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April 2016

Business Book Club: First Break All The Rules by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman

This is the first book for my new Business Book Club, where we’ll be getting together once a month to read and discuss a book about leadership, management and excellence. Suggested questions are provided at the end.

If you work for a large company, the chances are you will have done an employee survey at some point which is based on the research presented in this book, which correlates business performance against employee perceptions based on thousands of surveys conducted by Gallup over the last 20 years. This research found that there are 12 key questions where positive answers strongly correlate with high performing teams within a company – and it’s all about your manager. The questions are organised in order of importance, and the basic task of management is therefore presented as making sure that all employees can answer the first 6 positively (with the remainder being how you motivate your best talent). Continue reading “Business Book Club: First Break All The Rules by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman”

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On Stage: The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald

Last December, a former pub on Gillygate in York (dubbed the Fleeting Arms) was transformed into a smoky speakeasy in 1920s America to tell the story of the great Gatsby. Surely you’ve heard of him? He has lots of money and a big house which is always full of people, but the man himself is an enigma and people even say he once killed a man… Continue reading “On Stage: The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald”

On Stage: In Fog and Falling Snow (George Stephenson)

What do you do when your theatre is closed for nearly a year for a major refurb? Build another (temporary) one of course: the show must go on…! At least, that was the York Theatre Royal’s approach, constructing the Signal Box Theatre in a huge insulated marquee with a railway track down the middle at the back of the National Railway Museum. Continue reading “On Stage: In Fog and Falling Snow (George Stephenson)”

On Stage: Books Inspired by York Theatre

The York Theatre Royal is one of the oldest theatres in the country and has played a big part in my life in York, not least because of their willingness to put on professional quality community plays with a cast and choir of hundreds, which has built up a great community vibe. After a major refurbishment, the hoardings have just come down as it’s now less than two weeks before it will finally reopen its doors to the public for a world premiere adaptation of Brideshead Revisited (22nd to 30th April in York then touring, tickets available here).  Continue reading “On Stage: Books Inspired by York Theatre”

The Courageous State by Richard Murphy

Following the release of the Panama Papers, now feels like an excellent time to review my favourite book about tax, money and the common good: The Courageous State: Rethinking Economics, Society and The Role of Government by Richard Murphy. Continue reading “The Courageous State by Richard Murphy”

Where to Buy Books: Barter Books, Alnwick

Alongside my series featuring quirky and wonderful places to read, I want to share some of the best places to find books to take on your adventures. So where better to start than one of Britain’s largest secondhand bookshops, housed in a former railway station? Last year, I went on holiday to the beautiful Northumbrian coast and discovered that, to pretty much everyone I know, a visit to the medieval market town of Alnwick is synonymous with visiting Barter Books (as at least 10 people told me in hallowed tones).  Continue reading “Where to Buy Books: Barter Books, Alnwick”

At Least It’s Not Raining by Stephen Redman

Childhood cancer is rare, affecting just a few thousand families each year in the UK, and of those, 80% of children diagnosed with cancer survive. But what if your family is in the 20%? Continue reading “At Least It’s Not Raining by Stephen Redman”

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