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

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)

Change and the mystery of systems

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

What if the boss is a psychopath?

In the last few weeks, I have come across two fascinating pieces, both of which stimulated some thinking about organisational life.  One was about empathy, the other about psychopathy in bosses.  I have drawn on these two in the writing of this article and I hope that you will find some value here. In my… Continue reading What if the boss is a psychopath?

How ample is your toolbag?

As the old saying goes, if you have only a hammer, you see only nails.  Frankly, I’d much rather have the plumber who opens his or her toolbag and has the whole range of tools necessary, rather than the one who brings only a hammer and uses it for everything.  It’d be a pretty botched… Continue reading How ample is your toolbag?

Feedback or noise?

I’ve been noticing just lately that this word ‘feedback’ keeps coming up.  Specifically, it’s being used in the context of letting someone know something about their behaviour or attitude.  This isn’t an uncommon word and in workplaces everywhere, people are being encouraged to give ‘feedback’ to each other…..Managers to staff….co-workers to co-workers….in fact, people all… Continue reading Feedback or noise?

What kind of glass is your ceiling made of?

Horrified again to read of some old dinosaur spouting rubbish about women in the workplace and why he prefers not to hire them.  He implies that if you are a woman, don’t bother, because that simple fact alone means that you will not progress very far in any career you attempt to pursue, since you… Continue reading What kind of glass is your ceiling made of?