Courage in the first instance

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

What we need to learn

Bring to mind one of your best working moments.  One of those times when you felt on top of the world, when you were just ‘flowing’ or when you felt the warm glow of success.  It could have been when that new client signed up with you…..when you finally worked through a long-standing conflict with… Continue reading What we need to learn

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