The insight illusion

Confucius is quoted as saying, “When you meet someone better than yourself, turn your thoughts to becoming his equal. When you meet someone not as good as you are, look within and examine yourself.” …and yet we reinforce our “us vs them” in response to real human tragedies in Syria, Paris, San Bernardino.  It’s hard… Continue reading The insight illusion

Your Work is Your Work

Charles Darwin is apocryphally quoted as saying, “It’s not the biggest, the brightest, or the best that will survive, but those who adapt the quickest.”  While he may not have actually said it, the sentiment stands. It is therefore vital that we develop ways and practices that assist us to learn about ourselves.  Much has… Continue reading Your Work is Your Work

Counter-acting the Stockholm Syndrome

Stockholm Syndrome is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages display empathy and sympathy for their captors, often developing positive feelings towards them and defending them. I’m often fascinated by how people, when they walk through the door of their workplaces, adopt behaviours akin to the symptoms of Stockholm Syndrome.  Despite knowing in our hearts and… Continue reading Counter-acting the Stockholm Syndrome

Eliminate targets

“Systems thinkers know a number of counter-intuitive truths.”  John Seddon One of these counter-intuitive truths is that “when you manage costs, your costs go up. When you learn to manage value, your costs come down.”  There is the business case for systems thinking, if one was needed. Thanks go to David Wilson through his fitforrandomness… Continue reading Eliminate targets

Manage the system, not silos

I’ve heard that if you cut a hologram into pieces, each piece contains all the information of the whole.  I’ve never tried it, but I like the idea that each part is a microcosm of the whole thing. In working with three senior teams in three entirely different sectors over the past month, I’ve heard… Continue reading Manage the system, not silos

Do we really need performance management?

Individual performance management is rubbish.  Not only that, it’s patronising and disabling.  I’ve said it before.  When people aren’t performing, it’s extremely probable that it’s not a behavioural problem; it’s the system.  It’s not that performance management as a concept has been sullied because it’s been ineptly carried out.  It’s just that it’s pointless and… Continue reading Do we really need performance management?

A Matter of Life and Death

Why would the whole of the Universe be a complex, self-organising and interdependent system, and a business be a top-down, controlled machine?  Why would the entire Universe be subject to the laws of Nature, and business, not?  It’s almost as some businesses they think they exist in some bubble, where the laws of nature are… Continue reading A Matter of Life and Death