#MonthNotes

This year I’ve started writing reflective notes at the end of each month.
I’ve found writing them helpful in getting me to think about, articulate and record things that otherwise I wouldn’t have, and hopefully it’s also helping me to learn.

So here I am again.

1. What did you fail with?

  • I failed to move a project forward like I’d been wanting and planning to do

I’d been lining up my ducks for a couple of months to get ready to kick off the project, and then I failed to get final sign off.

It was a good lesson for me in two things.

First…


#MonthNotes

For the past couple of months, I’ve experimented with writing some notes reflecting on the month just gone. I’ve quite enjoyed writing them, and they didn’t take too long to write.

I’ve also found the process helpful in getting me to think about and to articulate and record things that otherwise I wouldn’t have. So I’m keeping going with it.

1. What went well?

I wasn’t at all sure…


#monthnotes

Last month, I experimented with writing some notes reflecting on January.
I quite enjoyed writing them, and they didn’t take too long to write.

I also found the process helpful in getting me to think about and to articulate and record things that otherwise I wouldn’t have.

So I’m going to try it again.

1. Who or what inspired you?

  • Daft Punk

As @wulfmunkey said when Daft Punk announced their breakup:

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.*

I was inspired to have a great time digging around the internet, checking out some of their shows and videos I’d not seen before, and also…


Give me simple, direct and blunt over over-complicated

A couple of weeks ago, I was learning a bit about how 9 charities are working together in a consortium. Working across 9 organisations is not easy, yet the potential benefits are great— from pooling resources, to information sharing, and quality (if not speed) of decision making through diversity of thought.

I was reminded of this proverb, which I once used in a presentation I had to give to an interview panel at the beginning of a job interview:

An image of people walking/climbing up a path together, with the text “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”
An image of people walking/climbing up a path together, with the text “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”
taken from: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/784963410021662938/

I didn’t get the job.

And I’ve no idea if it’s actually an African proverb (as at least three other people


#Monthnotes

The backstory

In 2017 I wrote weeknotes on and off for a period, reflecting on my week. I found it a too much to keep up regularly and stopped after five months. I did a much shorter version on twitter for a while, but whilst they were much quicker to write, they didn’t hold the same value for me .

2020 was (*understatement alert*) an unusual year and at the end of it, I decided to do a personal retrospective on the year, something I’d never done before, to try and get a sense of perspective. …


Lessons from ‘Empowered’ by Marty Cagan and Chris Jones (SVPG)

After nearly 10 years in leadership roles in technology departments/organisations, I have recently moved in to our product organisation at Elsevier.

I joined Elsevier 3 years ago and almost immediately read Marty Cagan’s book Inspired, and went on an excellent two-day training course with his partner from SVPG(the Silicon Valley Product Group) Chris Jones. Ever since, I’ve been a big fan of SVPG and an advocate for what they say about product management and how to make great products.

Their new book Empowered is about “product leadership” and is aimed at “product leaders and aspiring product leaders, especially the leaders…


Practical ways to foster an inclusive environment

At Elsevier, we place strategic importance on having inclusive, engaged and agile teams. Therefore we value having an inclusive environment for our teams to operate in where everyone is treated fairly and respectfully, has equal access to opportunities and resources, and can contribute fully to the organization’s success.

An inclusive culture enables a high-performing and engaged set of employees, where people feel valued and can bring their whole selves to work. A culture of inclusion increases diversity while also improving innovation and team / business performance.

Leaders have a key role to play in fostering an inclusive environment. Whether we…


Memories from reading ‘In Search of Lost Time’ in lockdown

I started reading Proust around Eastertime last year. England was in its first lockdown, I was no longer travelling for work, no longer going out or meeting up with friends and had more time than ever on my hands.

You need a lot of time to read In Search of Lost Time: it’s the world’s longest novel (according to The Guinness Book of World Records) with 9,609,000 characters (including spaces), 1.5 million words, more than 400 characters, over 3600 pages, published in 6 volumes (or 7 depending on your edition). …


I’ve never written an end of year review before, but I decided to do a personal retrospective of 2020 when I saw Pat Kua’s template (HT David Heath for sharing it). The idea particularly appealed to me this year because my last four months have been dominated by having a TIA (a ‘mini-stroke’) and then a stroke, and I was finding it hard to see past that. …


Remembering the magic

This post was sparked by watching Jill Bolte Taylor’s TED talk, ‘My stroke of insight’, and an hour later listening to music during an acupuncture session.

Our brain’s right hemisphere

In her talk, Jill Bolte Taylor describes how the two hemispheres of our brains function differently. Our analytical left hemisphere thinks in language; processes sequentially and methodically; divides, categorises and organises information; separates out details and associates things in the present with our past and projects into the future; and sees ourself as a single, separate individual. In contrast,

Our right hemisphere is all about ‘right here, right now’, our right hemisphere thinks in…

Richard McLean

Senior Director @ElsevierConnect doing product strategy implementation & performance. Mainly writing about getting from A to B, & digital stuff. Personal acc’t.

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