An ending

Due to a family bereavement I perused Spotify to look for some mood music – and found not only the brilliant piece “An ending (Ascent)” by Brian Eno, but also a fabulous blog (admittedly dating back to 2007 but good work is never out of date) about said piece of music. I need to create a link to it here as I was so taken by it. Thanks to my fellow blogger for such a great way of expressing what others have in their heads but cannot put down on (paper, monitors etc):


Love a little, laugh a little

The words LOVE and LAUGH, depending on how clearly they are pronounced, can sound very similar.

Both concepts also work better in the company of others – so we’re 30 times more likely to laugh if we’re with somebody else than if we’re on our own.

Let’s get out there and laugh/love!

Walkabouts are needed for learning and testing ourselves

It’s the stop and think that leads to personal development and innovation (or re-invention!)

Paul4innovating's Innovation Views

Walkabout picture photo credit: Walkabout (1971) film by Nicolas Roeg

How often do you pause for thought, even simply for ‘just those few minutes,’  to allow yourself to openly question where you are and what you are attempting to do? We keep relentlessly moving on, like a wandering herd of buffalo, always looking for fresh pasture, those new feeding grounds. It’s not good.

Of course I often get caught up in this restless pursuit of gathering more, when I spend a growing amount of my time researching across innovation. I keep coming across so many things that ‘trigger’ the thinking, pushing me on.

Do you let them go, ignore them, quickly pass over them, or attempt to capture the issue as something well worth investigating further at a later stage, or just get them simply behind you in the here and now.

I think I must be reverting back more into a…

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The four stages of competence

  1. Unconscious incompetence – the individual does not understand/know how to do something and does not necessarily identify this as a gap in their knowledge or skillset. Before trying to resolve this, the individual should accept that it is an incompetence that needs to be remedied.
  2. Conscious incompetence – although the individual may not understand/know how to do something, they have recognised that there is a gap in their skillset. It will require strength and patience, plus motivation to start the process by making mistakes when carrying out tasks as this will lead to the necessary learning process to remedy the incompetence.
  3. Conscious competence – the individual understands/knows how to do something, but cannot exercise the task without major effort or focus. In other words, they still follow guidelines or “manuals” in order to execute this skill.
  4. Unconscious competence – due to the fact that the individual had so much practice with a skill that it has become “second nature” and they can perform it “standing on their head”, it is a new skill that they are so confident with they can even pass it on to others.

So – during all those years of being an executive, running departments or businesses, creating new things or firefighting issues that had been lumped in my lap, I now realise that I have often applied techniques sub– or unconsciously and actually got the desired result.

I even applied models and frameworks that I had never been taught, albeit knew their names, only to find out now, during my studies, that they exist, some famous people usually lent their names to them and that they are apparently part of “the good leader’s/manager’s armoury”….

The trick is now to find out my blind spots – carefully weighing up self-perception versus third-party perception. Which skills do I think need improving and which skills do others reckon I need to improve?

The cross-section should be interesting….

The Journey


By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is bitterest. (Confucius, 5th century BCE).

On 24th February 2015, I decided rather spontaneously to embark on a part-time MBA at Henley Business School.

I strongly believe that I will come out at the other end with a better understanding of the gaps in my professional skillset. However, I am even more convinced that this is the beginning of a personal development journey more than anything. It is strangely scary and empowering. And surely there are others out there, who would be prepared to share their experiences from similar adventures? I very much look forward to hearing from you.


And what would be more fitting than an excerpt from the Talking Heads’ “Once in a lifetime”:

And you may ask yourself
Where does that highway go to?
And you may ask yourself
Am I right?…Am I wrong?
And you may say to yourself
My God!…What have I done?!