A wise teacher once suggested that it requires the same amount of courage to do something difficult, whether you do it instantly or leave it until later. “Courage in the first instance, not the tenth.”. In a working world that is increasingly relational, where what we do depends on dealing with others, negotiating with others,… Continue reading Courage in the first instance
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
I have been interested in the furore that has followed Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer banning workers from working from home. I’ve also read that Hubert Joly, the new chief at struggling retailer Best Buy has also just scrapped their Results Only Work Environment (ROWE) for their corporate employees. Corporate staff who, until now, have been… Continue reading How can we create new patterns of inter-relating at work?
“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
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
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?
Know how you have an experience and some song lyrics pop into your head that seem to have been written especially for it? “Expert textpert, choking smoker, don’t you think the joker laughs at you?” Parallel process. Happens to me all the time when I’m working. I suddenly notice that what the client is doing,… Continue reading I am the Walrus
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
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?
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