My journal

Don’t be a pigeon

A brilliant article written by Harold Jarche

Let’s say you are a consultant and have just received a call to do some urgent work. Feel free to replace the term consultant with freelancer, programmer, designer, advisor, or anything else. This post is for people who work for themselves and sell some type of intangible good, whether it be code, advice, reports, strategy, etc. Anyway, you got THE call. Now go ahead and do a little dance to celebrate.

Shortly after you say that you are available, you are asked about your hourly rate. If you say it’s $25, you’re wrong. If you say it’s $250, you are still wrong. Agreeing to work an hour for a given rate plays into the industrial trap, promoted by Catbert’s in HR departments everywhere. Many of today’s HR policies are still based on the Principles of Scientific Management developed in 1911, the dawn of the industrial age. These principles were built on F.W. Taylor’s flawed assumptions on how men shoveled iron and coal. And so began some of the modern myths of the management of ‘labour’.

Time and motion studies, such as those done by Taylor and others, were based on the assumption that certain types of work were of equal value. Labour, as defined by Taylorists, is replaceable. It’s all about standardized work and standardized recompense. But talent is unique. Talented people who set hourly rates give up their uniqueness.

A few years ago I was offered some research work that the client had calculated would take one week at $40 per hour. The total amount was not that attractive to me but I looked at the scope of work anyway. Much of the research was work that I had already done, with my ongoing PKM practices and other projects. I realized that I could complete the report in a few hours, by curating my own blog posts, social bookmarks, and other resources I had. Someone relatively new to the field of workplace learning, the subject of research, would have taken much longer and possibly more than one week to produce something similar. I accepted the work, under the condition that I not be paid by the hour. Why should I have been paid $120 for high quality work that would earn a less experienced person $1,600? Time at work is an antiquated concept.

You are not a ‘Human Resource’ and you do not have an ‘hourly rate’
(repeat as necessary).

I know that it is often the easiest route to just agree to an hourly rate when it comes to securing contracts. But can you really equate an hour of my time with yours? Does it matter? What matters is what is produced.

Instead of agreeing to an hourly, or daily, rate, start by asking a few questions:

  • What does the client want to achieve?
  • How will the client know it has been achieved? What are the indicators?
  • What is the smallest thing that needs to be settled first?
  • Is this something I can do for the client?
  • How much is that worth?
  • Does the client care how long it takes? Then set a deadline.
  • If I take longer, will the client pay me more? [probably not] Then why would the client want to pay by the hour?

Hourly rates only help to put you into a pigeon hole so that HR and Purchasing can easily classify you. You are not a pigeon.

 

Democratic Brexit

An interesting video explaining the principle of how British democracy is an ongoing, participative process. Join Healthier IN the EU in demanding more of our government as they act on the Brexit mandate from the referendum. If we don’t fight for our NHS, it’ll be lost.

Business Fights Poverty

The Second Annual Conference on Business and Poverty, was held on 4-5 July at Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford, and focused on business, social impact and growth. Among the speakers was Kate Raworth, for who I designed the Economic Doughnut, shown here in the background. Nice to see one’s work alive and kicking in the big world out there. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The environmental doughnut goes youtube

Feeling privileged to have been involved in this project, designing the now famous ‘environmental doughnut‘ graphics.

 

This Canadian city has eradicated homelessness

 

This is an amazing project, now here in the UK too.

Housing First is a homeless assistance approach  that prioritizes providing people experiencing homelessness with permanent housing as quickly as possible – and then providing voluntary supportive services as needed. This approach prioritizes client choice in both housing selection and in service participation.

Housing First programs share critical elements:

  • A focus on helping individuals and families access and sustain permanent rental housing as quickly as possible;
  • A variety of services delivered to promote housing stability and individual well-being on an as-needed and entirely voluntary basis; and
  • A standard lease agreement to housing – as opposed to mandated therapy or services compliance.

While all Housing First programs share these elements, program models vary significantly depending upon the population served. For people who have experienced chronic homelessness, long-term services and support may be needed.

For most people experiencing homelessness, however, such long-term services are not necessary. The vast majority of homeless individuals and families fall into homelessness after a housing or personal crisis. For these households, the Housing First approach provides them with short-term assistance to find permanent housing quickly and without conditions. In turn, such households often require only brief, if any, support or assistance to achieve housing stability and individual well-being.

Which part of Theresa May’s campaign isn’t fake?

I am shocked by the level of stage management in this election campaign. Will politicians of the future not even meet the public? When I say that, I am referring of course to the Conservatives who have stooped to this low point of political campaigning. Yet, they seem to get away with it unchallenged.

This example here is how the deception of Theresa May’s campaign is sold to the public on BBC, Sky and ITV.

Images and footage from a so-called rally screened on the news today gave the impression that Theresa May was greeted by a large and rowdy audience. But if those channels were truly reporting the news, they might have panned to the right and left, then you’d realise that this was a crowd of a couple of dozen party faithful in a small warehouse on the outskirts of Edinburgh.

Compare that to the crowds of over 10,000 to 20,000 which greeted Jeremy Corbyn in Gateshead, and you’ll soon realise why the news channels didn’t show Corbyn’s rally at all.

This is how the television fools people… and there are many being fooled.

First take a look behind the scenes of this video on Facebook. Then, after you’ve watched the video, have a look at how this same meeting was screened on the BBC, then you’ll realise just how badly we are being manipulated  by mainstream media.

 

 

Now compare this to Jeremy Corbyn in Gateshead: