Fine and Dandy

first_imgThe Dandy Warhols are a band emblematic of student cynic chic: their we-take-drugs lyrics on Thirteen Tales of Urban Bohemia evoked a supremely stylish laziness. The Dandy Warhols, like everyone else, ooze don’t-give-af**k style, their ludicrously named front man Courtney Taylor-Taylor permanently sporting a sneer that could sour milk (and stunning cheek bones, if you will allow me to digress).However, it seems the band have woken up from their lethargy, rather like Placebo’s embrace of electronica after Without You I’m Nothing, winning back the fans lulled into melancholia by their self-indulgent misery. Likewise there is an enjoyable range of energetic 80s beats on Welcome to the Monkey House, as well as a number of intriguing motifs, from the orgasmic panting on synth-pop singalong ‘The Dope’ to the funky ‘I Am Sound’, which is hugely reminiscent of David Bowie’s ‘Ashes to Ashes’. The Warholsbeing well-known for their sense of faux-irony and the kitsch. One can’t help but feel that times Taylor-Taylor (who co-produced the album with Duran Duran’s Nick Rhodes) is over-sexing his performance; his husky drawl is perhaps too provocative for comfort.The Warhols keep up a steady stream of toe-tappers, although the album occasionally loses its energy: it sometimes diminishes into characteristic apathy. However, there are enough lush layers of sound for the album serve as ambient background music for any student gathering involving tie-dyed blankets and incense sticks (‘The Dandy Warhols Love Almost Everyone’ being a prime example), as well there being adequately danceable tracks, such as the bass-driven ‘You Were the Last High’. They even come close to rocking out on ‘Heavenly’, although that kind unbridled enthusiasm is curtailed soon enough. Unabashed indulgence would be the death of the Warhols’ endearingly chilled-out sound, but Welcome to the Monkey House shows them pulling their socks up just enough to save them from camp-pop obscurity. Out Monday.ARCHIVE: 2nd Week TT 2003last_img read more

Are you setting too many goals?

first_imgIt’s that time of year….you’re most likely starting to gear up for your annual Strategic Planning meeting. Perhaps you have everything in place, the venue, an experienced facilitator, an outline of what you’d like to discuss. If you’re nodding while reading this, congratulations! You’re in pretty good shape. If not, you have some work to do. In either case, it is important for you to be aware of some common mistakes that are made during the planning process. Here are 4 such mistakes and how to avoid them:Setting too many goals: Yes, there IS such a thing as trying to do too much, despite what others have told you. A belief that you can never have too many goals is as misinformed as it is counterproductive. You should aim to identify 3 or 4 (but no more than 5) strategic initiatives at your planning session. These initiatives should be high-level in nature. You should do some advanced prep work to help identify them. Start with taking a bird’s eye look at the organization, marketplace trends, and consumer behavior. Discuss focus and direction. Combine everything to help create those 3 or 4 strategic initiatives.Having a small party: Be sure to include your management personnel in the discussions you have before the session, even if they won’t be taking part in the actual planning meeting.   This is crucial. Unfortunately, too many organizations are still limiting the discussions to the CEO and the organization’s Board of Directors. I strongly encourage you to include your management team in the actual planning meeting but if that’s not possible, be sure to solicit input from the people that are in the middle of everything. Most times, they will have more thorough insights than you regarding the pulse of the consumer as well as the “low-down” of things like employee morale, performance, and the like.Not hiring a facilitator: Disclaimer: I am a facilitator so mentioning this might seem like it’s self-serving. I assure you that it is not. Even if I weren’t a facilitator, I would still insist on hiring one for your planning session. You’ll need someone to keep the discussions on track, to ensure that everyone’s voice is heard, and who can take an honest, unbiased look at what’s happening in your company. An experienced facilitator will praise you for the good but will also challenge you to examine the things that need improvement.Keeping secrets: Your planning session will end up being a colossal waste of time and energy if the people involved don’t communicate what was discussed with the organization’s employees. You’re not discussing espionage, folks. Your employees cannot create action plans for the initiatives that you identified if they don’t have an understanding of what was discussed and why those specific items were chosen. They need to know. They have a right to know. If you’re still not willing to share information, then don’t think for a second that you can hold people accountable. It doesn’t work that way.I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject so please be sure to leave your comments! 29SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Sean McDonald Sean McDonald is the President of Your Full Potential, LLC and the Founder of ABSURD! Leadership.  He is a highly regarded speaker at national and international conferences for the credit … Web: Detailslast_img read more


first_imgFOOTBALL’S worst kept secret was finally made public tonight as Shay Given signed a five year deal with Aston Villa.Given, 35, had been out of favour at Manchester City since the rise to prominence of England No 1 Joe Hart.And having been linked with a number of clubs, Alex McLeish has made the Republic of Ireland international his first signing as Villa boss. “Aston Villa is a huge football club and I’m really excited to be joining,” said the Lifford man.“I’m looking forward to training and playing with the players here. They’re a good bunch of lads, very talented and I know several of them already which will help.“Everyone knows that I didn’t play enough football last season, so I’m really pleased that I’ll be able to put that right here. Hopefully, this move will get me back to where I was before in the Premier League, which is where every player wants to be playing.“Obviously, I’m also excited to be working with Alex McLeish and it’s going to be a fresh start for everybody at the club this season. “It’s also a new challenge and one I’m eager to embrace. My aim is to impress the Aston Villa supporters with my performances and I can’t wait really to get started.’Villa manager Alex McLeish said: “Shay has come here probably with something of a point to prove and that won’t do any harm at all.“Everybody who has watched him perform over many years in the Premier League will know his pedigree, so we believe we have secured the services of one of the best goalkeepers in the business.”“He’s a real competitor and a world-class keeper and I’m delighted he’s the first signing I’ve made at Villa.”Earlier, defender Richard Dunne welcomed his international team-mate’s arrival. He said: “I spoke to him earlier in the week, he just wanted to get here and get started/ He was frustrated over the way things have gone over the last year, I think he just wants to get playing again and he’ll be looking forward to it.“I spoke to him on Friday when he got here and I think he was surprised about how good the facilities and the setup are here at Bodymoor.”‘I think it’s a good opportunity for Shay to get back to playing football and I think it’s one he’s really looking forward to.”BREAKING NEWS: SHAY GIVEN SIGNS FIVE YEAR DEAL WITH VILLA AND DECLARES: ‘I’M EXCITED’ was last modified: July 18th, 2011 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Aston VillaShay Givenlast_img read more