Lessons in how to run a business can be taken from anywhere. Everything from war strategists to a pride of lions have been used for inspiration, so it was perhaps only a matter of time before heavy metal rockers got in on the act. Corporate managers were being encouraged to unleash their inner air guitar and learn leadership skills from heavy metal musicians at a seminar in Dartford last month (very rock ’n’ roll).
Music can certainly get you into hot water. An error by Great Britain Hockey highlights why you should always make sure you know what your contractors are up to. The organisation had to apologise to South Africa after the apartheid anthem mistakenly played prior to a London Cup match.
Expenses in Essex
The use of purchasing cards at Essex County Council caused a stir last month. An investigation by the Brentwood Gazette found £5 million had been spent on the cards in 27 months. While the vast majority was spent on looked-after children, there were reportedly some less laudable expenses, including £1,400 on a stay at the Dorchester and £3,830 spent in bars and clubs.
A £95 pinstripe ‘executive hoody’ has been designed to help power dress the Mark Zuckerberg generation of digital entrepreneurs. Examining the trend for the Evening Standard, Richard Godwin said: “Now the mark of a successful man is to dress like a child – or at least a moody teenager.” You may laugh, but the attire, which comes in charcoal, navy and grey plaid, sold out as soon as it went on sale.
Germs in the USA
If you’re squeamish, stop reading now. US scientists took 450 swab samples from 90 offices in New York, San Francisco and Tucson, Arizona and identified more than 500 types of bacteria, most of which originated from human skin, noses, ears, and “intestinal cavities”. Chairs and phones had some of the highest concentrations of bugs, with lower numbers on desktops, keyboards, and computer mice. Researchers found men’s offices contain significantly higher numbers of bacteria than women’s.
Crisis of conscience
Four out of 10 UK workers say they would avoid suggesting environmental or sustainability initiatives at work as perception of them ‘nagging’ or being a ‘tree hugger’ could harm their prospects. Among the top 10 non-green things staff do at work are: not recycling paper; forgetting to turn off the lights; and leaving the heating on and opening the windows.
Contacts in the cress
If you’re running low on business cards, you might want to consider giving them a fresh look to catch the eye of stakeholders or suppliers for whom you’d like to be the customer of choice. Among businesses upping the ante are a Swiss landscape company whose cards sprout a cress-like plant, a deli that had its cards created to look like salami, a designer who uses a wordsearch puzzle and an Indian sweet company that had its details printed on sweet wrappers.
Driven to distraction
Alarming news, my friends – if you own a vehicle, that is. A poll discovered the average Brit spends three weeks a year – or 10 hours a week – in their car. Over an average lifetime, this can add up to nearly three years. Yikes! The news came as ASDA Direct launched a new line of affordable in-car stereos to help people make the most of those 21 days. Too late, I’m on to Auto Trader for a sale.
Did you wake up on the wrong side this morning? It may be no surprise to learn that 60 per cent of us wake up grumpy. A recent study carried out by Triton Showers found that at least two mornings a week are affected, which equates to 6,292 strops over the course of a lifetime. Things that help to cheer us are tea, coffee and… guess what? Hot showers. Time for a beverage round at SM