What is systems thinking? (Part II)

Part II (Thinking Bigger) I reckon that we cannot truly appreciate Georges Seurat’s painting “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte” by examining the individual dots he used to compose this masterpiece.  It is not the sum of all its dots; it is the poetic relationships between them all that bring the… Continue reading What is systems thinking? (Part II)

What is systems thinking? (Part I)

Part one (A Way In) There are two fish tanks, sitting side by side.  The fish in tank #1 glances over and notices tank #2.  He shouts across to the fish in tank #2, “Hey, how’s the water?”  The fish in tank #2 shouts back, “Wow!  Yea…water….I’ve never really noticed it before!  It’s great, how’s… Continue reading What is systems thinking? (Part I)

Beyond empathy

As a sociatrist, I’m passionate about people in business developing greater ability to stand in each others’ shoes.  It’s one of the cornerstones of the work we do at Quantum Shift and is central to nurturing greater health in organisations.  This is often given the name “empathy”.  I bristle a little, however, when I hear… Continue reading Beyond empathy

Vanguard Leadership (or The Importance of Being our own Best Friend)

Is there room in the world for a CEO who wears their heart on their sleeve? Absolutely, undoubtedly, unequivocally, yes!  Such a leader is a vanguard leader.  We were recently in conversation with a CEO who wondered aloud if there is a place for someone like him; someone who, in my estimation, expresses how he… Continue reading Vanguard Leadership (or The Importance of Being our own Best Friend)

Stop de-motivating people

Fresh from running a workshop on responsible leadership, I’m feeling buoyant that the participants entered into the conversation with gusto and were open to the idea that humans engage in their work because they seek out meaning, mastery and autonomy.  To a large extent, I was not only preaching to the converted but taking the… Continue reading Stop de-motivating people

New Models of Leadership?

“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?

In transition

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 Moral Business

In “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”, Big Daddy bellows in exasperation, “Ain’t nothing more powerful than the odour of mendacity.”  Recently diagnosed with cancer and fed up with the secrets and lies of family life, he begins to see that there is nothing lost in airing the truth.  Perhaps many of us when faced… Continue reading The Moral Business

Don’t play games with people

One of the most satisfying contracts I’ve had involved working with a group of team leaders on a manufacturing line back in 2005.  We had an introductory tour of the factory floor before we engaged with them and I saw what you would expect to see on an assembly line.  Articles being put together in… Continue reading Don’t play games with people

Drive out fear

Business leaders: when I use the word “culture”, do you screw up your face and say “Love and peace, man”?  I’m no aging hippie; in any case, I was born 10 years too late to be part of that movement.  Business culture is no wiffly-waffly discretionary add-on.  It’s central to effectiveness and business improvement.  I… Continue reading Drive out fear