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Helen Mirren Being Rude, Beautifully #GiveADamn

2016 February 8
by Prosperos World

Here’s Helen Mirren’s SuperBowl Budweiser advert.  It seems that American’s enjoy listening to English people be rude.  Let’s hope it works.

What You Searched For in 2015

2015 December 9
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by Prosperos World

As we come to the end of 2015 we took a look back at what you’ve been searching for on Prospero’s World this year.

It looks like Sales Managers are in need of inspiration, with 80 ideas for sales meetings high on the list.  Managers everywhere want to make a good impression, with taking over a new senior role, the first 100 days and 10 things a new manager needs to know still making a good showing in our most searched section.

Getting a better understanding seems important with how to ask high leverage questions and how to understand drives and desires both appearing in the top ten.

Hiring like a human was our most linked to content, it looks like people would like to be treated better in the recruitment process.

It seems unseasonal to say so, but you also liked our best business beach reads of the year, if you’re planning some holiday sun, then go ahead and take a look at those.

Christmas Business Reading List

2015 December 8
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by Prosperos World

Longings Christmas is a good time to sit back, reflect, and enjoy a good book.  If you’d like some suggested reading for your Christmas break, here’s part two of our tiny list.  Part one covered sporting books with a business twist.  Part two is sport-free.

It’s great to be right, but people rarely know when they’re right, or at least, people who confidently know they are right are almost always wrong.  It’s perhaps more important to be wrong less often.  How Not To Be Wrong:  The Hidden Maths of Everyday Life is a fun read from Jordan Ellenberg.  You’ll get better at judging risk, recognising bad statistics and generally looking smarter than you have ever done in meetings.

If you have an interest in learning from the history of business then Ben Bernanke’s The Courage To Act: A Memoir of a Crisis and its Aftermath is worth a read.  Who better than the Chairman of The US Federal Reserve during the 2007-2008 financial meltdown to talk you through what happened.  If you like your financial horror a little more along the Nordic Noir spectrum, then try Swimming With Sharks: My Journey into the World of the Bankers from Joris Luyendijk, although he’s not very nice about HR.

If you just want to learn about Leadership from history, whilst enjoying a rip roaring tale, then Robert Harris has finally published Dictator, the third book in his Cicero trilogy (or should that be Triumvirate?).  If you’ve read the first two you won’t need a big push to read the third, but if you haven’t then add Imperium and Lustrum to make up a “box set” for your Christmas reading list and settle in for a while.

No sooner will you have opened your Christmas presents and a nice bottle of whiskey than New Year will be rolling round and people will be looking for you to set resolutions to be a better person.  Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit will help you to understand how you can break your bad habits (and why you won’t).

What suggestions will you be adding to your list this year?

Sports Books For Business People

2015 December 1
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by Prosperos World

Bobby Moore There will be plenty of sporting autobiographies sold this year as gifts for people who don’t read, and would really rather have had some nice warm socks,; but don’t worry, the sportspeople in question didn’t write them so no-one really loses out.

Here we take a look at a few of the sports books that are worth reading this year, so you can pop them on your wishlist or treat yourself to avoid disappointment on the big day.

For a more thoughtful sports book try Above the Line by Urban Meyer (or perhaps more realistically, written by Wayne Coffey ), an American College Football coach with insights into leadership and teamwork that you can translate off the playing field.  Don’t be fooled, American College sports are big business.   The National Collegiate Athletics Association earned $989 million in revenue in 2014, yet players don’t get paid.

The Rugby World Cup may have been a bit of a disappointment for Northern Hemisphere teams, but never mind.  You can learn a lot about leadership from the All Blacks, who recently took over the food and drink service on a passenger flight whilst the air crew dealt with a medical emergency.  Legacy 15 Lessons In Leadership by James Kerr is a good read.

For a more British take on sporting leadership Sir Michael Moritz has written Sir Alex Ferguson’s thoughts on leadership down in Leading.  Don’t expect a chapter on building leaders for the future.

If underdogs and people performing way beyond their expected ability is more your thing then I Believe In Miracles by Daniel Taylor could be the book for you, or you could just relax and watch Jonny Owen’s film of the Nottingham Forest team led to glory by Brian Clough.

Let us know what you’re reading.

The Halo Effect Writ Large

2015 November 10
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by Prosperos World

Interviewing Skills 101 instills the need to look beyond the stereotypes you might have in your head about someone, looking past the weedy handshake or the really smart outfit to see the person beyond.  It’s too easy to spot the school that someone went to, or that someone likes ballet, line dancing or a mosh pit and make a set of assumptions about them.

Canon took a group of photographers and asked them to capture the essence of a subject in a single portrait.  They made some truly spectacular photographs, each capturing exactly what they saw in the person in front of them.  They’d each been given a little information about their subject, one photographed a self-made millionaire, another a fisherman, one got an ex-con, another a recovering alcoholic.  Here’s what they came up with …

What would your portraits of your team look like? What would their photograph of you convey?

Why This Week Matters In Pay Equality

2015 November 2
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by Prosperos World

This week the USA has reached pay equality this week.  Perhaps not in the way you hoped, but this week everyone will be staring work knowing that since January 1 2014, they’ve earned as much as a white non-hispanic male earned between January 1 and December 31 2014.  OK, so it’s taken Latina women an extra 10 months of work to get there, and white males will of course have those extra 10 months of salary to celebrate with.

We do hear about average pay gaps between men and women quite often, but sometimes the gaps in pay equality that are seen between races get forgotten.  This handy chart shows how far into 2015 female Americans had to work to match white male earnings, broken down by race.

Pay Gap


How does your organisation stack up on equal pay?

If anyone has a similar chart for Europe/EU/UK gaps, we’d be interested to see how it compares.


A New Turn Of Phrase

2015 October 16
by Prosperos World

An international group of participants were having fun with English idioms this week, then began sharing some of the more interesting turns of phrase from their own languages. A fair few of these transliterations got an airing, though in being translated back and forth “feeding the circus monkeys sponge cake” was our favourite mashup …
Idioms of the WorldSource – HotelClub

Would Your Organisation Survive Photoshopping?

2015 October 14
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by Prosperos World

After the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January this year, world leaders gathered to march in support of freedom of speech.  One small Israeli news sheet, HaMevaser, opted to Photoshop out the female leaders in its photo of the scene to avoid offending its readers. It was initially hard to tell, but close inspection showed some really shoddy digital artistry skills.  In response a tiny news service Ireland Photoshopped out the men which left very little in the picture.

Elle have put together a little montage of photos with and without men in power.  What would your organisation look like if it was Photoshopped in the same way (other photo manipulation software is available!)?

How A Complex City Gets Built

2015 September 15
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Detroit started life as a fur trapping town on the edge of the river on the Great Lakes.  Farms grew up around it, so when more people came to live there expansion along old trading routes wasn’t always easy.  This delightful old film explains the mess of roads in the city as city planners fought with land owners to create a city that cars could love.

Look out for how Henry Ford’s own city within a city creates its own diversions, and how wealthier residents deliberately built meandering streets to discourage people from driving through.


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