Shanghai Auto Show, A Broader View

This year’s Shanghai Auto Show has widely been covered as a seminal moment for the Chinese auto-industry. Demonstrating the vibrancy and innovation of Chinese companies and cementing the position of that largest players as auto powerhouses, powerhouses focused on both the domestic and international market.

At the heart of this new world order is the Chinese economy’s dominance of EV battery component and manufacturing industry. As China rules the roost in terms of battery manufacture it therefore has an inherent advantage as the auto-industry moves over the tipping point from ICE to BEV.

Beneath that competitive advantage lies a more complex story of how China’s economy is effective at resource mobilisation. Where China is Beating the World explores electric vehicles, high speed rail and solar power as three prime examples of how China has subsidised, accepted short-term ineffciency and enabled agile industrial planning to achieve eye-watering growth compared to other countries.


Theodore Roosevelt – A President for the Ages

When it comes to the discussion of great American presidents, one name that stands out prominently is that of Theodore Roosevelt. Serving as the 26th President of the United States from 1901 to 1909, Roosevelt’s impact on the nation and his lasting legacy make a strong case for his greatness as a leader. While opinions may differ on certain aspects of his presidency, there is no denying that Roosevelt’s progressive policies, his commitment to conservation, and his assertive foreign policy have left an indelible mark on American history.

One of the key reasons Theodore Roosevelt is widely regarded as a good president is his progressive agenda. During his tenure, he championed reforms that sought to address the excesses of industrialization and promote fairness in society. Roosevelt pursued antitrust litigation against powerful corporations, breaking up monopolies and advocating for a level playing field for businesses. His efforts laid the groundwork for subsequent regulations that curbed the influence of large corporations, protecting consumers and fostering competition.

Moreover, Roosevelt’s commitment to the conservation of natural resources was visionary and ahead of his time. He understood the importance of preserving America’s natural beauty for future generations. Under his leadership, Roosevelt established national parks, wildlife refuges, and national forests, effectively doubling the amount of protected land in the United States. His passion for conservation set a precedent for environmental stewardship, a legacy that continues to inspire environmental movements to this day.

Roosevelt’s foreign policy also distinguishes him as a great president. He believed in projecting American power and influence beyond its borders, pursuing a robust international presence. Roosevelt mediated the end of the Russo-Japanese War, earning him the Nobel Peace Prize and establishing the United States as a global mediator. He asserted American dominance in the Western Hemisphere with the Roosevelt Corollary, which warned against European intervention in the Americas. By asserting American power and interests, Roosevelt laid the groundwork for the United States’ emergence as a global superpower.

Of course, like any leader, Roosevelt had his shortcomings. Critics argue that his aggressive foreign policy was too interventionist, often disregarding the sovereignty of other nations. Additionally, his stance on civil rights and racial equality fell short of modern standards. Roosevelt’s controversial decisions, such as the dismissal of African-American soldiers from the military, tarnish his otherwise exemplary record. It is important to acknowledge and critique these shortcomings, as they form part of his overall presidential legacy.

In the final analysis, Theodore Roosevelt’s impact as a president cannot be understated. His progressive agenda, commitment to conservation, and assertive foreign policy have left an enduring imprint on American history. While his presidency was not without flaws, his accomplishments far outweigh any missteps. Roosevelt’s legacy continues to shape the United States, inspiring leaders to prioritize the welfare of the American people, the conservation of natural resources, and the pursuit of a strong and influential global presence. It is for these reasons that Theodore Roosevelt is undoubtedly considered a good president, whose contributions continue to resonate with Americans to this day.

Salesforce Trailhead Challenge

JLR is one of many companies implementing elements of the Salesforce product suite.

To incentivise that process and increase employee engagement we’re running the Trailhead Challenge. Using the Salesforce Trailhead programme of learning modules and projects to get people around the commercial team (whether they’re working directly with Salesforce or not) to learn more about Salesforce products and some of the industry context into which the Salesforce clouds have an impact.

I’m having great fun participating in the challenge; the programme is well structured and the individual modules designed in a fun and playful way. The best bit is that you don’t need to be an active user of Salesforce, if you want to learn more about technology enabling business and customer change – all within a platform specifically designed to maximise a positive user experience I’d certainly recommend signing up and beginning your learning journey.

Get Action

I have three heroes; Cato the Younger, Marcus Aurelius and Theodore Roosevelt.

The first two relate to my following of Stoicism; Cato for his unshakeable determination in the toughest of circumstances and Marcus for his wisdom and consideration of ‘learning have to live’ explored in The Meditations.

Theodore Roosevelt has some stoic traits but my admiration for him stems more for his energy, enthusiasm and action-orientation.

The stories of Teddy’s passion for ‘getting things done’ are numerous. In the sixty years of his life he embodied a light-bulb burning bright, ceaseless in the quest to move his projects forwards. If you want to learn more then I recommend the Presidential podcast episode on Teddy Roosevelt.

‘Get Action’ was a phrase passed on to him by his father as a simple maxim to remind him to do things, to never be the spectator, always be the actor…

Despite being less famous than the ‘Man In the Arena’ speech / quotation ‘Get Action’ really brings to life one of the most important concepts in my life: doing something beats doing nothing. Don’t wait for the perfect moment to start something, don’t strive for the fully detailed project plan before starting – get action and take action.

Scrum Terminology

This is an interesting idea from Michael Küsters regarding name changes for Scrum framework terminology and sessions. There’s a good debate within the comments around whether simplification changes anything and whether the content would be impacted by the name.

Personally I’d find this useful in helping describe how team sessions differ to help drive value for those new to Scrum or a specific project. It’s a simple way of helping frame the overall concept of ‘iteration’ for those trying to get to grips with how Scrum works within Agile:

Refinement => Understanding

Planning => Goal & Action


Daily => Sync & Adjust


Review => Feedback & Forward

Retrospective => Improvement

What’s the one thing?

I was going through some old Tim Ferriss Podcasts yesterday and stumbled on Gary Keller.

I’ve got no great interest in US real estate but it was the first time i’d heard of his book The One Thing. I’m now ploughing through it on Audible and even though it’s a touch simplistic I do like the main thrust of the book…

  1. Prioritisation helps – not everything on your to do list has equal value
  2. Being busy doesn’t mean you’re adding value
  3. Big goals and big thinking start somewhere

It’s that final point which really strikes a chord with me and leads to the key wisdom of the book:

“What’s the one thing I can do right now which will such that by doing it everything else will become easier or unnecessary”

There’s a number of examples:

  1. If I want to become a pilot then the one thing I can do right now is sign-up for flying lessons
  2. If I want to ensure I have a good day with my partner, give her a kiss and hug first thing in the morning
  3. If I want to run a 10k then I need to buy a pair of trainers that will allow me to train for a 10k
  4. A large, macro goal is the product of an accumulation of smaller micro goals – as every Project Manager knows

I’d recommend the book, and certainly the principle. Adding value through every action – professional or personal – is something we should be striving for.

London retains crown as Europe’s technology hub

I voted against Brexit and still would today if offered the choice. However this news fills me with hope that the UK and London specifically can continue to thrive despite Brexit, and if coupled with the right Govt support can exploit a more progressive environment for tech businesses.

Simply put, we need more digitally and tech savvy people working in our country to drive new value opportunities.

London retains crown as Europe’s technology hub
— Read on


Once a year I make a point of re-reading the Dummies guide to Agile Project Management. The audio book is a nice companion to bring me back to some of the core Agile principles.

Today I was reminded of the concept of Minimum Marketable Product (MMP). If you’ve spent any time in a business doing or trying to run Agile projects you will have heard MVP bandied about at least twenty times a week. The MVP being seen as the first release and a clear milestone for the project. Both those points are true, but all too frequently the MVP is seen as the point where the product can really be promoted as something users get value from. That’s not true – the important point is the Minimum Marketable Product (MMP), which might not arrive until Release two or three of your product.

The MVP provides a means by which user feedback, analytics and data can be collected to then refine the product towards creating the MMP. The MMP is the point at which you have functionality in place to actually deliver a changed experience and value for the user and wider stakeholders.

By all means talk internally about your MVP, but be careful about promoting externally until you’ve got your MMP, that’s the point of value for creation.