Posts Tagged ‘business’

The Squid of Despair

February 18, 2022

A new podcast from Peter Taylor (The Lazy Project Manager)

Unscripted musings on business life, leadership, creativity, transformation and all the myriad of other work-life events that get in the way of a good nights sleep.

The Squid of Despair is a conceptual summation of what can go wrong, and often does, with mind-mapping or other creative techniques.

Born out of an idea for a book back in 2010, David and Peter have now made this mythical beast rise once again, phoenix like (from under the ocean waves, so a bit soggy probably), to explore all matters relating to ‘business life, leadership, creativity, transformation and all the myriad of other work-life events that get in the way of a good night’s sleep’ in the form of an unusual podcast.

Professional studio microphone on blue background with orange audio waveform, Podcasting, broadcasting or recording studio banner

Take me to your Leader

January 30, 2020

Make an introduction to your Head of Projects, Services Lead, PMO Manager, CIO or anyone overseeing your project community and I’ll send a free copy of my new book to you and your manager/director/VP



The birth of a legend (possibly) …

December 8, 2019

Bollocks Picture Title.PNG

“It was an explosive meeting of minds at an international project management conference in Athens, Greece, in 2018, when two intellectual goliaths came together by chance only to realise that their paths were always destined to align in order to bring about a new brighter future for their chosen profession…”

“Bollocks” interrupted Susie.

“What?” responded Peter “I was just getting into my flow then, why did you stop me?”, he questioned.

“That was all bollocks wasn’t it” Susie sighed in an exasperated way, “intellectual giants, and alignment of destiny, explosive meetings and brighter future, all bollocks, totally and utterly”.

“So, what was it then?” asked Peter.

Susie quietly sighed and then explained, in a calm controlled tone, “We happened to be at the same conference, you lied on stage about winning an award, I called you out on it by subtly indicating I had actually won a real award, and you generally sulked for the rest of the morning and most of lunch if I remember correctly”.

“My memory is unclear on the actual details or timings” responded Peter, absolutely not sulking “but I know it was the point in time when ‘The Lazy Project Manager’ met ‘The Lesbian Project Manager’ (in your words) and the outcome of this meeting is this very book, so something happened for sure”.

“Now that isn’t bollocks” agreed Susie.

“Good, we are agreed” Peter smiled.

“Yes, we are” agreed Susie.

“The earth moved” Peter declared.

“No, it didn’t!” Susie rejected.


And so was born a very special book, ‘Project Management: It’s all bollocks: The complete exposure of the world of, and the value of project management’ where two people who vaguely know each other and barely like each other will pick over the sadly inadequate and sometimes pathetic naked body of knowledge that is project management, and generally challenge just about everything, whilst openly laughing at some of the odder body parts.

It was all done in the best possible taste of course, with the intention of bringing a realistic understanding to current and future practitioners of change delivery about what it means to be a project manager today, next Tuesday and the future beyond even that.

‘Best possible taste’ is of course completely subjective but we are both sure the only reason you might be actually brave enough to pick up a copy of this book would be because a) it had a naughty word on the cover, b) it was bright pink, and c) you actually want to be both entertained and see your profession picked on mercilessly (just because you are, deep down, a rebel rousing project deviant even if your life exists in a world of ‘business casual’ and corporate compliance).

Even more than that we also live in the hope that you really want to learn what is actually important and what, to quote someone who shall remain absolutely nameless because she really doesn’t need any more encouragement on that front, is ‘bollocks’.

We are glad that we are all on the same page and that there is a beautiful alignment on the purpose of us writing this book and you, dear would-be reader, avidly consuming the contents of the same and making sure you tell each and every one of your work colleagues and friends about it. Hell, just slap it all over social media without a care in the world – we will live with the consequences (and hopefully royalties and speaking opportunities in exotic parts of the world) don’t you worry your little cotton socks about that at all.

On that bombshell of serendipitous happening the fun (and abuse) can begin!


“Do we need a collective name?” asked Peter.

“A what?” exclaimed Susie.

“A collective name” Peter replied, “You know, a portmanteau if you like”.

“If you are going to use stupid long words in this book then I’m off, and most of the readers will probably join me” Susie declared in a grumpy tone.

“I just mean like ‘Brangelina’, when Brad and Angelina were together or when Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez got it on and became ‘Bennifer’ to the world at large” explained Peter.

“No” Susie instantly replied, “We don’t”.

Peter continued regardless “Like ‘Suspet’ or maybe ‘Petsu’, I quite like Petsu…”.

“No, let me repeat, we don’t” countered Susie in a much stronger tone “We are just writing a bloody book together and not entering some weird long-term relationship in any way, shape or form – clear?”.

“Clear” agreed Peter, “it is just that we will be in this book for quite a long time. I’m hoping for at least a second edition”.

“No” Susie glared, “we do not need a collective name now or ever, move on please”.

“OK” Peter sighed.

Susie and Peter (2019)



Why You Need to Become Business Agile

May 11, 2018

In the first of this 3-part webinar series, we will explore ways to not only significantly reduce change failures but also how to dramatically raise the capability, speed, and success rates of delivering strategic change in any organization through the adoption of a ‘business agile’ change structure.

Join our webinar to learn:

  • Evolution and Stasis of Project Management: Challenges and Failures
  • Best Practices and Pitfalls of Change Management
  • Business Agility and the Obstacles to “Going Business Agile”

Sign up today. Space is limited.

How to get fired at the c-level * All attendees who fill out a brief survey at the end of the webinar will receive an e-book copy of Peter Taylor’s: How to get Fired

Bringing a whole new meaning to ‘Business Casual’

September 2, 2016

The other day a work colleague made the following observation to me ‘You bring a whole new meaning to business casual’ was what they actually said, and they most certainly were not referring to the clothes I was wearing at that particular time.


Let’s start with what exactly is ‘business casual’ in the general meaning of the phrase:

noun: business casual – relating to or denoting a style of clothing that is less formal than traditional business wear, but is still intended to give a professional and business like impression.

Business casual has become the standard in many work environments in recent years but there is no general agreement on the definition of the term itself, ‘business casual’ seems to be reliant in finding the right meaning based on several factors; industry, company, number of employees, culture, internal role versus customer facing, geography, climate, local culture, age and probably a whole lot more.

But we all know someone, in the workplace, that seems to be confident in whatever they are wearing. Capable of carrying a presentation, a meeting, a conversation regardless of how the clothes that they are wearing fit, or perhaps align, to what the others in the same presentation, meeting or conversation are wearing. They have in some ways transcended ‘business casual’ or even ‘business formal’ (I am presuming that is the correct term for the opposite of business casual by the way).

I personally found myself in a situation where I had to ‘transcend’ in this way, and it didn’t immediately feel comfortable and it was as a result of a tie, or lack of tie, or more accurately a tie being in the wrong place.

I had to do a presentation at a company that I had been working at for some time as a project manager/consultant and the dress code at this organisation was ‘business casual’. But the presentation was a more formal one with some senior stakeholders from the board attending and therefore I concluded that in this situation it was more of a ‘business formal’ occasion and required a tie to be wrapped around me in a manner that I had longed enjoyed it not being wrapped.

Anyway, I selected a tie from my limited options (can you tell I am not a tie lover?) and placed it carefully over the chair in my home office the night before I had to travel up to the company location just to make sure I didn’t forget it.

As a result of my careful planning I naturally grabbed all of my necessary belongings in the early morning, phone, laptop etc, and headed up the motorway only to realise when I arrived at the visitor’s car park, and went to put the tie on, that it was in fact still safely hanging over my chair some 120 miles away. Forgotten.

Despite a panic search amongst my colleagues for a spare tie I had to enter the room with an open necked shirt and deliver my presentation.

It went very well, thank you for asking, and in the post-speaking period I was happily answering questions and generally holding court with many people, including the senior stakeholders (who wore very impressive ties I have to say) without any detrimental effect.

I, of course, tie lover that I am not, felt this proved the fact that ties are the clothing of the devil and not to be trusted near one’s neck in any situation. Christian Grey can keep them as far as I am concerned, whatever the colour.

Now of course if the dress code is say shirt but no tie, jacket optional and you turn up in torn jeans and a t-shirt this would be a really hard act to carry off but I have certainly seen some great speakers on the circuit for example who dress exactly like that, and conversely I have seen a lot of suited and booted (and collared and tie’d) speakers who were really bad. Really, really bad in some cases.

But back to where we started, the observation to me ‘You bring a whole new meaning to business casual’.

I take that as a compliment. Productive laziness is perhaps the performance related soul-sister of ‘business casual’. Being comfortable and confident in what you do, in the safe knowledge that you are indeed effective and efficient without the constraints of the organisational ‘tie and collar’ rigid processes is a good thing I believe.

So please break free and act ‘business casual’ in what you do.

Occasionally you have to follow process, there is a time and a place for casualness, and occasionally even I have to wear a tie (November 2015 was the last time I believe) but mostly you don’t and life, the business you work for, and you, are all the better for it.


Peter Taylor

Peter Taylor is the author of two best-selling books on ‘Productive Laziness’ – ‘The Lazy Winner’ and ‘The Lazy Project Manager’.

In the last 4 years he has focused on writing and lecturing with over 200 presentations around the world in over 25 countries and has been described as ‘perhaps the most entertaining and inspiring speaker in the project management world today’.

His mission is to teach as many people as possible that it is achievable to ‘work smarter and not harder’ and to still gain success in the battle of the work/life balance.

More information can be found at – and through his free podcasts in iTunes.

Life or Laptop

August 12, 2016

In my bestselling book ‘The Lazy Project Manager[1]’ I have one chapter entitled ‘Breathe Normally’ where I describe the following situation:

You are on yet another flight, either to or from your latest project engagement, somewhere in the world. Maybe you have been lucky, maybe the flight is on time and you know your luggage is safely stored in the overhead locker, you are not seated in the middle seat between two sumo wrestlers with body odour and this flight does offer complimentary in-flight beverages.

You settle back in your seat and begin to drift in to that ‘yet another flight’ snooze, vaguely aware that the cabin crew member is, for the one thousandth time, explaining to you how to complete that complex conundrum of buckling and unbuckling your seat belt. You begin to disengage from the world around you…

But wait! The lady in the uniform, vainly talking to everyone but knowing no-one is listening in return, is about to utter a supreme piece of wisdom.

In the event of an emergency, an oxygen mask will drop in front of you from the panel above. Place the mask over your mouth and nose, straighten out the strap, and pull the strap to be sure it is tight on your face. After you are wearing it securely, a tug on the hose will start the oxygen flow. It makes sense to put your own mask on first, before helping others. Breathe normally.

Breathe normally.

To begin with I used to think that this was the craziest thing possible to say. If I was ever on a flight where the oxygen masks were to drop down you can be sure that I would place the mask over my face, pull the strap as tight as possible, tug the hose until I felt the sweet taste of oxygen flowing. But the last thing I would do would be to breathe normally. I would breathe like it was my last moments on this earth (or air at this point, earth presumably about to enter the equation in a rather nasty crashing, crushing, exploding sort of way).

Breathe normally.

Not a hope in hell!

But actually breathing normally is really, really good advice. Being calm, wasting less energy, wasting less oxygen, thinking clearly and considering the situation in a reasonable, objective manner is absolutely what is most likely to help you to survive.

In the project world when all around you are going crazy with panic then breathing normally will allow you to consider the situation, assess the core issues, plan a response and carry out the actions with the minimum amount of effort and to the maximum effect.



I was sadly reminded of this advice when I read about the crash of Emirates Flight 521 which was a scheduled international passenger flight from Thiruvananthapuram, India, to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, operated by Emirates using a Boeing 777-300.

On 3 August 2016, the aircraft carrying 282 passengers and 18 crew crashed while landing at Dubai International Airport. All 300 people on board survived the accident and were safely evacuated from the aircraft. This, of course, is an excellent outcome considering what happened to the aircraft very shortly after the evacuation had been completed, and all credit to the crew for managing this situation.

Emirates is one of my preferred airlines and I have only positive experiences from the many miles I have journeyed under their care.

But there were some disturbing images recorded in the smoke filled plane with passengers attempting to retrieve luggage from the overhead compartments instead of focusing on the clear priority of getting everyone off the plane as quickly as possible. Perhaps this is human nature, certainly this is not the only example of this behaviour – other plane emergencies have experienced similar actions.

The thing is we all face priorities, daily, and we all have to make decisions, sometimes difficult ones, but rarely can you be faced with such a simple decision as in the case of EK521. There is nothing I own that outweighs my own life. Simple. And there is nothing I own that outweighs another person’s life either. Simple.

Breathing normally is critical and sometimes those decisions that you have to make, for yourself, and for those around you aren’t even decisions at all, there is only one answer.


Whilst no passenger died sadly Jassim Al Baloushi, a firefighter, died while battling the flames aboard Emirates flight EK521 and my thoughts go to his family for their loss.

Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, commented ‘We offer our condolences to the family and friends of the nation’s martyr and we pray Allah grant them patience and solace’.

Saif Al Suwaidi, director of the General Civil Aviation Authority, said: ‘I salute his ultimate sacrifice that kept many from harm’s way. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family’.


Peter Taylor

Peter Taylor is a PMO expert currently leading a Global PMO, with 200 project managers acting as custodians for nearly 5,000 projects around the world, for Kronos Inc. – a billion-dollar software organisation delivering Workforce Management Solutions.

Peter Taylor is also the author of the number 1 bestselling project management book ‘The Lazy Project Manager’, along with many other books on project leadership, PMO development, project marketing, project challenges and executive sponsorship.

In the last 4 years he has delivered over 200 lectures around the world in over 25 countries and has been described as ‘perhaps the most entertaining and inspiring speaker in the project management world today’.

His mission is to teach as many people as possible that it is achievable to ‘work smarter and not harder’ and to still gain success in the battle of the work/life balance.

More information can be found at – and through his free podcasts in iTunes.


The Lazy Project Manager

June 12, 2009

In The Lazy Project Manager, authored by Peter Taylor and to be published in the UK by Infinite Ideas Limited UK in August, “lazy does not mean stupid or unsuccessful; lazy is the way forward. The lazy project manager illustrates how anyone can apply the simple techniques of lazy project management in their own activities in order to work more effectively and consequently improve work–life balance. This ‘productive laziness’ approach builds on the Pareto principle that states that for many phenomena, 80 per cent of consequences stem from 20 per cent of the causes. To put it simply, only 20 per cent of the things people do during their working days really matter.”

Inside this book readers can discover:

• The intelligence of laziness – why smart, lazy people have the edge over others;
• Why the Jungle Book’s ‘Bare Necessities’ should be the productive lazy theme tune;
• How to get the maximum output for a minimised input;
• Quick tips to productive lazy heaven.

In addition, the author provides some interesting (and entertaining) things about eating dinosaurs, wearing ermine cloaks, and how to spot a psychopathic woman at a funeral. Also find out why you should never go ballooning, how to deliver a good Oscar acceptance speech, and why it is important for your team that you read the newspaper each morning. And yes, you may also learn some, quick, simple but important things about project management.

In “The lazy Project Manager” Peter Taylor illustrates how to achieve more without expending more time and energy. Welcome to the home of ‘productive laziness’. Here there is a more focused approach to project management and our efforts are exercised where it really matters – there’s no rushing round involving ourselves in unimportant, non-critical activities that others can better address, or indeed that do not need addressing at all in some cases. It’s all about working smarter and Peter Taylor, head of a PMO at Siemens, gives away his trade secrets. This is not a training manual. You won’t turn into a project manager by reading this book. But Peter, acting as virtual coach, will help you to identify and focus on the key activities in your projects, do them well and enjoy the world of productive laziness.

In contrast to the title of his book, Peter Taylor is in fact a dynamic and commercially astute professional who has achieved notable success in project management, programme management and the professional development of project managers: latterly as head of projects at a global supplier of performance system solutions, and currently as head of a PMO at Siemens PLM Software, a global supplier of product lifecycle management solutions. He is an accomplished communicator and leader; always adopting a proactive and business-focused approach. This is Peter’s first book.

Book: The Lazy Project Manager; Hardcover: 160 pages; Publisher: Infinite Ideas Limited UK (August 31, 2009); Language: English; ISBN-10: 1906821135; ISBN-13: 978-1906821135 info at