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Richard Spragg

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Top Stories by Richard Spragg

Businesses can be a lot like soap operas in one important respect – a secret never stays secret forever. It’s only ever waiting in the background today to become tomorrow’s main plot line. One of the most common forms of secrecy in the modern workplace is the concealing of mistakes – it is this small and unnecessary crime that results in more dismissals than any other kind of misconduct. People make mistakes; it’s a natural part of being human. Immediate acknowledgement, combined with ideas for fixing the problem, will always be the best course.  Everyone makes mistakes; people respect colleagues who admit to it and get to work on making it right. Whatever the situation, we are usually presented with a fork in the road, where the obvious need to face the music conflicts with the immediate ability to suppress the problem. There is a crucial tipping point when honesty ... (more)

Cracking the Myth of Effective Multitasking

It was only fairly recently that I cracked the myth of multitasking, and found an attitude toward it that I am comfortable with. These days, I see it this way. A housewife (if you'll forgive the 1950s stereotype that follows - but the idea of the multitasking superwoman is perfect for this purpose) needs to cook dinner, tidy up the lounge of toys and change a nappy. She leaves some sauce simmering on the stove, picks up a couple of soft toys and throws them in the toy chest, then takes care of the baby's nappy. She returns child to crib, washes her hands, picks up the books that... (more)

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace Being Wrong

There are times in life when you have to put your hands up to being in the minority, especially when you're in the business of putting your opinions out there in the market for all to see. As a lifelong holder of minority opinions, this is not new to me. So effusive was the disagreement with my first blog in this series, that arrived from all corners of our growing community here, that I feel compelled to present the opposite view. I will wipe the spit and fumes from my face and in all probability convince myself that I was actually wrong in the first place. The source of our di... (more)

Top Seven Hardest Degrees for Undergrads… Is yours on the list?

Engineering has developed a tough reputation as an undergraduate degree. This reputation is unlikely to be contributing to desperately needed intake into the industry at ground level. So what's the story and do these accounts really convey the reality of university programs in engineering related subjects? The recent National Survey of Student Engagement took 416,000 full-time and first-year students and also seniors at a total of 670 universities across the USA to find out which majors offer the hardest ride. They produced a Top 7: 1.       Engineering 2.       Physical scienc... (more)

Snakes and Ladders

The only thing you know for certain about the budget, said an old mentor of mine, is that it's wrong. One way or another, you're going to have issues with the plans you made in November for the year ahead. Not surprising, given that you aimed to somehow foresee the next year's market conditions, predict the performance of your customers and anticipate everything from super storms to the attrition of key personnel.  Then you reconciled this guess work with your shareholders' aspirations - which are seldom modest or undemanding - to produce ‘the plan'. Beyond the obvious problem... (more)