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

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?

I am the Walrus

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

The Power of We

Interesting what can spark an idea and create insight.  Staring at the full moon the other night, I found myself marvelling, yet again, that we’ve been there.    That led me to consider the languaging: “We’ve been to the moon.”  We?  We’ve been there?  In fact, from Armstrong to Cernan, only 12 white American men have… Continue reading The Power of We

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