Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Whistle Blower - Michael Woodford

Very interesting article in Business Week about Michael Woodford, briefly CEO of Olympus.
Most of us are positive about standards in business life, but I can't help but wonder how many of us would have had the strength of character to push for full disclosure of wrong doing in the face of possible death threats.  As he says, "I had no idea I was walking into a John Grisham novel".
Article here

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Kindle edition of Excellence in Public Sector Procurement

There is now a Kindle edition of our book Excellence in Public Sector Procurement available through Amazon.  This has the twin advantages of being both lighter and cheaper than the print edition - assuming you already have a Kindle of course, though you can also read it on PCs and smart phones using the Kindle App.

File on 4 - a Bridge too far

BBC Radio 4 File on 4 have a programme about European Public Procurement available on Iplayer from Tuesday night (20th March 2012), repeated on Sunday 25th March 2012.  Should be interesting.  Click to go to the site.

Also available as a blog on I-tunes

Monday, 12 March 2012

£6n government spend with SMEs - follow up in Yorkshire Post

There was a follow up article in the Yorkshire Post on Sunday building on what was said at the Public Procurement Briefing held in London on 9th March 2012.  It used a few more comments from my interview with the YP, and can be seen here.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Public Procurement Briefing, 9th March 2012

I was not invited (and no reason why i should have been), but I pretty much support one of the views being presentated at the event by Mark Thompson.

I do hope that this is the beginning of a real focus on smes in public procurement.  The government continues to say good things, but in their progress report while they report real progress they use weasel words about involving smes in the supply chain to government.  It is not really something they should claim as their success, and could at worst be seen as passing the buck to their suppliers.  To be watched with care.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

SMEs still miss out on Public Sector Contracts

Today's Yorkshire Post (Thursday 8th March 2012) contains an article about SMEs and public procurement with extensive quotes from me.   My summary is that the government is talking a good game but more needs to be done to make sure it actually delivers the engagement with SMES that will benefit our economy.

The article is here

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Keep that thought

Like many people I am often trying to juggle several different projects at the same time.  Currently, there is a sourcing project, a raft of new courses, work on contract management, and a major programme focussing on smes in supply chains that starts in April 2012.  Along with that I have agreed to write two new books (short ones this time) as part of a new range designed by Stuart Emmett (my co-author on Excellence in Public Sector Procurement).

To keep track of these, and any ideas that come along to me, I have a system of paper and electronic folders and a number of project plans and timelines. 

For the books and courses Stuart has an excellent filing system of case studies, news paper clippings and reference documents.  I find that once things hit my filing cabinet they tend to stay there.

So I am experimenting with Evernote, which is an electronic app that syncs across my phone, pcs and laptops and allows me to drop documents, images, web pages  - basically any electronic stuff - into a folder marked with key words.  It seems to be helping with the early stage process of grabbing a lot of things and looking at them until you can see what fits and what does not.  I thought it might be helpful for others too.  It is a freemium programme (free for limited use), and not I am not getting a cut.

Other productivity tools I use are Dropbox, which allows me to sync a folder of documents across my phone, laptops and pcs and is invaluable in allowing me to work on the same document in many different places.  It also reduces the worry for a travelling trainer that I might somehow lose my laptop and presentation - I can always retrieve a copy from my Dropbox.  Again freemium product - you get a limited amount of space free, but have to pay for more.  If you are interested, then we can both get more space for free if I refer you into Dropbox.

As a trainer I frequently subject people to "Death by PowerPoint".  Personally I rather like it, but I know some people hate it.  For a recent (successful) pitch we used Prezi instead, which was a rather more fun and interesting way of showing information.  Again this is free to try, but anyone can see what you produce.  A limited licence is $59/year or $159/year for the full version.  I had an objection to paying for an annual license, but it was pointed out to me that even Microsoft Office has a limited life before it is fundamentally obsolete - isnt that similar to paying an annual license?  Reasonable point.

So now to actually try and use these productivity tools to be productive, rather than blogging about them.  If you want to follow up on Evernote there is an interesting article about it on The Next Web here.