The quadruple helix

Have you heard this one?  The quadruple helix.  Not the double helix of Watson and Crick or even the triple helix of university, industry and government.  They’re old hat.  Genetics came of age in the fifties while Etzkowitz and Leydesdorff were talking triples in the nineties. Like industry 4.0, I keep hearing this phrase.  It … Continue reading The quadruple helix

Talking about satellites

They say there is no such thing as a free lunch but this was dinner.  Does that count?  I was at the boutique Hotel du Vin in Newcastle for a problem framing dinner as a guest of the North East Satellite Applications centre, or the catapult as it is otherwise known. A group of us … Continue reading Talking about satellites

There is just too much

My head is aching.  There is just too much to take in these days.  Life is changing so fast and in so many directions you could spend a life time working on a single item in a single field and never run out of things to do. Last week’s Socitm North East meeting was a … Continue reading There is just too much

A continuity of business

Is your resilience ever that resilient?  Can you ever be sure that your failover will fail over or will your n plus one leave you with nothing?  The problem with your business continuity is that it is almost impossible to test.  Of course it works on paper and the salesperson isn’t wrong in trying to … Continue reading A continuity of business


I know it’s not the same thing but there are a lot of parallels between today’s political machinations and the challenges faced by the suffragettes: disenfranchisement of a large part of the population, a feeling of unfairness, not being listened to and a string of simplistic solutions to very complicated problems.  I see this because … Continue reading Suffragettes


The room for improvement will soon be no more.  Its time has passed.  It is over two and a half years now since I gave up my office and my desk and opened up the room as a general meeting space.  I named it the room for improvement for a bit of a laugh.  It … Continue reading RFI – RIP

A pot stirrer

Some days it’s hard to describe what I actually do.  I come home feeling very tired so I must be doing something.  I was chatting to Simon from the Federation of Small Businesses about that very thing.  We were at the (fantastic) Dynamo 16 conference.  We bump into each other quite often. We both do … Continue reading A pot stirrer

Clock watchers

My old boss once told me that he hated clock watchers.  It was a long time ago and the memory has stuck with me.  The inference was clear.  He wanted people who stuck with the job through thick and thin, who started early and worked late and would see things through.  He hated those people … Continue reading Clock watchers

Trust is not a control

Trust is not a control.  That is what I have been told.  You can’t measure trust, you can’t hold someone to account on the back of it and perhaps you can’t even describe it.  Trust is a funny thing, hard earned and easily lost.  It’s something we all think we understand but is an intangible … Continue reading Trust is not a control

A boredom index

Mark and I were having a conversation about resilience and how people can make it through austerity intact and fit for an as yet unknown future.  Somehow as a workforce, we must be ready for all possible futures yet at present there seems to be more uncertainty than ever.  He told me how he was … Continue reading A boredom index