My best reads of 2020

This is cross–posted from my new Antonym Substack – an email newsletter/blog platform. I published it there as a series of five posts – but have combined them here. Be warned, it’s a long read… When the going gets tough, the tough get reading. We all had extra burdens to carry in 2020. People found their different…… Continue reading My best reads of 2020

Invisible bombs

Albrecht Dürer’s The Four Horsemen This article is adapted from a letter to my team at Brilliant Noise last week. It has a special resonance on the eve of the 75th anniversary of VE Day.  Dear Brilliant People They are beginning to ease the lockdown in Italy. And other places too. It looks like we’re past…… Continue reading Invisible bombs

Why you should read Machiavelli

Would you take management advice from this man? (Source). A friend asked on Twitter: “What two books would you recommend a new people manager reads and why?” One book I recommended was The Prince, by Niccolò Macchiavelli. Why on earth would I recommend a book by him? To people managers? Well, I wouldn’t advise treating The…… Continue reading Why you should read Machiavelli

The Hero

My lovely sister-in-law and her husband gave me this TLS monograph as a Christmas gift: The Hero, by Lee Child. It’s rather magnificent, so I’m posting my Goodreads review here too: This is a very short book. You’re either going to read it because you like Lee Child’s writing or are curious what the author…… Continue reading The Hero

Systems, planning and punches to the face

Tyson: Plans change… TL;DR: “dynamic, self-adjusting system cannot be governed by a static, unbending policy” is academic for “everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face”. Mike Tyson said, “Everybody has plans until they get hit.” In the odd process that popular quotations go through, it is often misquoted as “Everybody has a plan…… Continue reading Systems, planning and punches to the face

Two ad giants falling. Will either get up again?

The different approaches at WPP and Publicis are examined in an FT article today. While both companies have endured falling share prices for the past few years, there are signs that WPP may be beginning to recover. Meanwhile, Publicis is talking a good game, but the markets are impatient for them to deliver better results.…… Continue reading Two ad giants falling. Will either get up again?

Friday’s Lies

Friday is lie day, it appears. In an article in The Economist, “Lie Detector”, we learn about Demaskuok, a Lithuanian tool developed to spot fake news, a much larger problem there because of the intensity of its information war with Russia. The tool spots fake news story candidates for analysis by humans by looking for…… Continue reading Friday’s Lies