Strengths Finder 2.0 – Gallup

Strengths Finder 2.0 – Gallup

My Personal Strengths @dancourse

> 1 Strategic
> 2 Ideation
> 3 Relator
> 4 Includer
> 5 Significance

The book, Strengths Finder 2.0

We all like a good personality quiz, c’mon you’ve been tempted by a few Quizzes on your Facebook profile and Buzzfeed right? You hope they may reveal some insight and reflect some personal characteristics back at you whilst making you accept you may be more Hufflepuff than Gryffindor.

Well the Strengths Finder 2.0 by Gallup is a professional version of horoscopes / Buzzfeed questionaries for your working life. It offers you insight into your strengths, personality traits and supplies action plans.

The main drive for this “Strengths only approach” is the theory that your Effort multiplied by your Strengths will give you bigger gains than working tirelessly on your weaknesses for minimal gain.

Strengths X Effort = Maximum results

So ignore the weaknesses, multiply your talent and boss it.

I’ve done DISC profiles before with Inge, and I’ve had nearly a similar benefit from this. You get reaffirmation of your values back to you, but with this, it comes with dropping the baggage of your weaknesses and only aiming to take action on your Strengths.

The book, Strengths Finder 2.0

gitlab CI fail 128 and how to solve it

If you are seeing this, then it means an earlier test has spannered out so bad that it’s now preventing other tests from working.

This quickest way to un-block it is… ssh into the runner and delete the .git/index.lock! Then re-run and it should all clear out.


fatal: Unable to create '/home/admin/tmp/builds/runner-XXX/.git/index.lock': File exists.

If no other git process is currently running, this probably means a
git process crashed in this repository earlier. Make sure no other git
process is running and remove the file manually to continue.

Build failed with exit status 128]

What would spur the 500,000 into action?

There’s strength in numbers, but as I explored / mused recently in Vanity metrics, are the Labour membership numbers really that strong?

Recently on the Labour Party Facebook page there has been a flurry of polls and conversation. And it made me wonder where are the Labour Party’s touch points for debating and ultimately calling on us to take unified action? Do these conversations lead to people leaving their chairs and taking action?

We have 500,000 members, but at any one time can we spur more than 5% them into action?

Emails, my guess is that emails are the most reliable form of making initial contact with them majority of numbers, but I wonder if their resulting action/goal is actually even close to 10%?

The Facebook Page has apparently 600,000+ members, however any one discussion won’t see more than 200 interactions for a poll, or maybe 25 replies on a conversation.

Again, when we look at the ward meetings in certain CLP space, we see at best 10 from membership of 600, showing how few people actually take part. It seems this assumption may be true, according to Keith.


Is the party as strong as it actually believes it is? Following up on the vanity metrics post, are we in dire need of addressing our touch points for conversing, and ultimately leading to action.

I believe there’s strength in unified action, but if we aren’t all interacting in the same place and leaving our armchairs, maybe there isn’t that much strength stored up?

Is the party as strong as it actually believes it is?

Featured image from,

The Labour party and vanity metrics


After joining the Labour Party we are told we have 500,000 members which is a very exciting metric! However my experience tells me that’s partly a vanity metric (see Yes, the high number may make other people come join as it’s clearly a growing exciting movement, however, is “total members” a useful sum for the aim of, “preparing for power”?

500,000 members is a vanity metric for the Labour Party

The Labour party prides itself on being a party of action, able to rally people to go door knocking at a moments notice and join a march every weekend. However, I wonder how true is that really and what metrics would represent that? For a party of action, I suspect it’s a case of something similar to these,

  • number of members doing, “an action” for Labour each month
  • number of for those attending Ward meetings

Out of 500,000 members, how many will turn up at the doors? How many attend a ward meet? How many will frequently sit at a phone bank for the elections?

So how can we say, find out the actual numbers who can do actioning, too, increase those numbers frequently? Maybe head office have something on it, but I was just pondering our metrics to show if we really are, “preparing for power”.

Brexit bounce means Labour now has over half a million members

Creating Value from your Ward meeting

Just got my first post approved on the Labour Party Facebook Group, huzzah.

It’s to understand what other people see as good value activity in their regular ward meeting. Also, it’s to follow up on the top activities and comments to see if we can start eeking’ value from the meets.

Honestly I expect people to say they’d like to do more actionable activities and see JC occasionally (that’s what I want), however we’ll see!



My first Labour Ward meeting

In one word. Passionate.

In more than one word, that was well interesting. Lots of re-joined and new Labour members all packing into a room on a chilly autumn night. Everyone easily fired up after a few months of “no meetings please” from the NEC.

The director chap from Coventry Migrant centre started us off with his story about entering the UK and being, “sent to Cov” and enlightened us with all the work the centre is doing.

The main agenda briefly started out with intros, which quickly turned to JC which quickly turned to the next election, which quickly turned to Brexit and rounded down onto the local library and mass tax avoidance.

Crumbs. That’s a lot for 20 locals to be interested in.

Then it got me thinking. We all are here because we wanting to discuss national issues, however, what is the best value we can get from a ward meet?

what is the best value we can get from a ward meet?

Realistically we’re not going to change anything massive. So is it better we fill our evenings pursuing local affairs and national labour policies at a local level?

Either way, we’ve got passion and a certain pack of interests going, so I wonder how we can harness that?

Group work and the individual

I’ve been fortunate enough to be selected for some great training this month in LEAN and Warwick Uni’s flavour of it, SCD.

However a couple of the sessions really highlighted the difference between “working on your own first” or “starting in a group”.

When you’re sent off to do a group task on something new, you haven’t had to process the flow, the steps and the outcomes. Then trying to work it out together becomes a mix of people not really able to work together.

But when you give your attendees, time to work and process on their own before hitting the group, often the results are better as we’ve all processed on our own time how things work.

The 1st group event on a Training day is better preceded by some “own time”

After doing a bit of searching, Google Ventures agrees!

Meetings rarely offer individuals time to focus and think. Group brainstorms—where everyone shouts out ideas and builds off one another—can be fun, but in my experience, the strongest ideas always come from individuals.

Well isn’t that good.


2 new Laravel things I’m using

Just wanted to share these two simple things I’ve recently found for Laravel 5.3

1. Repository Generator

This packages just removed about half a day of setting up the backend CRUD per. Model / Entity. A few commands, follow the instructions and then boom, you’ve got a fully functional repository class.

Sure, I’d need to write my on Tests around it performing as “expected”, however, I now have a basic Interface and Abstract which I can use across different Models.

2. Laravel Collective “Custom Components”

Laravel Collective packages have been staple Laravel components for a while now, however I’ve never quite got to down all the docs (just whizzed on with the bits I need).

I’ve found the Custom Components part method. Before I’ve been creating a new “HTML Components” service class and linking up blade template files with that, however, now I can just keep it within the HTML Facade without any trouble. Much cleaner!

Dear United States, the United Kingdom would like to bend your lug-ole’ for a second…

Dear United States, the United Kingdom would like to bend your lug-hole for a min…

Just imagine for a minute you’re British. I know, I know, a painful way to start a blog post by donning an imaginary red-coat, but there’s good reason this time. I do pledge to reward you with Eagles, Freedom and Flags at the end. Honest guv’.

You’re gently supping your tea (recently recovered from some “Harbour” incident), you’re enjoying the warm cloudy weather and already looking forward to the next slither of sunlight that may appear this afternoon.

But that morning, your bowler hat is a little off, it’s bit knocked out of joint because the status quo of your life has been rather awkwardly changed and you’re heading to a weird and very un-certain future you didn’t want.

Some bloody chap who’s frankly “anti-establishment” and should be horrifically un-electable has just changed something major for you and your beloved Country. This chap, has just led your country into a world of racism and un-certainty.

Notice any similarities between the USA and UK yet?

It’s just weird because, your own side has had experts, facts, business leaders and sane people busy proving that the UK is better in the EU, telling us realistically how the UK will suffer if we leave and showing us facts about how we’re so much better in the EU.

However, something crazy just happened to us all. It was only marginal, but the crazy person’s side just won and we’re exiting the EU, you may know it as #brexit. That crazy “leader” who’s been bothering you all just marginally swayed a country to his xenophobic and previously un-electable ways…

Does this type of political person ring a bell with someone in your current politics? Someone, who no matter the awful things they say, they’re lauded as a breath of fresh air. No matter the un-proven lies they keep spouting they only seem to grow stronger? No matter how many facts there were, feelings rather than thruth won out… is something like that happening in the beloved United States too?

No matter how many facts there were, feelings rather than thruth won out…

We would hate for our wonderful allies to go through the pain of the mistake we’ve all made of “not doing enough” and just hoping your fellow citizens will vote your way. For us, we were a strong force, where United we stood, now divided.. we look like fools.

Also, in hindsight, it turns out we should have done more than just Facebook posts to my already converted online pals. Turns out I should have but a couple of quid (hard cash money cash) into the side I believed in. Turns out, that weekend there was a march in the city, we should have gone and increased the numbers. Looks like I should have knocked on doors. Whilst yes, we had facts, I’m afraid you may need to fight some fire with fire and appeal to people’s hearts too. Only presenting, “facts and experts” seems to naturally scare people and further enamour their feelings to ignore the facts and those people bullying them into thinking they are wrong.

So pretty much we should have done anything a little more. Because the win was only marginal (48.1% Remain, 51.9% Leave), but now we all have to live with the cloud over our head that is #Brexit.

Don’t make yourselves have to live under the cloud of rubbisheness’ we all now have to. I’d hate for you to wake up after the election, and the side you’ve voted for lost… marginally.

Now as promised my American chums, throw off the dusty red-coat and Queen’s taxes and enjoy a smattering of Eagles, Freedom and imgur 🙂 Just hand me back that tea and don’t do anything rash with it… we’ve already got a bruised nose over that one.

Now as promised… your Eagles of Freedom!

Birth of freedom

MRW I See That It’s July 4th

Don’t know why this isn’t on the front page on July 4th


The in-house Entrepeneur

Very pleased to share with you a recent win both of my team’s pitches have achieved in the Santander Digital Innovation Challenge.

Warwick Uni is putting some money where it’s mouth is and is sponsoring early stage ideas across the University to improve everyone’s working lives.

Both teams I put forward have won a cash prizes, and in February will be starting some early validation of ideas.

What are the ideas? Can’t say too much yet, but one is to disrupt an internal space rather than wait a large organisation to supply us with something (we will be doing validated learning to improve), the other is attempting to leverage some new tech to channel shift a team’s work load.

I’ve already said to much! But I’m glad we won so had to share something, more news in Feb 2017.