Niall Cook, the author of Enterprise 2.0, discusses my review of his book on the Enterprise 2.0 website. Check it out here.


Web 2.0 in the enterprise

September 3, 2008

I recently reviewed a book for – a site for communications practitioners worldwide. The book was on the interesting and extremely relevant topic of Enterprise 2.0 – using web tools within companies and is by Niall Cook, Hill and Knowlton’s Director of Marketing Technology. You can read the review here:

Have a read and let me know what you think.

Up or out

August 26, 2008

Jack Welch was Chairman and CEO of General Electric from 1981 and 2001. In his time he gained a reputation for his business acumen and innovative leadership strategies at GE. One of his most radical decisions was in radically changing the value chain of the company by setting high standards and redesigning the business culture. The first step in doing this was to make each of GE’s businesses Number 1 or 2 in the industry; if it couldn’t be done then he got rid of the business. 

He reasoned: “When you’re number four or five in a market, when number one sneezes, you get pneumonia. When you’re number one, you control your destiny.”

During this process he sold roughly 200 businesses however he spent $21 billion to acquire 370 businesses which strengthened the company with higher quality and unparalleled performers.

The four-day workweek

August 21, 2008

With increasing energy costs and a growing impetus to cut costs, Chrysler is in talks with unions about shifting to a four-day workweek of 10 hour days at some of its plants in North America. The change would allow the company to shut down the factory for three whole days, bringing significant savings on electricity. Employees would get Friday, Saturday and Sunday off.

This is an interesting example of one of an innovative industry innovating around working hours. I often wonder what lessons can be learned from automobile manufacturers and applied to other industries. I know I thouched on Toyota and Kaizen earlier this week, and another practice it does in its factories is have an andon cord hanging overhead on both sides of every production line.

When a worker sees a problem, they pull the cord, which immediately stops their particular production line. 

The almost complete lack of anxiety around stopping production with the andon cord has huge advantages. Only about 15 to 20 minutes of a full nine-hour shift are lost, and the defect rate on finished cars is close to zero, Toyota says.

Still the four-day workweek is set to stir a lot of debate before anything is agreed.


August 18, 2008

Toyota has a great reputation when it comes to its manufacturing processes. One of the reasons for this is they take a given role in the process, and they’ll have the employee lay out the steps in their job in as many micro-steps as possible. Then they’ll eliminate any steps that are intermediary or unimportant. They will then go back to the employee and ask them to streamline further – basically creating a manual for training other people with minimal steps needed. Toyota has been doing this consistently since it started. They refer to it as kaizen – continual improvement.

Map out your work days over the week and see how you can improve.

Blogs I Like – Part 5

August 15, 2008

The final installment and, as it’s a Friday, its about football. I live in Putney and became a season ticket holder to Craven Cottage last year and, despite Fulham’s Premiership survival going to the wire, it’s great.

With a host of summer signings being made By Roy Hodgson, particularly Andy Johnson, Mark Schwarzer and Bobby Zamora, complementing the likes of Jimmy Bullard, I can’t wait for the new season to begin.

I get my Fulham fix everyday with Craven Cottage Newsround – an excellent blog that is updated regularly with the latest news, stats and general musings of being a Fulham supporter. Have a good weekend everyone.

Read the blog here.

Blogs I Like – Part 4

August 14, 2008

I think I’m somewhat obsessed with Seth Godin. This is my third mention of him on this blog. Needless to say, I really enjoy his blog and find that it’s regular and insightful updates provide a useful antidote to my day.

Read the blog here.

Blogs I like – Part 3

August 13, 2008

Tom Glocer is chief executive of Thomson Reuters and has a blog. It’s updated intermittently (last posting at time of press was 20 July 2008), but it deserves a mention as you don’t see many FTSE 100 chief executives do you see with their own blog.

Read the blog here.

Blogs I like – Part 2

August 12, 2008

Next up is the Fastlane blog – General Motors’, owner of Vauxhall and Opel closer to home, blogging platform for lots of its senior executives. I like this because its a good example of corporate blogging with heavyweight executives being quite candid at times. The blog had a refresh last month so has lots more functionality now as well.

Read the blog here.

Blogs I like – Part 1

August 11, 2008

While I’m away I thought I’d share a few blogs that I like. Have a look and let me know what you think. Also please comment and let me know your favourite blogs as well.

First on the list is the Freakonomics blog by Steven Levitt and a host of regular and guest contributors. Carrying on from where the book of the same name left off there are regular posts exploring the hidden side of everything.

Read the blog.