Recent Posts

What Will My Successor be doing on Thursdays and Fridays?

A Lighthearted but potentially serious question

This post is based on an editorial piece I wrote for the Q4 2019 Institute of Water Journal which was focused on leadership and management

Would you like your managers to be looking for work to do, rather than struggling to meet objectives? And having time to develop their teams, improving their productivity? Surely not possible…

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Ransomware? No problem

A cheap and effective way of beating the ransomware bandits

let’s look at this from the other end first. Imagine you run a small business , like I do. The phone rings.

It one of your people telling you that they can’t access any billing or client order information because all your files have been encrypted courtesy of a ransomware attack.

Even worse, there’s a message on the screen demanding a hefty payment to unlock your files again.

S**t barely begins to describe the situation.

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Mining Rough Diamonds

Or why the best candidate may not be the obvious one

This post is based on an article I wrote for the spring 2019 edition of the Institute of Water’s magazine

The problem

What do you do with a team member best described as a rough diamond, technically brilliant but a challenge to work with?

How about promoting them to a quality critical management position in a new team in a new section in a new directorate?

While not without risks, it can work.

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Another small act of kindness

in August 2017 I wrote about three small acts of kindness that I had experienced. In each the giver did not do have to do what they did, but did so anyway, and in each case I had a better day as a results. Nice….

In this case the small act of kindness was by a company offering not to send me certain emails.

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Building a team of many talents

In the summer of 2017 I was offered a three month contract as Interim Water Quality Monitoring Manager with Southern Water to help implement a new Compliance and Resilience directorate.

Writes Bob Windmill

Eight months later (yeah, I know) I had led the creation of an entirely new team of six monitoring scientists and a principal, fitting this into a new department made up of existing teams.

Not an everyday situation……

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Three things I value: Part 2 – Worth paying a bit more for

In this post you will read about a device that costs low hundreds of pounds which only does he same basic job as a something costing about a third of that, but one which I still wouldn’t want to be without.

So, what is this device, and what makes it worth the money?

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Three things I value: Part 1 – the cheap but effective

Reading the post you will see why I value a device that cost less than thirty pounds, that at various points caused me to pull my hair out, but yet I wouldn’t want to be without.

So what’s the cheap but effective example, then?

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Three things I value – How it came about

I firmly subscribe to the idea that people and relationships are more important than material possessions, yet in a recent discussion I found myself defending the idea of possessions being important.

Subscribe or buy?

The context was a discussion with a group of friends on millennials increasingly buying rather than possessions, and opting for subscription services such as Spotify rather than physical ownership.

As a recent convert to Spotify, courtesy of remarkably generous upgrade offer from my mobile phone provider, I could see that attraction, but still felt that for some things physical ownership was the way to go.

The debate included what could politely be called a frank and open discussion ( It’s OK, my friends an I have been doing this for years) on ownership for ownership’s sake.

Possessions for possession’s sake?

I was clear on this: the stuff I own has to make my life better in some way, be that functional or decorative, and I have to feel that the benefits are worth the cost.

When I speak of value, I mean this idea of something being worth the cost, and in the discussion I gave three examples of things I own that value.

One cost tens of pounds, one hundreds of pounds and one tens of thousands of pounds, but I value each one in in its own way.

To my surprise there was a consensus that what I described was at least rational, even if not everybody agreed my choices, but that’s what makes friends fun.

Sharing with you

In my next three posts I will share with you what each of those possessions are, and why I value them, starting with the “tens of pounds” example.

As ever, there are no right or wrong answers here, just opinions and debate. If you’d like to contribute to the discussion just leave a comment below and I’ll respond.

Bob Windmill

Solving the right problem

And not the one you thought it was…

Have you ever wrestled with a problem, spending hours and days getting nowhere? Where what ever solution you come up with just wouldn’t work?

This post is about a recent example of my own making.

Happily the consequences were not serious but it was a sharp reminder of the need to troubleshoot systematically.


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3×3 Management : 9 key things every manager should do – Part 3

In my first post on 3×3 Management I gave my thoughts Leadership and the three key ideas of management styles, effective recruitment and personal values.

In my second post I looked at people management and the three key ideas of treating people with respect but setting limits, recognising good performance and addressing poor performance, and giving your people room to grow and develop.

In this post I will look at the need for self-awareness and the three key ideas of recognising how you feel in certain situations, understanding why you feel the way you do, and the vital skill of learning to separate how you feel from how you behave


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