Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Meetings are expensive... very expensive

It might not occur to most people, but meetings are expensive, very expensive. I am not talking about room rental, equipment rental, the cost of the tea and the chocolate biscuits that Doris the tea lady brings in to the meeting room (although add this in later if you really want), nope I am in fact talking about the cost of the time wasted in the vast majority of meetings.

Although you may think that meetings are just part and parcel of the way your business operates and therefore should not be subjected to criticism, I must tell you that the cost of most meetings is easily calculated, and absurdly large and underestimated.

Let’s imagine that Mr. Director of company X would like to call an internal meeting to discuss the launch of the company’s wonderful new product. The next afternoon all 50 employees shuffle into the large meeting room to hear the Director talk about the new product. The presentation is quite awful, it is poorly structured, conveys little to no information and does little to clear up uncertainties about what the new product will mean for various employees’ roles.

Let’s imagine that this presentation droned on for an hour, a very reasonable estimate. That was very much a completely wasted hour for each employee in attendance, 50 working hours are now firmly down the drain. If you were even more adventurous with your analysis of this meeting you could try and put a financial costing to it. Assuming that the average per-hour wage of the employees is €30 (very conservative here) that meeting has cost the company €1,500 in potential working hours and has given the audience little or no real value or information.

The lesson to be learnt here is that presentations are often an inappropriate form of communication. The Director could have chosen to send around a Word document in this situation describing the details and consequences of the launch. Or, if the Director was hell bent on making a presentation out of it, he could have at least practised out his presentation several times, been clear on the facts and trimmed the presentation down to a reasonable timeframe.

While this might go unnoticed in internal situations, the same will not be true for external meetings. People don’t like having their time and money wasted, so calculate the value of your next presentation (time x people x average wage per hour) – is it worth it? Have you worked hard enough to deliver real value and information? If not… START WORKING ON IT

Fox news try to display info. Fail!

Worst. Piechart. Ever.

From Fox news... who would have thought that all the segments should add up to 100%?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Good graphs are like good jokes

Best graph related quote I have ever heard:

Good charts are like good jokes (they don't need to be explained)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thierry Henry's little "mistake"

After last night's Ireland versus France game concluded with a frankly absurd judgement by the ref with regards to Theirry Henry's handball some are calling for a boycott of Gillette products if Mr. Henry continues to be one of their cover boys.

Mr. Manuel Yoacham, wrote on this blog : "I think Gillette needs to implement some damage control, and quick" and to be fair he has a point, a lot of Irish people are calling for him to be banished to a dark hole somewhere.

I think the problem is that while this memory will last forever in the hearts and minds of the Irish, I suspect the distaste with Henry will by temporary elsewhere. Gillette create adverts that can be run anywhere in the world because they have some pretty recognised cover boys. This means they only have to make one advert to satisfy most of their advertising needs, will they care of piddling Ireland stop buying their razors? I suspect not. However we will see what happens.

Ireland played the best I have ever seen them play last night, we should all be very proud, and in terms of the boycott, I haven't used a Gillette razor for a few years now, my views were obviously ahead of their time!

Monday, November 16, 2009

"Flashmob" in Cork

I found this by way of the wonderful http://www.pkellypr.com/blog/ a blog worth visiting for definite.

The following wonderful video is one filmed in Cork City center of a group of 800 or so people getting together to spread the word about the National Campaign for the Arts, if you like the song Mr. Blue Sky, or you like smiling, I suggest you watch this video.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Aer Lingus Rant Continued

I mentioned previously here that I would continue my rant on Aer Lingus, so I will.

I have been searching around for a particular few lines that I read not too long ago in a George Orwell book that reminded me of the Aer Lingus situation. Unfortunately I never found the lines but I remember what the jist of the matter was.

It was referencing his time in Spain where he fought in the civil war, here he witnessed in-fighting on the side he was fighting for just at a crucial time, I believe he compared it to starting a civil war when the murderous enemy is knocking at the city gates... not the best timing.

I like to think that this is what is happening with Aer Lingus, with the unionised staff provoking the civil war. Given that the staff appear to be vowing to fight all cutbacks and layoffs survival is looking very slim... are they really so foolish as to want to stop all changes? Option A: Some people get cut, working conditions change - Option B: Stay the same and everyone loses their job (perhaps an odd show of solidarity?) - Those are pretty much the two option Aer Lingus have... do they really want to commit industrial suicide?

Madness I tells ya.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Pretty Pumpkin

Well pumpkin carving time comes but once a year, and after the initial gutting of the pumpkin -which I really hate - it's actually quite fun to carve this vegetable/fruit/not too sure into a nice design.

I present to you my pumpkin for Halloween 2009