Winter Wreath Part 1

I saw a few attractive Waitrose winter wreaths a couple of weeks back and decided to make one using, where possible, naturally scavanged materials. I’d wandered around a few places over the last forthnight but had not felt motivated to walk around with a shopping bag full of twigs. With a weekend staying in Godalming, I decided to go equipped on an afternoon walk with a friend

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Puttenham Walk

The last couple of nights I’ve seen a gorgeous moon and overheard that there is a ‘SuperMoon’ at the moment. This is where the moon is closer to the Earth and the net effect is that it appears 14% larger.  I love the moonlight (which is just ~sunlight) when it breaks through the clouds so I decided on some moon photography. We headed up to Puttenham Common to get away from the noise of the urban lighting

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Hardwick Hall (NT)

I grew up in Derbyshire before I left for University but it was only around my mid-twenties that I started to appreciate just how incredibly picturesque my home is. I must have driven past the brown signs directing visitors to Hardwick Hall thousands of times without thought of visiting. (Although my parents are convinced I had been before.) The recent gift of a National Trust membership, and having explored Surrey’s sites, motivated me to take a peek.

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Lightning

Tonight’s thunder and lightning is awesome. I haven’t heard thunder like this since South America, five years ago. I recorded the the thunder on a Zoom H2N mic. I deleted chunks of inactivity to shorten the sequence to three minutes in the open source Audacity (a free audio editor).

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How Complexity Theory can Enhance the Formation and Implementation of Strategy in an Organisation

This essay discusses the nature of complexity theory and how it may enhance the formation and implementation of strategy in an organisation. Authors such as Michael Porter or Sloan have shaped the established conventional (or Classical) approach to understanding strategy and the analyses here consider how complexity theory contrasts and, yet, complements the Classical perspective.

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Comparing the Rational and Political Models of Strategic Decision Making

Noorderhaven (1995) defines strategic decisions as those which concern “the goals of an organisation as well as the means to reach these goals”. These decisions are distinguished from the more routine day-day decisions of an organisation because they are often unprecedented and contribute to an organisation’s success: Strategic decisions require substantially more ‘effort’ than routine decisions.

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Making Sense of Apple’s Strategy

Written in response to the article ‘Apple iThrone’ (Jan 29th 2015) in The Economist. The ‘Four Schools’ of Strategy Whittington (2002) proposed four categories of strategy: Classical, Evolutionary, Processual and Systemic. With roots from the Enlightenment and a ‘Scientific Method’ approach, the Classical school is a systematic top-down approach whereby rational strategy formulation, performed by senior managers, is then later performed to maximise profits. The implementation is closely monitored to ensure objectives are reached and sufficient resources available and utilised. The Classical school depends on the “rational economic man” and assumes that people are all motivated uniformly toward profitability. The approach inherently separates the formulation of strategy (by a small few) from the implementation (by the many) and with the goal of long-term planning, does not consider that strategy can emerge from trial and error nor must adapt to a dynamic environment. Whittington describes the Evolutionary perspective where markets determine, in Darwinian fashion, which companies will survive i.e. continue to maximise profitability. As markets determine the strategies companies must adopt, this downplays the value of managers as strategists to concentrating on efficiency e.g. cost control. Similar to Darwin’s Natural Selection, the perspective relies on a diversity of companies/products from which[…]

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