Looking away

I recently found myself carrying out a bit of research in the ten minutes I had waiting at a bus stop.  Not at all scientific or statistically significant, it was probably more of a intense ten minute observation of people to be fair. On the same bit of pavement where I stood, there lay in… Continue reading Looking away

How can we create new patterns of inter-relating at work?

I have been interested in the furore that has followed Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer banning workers from working from home.  I’ve also read that Hubert Joly, the new chief at struggling retailer Best Buy has also just scrapped their Results Only Work Environment (ROWE) for their corporate employees.  Corporate staff who, until now, have been… Continue reading How can we create new patterns of inter-relating at work?

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?

A Matter of Life and Death

Why would the whole of the Universe be a complex, self-organising and interdependent system, and a business be a top-down, controlled machine?  Why would the entire Universe be subject to the laws of Nature, and business, not?  It’s almost as some businesses they think they exist in some bubble, where the laws of nature are… Continue reading A Matter of Life and Death

Leadership is an inside job

So the world didn’t end on December 21, surprise, surprise.  Here we are in 2013, all systems still intact.  I have heard some speak of the Mayan December 21 end-of-all-things-prediction not so much an end of the world, but more of an end of one cycle and the beginning of another.  An end of things-as-they-were.… Continue reading Leadership is an inside job

It’s not a behavioural problem: it’s the system

Don’t ask a systems thinker for advice on managing performance or staff engagement.  They will probably say something pretty fruity and you’ll wind up frustrated by how fervently they trash conventional wisdom on the subject.  Of course performance, engagement, recruitment, they’re all connected, so your systems thinking friend will sound like a fruit loop because… Continue reading It’s not a behavioural problem: it’s the system