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

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

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?

How do we get to WE?

There is something in the air.  Call it my natural human tendency to find patterns in things, but two recent conversations with two different clients in two different cities have reminded me of two other completely different clients in two completely different countries.  The parallels are striking.  It could be my bias towards systems thinking,… Continue reading How do we get to WE?

It’s not a behavioural problem: it’s the system

Don’t ask a systems thinker for advice on managing performance or staff engagement.  They will probably say something pretty fruity and you’ll wind up frustrated by how fervently they trash conventional wisdom on the subject.  Of course performance, engagement, recruitment, they’re all connected, so your systems thinking friend will sound like a fruit loop because… Continue reading It’s not a behavioural problem: it’s the system

The certainty of uncertainty

Sometimes you read something that really strikes a chord.  I recently saw this quote from Kurt Vonnegut:  “We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”  In other times, I would read this and it would simply seem like a poetic truism, but I’m currently experiencing a number… Continue reading The certainty of uncertainty

What is systems thinking? (Part III)

Part III (Going Further) In Part II of this article, I suggested that if we remain wedded to a mis-placed set of thoughts and beliefs about business, we will end up asking the wrong questions.  We cleverly ask these questions from within our  old intellectual bubble, coming up with “new-and-improved” solutions to problems, however we… Continue reading What is systems thinking? (Part III)