Lock Down Reading

The past few weeks have been an ideal opportunity to re-read some books.

I have particularly enjoyed these and think you might as well.

  • Why Most Things Fail – Evolution, Extinction and Economics by Paul Ormerod
  • Innumeracy -Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences by John Allen Paulos
  • A Short History of Financial Euphoria by John Kenneth Galbraith
  • Phantoms in the Brain: Human Nature and the Architecture of the Mind by V.S. Ramachandran  and Sandra Blakeslee

Some Christmas Reading

I have enjoyed these, I think you will as well


Alchemy: The Surprising Power of Ideas That Don’t Make Sense By Rory Sutherland

Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics by Tim Marshall

Range: How Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein

The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge by Matt Ridley

Dancing by The Light of The Moon: Over to 250 poems, to read, relish and recite By Gyles Brandreth

The Inequality Paradox: How Capitalism Can Work for Everyone

Rebel Ideas: The Power of Diverse Thinking by Matthew Syed


Really looking forward to this – 17th March 2020

It has been a few years since I have shared a stage with Rory Sutherland. He is a legend in advertising circles (He is Deputy Chairman of Ogilvy), a best selling author,a columnist at The Spectator and his TED talks have over 7 million hits! So its a great pleasure to have him involved in this next Decision Event. It will be huge fun and extremely informative.
Full information and booking details here:

The Gene Kranz Dictum

If you don’t know Gene Kranz’s Dictum – print this off, keep it and re-read from time to time
“Tough and Competent”

“Spaceflight will never tolerate carelessness, incapacity, and neglect. Somewhere, somehow, we screwed up. It could have been in design, build, or test. Whatever it was, we should have caught it. We were too gung ho about the schedule and we locked out all of the problems we saw each day in our work. Every element of the program was in trouble and so were we. The simulators were not working, Mission Control was behind in virtually every area, and the flight and test procedures changed daily. Nothing we did had any shelf life. Not one of us stood up and said, “Dammit, stop!” I don’t know what Thompson’s committee will find as the cause, but I know what I find. We are the cause! We were not ready! We did not do our job. We were rolling the dice, hoping that things would come together by launch day, when in our hearts we knew it would take a miracle. We were pushing the schedule and betting that the Cape would slip before we did.

From this day forward, Flight Control will be known by two words: “Tough” and “Competent”. Tough means we are forever accountable for what we do or what we fail to do. We will never again compromise our responsibilities. Every time we walk into Mission Control we will know what we stand for. Competent means we will never take anything for granted. We will never be found short in our knowledge and in our skills. Mission Control will be perfect. When you leave this meeting today you will go to your office and the first thing you will do there is to write “Tough and Competent” on your blackboards. It will never be erased. Each day when you enter the room these words will remind you of the price paid by Grissom, White, and Chaffee. These words are the price of admission to the ranks of Mission Control.”

Summer Reading – 2019

It’s time for some reading suggestions for the summer months. Here are five that I think are very worthwhile.

Alchemy: The Surprising Power of Ideas That Don’t Make Sense. By Rory Sutherland

The Choice Factory: 25 behavioural biases that influence what we buy. By Richard Shotton

The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War. By Ben MacIntyre

Eat Your Greens. By Wiemer Snijders

Diary of a Fund Manager. By David Miller

The Science & Magic of Better Decision Making

I’m very excited to be joining Richard Shotton & Paul Craven, two of the leading lights on human behaviour & decision making, in this one day course/workshop on improving decision making and risk taking.

So mark the date
Tuesday 29th October 2019 in London.

The day will be fun, interesting, relevant and engaging.
We will offer:
Important insights on how to improve most aspects of business – from decision-making to ethical sales and persuasion.
How you can improve your connection and communication with clients and prospects.
How to be better at challenging your own assumptions, to make better decisions.
How to be a better buyer and seller, whether of product, investments or ideas.

Full details will be published in about two weeks.

Places are strictly limited -So if you want to receive early notification of how to book and the full course details please e-mail the event organiser Karen Davies of Applied Learning at kdavies@applied-learning.com

I look forward to seeing some of you on the 29th October – Im sure it will be a fascinating day.

Richard Shotton is the best selling author of The Choice Factory, which won a major business book award this year and has been ranked #1 in Amazon’s business books. He has a vast knowledge how we influence and are influenced, and brings a wealth of practical ideas all based on real life examples. See here

Paul Craven has a distinguished career in international finance, is a noted magician (He is a member of The Magic Circle) and now is a leading authority on how we think about risk and why we do what we do; which is not always the same as what we say we will do! See here