Writers I like: Lucy Kellaway

I've been thinking for a while of starting a new series about blogs I like to read or podcasts I like to listen to or watch. I may still do one specifically about podcasts, but for now I have plumped for the title "Writers I like" because that will encompass journalists and others as well as bloggers.

I've started the series with Lucy Kellaway, not because she writes anything about educational technology (as far as I know), but for the following reasons:

  • As the holiday season nears I intend to take a short break and not think about ICT for a day or two. One of the things I hope to be doing instead is catching up with blogs, columns and podcasts I've fallen behind on. Lucy Kellaway's is top of my list.
  • She writes about (bad) management. Bad management is bad management is bad management, wherever it appears. We can learn much from the example of those who get it wrong.
  • She produces a podcast as well as a column (one is a spoken version of the other), thereby straddling two of my categories.

What I especially like about Kellaway's work is that it cuts straight to the quick, and is fearless. I don't know what it's like in other fields, but in education a lot of people are frightened to point out the emperor's new clothes in case it turns out to be, in the memorable phrase of one of my previous line managers, a 'career-limiting statement'.

Whether giving answers in her 'agony aunt' column called 'Dear Lucy', nominating businesses for her annual Twaddle Awards or in her weekly column/podcast, Kellaway slices through the BS in a witty, acerbic style.

Thanks to her, I recently discovered David Thorne's blog, which is hilarious (read the email exchange headed 'Please design a logo for me. With pie charts.', unless you are of a sensitive nature: the language gets a bit fruity).

Business leaders are lucky (although they may not think so) to have Lucy Kellaway. I'm not aware of anybody who performs the same role in education since Ted Wragg died (there's a link to a collection of his articles in my Amazon Books page).

It's slightly frustrating that you have to register on the Financial Times website to be able to read more than 2 articles a month - and slightly bizarre too given that you can subscribe to the feed readers of her column and podcast. You'll find her on the Lucy Kellaway page. I don't think you'll be disappointed.