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Richard Spragg

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Top Stories by Richard Spragg

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 - the fact that you have no idea if the reality will render the theory absurd - which you can't waste your time worrying about, you have a major concern that you can and must address: How will the ever present plan, and perceptions of success and failure, affect your staff's actual performa... (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)

Richard Branson’s Going to Mars. Can You Manage When He’s Gone?

Branson's at it again. Now he wants to colonize Mars. Not content with his spaceport or his fleet of space shuttles, Sir Richard is eyeing the red planet with the intention of creating a Noah's Ark of earthlings, ready and willing to create a new population. I don't concern myself with the eccentricities of Mr. Branson's twilight years in business. I care nothing for the fact that his life resembles the plot of Moonraker a little more every day. Richard Branson can colonize Mars to his heart's content as far as I'm concerned. If he raises three generations of clone-a-like men an... (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)

The Most Important 10 Seconds of Your Career - Are You Ready?

So you've got your resume together and it's looking good. You've got your past experience laid out clearly, you have an appropriate level of detail about the things you've done. You've got your academic qualifications listed out in the right order and again, the right level of detail. You've got no gaps anywhere. No rambling personal statements. A couple of things you do outside work for conversation starters. It's good. Well done. You're not getting a job. Talk to anyone who works in recruiting for a large employer and they'll tell you about the stack of resumes they have to go ... (more)