I recently found myself carrying out a bit of research in the ten minutes I had waiting at a bus stop. Not at all scientific or statistically significant, it was probably more of a intense ten minute observation of people to be fair. On the same bit of pavement where I stood, there lay in… Continue reading Looking away
This article is about something very close to my heart: Scotland. September 18 is momentous for me in two ways: it will be 50 years to the day that I arrived in this world, in the beautiful city of Edinburgh, and it is also the day when Scotland decides whether to become independent or remain a part… Continue reading It’s about power
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
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
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
“Many people live in the hallucination that they can truly lead other people without being able to lead themselves and this is pure fantasy. It is much easier to try to change other people and not being willing to change ourselves. This exercise of authenticity is very much needed if we truly want to inspire,… Continue reading New Models of Leadership?
The cosmos is a complex, and sometimes confusing, place. Every three or four months, the planet Mercury goes retrograde. What this means is that if you track its movement in the sky, it will appear to move backwards for about 3 weeks and then it continues its forward course. In ancient Greece, the planets used… Continue reading In transition
The last thing a fish notices is the water. I’ve said it before, and once again am reminded of it in my work with clients. How do managers ever effect real change when they are steeped in the same fetid water that holds the rest of the system back from better performance? I’m in the… Continue reading Change and the mystery of systems
I have been inspired by Paul Slater’s excellent article this week, Getting Teams Working, to reflect on some work I’ve been doing recently with a team. A good chunk of my training and experience has been in group dynamics and there is direct relevance of this body of knowledge to organisational life. In the workplace,… Continue reading What is going on in my team?
W. Edwards Deming is quoted as saying, “Experience by itself teaches nothing.” In a fast-paced world where we are bombarded with more and more stimuli and we are called upon to carry out multiple tasks, this is truer now than ever before. Our lives are filled with more and varied experiences which, by themselves, leave… Continue reading The pricelessness of reflection