So do you suffer from Gout

Just read the attached Gout book, very interesting suggests Purines you eat or alcohol is not the problem, but fructose, sugars and carbs.

My gout increased in Thailand, so much so that I now take Allopurinol. However, my Dr here and I are working on treating the problem, whereas high uric acid which allopurinol treats is only the symptom rather than the problem.

I am using which allow detailed logging of your diet. Seems I started thinking healthy fruit juice, fresh fruit healthy breakfast, Hero black cherry. Increased rice, increased seafood and fish, less meat, no chicken more veg and less alcohol would improve my diet, according to the nutritionalists.

Wrong!! Turns out that has increased my sugar intake and carb intake and although I am exercising more and have lowered my weight the response is lower insulin activity which means my kidneys are not excreting the uric acid and the higher intake of sugars is increasing my uric acid levels.

So now cutting out those so called healthy things. Stop rice so much, more balance with potatoes and pasta, cut out the increased sugar so I can get back to the alcohol I used to drink.

This book is rather good at helping those who are still treating the symptoms. I aim to be off allopurinol by September now and back to where I was.

One thing I also want to research is the effect of MSG on gout as it is impossible to eat out in Thailand without eating a shed load of the stuff.

Any feedback welcome.

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Patent Wars

I have been involved with innovating products since the 60s and patents are very very important.  They are also extremely difficult to get and cost a lot to put in place.  There is no such thing as a small patent or you can patent anything.  Indeed the process is very rigorous and often patents are not awarded.

I am writing this blog as I feel there needs to be some sense where Asian companies start to respect patents and quit copying and stealing things. Otherwise, Asia will never advance.

I now live in Asia and copying things is the norm and legality is not.  In all the ASEAN countries I have visited it starts from clothes brands, copy DVD of the films that may not have even reached the cinema through to electronic devices such as copy mini iPhones with the Apple logo which Apple do not sell, even the iPhone 5 was on sale recently in MBK in Bangkok.

The Asians need to learn that patents must be honored so I am pleased Samsung has been whacked with a high profile story in the press and a $1.05b fine.  I also hope they have their devices removed from the shelves.  I also hope Google and Android get whacked to, as many of these products are just outright copies, even being developed and made in the same factories.

If you are going to infringe a patent the patent owner can either license the technology which Apple does in the main and Microsoft (an Apple shareholder) licenses some of their patents.  However, if Apple wants to ensure its rivals and competition that do not want to play by international patent laws then so be it.  Its up to the competition to innovate, make their own patents and be different and better.  That is the challenge.

Many times I was involved with patent infringements, where a certain company copied our pcb schematics and built copy products either in the UK or the Eastern block.  We had to go after them to maintain patent status either for license or for exclusion.  When somebody steals your fuel from your car you don’t say well that is alright.  You expect them to pay for it.  Patents are just the same.  Its theft!

Samsung now I think are beginning to understand Theft!  Blanton copying is theft and if everything is only slightly different then it is still theft.

Apple continues to manufacture in Asia, but at some point if Asia corporations continue these practices, then Apple will move to another country or continent.

Many Western corporations will not use Asia for fear of copying and we know they manufacture and have learnt from the Japanese.

Toyota and Honda have been through a similar period, but now have superior self innovated products.

Lets hope the electronics and internet companies in Asia will be less corrupt and less copying and more innovative in the future.

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Lots of free Cloud space, currently 32Gb

I have just installed Google Drive and SkyDrive in addition to DropBox and of courses iCloud.  That is 5Gb, 20Gb, 2Gb and 20Gb currently.   iCloud is only for one year then they will charge beyond 5Gb next year.  So I have 47gb in the cloud right now.

All these Clouds are free and some are less clunky than the others and all work on both the PC and the Mac.  All allow access from multiple devices such as PC, Laptop, tablet and phone.  Apple iCloud to me is great because you can access and synch all your devices without doing anything.  That means my laptop which is Bangkok synchs my iMac which is in Salisbury and of cause my phone to which is with me.  So my calendar, contacts, email and photos all on each device. Documents are also synch’d, but you have to choose them, if you don’t create them in iCloud and they are limited to iWork.  So all other documents I keep in Google Drive and SkyDrive.  I have a large number of PDFs so I am storing them in SkyDrive.  I use Google Drive as files I tend to use for my websites.  I use Dropbox to share files with other people as that seems to be the main one people use.  Given it is the smallest free one at 2Gb, I have exchanged files with several people and keep them there.

My websites are in Google sites and Macmate and use Google Sites templates and Apple iWeb templates.

Some people feel that Cloud services are very big brotherish as they ask for access to your apps and your location etc.  Today, I can ensure you that not just devices like this are good at locating you.  If you use GPS for anything and most phones do, unless switched off, people can find you.  Whether its Facebook or any of the social networking tools or any of the Microsoft, Google, Apple products.  Everyone is trying to learn about us so that the knowledge they can create for us is closer to what we want.  Unless we allow some invasion of location, high level facts about ourselves,  then they cannot create the sophisticated knowledge we desire.  So its not just about the Cloud which has all our data, we should worry about access, but of course the data is encrypted.

Ok what happens if the Cloud dies, well I keep my systems backed up on a 1TB time capsule.  If the Cloud dies for a long period of time, I assure you there will be other problems in the world.  I keep some files in multiple clouds and multiple back up devices. Why do I do that, well I was once in a fire when I worked at DEC the computer manufacturer.  For my current files I shared on their server I lost nothing, but my Mac and PCs were vaporised and I lost a lot of personal information especially designs and documents that were priceless to me and grieved for them until I have eventually forgotten some of them.

Cloud computing is becoming more pervasive and as long as you keep your important data backed up and where you can access it, more and more will become available as the tech biggies persuade us to keep our data with them.


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The use of NLP with the Balanced Scorecard

I have not defined the Balanced Scorecard or NLP in this communication.  Just googling either will give you definitions.

Interestingly, I have been studying how NLP can be best used with the Balanced Scorecard and Strategy Management Systems.  NLP in this context is used to help develop how the strategy should be communicated and moreover to support the process needed in the Strategy Management System.

The following NLP techniques should be looked at closely when establishing or maintaing the strategy systems:

  • Understanding the Cause and Effect model

We often talk about the cause and effect between each perspective in the Balanced Scorecard without really having clarity of definition.

  • SMARTER Goal setting

Again Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time zone, Exciting, Reviewed with specific intelligent questions to identify each of the attributes to make the objective clearer and actionable.

  • Chunking which is the level of specifics that goals and measures can be set

At the highest level we will agree most things in principle. It is only when you start to become specific does it give us the ability to argue.  Being able to use chunking up to gain agreement and then chunk down to get more specific when creating goals and measurements makes this technique a must.

  • Principles of Success criteria for creating Outcomes

If we understand there is no such thing as failure only feedback then breaking down how we are successful is just a matter of time spent.  Combining what is the outcome,  with why, what is the belief, what is the plan to achieve the outcome, then taking action, if you succeed what’s next, if you do not you get feedback which means reevaluating and re planning to take action

  • Personality modeling – Mission, vision, identity, values, beliefs, capabilities, behaviour, environment

There is a communication hierarchy that when we disclose to each other we only feel comfortable if the response matches our system.  Normally we start to communicate at the environment level when meeting some one new and as time goes on with a communication we move up the hierarchy towards mission.  To fully communicate we need to align our responses with each level in the hierarchy

  • Perceptual positions

Three positions:  my position, a different opinion of someone you need to either change or compromise with and the third position which is the “helicopter” observer position to gain a non opinionated view of the two positions.  This is exceptionally useful when needing to negotiate to a conclusion which normally has a degree of compromise.

Each of these are extremely good processes for mind thought and group practice to ask the right intelligent questions to establish the parts that are needed to form a good strategy with clarity in each of the strategy process constituents.

When aligning teams and carrying out workshops NLP provides some analytical conditioning for individuals on how to elicit the correct response by understanding more about how you would react and respond and why.  Key teachings in NLP include:

  • Removal of limited beliefs

How to be open minded that anything is possible, rather than to have constrained the thinking by applying barriers and negatives to what is a matter of working on removing such constraints or barriers.

  • Using the meta model – distortions, deletions and generalizations

Our capacity to take in information is only limited by our input structure and we need to be aware that we can distort, delete or move a specific to a generalized set of terms.  If one is aware and the group is aware of this again it leaves open the interpretation of how we represent the whole communication being discussed.

  • Values and Beliefs

We all have values and beliefs we have been brought up with or acquired from other people.  We need to be cognoscente of someone else’s values and beliefs and can only communicate and gain acceptable response if we allow for their set of values and beliefs

  • Strategies

NLP’s definition is: a specific syntax of external and internal experience which consistently produces a specific outcome. Human experience is an endless series of representations. To deal with this endless sequence it is useful to suspend the process, and contextualize it in terms of outcomes.  The dictionary uses the word “plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim” for strategy. So it is good to know the NLP components and elements within in the NLP theory of strategies.

  • Rapport

Rapport is to elicit the right response from whom you are communicating with.  This is paramount when developing a strategy and processing the strategy management system.

These are a few of the techniques I have been directly reviewing and I would be interested if you have been associating others.  Please comment and add to the discussion.

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A Study into different ways to produce Strategy for your organisation


Over the past 20 years organisations (can be a business company, public entity, military entity) have used different ways in creating or renewing their strategies.  Often bringing in McKinsey, Baine, Boston Group, Accenture, IBM, PWC or other leading consultants who have used HBS, Ashbridge, Cranfield, IMD, INSEAD, UCLA to study and understand what methods and what is important to have the process of establishing and renewing strategy for their organisation.

Indeed 12 manage website lists some 175 contributing methodologies or frameworks that various consultants have submitted as useful approaches to constructing strategy.

( ) A strategy is a plan of action designed to achieve a vision. Originated in the military, but now applies mainly to carrying out business.

Richard Rumelt UCLA  author of “Good Strategy, Bad Strategy” definition “Strategy is a cohesive response to an important challenge. Unlike a stand-alone decision or a goal, a strategy is a coherent set of analyses, concepts, policies, arguments and actions that respond to a a high-stakes challenge.”

For me Richard’s definition aligns nicely with all the definitions be it the military, management, gaming or general dictionary ones.  What it lets you do is define the “what” and translate that into the “how” over time.


These methodologies listed below have hyperlinks to the 12 Manage website which gives full descriptions of each methodology.

A Mix of those that create the What and those that create the How

Out of the 175 methodologies that are described in 12 Manage, you can start to split them into different knowledge categories. There are very few that can be said to be truly relative to producing strategy given the definitions outlined previously.  Some purport to be about the market or competitive positioning, some are about forming objectives, some are financially focused and some are about defining what you are in a psychological behavioural framework for companies.  Very few are holistic and can be used for elements of an organisation, function by function or department by department or process by process.

Some consultancies keep their methodologies unpublished, but those who are well known just provide the one time what and come back every year to up date it.  They do not provide organisations with their own means of developing strategy.  However, I see the Kaplan/Norton methodologies as the only true attempt to holistically approach strategy with the what and the how, with a strategy process that encourages organisations to be their own strategy keepers.

The following is a sample list split into the categories:

Popular What methodologies

7-S Framework McKinsey

Ashridge Mission Model

Popular How methodologies

Porters 5 Forces



Hoshi Kanri

Popular Marketing and Competitive methodologies

7 Ps Extended Marketing mix

ADL Matrix

Blue Ocean Strategy

Competitive Advantage


Bob Kaplan and David Norton established the Balanced Scorecard in the mid 1990s using their companies to build case studies and develop a series of books that explain aspects of the methodology, now consulting and continuing the research into strategy methodology using Palladium.

If you look at McKinseys 7-S Framework model Kaplan/Norton have created nearly all the elements that are required to build an holistic strategy management system. Structure: “Office of Strategy Management”, Systems:  “Balanced Scorecard, Strategy Maps,” Style: “SMS”,  Shared Values: “Alignment” Strategy “Intangible assets, Human, Information and Cultural Capital”, Staff: “Certification of methodology professionals”.  They have also provided tools and the recommendation of tools to monitor the strategy process.  For me linking Strategy into action by identifying the key initiatives and working them as programmes and projects is key to implementing the strategy.  Having a Strategic Feedback System from the top to the bottom of the organisation both ways closes the loop for all strategy objectives to meet the challenges set.

Kaplan/Norton have created the only published holistic approach to establishing, maintaining and renewing strategy for an organisation.   It encourages cascading aligned to the organisation’s structure and it encourages a feedback loop process to ensure that the strategy by the leadership is connected to the strategy in every operational area including with 3rd parties and the end customer. Moreover you can integrate and use other methodologies to build or monitor the causal effect perspectives that are key to an organisation.

In creating their case studies they have also enlisted a “hall of fame” approach to those companies who carry out a good strategy process and have succeeded in producing good strategy.

The balanced scorecard is a proven methodology both in the business world and public entities. Over 1200 case studies, including senior executive quotations, all achieving outstanding results. The disciplines of balanced scorecard have evolved over the past 15 years: we can learn from the lessons of others. Balanced Scorecard has been used by good companies to become great; it is a discipline they see as essential. Balanced Scorecards integrates well with other best practices such as ABC accounting, HR regulatory compliance and common functional business tools. Because it’s a discipline as well as a tool, Balanced Scorecard can improve capability internally and 3rd party contracts to become strategic, rather than just operational. Once you have Balanced scorecard capability internally, you can confidently offer strategy advice/consultancy to your suppliers – climbing the food chain right to the top.

Office of Strategy Management provides a process for carrying out the strategy process using the methodologies, maps, tools around the Balanced scorecard in a closed loop environment.

All the books that have been created by Kaplan/Norton link each element that is necessary to create good strategy.

Documents or links I like for reference:

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Welcome to Robert Twiddy’s Blog at WordPress

I am using this area to connect to Linkedin and my website

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