Welcome to Flip Chart Fairy Tales!

What is Flip Chart Fairy Tales? 

As it says at the top. My reflections on business, the world of work and the general organisational crap that we all have to put up with in the course of our employment.

And you are…?

Rick. At the moment, I’m running this blog on my own but I intend to invite some other well-informed commentators to join me if I can find anyone else stupid interested enough.

How come you know so much about it then?

I have worked as a line executive, a Human Resources manager, a project manager and, more recently, a business consultant, in most industry sectors. Having been inside more than thirty organisations across Europe and the Middle East, I reckon I know a thing or two about how companies work – or don’t work.

I also studied organisations for my master’s degree, so I can spout on about some of the theoretical stuff with a reasonable level of confidence.

So, are you going to tell us a bit more about yourself, Rick?

Of course not! Do you think I’m completely bloody stupid? Some of the stuff I’m going to write here may well upset one or two people. If they know who I am, even the thick ones might be able to put two and two together and identify themselves in the stories.

This could result in me ending up in court or in a pool of blood outside a London pub, depending on the preferred modus operandi of the offended party.

Well, why Flip Chart Fairy Tales then?

Because most corporate drivel starts off either on flip charts or Powerpoint. I thought about calling this blog Death By Powerpoint but that was just too depressing.

Update – July 2010

Hasn’t this blog got a bit serious?

Well, yes it has. When I started this blog in 2007 I wasn’t sure what I was going to write and I intended most of it to be light-hearted. But much of what has happened in the business world since then is beyond parody. The banking crash and the subsequent financial crisis are such fine examples of collective corporate idiocy that it is difficult to joke about them. As the crisis and the recession played out, I also noticed that a lot of commentators were talking rubbish. I got so annoyed that I had to start putting them right which is why this blog suddenly got very serious.

So isn’t the title a little frivolous for the content now?

I suppose it is but something else very strange has happened over the past three years. Flip Chart Fairy Tales has acquired a steadily increasing number of dedicated readers. I think that is because the subject matter of this blog – how people behave in organisations, how they are managed, how they are rewarded etc. – has gone mainstream. The financial crash and the public spending cuts have provoked a lot of interest in how organisations work and how management decisions are made. Presumably, that is what has pushed up this blog’s readership. I never thought, when I started this blog, that I would end up writing stuff for proper newspapers but that indicates the level of interest there now is in the way that people and organisations are managed. A lot of people know Flip Chart Fairy Tales and come here looking for comment, so there’s no point in changing the title now.

Hasn’t giving interviews and writing articles blown your cover?

Yes it has but a few people had already sussed me out anyway. That said, I still keep this blog separate from my company stuff as I don’t want my long-suffering colleagues to be tarred with any of my jaundiced views.

And anyway, people have told me that Flip Chart Rick is now a bit of a ‘thing’.

So has anyone sued you or beaten you up outside a pub yet?

No, but there is still time.


23 Responses to About

  1. Great stuff. May I please have permission to use chunks of your article about Toxic Talent in my new book? It is called Who Are Your Best People? and is about identifying, developing, retaining, recruiting – and killing – talent. I won’t use your material if you would rather I didn’t, so please let me know. I have Bob Sutton’s McKinsey Quarterly article and will, of course, cite it and his wonderful book.
    And by the way, would you like to write a book with me? It might be a bit of fun.

  2. jonathan says:

    Great stuff – we have added you to our blogroll


    As you may guess – Sharp End Training – we like to get straight to the point also

  3. John Hollon says:

    I added you to my blog roll at The Business of Management at http://www.workforce.com

  4. Idetrorce says:

    very interesting, but I don’t agree with you

  5. Pingback: Sunday HR Shout Out: Flip Chart Fairy Tales « Punk Rock Human Resources

  6. Pingback: HRM Today - Blog Archive » Sunday HR Shout Out: Flip Chart Fairy Tales

  7. Rampancy says:

    Oy! Why the themechange?

  8. Rick says:

    Because some people said the font was too small and it was quite difficult to read.

    Not sure I’m entirely happy with this one either so I might fiddle around with it some more.

  9. planetpmc says:

    Good work. I feel like giving up now!


    Best wishes

  10. Guru says:

    Guru would just like to say he’s impressed by the seriously weighty, big and heavy stuff Mr Rick.

    However, Yours Truly shall be resolutely focused on delivering a more light-hearted, if not downright questionable and unbalanced approach to dealing with the problems and challenges of the world of work (and leisure).


  11. Rick says:

    And I bet it will be as entertaining as ever. Good to see you back my friend.

    You up for another sesh in the Grapes sometime?

  12. Hey!

    I just a hilarious collection of true, passive-aggressive office notes – I think your readers will love these and they’d be a great lead into a post! Here’s the link:


    Thanks for running such a great site!

  13. RSS feed request to Before It’s News


    I’m the Business editor at Before It’s News. Our site is a People Powered news platform with over 2.5 million visits a month and growing fast.

    We would be honored if we could republish your blog RSS feed in our Business category. Our readers need to read what Flip Chart Fairy Tales has to say.

    Syndicating to Before It’s News is a terrific way spread the word and grow your audience. Many other organizations are using Before It’s News to do just that. We can have your feed up and running in 24 hours. I just need you to reply with your permission to do so. Please include the full name and email of the person who will be attached to the account, and let me know the name you want on the account (most people have their name or their blog name). Please also send a JPG of a picture or logo you would like to have on your profile.

    You can also have any text and/or links you wish appended to the end or prepended to the beginning of each of your posts on Before It’s News. Just email me the text and links that you want at the beginning and/or ending of each post. If you know html you can send me that. If not, just send me the text and a link to your site. It should be around 200 characters or less (not including links).

    You can, if you like, create a custom feed for Before It’s News that includes multiple links back to your blog or web site. We only require that RSS feeds include full stories, not partial stories. We don’t censor or edit work.

    Thank you,
    Chris Holehouse
    Editor, Before It’s News

  14. I have also added you to my blogroll. i work as an IT consultant in a HR outsourcing company, and i find this blog more than interesting. not to mention the post by seirra miller, that had me chuckling in my office chair!


  15. absolutelytrue says:

    Hi Rick,

    I saw this graphic on Facebook and thought it was a pretty good study of how NOT to be a manager.  Thought you’d like it.



  16. Michael Truby says:

    Hi “Rick”,

    I hope you are well.

    I don’t know if you are aware, but Cezaane On Demand have created a great new infographic listing the best UK HR blogs for 2013 and have included flipchartfairytales.wordpress.com as one of the top blogs. You can see the infographic here.

    Cezanne would like to share this infographic with as many people as possible and I thought as your blog is featured, you might want to publish the infograpgic yourself? The infographic comes in 2 sizes and I below are the embed codes.

    Small 470px:

    UK HR Twitter Trends 2013 from Cezanne OnDemand – HR Software for SMEs

    Large 940px

    UK HR Twitter Trends 2013 from Cezanne OnDemand – HR Software for SMEs.

    If you have any question please do not hesitate to get in touch. If you decide to publish the infographic it would be appreciated if you would let me know,

    Many thanks,


  17. Chris lock says:

    Discovered you’re blog today. Brilliant. This and Daily Mash should be on the curriculum.

  18. Sparks says:

    Could you please get “into” this. Everyone else is just taking his comments as gospel…


  19. kelly metcalf says:

    Post notification request

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