Category Archive: Innovation

Nov 05

Overcoming our attachment to attachments. How the cloud is leading to true collaboration.

Collaboration in the cloud

Cultural Change Recently I helped a charity make the switch to Google Apps when I came across a common stumbling block. It wasn’t to do with the differences between Google and legacy systems such as MS Outlook, but a cultural change in the biggest difference to the way we work since email itself. It was to do with collaboration. Now you may think that you are using technology to collaborate already, using email to share information and work on documents. But the truth is, using email is as much a hindrance as a help in many ways, and I thought I would share why this is. I took the information from two …

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Aug 29

Understanding volunteer relationships

Procurement analysis

Every area of study has its founding fathers (or mothers, of course. Just going with alliteration there!) Classical Physics has Newton, nursing has Florence Nightingale (see?). Procurement has Peter Kraljic. In 1983, the Harvard Business Review published an article by Kraljic entitled “Purchasing must become supply management” and it became the focus of a new era of understanding procurement. Central to its theme was analysing the strategic relationships to your suppliers, measuring supply risk against the profit impact of each supplier. As you can see, it results in a classification of suppliers into four categories; Non-critical items Bottleneck items Leverage items Strategic items. It’s the starting point of any procurement …

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Aug 20

Project management – NASA style!

Project Management lessons from NASA

In light of the tremendous and ongoing success of the NASA Mars Curiosity Rover, I though I’d share something I found on how they manage their projects! After all, if they can manage to make a success of a $2.5 billion project, involving sending a 1-ton nuclear powered machine 352 million miles through space, and lower it through crane suspended by jets, I am sure we can learn something from them too! You can read the whole article here (about half way down) but the main points are:     Clearly identify the problem, identifying all aspects of the issue. It’s not enough to identify the problem in broad terms, for example, …

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Jul 20

Embracing failure

sometimes you have to roll the dice

If you never fail, you’re not trying. Successful people usually have a number of failures behind them. Richard Branson has lost more money than most people ever earn in a lifetime, and is obviously extremely successful . Anyone even remember the Virgin Pulse media player? It’s natural to want to avoid failure. During our evolution, failure would have had pretty horrendous results, and we are still hard wired to avoid it. In the charity world, failure can mean the loss of hard-earned income, donor trust, or even the respect of your peers.  I am sure we all know someone who seems to have risen to the top without making an …

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