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Walking gives your ideas legs

Creative thinking is as easy as a walk in the park — or a ride on a train. Executives struggling to solve knotty problems should step away from their desks and ask the street for answers, according to David Pearl, co-founder of Street Wisdom, which runs learning sessions on the roads and footpaths of several cities.

“Bring to mind the question that you want answered, that you want a fresh perspective on,” he said. “Keep it in mind as you wander, and you notice what happens. It is a way of using everyday life to answer things . . . and of taking the streets you hurry through on the way to work and using them to learn something new.”

Read more in The Sunday Times

Give the leadership team six appeal

Bigger is not better at the top of charities: the strongest leadership teams have an average of six members, at least half of whom are appointed from outside, according to a new report.

Top teams also tend to be more ethnically diverse and better-educated, with more than two-thirds holding postgraduate degrees, says the report, Building Outstanding Leadership Teams.

“Size is really important,” said Mike Hudson, one of the authors. “Our evidence suggests that, above a certain size, teams are less effective. Anything above eight starts to get much harder to manage . . . while below four or five you don’t get the diversity you need to grapple with all the issues.”

Read more in The Sunday Times

The Times SME Hub: cash is king

Take a look at The Times SME Hub for its latest entrepreneurial special, which this month focuses on managing cash flow. In it:

  • Sell A Door Theatre Company’s founder explains the importance of keeping suppliers on side;
  • Exquisite Handmade Cakes’ owner advises entrepreneurs never to take their eye off the numbers, no matter how big the business gets;
  • The chief executive of Thomson Ecology talks about the gap between winning new work and getting paid for it;
  • Briery Kindergarten’s owner explains how a third party can help encourage customers to pay their bills;
  • The Training Room’s founder talks about the value of maximising flexibility, even if it costs a little more;
  • The director of Ambic furniture explains what happened when a bank withdrew his overdraft facility;
  • Daily invoicing helps Environcom keep on top of cash flow, says its chief executive; and
  • The managing director of Bullion By Post explains how he manages his main product’s price volatility.