lights.

Downtime. 

I like being alone more these days.

By ‘alone’ I don’t just mean without people.

But without devices, too.

Especially without devices.

Downtime.

I lie there.

Breathing deeply.

With my eyes closed.

Floating away.

And wondering how something as old as breathing deeply.

Can feel so new.

And how, sometimes, facing all of these new things that life is throwing at me.

Can make me feel so old.

There are a lot of dating sites out there.

Designed, obviously, to help us to find a partner.

Some claim to be more sophisticated than the others.

And the others?

They just ask you to swipe one way or the other.

Based purely on what someone looks like.

Compatibility

Well, in another world’s first.

I will offer my advice.

On how to assess compatibility between two people quite easily.

And inexpensively.

And quickly.

Revel Hierarchy.

It’s an assessment of someone’s ‘Revel Hierarchy’.

I should explain.

This is listing a person’s love of the different chocolate Revels in order of preference.

So mine for example is this:

  1. Coffee.
  2. Orange.
  3. Solid flat one.
  4. Malteser.
  5. Toffee.
  6. Raisin.

If you meet someone with the same preference.

You’re in.

And if this does not convince you.

Then dig a little deeper.

Find out what the person thinks about the fact that coffee replaced coconut.

(I was ecstatic).

And the fact that raisin replaced peanut.

(I was upset).

Love.

Love was always a complex issue.

For thousands of years.

Working out how to find it.

And how to assess whether it would endure.

Well no longer.

Thanks to Revel Hierarchy.

You’re welcome.

OK.

I’ve thought about this for a while now.

And I’ve tested it.

In my mind.

Leaders.

I have worked out who should lead the world.

The world should be led only people that have these three things.

All three things.

And they have to be authentic.

They have to mean it.

Here we go:

  1. They have to be clever. Knowledgable on the vital points relating to the subject areas they lead. Deeply informed. They have to really know their stuff. Contextually, historically and currently.
  2. They must have no agenda. They must be just. They must be sincere. They really must be leading us and making decisions for us for the greater good of us all. They must know, and do, the right thing.
  3. They must be good communicators. This is just as important as the other two. They must be able to engage us. To help us to understand. Not to persuade us but to give us the information we need so that we ‘get it’. They should be clear in what they are saying. And what they are doing. Because sometimes the channel or clumsy communications gets in the way.

Solutions.

So there we go.

I have worked out who should lead the world.

The world should be led only people that have these three things.

If you’d like me to solve any more of the world’s most significant problems.

Drop me a line at michael@50odd.co.uk and I will let you know my fees.

Thank you.

‘Special Projects’ is a London based design and invention consultancy.

It was founded by Industrial Designer, Clara Gaggero Westaway.

And Experience Designer (and magician) Adrian Westaway.

I met Clara at TEDx Newcastle this month.

Unboxing.

Clara showcased a 9 year old project.

(The age of the project is significant).

And how she and her team tackled a problem that older Samsung customers had.

With the unboxing of Samsung phones.

Backstory.

The backstory with the unboxing.

Specifically in the context off the customer’s age.

Is this.

Younger.

Younger customers tear open boxes.

Throw packaging to their right.

Throw instruction manuals to their left.

Frantically press buttons.

Slide fingers over screens.

And away they go.

Their ‘unboxing experience’ manifests as a slight dip in happiness.

But they get there in the end.

Older.

Older customers unbox slowly.

They lay things out.

They begin to thumb through the manual.

From page 1.

To page whatever.

And their ‘unboxing experience’ plummets.

They hate it!

And this is the issue that the Special Projects team were asked to address.

Oldschool. 

The proposed ‘concept solution’ to this problem was really lovely.

And there are three lessons for businesses.

Firstly, know your customers.

And more specifically, know your different kinds of customers.

And be special for all of them.

Secondly, sometimes.

To achieve more.

You must do less.

Or to move forwards.

You must think backwards.

And thirdly, here is a great quote from Clara:

In every moment of frustration there is a fuzzy moment waiting to be freed.

Clara is right.

This 150 seconds explains all: https://www.50odd.co.uk/oldschool/.

 

One of the most impressive people I’ve never met.

Is Baroness Sayeeda Warsi.

(I saw her.

But didn’t meet her.

At Ammar Mirza’s Asian Business Connexions Dinner.

Two weeks ago).

Baroness Sayeeda Warsi.

In amongst a whole host of confident and memorable narrative.

Sayeeda spoke about how she made key decisions.

Referring directly to when she resigned from Cameron’s government.

In 2014.

Because she wouldn’t support the Government’s policy on the escalation of violence in the Israel–Gaza conflict.

Two Questions.

Anyhow.

Whatever your politics.

I like the two questions that Sayeeda asked herself.

To come to a decision about her resignation.

She asked:

Am I saying what I believe?
Am I doing what I say?

Both are great questions independently.

But side by side – they’re even better.

One follows the other.

Decisions.

Next time I have to make big decisions.

I’ll ask myself these questions.

And maybe you should too.