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Rock Maze
  • Writer's pictureNeil

Left on the Drawing Board

I recall being in a meeting, one of those meetings in the olden days where we drove to a location and actually met in the same room as others. On this occasion it was Exeter. Exactly 80 miles from door to door. This was a common if not everyday occurrence. The joy for me was an hour of quiet solitude while I drifted up the A30. It also gave me an hour to shake off my hangover, another common occurrence. At the time, the company I had been a part of for a considerable time had recently been acquired by an Australian division of an American company. They wanted to shake things up a bit. So I found myself in a meeting.

This meeting was the first international meeting I had experienced. There was a device in the middle of the conference table that allowed a meeting to take place in America simultaneously. How quaint!

The topic of the meeting was “Action Planning for Clients". It must have been about 2005. The

Americans were telling us about some new and innovative thinking. A 5 stage process called S.M.A.R.T. action planning. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound. We were expected to embrace this new thinking. Little did they know we had been embracing this innovative thinking since the mid 80’s but of course that info fell on deaf ears. We completed the meeting nodding sagely, not that we could be seen, while we wasted our time. Then I drove 80 miles home for dinner. If only I could get that time back.

My head must be so full of junk. Psychobabble and the latest regurgitation of old ideas. There’s a complete industry, or there was, that relies on the recycling of old thinking. It’s a bit like supermarket Christmas publications.

It was time I was gone from this industry. I’d had enough of bloody psychologists like Honey and Mumford wittering on about “Learning Styles" I was sick of hearing about Kolb's “Experiential Learning Cycle”. Bleddy hell I needed a project where I could get my hands dirty. So we bought a house in Brittany. An ideal distraction from my “normal" life.

By now you probably realise I like a good project. Someone, a psychologist probably, describes 4 stages of a project, the 4 D's; Discover, Design, Develop, Deliver. Is there no escape?

What does all this mean? Well, one thing it means is I have a head that’s full of ideas and things to do. I have a shed with things to fart around with. I have stuff to play with. Retirement, for me, promised the opportunity to get a lot of exciting things underway. I've accumulated a lot of paraphernalia for a happy and stimulating time. One of my plans was to load my trailer and motorhome with kayaks, electric bikes, a drone, a nice DSLR camera, action cameras and plenty of other bits and pieces then drift around Europe for a month or two a couple of times a year. All the stuff is here ready to go.

My mental drawing board overfloweth.

As a planner, a practical sort of person, someone that likes a new idea and then likes to get on and do it, this has become a tough post to write. All my plans and ideas now seem like water in a colander. As I look about me, on every shelf, in every corner, in the loft, in the garden are projects in waiting. It takes all my resolve to maintain some kind of equilibrium.

So there it is.

A whole load of stuff left on the drawing board.

Last call for the next Coffee Club.

Topic: Coffee Club 17 Jan

Time: Jan 19, 2021 10:00 AM

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 714 7629 5303

Passcode: 3gDkY1

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That should be hit not got.


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David, You've got the nail on the head exactly.


David Osborne
David Osborne
Jan 18, 2021

Oh SMART, yes I have that T Shirt, plus several other initiatives, how many times could the wheel be reinvented.... yet we all followed like sheep lol TMI was one at ECC back in the 80’s we all turned into Yuppies all carrying the same Filofax, should said person pick up the wrong Filofax then turn up to a meeting with a fellow colleagues organiser it would be chaos. Funny looking back we even carried them to the Cookworthy on a Friday lunchtime. The training was ironic, TMI time management- so we need to improve our time management and priorities in reality after working a 55 hour week we then worked all weekend learning how to prioritise before goin…

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