How much rubbish?

July 11, 2009

BBC reports

UK supermarkets should be forced to reveal how much packaging they produce, local councils say.

Read more

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Maybe not such a good idea…

January 20, 2009

It’s at this time of year that you see a lot of adverts for Christmas savings clubs.

Despite the Farepak collapse there are still other businesses out there willing to take your money.

One company was advertising recently on the television and you could save towards High Street vouchers.

Looking at the advert, I am not so sure this is such a good idea…

Maybe not such a good idea...

Don’t think vouchers for Woolworths are worth much these days!

Seriously though these saving schemes are very popular, there are often better ways to save money for Christmas.


What is the point of Woolworths?

November 26, 2008

What is the point of Woolworths?

The BBC asks what is the point of Woolworths?

A year away from its centenary, Woolworths is reportedly on sale for the price of a modest bag of pick ‘n’ mix. But it’s still much loved and millions of shoppers go through its doors every week. To buy what?

Photo source.


Not having lunch impacts on business performance

August 11, 2008

British workers are terrible at taking lunch, more often than not taking lunch at their desk, according to a recent report.

The BBC reports:

Only one in six workers takes a regular lunch break, says new research. And one consequence of the credit crunch is that breaks are getting even shorter as job insecurity increases.

Are you reading this article while eating a sandwich at your desk?

If so, you are not alone. Research by human resources firm Chiumento has found that only 16% of employees regularly take a “proper” lunch break. By that, they mean about an hour’s break away from their desk at least three times a week.

The research though shows, that if you take a proper lunch break, your performance actually improves.

Managers should be encouraging staff to take lunch breaks – their performance, and ultimately the business, may suffer otherwise.

The key here is the culture of the organisation, do managers create a culture of working excessive hours and through breaks, or do managers create a culture of success and performance.

A successful business depends on people doing their job, not on how long they are at their desk. A manager who focuses on the time spent working, is missing the point about work, it is about performance and results, not time spent doing the job.

A good manager should be asking, if an employee is working through breaks and leaving late, are they working effectively, are they able to cope with their workload, are they performing at their best?


Nokia buys out Symbian

June 25, 2008

The BBC reports on the Nokia buyout of Symbian:

Finnish mobile phone giant Nokia is paying 264m euros ($410m; £209m) to buy out the other shareholders in handset software firm Symbian.

Nokia, which already owns 48% of the UK-based firm, intends to develop its software to compete with Google’s planned Android operating system.

This is (probably) in response to both Google’s Android phone operating system and the continued sucess of Apple’s iPhone.

Technology can have a postive and negative impact on the functions of teams. Being able to use a mobile phone as a mini-computer can allow members of a team out in the field communicate, collaborate and work more effectively than if all their phone did was make phone calls!

The ability to check e-mail, read and edit documents, allows teams to work more effectively when out of the office.

As well as teams, technology such as mobile phones can impact on the performance of the business. If competitors start using technology in innovative ways, this can give them a competitive edge and other businesses will need to respond accordingly if they are to retain market share.

Technological changes need to be noticed and acted upon in the business environment, in order for businesses to retain their competitive edge.


Networks and virtual teams

June 17, 2008

In the traditional business world, teams would either be formed in physical locations, or would need to spend time travelling in order to meet in physical locations.

In the modern connected world, it is easier for teams to communicate and network.

It is possible to create virtual teams which never (or rarely) meet in physical locations and use a range of web tools to communicate and collaborate.

Modern tools such as Adobe’s ConnectNow allow teams to communicate, share and collaborate in ways which were never ever possible before.

Networks and virtual teams

Online word processors such as Buzzword allow teams to collaborate on documents and share information in new ways.

There are a range of ways in which technology impacts on the function of teams, read more.


Apple announce 3G iPhone

June 12, 2008

Apple announced iPhone 3G on Monday in a keynote by Steve Jobs at the WWDC in San Francisco. It will be available in the UK on the 11th July via O2.

New features include:

  • 3G-capable. 2.8 times faster than EDGE.
  • GPS built-in
  • Thinner
  • Better battery life – 300 hours of standby, 2G talk-time 10 hours (as opposed to 5), 5 hours of 3G talk-time (competition is 3 hour 3G talk time), 5 to 6 hours of high-speed browsing, 7 hours of video, 24 hours of audio.
  • Flush headphone jack

Other new features are:

  • contact searching
  • complete iWork document support
  • complete Office document support (now includes PowerPoint)
  • bulk delete and move for Mail
  • save images you receive
  • scientific calculator in landscape mode
  • parental controls
  • language

It will be interesting to see also if iWork (or even Office) support includes editing and creating support, or is it just going to be reading, I suspect the latter.

Of course there are also all the features announced when the iPhone SDK was released earlier this year which include:

  • Exchange and ActivSync support
  • Applications
  • VPN

These final three are squarely aimed at the business and enterprise customer.

The iPhone 3G is an innovative piece of technology and the operational implementation of such technological devices in organisations will have an impact on the organisation. Whether that is a positive or negative impact will depend on the way the technology is implemented by the organisation. Management of change is a key factor here.

More on technology and innovation.