Copernicus has been name-checked in a fair few articles I’ve read lately. Good thing too. Working with a client a couple years ago, we illustrated the concept of “shifting consciousness” with a story about Copernicus, our point being that to get to “WE”, to really get to WE, a shift in consciousness is required. We… Continue reading What does it take for us to work as a team?
“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
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
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?
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
I overheard a conversation recently where someone said in all seriousness, “In the new way of doing business, cooperation beats competition.” I was amused by the irony of the statement. We are infused with a competitive mindset from our earliest days on this planet, so it makes sense that the language in that statement would… Continue reading Cooperation beats competition
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
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
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
“It is poorly designed systems, not incompetent or unmotivated individuals that cause most organisational problems.” Peter Senge So what do you do when you have a senior team who walk out of an all-day strategy meeting, brimming with enthusiasm for the new ship you are steering and diaries now full of actions to undertake, only… Continue reading It’s the system