What do County Battery Services Want From Employees

The most watched Ted Talk is by Sir Ken Robinson entitled Do Schools Kill Creativity?  Sir Ken’s suggests that to attend the first schools was very expensive so the only people that could afford to attend were in business in some way or another, hence the important lessons were English and Mathematics. Art and music were much further down the list and the structure is still the same today.  

Brazilian entrepreneur Ricardo Semler has set up several schools in his home country called Lumiar that are different from the normal. His goal is to create an environment for wisdom he says not to do specific things that are available in 30 seconds from GoogleThe process works on threads how do we express ourselves? How do we change? How do we measure ourselves? What don’t we know? They have one person who is  a teacher who knows the children their interests their culturethey make sure they find masters from all walks of life it may be a painter a violinist and has them teach the childrenBecause these masters are passionate about their subject and the children are interested in the subject the learning is very effective. If you were learning about brick laying then you would have to include mathematics in the lesson because it is relevant and the child can see that. Measured against the other schools in Brazil the schools get almost double the national average in results. 


County Battery Services run a system of continual improvement called two second lean. The system promotes quality and efficiency and the system develops people.  The directors of the company have recently toured Japan on a study mission as the experts in Lean Manufacturing are in Japan  to help the company move into the manufacture of Lithium Batteries in the UK. Whist there a school was visited the children were at lunch. They ate all the food they had been given there was no waste. We were told that they should not take the food if they did not want it. The older children served the younger ones and the whole room was tidied and cleaned by the children. After lunch the children cleaned the school with mops and brushes, they all cleaned the older children supervised the younger ones. The older children were learning to be leaders they were all learning respect. 

One of the great minds of lean was W Edwards Deming Educators look at Deming’s 14 points and think they only apply to business I believe it applies to all organisations. 

  1. Create constancy of purposeDevelop a mission statement and make sure that everyone in the organisation knowhow they contribute to the mission  
  2. Adopt the new philosophy. Make sure that there is quality in everything from teaching to exercise books. To achieve this quality a greater cooperation is needed ask questions like what can the teacher and students do to make the learning experience better? 
  3. Stop depending on mass inspections. Exams and tests should be kept to a minimum the quality should be built in. Tests only stop bad quality product from hitting the market. The focus should be on getting the process and the product rightHaving a student study then fail a test is a failure by all parties 
  4. Do not conduct business on cost aloneMake sure that in all areas quality products and services are procured. 
  5. Improve constantly and forever. Are your customers (the studentshappier than they were last term if not find out why and fix the situation. If the answer is yes, then look at the process and find what made it so then encourage innovation but incremental improvements 
  6. Training. Quality management training is essential but CPD is necessary to continue the improvement in quality 
  7. Implement leadership Not management leadership be a coach and a teacher not a judge or overseer  
  8. Eliminate Fear in an educational setting fear is often a big factor in performance, If the organisation is filled with fear suggestions for improvement will not be suggested, problems will not be reported   
  9. Break down the barriers between departments encourage cooperation not competition between departments there is only one team and that should be working together 
  10. Get rid of unclear slogansRemember that people are not the problem the process is if the process is wrong you will get defects  
  11. Eliminate management by objectives KPI and management by numbers is detrimental to quality. Under this type of management, the focus is just targeted at those few outcomes sacrificing others and often taking shortcuts to achieve targets  
  12. Remove barriers to pride of workmanship. Pride is a strong motivator giving students a say in how things are run or asking their opinion will help grow that pride 
  13. Implement education and self-improvement An organisation needs good people to make the organisation improve the people need to improve 
  14. Make transformation everyone’s job. To implement a Lean system it should come from the top down if the CEO MD or Head Teacher is not interested then the project will fail. 

 In our school system we have a MP who will be Education Secretary in 6 months he could be transport secretary, mostly they have only ever done politics I don’t think most of them know a lot about either business or education I would like them to keep out of it. 

What do we want at County Battery Services, respectful young people who are happy to make change for the better, who aren’t afraid to fail admit that failure learn from the failure and have another go, who want to improve and develop that one day they can with our help become tomorrow’s leaders 


Tax is very taxing

Here is one that may raise some controversy and it is about tax and the amount of different ones. I think that the reason there are so many is so that nobody really knows how much tax they are paying. Because we live in a nanny state the politicians might feel that it would not be good for every one the know the full amount.

As some of you know we at County Battery Services practice 2 second lean which is a system of continuous improvement which looks at ways to reduce waste.  There are  too many taxes and licenses in the UK which is really  inefficient. You may say “but it does create jobs!”  unfortunately these jobs don’t create wealth for the country they are an extra expense which costs everyone more money. Imagine you could harness the brilliance of these tax people to work on projects to create wealth instead of the opposite.

We continue to hear speculation of all the bad things that will occur after Brexit, believe me, nobody knows what will happen. Pay no heed to these soothsayers if we as a country can become efficient then the world will once again will be our oyster.

So why do we don’t just have one tax? Lets have VAT at a high rate and get rid of the income tax car tax smoking tax all the rest. The country has a high rate of employment at the  moment and allegedly lots of people will leave our shaws at Brexit so the people who work in the tax field should be good for jobs

I am really interested  in your views will my system work?

Patriotism: Why only once every 4 years?

I must own up to the fact that I really don’t like football. It may have been because I was never good enough to make the school team so I lost interest. That does not mean I don’t want England to win!

I am English and very proud of that fact and also a citizen of the United Kingdom of Britain and Northern Ireland.

I somehow think we have it wrong. We in England only seem to get flags out at football matches. Why not celebrate on the 23rd April? A bank holiday marches parties pomp and ceremony about all that is English. The Irish are good at it, they even exported Paddies day to the U.S.

We at County Battery Services make sure there is a flag flying at our head office everyday, either the Union flag, George Cross or County Flag. We invite you to do the same and shout for England not just for the football.


Day 15 Rhine Tandem Tour Hull to Mansfield and Summary

We travelled somewhere in the region of 855 miles from the Oberalp pass in Switzerland to the ferry at Rotterdam. We then had a further 79 miles from Hull to home in Mansfield. A total of 935 miles.

We had booked a suite on the ferry which was great.

We got off the ferry and headed south on Cycle Route one and country lanes as far as Retford where we stopped at Mamma Guisi’s Italian Snack Bar and Deli. We had great food and drinks and carried on to Ollerton when I realised I had lost my phone when I called it I had left it at the restaurant the owner offered to look after it for me, nice man.

To round up; we had a great time, the further we rode the easier it seemed to be.

We didn’t use our towels and I didn’t use my jumper although the weather was good. We had very little rain.

The cycle paths and the motorists in the countries we passed through were far superior to those in the UK Following the EV15 signs was some times difficult especially in the cities. We used a combination of google maps Garmin and the Rhine Route book by Mike Wells.

We set to do 65 miles a day it would have been better to allow some rest days in case of breakdowns or illness. Jane and I had not tackled anything like this before and did normally 50 miles per week

We met lots of people who were doing 10 to 30 miles a day and or using battery power the route can be tackled by most levels of cyclist. We have a touring Tandem a Dawes Galaxy Twin.

Racing bikes are not really suitable, a hybrid or mountain bike is better as some of the routes are on poor ground.

Our Honeymoon was the most I have ever packed into a holiday. My wife and I were together almost constantly for 18 days, we came home smiling but make sure you are happy with your stoker.

We would both like to thank Phil Dobson and Martyn Knox for delivering our cycle to Switzerland. Anna and Josh for help with the flights. The guests that attended our wedding and contributed to our honeymoon fund. The support we have received from friends on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Mansfield and Ashfield 2020, Hucknall 41 Club and Hucknall Round Table, the Team at County Battery Services who did an excellent job without me. Dave and Angela for looking after Basil.

Lots of people shout to us “she’s not peddling” talking to another tandem rider he said he got similar remarks but the best one was “buy her a bike of her own you tight git!”

I have made a compilation I hope you will enjoy

if you are thinking of doing a tandem tour and would like more information please get in touch, we are happy to help.

Day 14 Tandem Rhine Tour Rotterdam to P and O Ferry Port

We have covered somewhere in the region of 850 miles from near the source of the Rhine at the Oberalpp pass following to Rotterdam.

Yesterday we did some sight seeing in Rotterdam although there are not many old buildings, possibly because of the bombing attacks during the war.

The maritime museum is interesting.

Batteries for all these items can be purchased from County Battery Services.

There are the Cube Houses.

The pencil building.

A Dutchman told me the Market Hall is the best building in the whole of the Netherlands.

We had breakfast on the top floor of the Marriott.

We left Rotterdam and headed for the ferry port.

it is an easy ride of about 20 miles, we went under a The Rhine through a tunnel.

Eventually back along the Rhine.

And to the Ferry Terminal.

We were told we could check in at 3.00pm and board the ferry at 5.00pm last check in 7.00pm sails at 9.00pm. There is a pub at the terminal for lunch.

We boarded the ferry and found our room wow!

We paid £269 for a suite with breakfast and Dinner included and the sailing.

Day 13 Tandem Rhine Tour Vienen to Rotterdam

Another scorching day and a shorter run into Rotterdam, only about 40 miles today.

We weave our way along canals and houses one of which is built on the site of a moated fort. To Nieuwpoort for a break.

We carried on towards Rotterdam to see nesting boxes for ducks and back to the river at Kinderdijk where there is the largest concentration of windmills in Holland.

The ride into Rotterdam was really good, better than all the cities we have encountered so far.

We are booked into the 5 Star Marriott with its tired and dated rooms. £208 is a rip off but it was the only hotel we could find when tired that would lock our bike away. Rotterdam is renowned for bike theft, it is worth researching hotels that can store them for you.

Day 12 Tandem Rhine Tour Millingen an der Rijn to Vienen via Arnhem

We now have only two more nights and probably 130 miles to cover to the ferry terminal. We decide to have a reasonable push of about 60 miles to Vienen.

From our lodgings we were only 100 yards to the ferry for the start of our day the further we got into Holland the more we liked it.

We soon came to Arnhem which is famous for the Second World War battle which took place there. There are museums, statues, and sadly graves to remind us.

If you want to buy a Tank battery click the link. The ride from Arnhem was really pleasant with thatched cottages and tree lined avenues.

There were some great fruit stalls on the way, we bought strawberries and cherries picked that morning.

the cycle paths here are the best we have yet encountered. Along these roads we heard quite a commotion if your Battery croaked


We cycled on to Wijk bin Duurstede and saw our first Dutch windmill of the trip.

We carried on to Vianen to the Van Der Valk hotel, £150 per night including breakfast. With a pool, a spar and a massive bed.

Day 11 Tandem Rhine Tour Duisburg to Xenten and on to Millingen an der Rijn

A cool and overcast morning as we left Duisburg. We have now covered just under 700 miles from our start in Switzerland. The first part of the journey was on block paving roads and was quite uneventful.

Until we came to the lovely town of Xenten, the only town in Germany that starts with an X.

We have only seen 7 Tandem’s on the whole of the journey and the only other English we have met are two men in Cologne.

I am amazed how many people cycle on Ebikes (if you need your battery reconditioned call County)

We followed the Rhine on and came to Wunderland, a nuclear power station that was built just before the Chernobyl disaster and never commissioned. It has now been turned into a pleasure park

We cycled on to Grieth and stopped for coffee and cake.

A few miles on we crossed the Dutch border to reach Millingen An der Rijin. We were very pleasantly surprised when we saw the accommodation.

We had only seen two more thatched cottages on the whole trip they were in Holland. We were greeted by our host Jenny who showed us inside and gave us tea and biscuits.

Following The book The Rhine Cycle Route along the EV15

The cost is €68 including breakfast, Jenny even did our laundry Bed and Breakfast.

Breakfast was great Jenny even asked us if we would like to make sandwiches for our journey

Day 10 Rhine Tandem Tour Cologne to Duisburg via Düsseldorf

This morning we awoke to bright sunshine and then had to find a cycle repair shop for our Tandem’s damaged rear wheel.

Google was helpful but my poor German was not fortunately. The lady at reception at the Park Inn Raddison Hotel phoned them and translated.

We went to Schneider who said that they were really busy and asked if we could come back at 3.00pm.

We explained that we had to get to Duisburg and the boss mended it himself. Excellent service with a smile.

We then went back to the Park Inn Raddison, left our tandem locked to a window, collected our belongings and when we came out, NO TANDEM.

We thought it had been stolen until one of the staff came out and said that the director of the hotel does not like bikes in that area so he had taken the window apart and moved the cycle. I am sure it would have been easier to put up a sign!

We cycled out of Cologne.

We were really impressed with Cologne Cathedral pictured above, the Route was really quite uneventful. We decided to stop at Landgasthaus for coffee and cakes, be aware you can’t have cake until after 2.00 pm which made me laugh.

We then caught a ferry across the Rhine.

And onwards to Düsseldorf we had been advised to eat along the river bank and not head into town. Good advice


We then carried on to Duisburg it was quite difficult to follow the Rhine route signs and Duisburg is not the most salubrious locations.

We stopped in a B&B Hotel, clean with air con, very basic, €70.

Found a vegetarian and vegan restaurant only 500 metres away, amazing, called LoLu.

This is Seitan Curry €13.90.

Day 9 Rhine Tandem Tour Koblence to Cologne

We left our hotel in Koblence and headed back to the Rhine, taking in some of the sights of Koblence.

The point where the Mosel and Rhine meet there is a massive statue.

we carried on along the Rhine with great views.

We travelled along to Andernach.

Then up to Remagen we sat at the side of the Rhine, there are many cafes and enjoyed a coffee and view.

The currents were strong, we were amused by how hard the rowers needed to work against the tide

From here we cycled down the river to Bonn, we did not pass through but stayed by the Rhine. We were hoping to find a cafe for lunch but were disappointed, we eventually turned up into the city and called at a burger bar. It may have been better if we had taken extra time to explore but we were not impressed with our views of Bonn.

There were not many more cafes along the Rhine until we got to Wessling.

From here there were good views back to Bonn.

And forward to Cologne.

The cycle paths are really good on Cologne, the cars, walkers and cyclists seem to be split up really well.

We have booked in the 4 star Park Inn Radison, €71 without breakfast.

We went over some tree roots just before we got there and buckled the back wheel. We have disabled the back brake and the bike works ok we have a rear disk brake too.

Going to explore Cologne now, look out for us tomorrow.