Tag Archives: Leadership

Live blog: How GitHub Makes Working Remotely Not Suck

I’m live blogging one of the morning keynotes at this year’s Devs Love Bacon conference. Coby Chapple of online developers’ forum, GitHub, is talking about Remote by Default: How GitHub Makes Working Remotely Not Suck.

As you may well know, I’m not a developer. I don’t even come near being one. But Mint CEO Cameron Price told me about GitHub a few years ago, and I’m interested in the way it works as a remote platform for its employees: it’s a flexible working thing, and that all feeds into my interest in how technology enables us to work differently, the way we want to (see the Beach with Wifi blog for some examples).
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Hold fire on the BBC – our condemnation will only deepen the management crisis

BBC logo

Poor old Beeb. Damned if they do and damned if they don’t.  I can’t help agreeing with today’s article from Avaaz – there are plenty of BBC-bashers out there and many of them have a vested interest in the seeing the end of any public funding for our oldest and – still – most-loved broadcaster (which incidentally, celebrates 90 years of speech radio today). But we all need to consider the alternatives before jumping on the BBC-bashing bandwagon.

I firmly believe that the Savile scandal was the fault not of the BBC but of our culture in general at the time. As many commentators have noted, the Life on Mars mentality that prevailed during the 1970s was exactly that – a world away from the relatively progressive environments that our workplaces and institutions offer now.

Back in the late 1990s I was deputy editor on Trisha (produced by Anglia, then part of the ITV Network) when the scandal of fake guests on TV talk shows broke (it was easy for the tabloids to pick up on because they used the same models and actors for their own centre page spreads).

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In looking to the future, we mustn’t forget our past

I’m mulling over stories to tell at Social Business Edge in New York next month. The conference looks at how digital technologies and culture are shaping the future of organisations.

While we’re all so wrapped up in the futureshock of now, a wholesale rejection of models from the past is always tempting, but there’s so much to be learnt from history. I’m delving back a bit to come up with I hope some interesting stuff that’s still pertinent today.

Take the archetypal manager, for example. He’s had a bad press of late, what with his officiousness, book-keeping and target-setting, but strong organisational skills are essential for good, social, business today. It’s just that they may be enacted in a different way.

I’ll be talking about General Patton’s inspirational leadership in World War II. And Vilfredo Pareto’s (yes he of the 80:20 rule) appalling mis-management skills. Following the suggestion of Lawrence O’Connor (Wisdom Architects), I’m hoping to look at the life and work of Michel de Montaigne, the sixteenth century French aristocrat who’s been described on Amazon as “the first blogger”.

I’ll be asking why (tragi) comedies about the workplace such as The Rise and Fall of Reginald Perrin, The Office and Mad Men have to say about the type of leader-manager we aspire to (and ones we want to avoid at all costs).

And I’m going to see if I can have a chat with the fab Cambridge academic, Mary Beard, because she talks and writes so eloquently on why the classical world is still relevant now. I’d love to know who her current heroes are.

Photo: fotograf1v2