• 6 Apr 2010

    Habits and Happiness 10: Its a cycle just keep going

    Let’s look at Habits in terms of the famous team bonding cycle. Habit forming is very easy. I find it incredibly easy to visit my very convivial local pub and very easy indeed to get into a round with some really interesting mates. I also find it easy to avoid good habits like going to the health club, to take up episodic bad habits like the full Irish breakfast I had at a recent coaching event in Belfast. In my mind...
    • 30 Mar 2010

    Habits and Happiness 9: If at First you don’t Succeed…

    My last post was in late January. What can I say? I have slipped off the treadmill so to speak. I haven’t lost weight as I planned and did a lot of the things I said I would not. That makes me human but I am not making excuses. I now have a deeper insight into what really motivates and now some targets to aim for. I also have some clothes I cannot fit which I should be able to fit. I also narrowly avoided playing a proper...
    • 1 Feb 2010

    Habits and Happiness 8: Keep doing it. It’s a new habit till you want it to stop

    One of the issue for me is that I make glacial progress but as you’ll know from my first posting on H&H habits take a lot more than the oft quoted time of 21 days to embed. The latest research indicates a range of between 18 days and 256 days to "automaticity" I.e. doing/not doing without thinking, depending on the "ease/difficulty of the change. I am sort of there because I am going to the health club as often as...
    • 21 Jan 2010

    Habits and Happiness Part 7: Celebrate Success and lay off the Butter

    The success I celebrate is the fact that I have managed to stay out of the pub, eat reasonably healthily and got to the health club 3 times weekly as promised. I have fulfilled all of these obligations and I have lost 3.5 pounds (1.6 kilos). What has motivated me? One thing has been the welter of programmes on TV about fat people losing weight. It made me realise (to bring the insights of behavioural psychology into the...
    • 11 Jan 2010

    Habits and Happiness Part 6: Notice and "feel" the change (or feel the belt tightening).

    Yes I have noticed and felt a change. I have got fatter it’s as simple as that. By not attending the health club because of a twinge I got on the running machine after our Manchester conference, I have let myself fall off the habit changing horse. With the festive over indulgence over I have downed too many goodies. Like the British economy it’s time for a bit of austerity. Incidentally brilliant book about how people...
    • 20 Nov 2009

    Habits and Happiness: Part 5: Don’t Get Derailed by Setbacks

    Habits and Happiness: Part 5: Don’t Get Derailed by Setbacks Just back from our Annual Conference in Manchester and it was a learning and networking triumph. Nick Baylis positively wowed us with his captivating session “The Rough Guide to Happiness”. Nick was inspiring funny, serious and challenging as he literally balanced our need for achievement, our striving and our work-life with our need as animals to get physical...
    • 16 Nov 2009

    Happiness is Habit Forming; Part 4: SMART Goals.

    Happiness is Habit Forming: 4: Set SMART Goals Getting ready for ACE Manchester which isn’t a new private eye but our annual conference. We’ve moved from the beautiful quaint market town of Harrogate after almost 60 years. So it’s understandably difficult for CIPD staff to get out of the habit of referring to Harrogate the home of Betty’s team rooms when they think about our Annual Conference and Exhibition. Indeed...
    • 4 Nov 2009

    Happiness is Habit Forming: Part 3: Take Action

    Habits 3: Take Action Take action. Yes I have taken action. Last week I vowed following Mark’s advice to take action by developing conscious practice. Now as a basic rule of thumb if I could lose a steady level of weight by following all three behaviour changes I should be able to achieve over two months about one stone or 14 Ibs or 6.3 kilos. (in new money). If it takes me three months then I’ll lose more weight....
    • 26 Oct 2009

    Habits and Happiness Part Two: Being Mindful

    Time to “fess up”. I set myself an overall goal of changing some habits, in order to lose weight. My progress is listed in the table below. Goal Result Progress Work-out at health club at last 3 x weekly Monday to Friday Worked out at health club one day poor Eat healthy diet cutting down on saturate fats Did OK but had burger at Fulham V Roma game...
    • 19 Oct 2009

    Happiness is Habit Forming: Part One

    As a Learning and Talent Development Adviser I am very interested in habits. The way we form and break habits is a major factor in our performance. It is also a major factor in our learning. Habits contribute to happiness and its opposite. This is a growing field of study, and at ACE Conference on the 18th November I will be chairing Dr Nick Baylis’s masterclass on the subject. I promise you’ll leave that session happy...
    • 12 Oct 2009

    Maths Education and The Master of the Universe: A Modest Proposal

    Estimates of Britain’s numeracy skills gap vary. According to the Leitch report About 8-11 million adults are supposed to be lacking in functional numeracy. That means about a fifth of the adult population can hardly read a railway timetable or count their change. There are different estimates but it’s a lot of people, and government has made it the centrepiece of the skills agenda. Much of this poor performance is...
    • 3 Sep 2009

    How learning the Long Game Can Help us learn the Long Game at Work

    Scottish newspapers recently carried 'Who cares about the Ashes' articles and until recently I agreed. I knew nothing of cricket and was probably happy to remain ignorant. Despite the rise of lovable rogues such Botham, 'Tuffers' and Freddie, Scots can’t bring themselves to like cricket. I recently read the novel Netherland by Joseph O’Neill. It’s written a by an Irishman, about a New York dwelling Dutchman who plays...
    • 27 Aug 2009

    Impatience is not a Virtue and Life is Better if People Play the Game

    An advert for a new mobile shows a bunch of twenty something’s running photogenically amok. The strap-line is “Impatience is a Virtue”. Last night my beloved Celtic were robbed of a decent start in a “must win game”, by a piece of professional impatience. In other words cheating by the Arsenal forward Eduardo, who dived like a lead filled Polaris to “win” a penalty. To be fair, trailing to two away goals we had as much...
    • 20 Aug 2009

    Taking The High Road on Holes: Could HR Do More?

    Recently in Streatham High Road my appointment with the dental hygienist was cancelled because a digger fractured a pipe whilst creating a new hole. This meant there wasn’t any water to sluice the McGurk teeth, which like the road mentioned have no shortage of holes. In one of his lesser known tomes Keynes must have advised London councils on a policy known as “Pavement Priming.” You pay people to dig up the pavement...
    • 13 Aug 2009

    Can Top Talent Make the Weather?

    When the premiership kicks off on Saturday we’ll be robbed of the presence of among others Kaka, who could have gone to Man City and Ronaldo who has flounced off to parade his haughty brilliance in Madrid. Ronaldo by all accounts was fed up with Manchester. Not as much as his Serbian colleague Vidic who complained that “In England they say that Manchester is the city of rain". "In future I would like to test myself in...
    • 7 Aug 2009

    You don’t have to be Posh to be Proficient

    Marks and Spencer is celebrating 125 years and rightly prides itself on its customer service. As a boy I can remember the days in Glasgow in the late 60s and 70s when many of their assistants and especially the supervisors were formidable blue rinse women who spoke in Glasgow’s poshest accent (Kelvinside). Whether they were from Kelvinside (where a crash and a crèche could easily be confused), or not, they felt they...