The Friday Round-Up

Last Updated Jun 27, 2008 1:47 PM EDT

177,000 people, 100,000 acres, 700 acts, 80 stages and 3,000 loos, rain forecast all weekend -- it must be Glastonbury.

Now in its 28th year, it's also the perfect example of a sustainable business and rare proof of good project management in action. An audit last year found that it cost £21.2m to stage, but made £52m in revenue, says Supply Management.

Main costs The acts: £2.5m
Staffing: £1m
Clean up: £1m
Donations to charity: £1.5m

What it does really well
Buys locally Over half of 2007's £20.2m spend went to suppliers in the south west and £4.5 specifically to the Mendip region where the festival is held. Local suppliers also keep 800 festival stallholders from running out of stock.

Uses its trusted supplier network It encourages traders to use Glastonbury's recommended suppliers in a virtuous circle that grows stronger year on year.
Manages waste It composts post-festival waste and shipped the five tonnes of wellies left behind to farmers in Senegal. In partnership with Milletts, it's giving out £400,000 of biodegradeable tent pegs made of potato starch.

Uses volunteers Music fans will probably be happy to don a green helmet and act as a nuisance monitor if it means access to the festival.

Seeks out low-energy options A wind-powered phone generator offers free, green re-charging for festival goers.

Controls the numbers Gripes aside, the ticket cost (£155 this year) and limits on how many each individual could buy keep it sustainable.
Onto another British institution, Wimbledon, where Andy Roddick and Maria Sharapova did not so much crash out as as limp out. Lindsay Davenport didn't even get to play, but reveals on Reuters that she's lasted longer than most because she's 'stepped off the treadmill'.

The piece is about tennis stars, but it offers useful tips on avoiding burnout.

1. Take breaks. You'll come back re-enthused with what you're doing.
2. Control your calendar. Tennis players are dictated to by gruelling schedules. You may have similar external commitments over which you have no power. But you can speak up if things become unreasonable. Chances are if you're struggling, your peers will be, too.
3. Monitor new employees' workloads and build up gradually to higher demands. If that's not possible, relieve them of tasks that are time-consuming but capitalise less on their core skills.

More tips on avoiding burnout
With a car metaphor For 'solopreneurs' For professionals and knowledge workers

Maybe Gordon Brown is approaching burnout. As British institutions go, he's way behind in the popularity stakes.

Another brickbat goes to Dumfriesshire meat-processing business Brown Brothers, accused of Dickensian employment practices when it transpired that employees need permission to use the loo. Trade union Unite prevailed upon Tesco, which Brown Bros supplies, to weigh in, an insight into the supply chain relationship and the second approach Tesco's had from the unions this week.

In another legal minefield, Tim Worstall picks up on the Equality Bill and suggests there are good reasons why women are paid less than men. I'm not convinced, but that's hardly a surprise.

Lahle Wolfe at Women in business, meanwhile, argues that customer psychology is a better predictor of buyers than statistical data.

Inflection Point offers a link to a handy site of 'how to' videos for Microsoft Office's software, while the UK's own Nancy Cruikshank has created a whole site, Videojug, about how to do useful things such as 'Be the Perfect Girlfriend/Boyfriend' and 'Build a Mentos and Diet Coke Booby Trap'.

More life instructions from a review of 'The Adventures of Johnny Bunko', a manga-style book with a serious message about how a change of attitude could open the way to better job satisfaction.
Here's a bit to consider.

'Lesson 2: Think strengths, not weaknesses.
For one reason or another, all of us are better at some things than others and find more satisfaction in some things than others. A life spent ignoring our strengths so we can "better ourselves" by improving in those areas where we're weakest is no life at all -- it's a one-way ticket to perpetual dissatisfaction with who we are.'
Ask a Manager offers nine tips on starting as you mean to go on in a job and the Workplace Blog demonstrates how social media's shifting the goal-posts for HR profession.

Last, a laudable sounding but ill-starred idea: should a CEO be ploughing his pay back into the business? What sort of mixed messages must that deliver to the management team?