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About mercenaries and contractors

OpinionWritten by John Berry on 19th November 2018. Revised 21st November 2018.3 min read

Machiavelli talks captivatingly about mercenaries: as soldiers paid a stipend, they lack loyalty. He argues that the prince's own army progresses better. Arguments in favour of your own employees over those contracting for you transport well through time. Contractors enter an economic contract. Employees engage emotionally, commit for the long term and will add value.

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Knowledge Management and the Growth of Competence: Achieving competitive advantage in the firm

White PaperWritten by Sue Berry on 6th May 2017. Revised 29th October 2018.15 min read

Intuitively we know that knowledge in a firm is good. In the East, those with knowledge are revered. But why is it that knowledge has value, and specifically, why is it that knowledge in a firm is useful to that firm? Something also tells us that knowledge for its own sake is of little value. It needs to be applied, to become competence, to realise its true value. This brief ‘intuitive’ look starts the process of building a framework for knowledge and its conversion to competence.

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The case for using psychometrics

OpinionWritten by John Berry on 31st May 2017. Revised 14th September 2018.7 min read

This article makes the argument that since engineers are quick to adopt models of systems, engineering managers should be happy to adopt models of personal behaviour and with that the method of characterising personal traits and attributes within the science of psychometrics.
[Published February 2014]

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Is it right for employees to attend to work emails outside of work time?

Audio VisualWritten by John Berry on 14th September 2018.01 min read

Many people work on emails when commuting. Are employees right to do this? Are managers right to expect it? John Berry recently appeared on BBC Radio Sussex, on the Neil Pringle show, to give comment and add to the debate. Listen again to the various respondent comments and John’s discussion on this complex topic.

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Difficulties in sub-contracting to suppliers under an Agile approach

OpinionWritten by John Berry on 23rd August 2018. Revised 28th August 2018.6 min read

Many software firms now use the Agile approach. But, arguably, it’s use is inappropriate when working with suppliers. In principle, there’s no actual reason why suppliers should not be engaged to do the work of employees under Agile, but care is needed to properly manage the work packaging and the supplier contract.

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What to do when your staff are moving home to Europe

OpinionWritten by John Berry on 27th July 2018. Revised 17th August 2018.5 min read

Employees from EU countries, now working in the UK, are letting their managers know that they intend to return home. Somehow, the UK’s not such a nice place today. And the problem nation they left all those years ago looks quite attractive now with significant economic growth and jobs. So, when your employees say “We intend moving back to our home”, here are your options.

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