Archives for Synergy

Thomas Juli – Project Management and Zen

Zen and the art of time management



Does time control you or do you control it? Is there never enough time and do some people have more of it than others? Will life be past before you have realised how to use time to balance your working life and your ‘free’ life.

At the recent PMI UK Chapter Synergy 2012 conference Dr Thomas Juli, laid out 10 pointers from the school of Zen that can help you achieve balance in your life and in your projects.

The first point was to do with identity. Knowing who you are is vital in a world where many feel a cog in a very large gearbox.  Having an identity in your private world will help you stand in your public world, in your project and in your organization. It will help you prioritise when managing time. Knowing who you are will help you know what is important to you. In addition, knowing what your strengths are and accepting yourself will give you the confidence to survive in a world (and potentially a project) full of conflict.

His second point was about having vision. This is not about project objectives but the vision that provides the real underlying motivation for what you are doing. He challenged his audience by asking if they had an MVP? M for motivation – do you know why this is being done? V for vision – do you know what the ideal solution will look like? P for project – do you know how the vision will be delivered? He encouraged the use of the 5 ‘whys?’ Asking the question ‘why’ until the answer is revealed. Understanding this will again help with prioritising and managing time effectively.

His third point concerned simplicity. As a key Zen principle, it is important not to make things too ‘simple’ but also not to make them over complex. Try explaining the vision, the project and the task in ways that an ‘outsider’ can grasp. Managing time is integral with understanding what is to achieved.

An important fourth point was the important of having a timeline or a plan. The wise man sees the mountain he wants to climb but knows he needs a pathway and provisions to get to the top. The wise man also knows that most deaths on the mountain occur on the way down and needs to plan the way back as well. Time is relative and must be used wisely. Plan in personal time, team time, review time or it will not happen. Managing time is about managing all aspects of life.

He also covered elements that can help in managing time such as overcoming angst, hierarchy versus individualism and motivation. These principles can underpin behavior and change practice for the better and ultimately lead to more successful projects, better team work and happier individuals.

Found this talk and more keynote speakers presentation on The PM Channel to sharpen your project management skills. Available on the Development Package for £149/year.

Lord Digby Jones – Projects, a changing world and leadership.

Projects, a changing world and leadership.


The world is changing. The western nations are giving way in growth terms to new emerging economies such as China and India. The wealth line that once moved west now is shifting eastwards and the expectations of millions of people is rising. At the recent PMI UK Chapter Synergy 2012 conference Lord Digby Jones, an active crossbencher in the House of Lords and a powerhouse leader for British Industry described growing up in a family of humble origins whose aspirations stretched beyond the norms of the time. He described how this is now being repeated in developing nations and their hunger for growth and what the wealthy nations have is unprecedented.


How that growth will be managed, the demand for greater democracy and the pollution that our Lord Digby Jones asked where the emerging markets will turn to buy their goods. He answered by saying that while he hoped they would buy Mini’s from Oxford, Phones from Vodafone in Newbury and fly in an Airbus made in the UK and Europe they will only buy from the west if we invest in projects, large and small, that will equip us for the next 100 years.industrial revolution produced are the challenges that lay ahead. These challenges will need to be met with strong leadership and project led change.

To do that, he said, would require 3 things:
One: Leadership to invest in projects in the public and private sector. He suggested that lack of money is not the problem. He gave examples of how other European nations have invested in large infrastructure projects and have done so efficiently and effectively. What we need is not more consultations and inquiries but action. This needs political will and vision led leadership.

Two: Better training for middle management. This will lead to greater efficiency and higher production. He traced the failure in this area right back to a failure in our education system where after 11 years of compulsory, free, full–time education 20% of the adult population in the UK functionally illiterate. The UK needs to lead the world not trail behind. He cited examples of France and Germany in how to train middle management to get maximum productivity. Leadership in education and training is a key priority.


Three: Leadership at project management levels. This is an area where we can all play our part. Each one of us can inspire or discourage. In our projects and in our daily lives we have the capacity to lead others and influence the way they think and behave. He gave some moving examples of leadership drawing on his experience in the Royal Navy.

Lord Digby Jones’s talk at the PMI UK Chapter Synergy 2012 conference is available on the development package for £149/year on The PM Channel.

Watch Lord Digby Jone’s talk on The PM Channel!


PMI Synergy 2012 on The PM Channel

The PM Channel is pleased to be partnering with PMI UK Chapter to record selected events such PMI Synergy.

Watch the speakers’ presentations from PMI Synergy 2012 and claim your PDUs. Accelerate your professional development by watching these experts:

• Lord Digby Jones, Chairman Triumph and Grove Industries,

• Dame Tessa Jowell, member of Shadow Cabinet,

• Thomas Juli, Managing Director Thomas Juli Empowerment Partners,

• Joe Onstott, Project Controls ITER Fusion

 PMI Synergy 2012


Courses – Presentations – Interviews

Register now for the Development Package on The PM Channel and get 12 month access to PMI Synergy 2012 presentations as well 8 other leading project management conferences .

The 26th IPMA World Congress and Project Controls Expo 2012 are coming soon in this package!


PMI Synergy 2012 highlights

PMI UK Chapter Synergy was held on International Project Management Day in London on 1 November 2012. The speakers included a great line up and The PM Channel was there to capture it all. The Princess Royal was guest of honour and the speakers included Mark Langley, Lord Digby Jones, Dame Tessa Jowell, Simon Robertson, Gier O.Klover, Dr Thomas Juli, Joe Onstott. Watch a short show reel here.

Mark A. Langley Synergy 2012
A welcome address was given by the president and CEO of PMI, Mark A. Langley. He became PMI’s President and CEO in December 2010 after serving over eight years as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. In the chief executive role, Mr. Langley is responsible for overseeing and serving as the lead advocate for PMI’s complex global organization, consisting of more than half a million members, certification holders and other stakeholders in more than 185 countries.

Lord Digby Jones on The PM Channel After introductions by Roy Sheppard, Lord Digby Jones gave the first talk. Lord Digby Jones is a powerhouse leader for British Industry. In addition to this role as an active cross bencher in the House of Lords, he serves as Chairman of Triumph Motorcycles Limited, Chairman of Groves Industries, a non-executive director of Flybe, Senior Advisor to HSBC and is Corporate Ambassador for Jaguar Cars and JCB. He advises in a number of other paid and unpaid roles, fulfilling his vision of promoting socially inclusive wealth creation. He is a supporter of better education, “After 11 years of compulsory, free, full–time education why are 20% of the adult population in the UK functionally illiterate?” and we hope he will support our campaign for Project Management Education in Schools.

Dame Tessa Jowell Synergy 2012 on The PM Channel

The second talk of the day was Dame Tessa Jowell who
is a prominent member of the Shadow Cabinet and has sat on the Front Beach on both sides of the House. She has been a strong leader and influencer for the 2012 Olympics and is currently Shadow Minister for London. Tessa touched on bringing people with you, uniting different factions toward one goal, the challenges of bringing together a large event, the regeneration of east London, the importance of legacy, and social enterprise.

After that Simon Roberston spoke about his Initiative of Project Management in Schools will The Mill Chase Schools Project. And we finish the morning session with Geir O.Klover who is the Managing Director of the Norwegian Polar Museum, where his knowledge and expertise on the expedition is second to none. He took us through the planning, risks, leadership and team dynamic that is took for Amundsen and his team to make history on their South Pole Expedition.

Thomas Juli Synergy 2012 on The PM Channel

The afternoon started with Dr Thomas Juli who is an experienced, enthusiastic and results-driven manager. His life’s passion is to empower people and organizations. This is reflected in his professional
career in management, consulting and training. He has more than 15 years of progressive leadership and management experience in various functions including project and programm management, strategy consulting, business analysis, professional training, and academic teaching. He took us through how achieving a work life balance.
Joe Onstott ITER Synergy 2012 on The PM Channel
After that Joe Onstott talked to us about ITER which is a large-scale scientific experiment that aims to demonstrate that it is possible to produce commercial energy from fusion. The Q in the formula on the right symbolizes the ration of fusion power to input power. Q ≥ 10 represents the scientific goal of the ITER project: to deliver ten times the power it consumes. From 50MW of input power, the ITER machine is designed to produce 500 MW of fusion power – the first of all fusion experiments to produce net energy. During its operational lifetime, ITER will test technologies necessary for the next step: the demonstration fusion power plant that will prove that it is possible to capture fusion energy for commercial use.

The Comedy School Synergy 2012

We finished the day with Brain Weiss, Vice President Practitioner Markets PMI. And the day finished with the improvisation team from the Comedy School.