Tolerated failure implants learning better than success.

A quote from Dave Snowden, but first I want to talk about the Husky. For a while the Husky has been attending hydrotherapy sessions (all part of her rehabilitation after knee ligament replacement surgery). The Husky quite enjoys the hydrotherapy sessions, so do I, but for different reasons. One of us because of getting a […]

Liminality. Two inevitabilities and one prediction.

Liminality at the Dentist. I’ve a (possibly strange) observation to make. I quite like sitting in the Dentist’s waiting room. The Doctors Surgery waiting room isn’t bad either, as are the foyers and reception areas of some big municipal buildings, Newport Civic Centre is a good one. It doesn’t work in the waiting area of […]

Will exposure to heterotopic spaces get the fleas out of the jar?

It’s been another one of those weeks where I’ve heard a lot about the enormous challenges we face, the need for big changes and big transformations. It all leaves me feeling a bit… meh! It’s all well and good telling people that they need to transform, but how exactly? Do we have the necessary skills? […]

The race for Second Place (and last but one, 7th)

How vintage, you use a fax machine. I’m fairly sure I haven’t sent or received a fax in over 10 years. However… I recently handed out a business card, with a fax number on it! A long story, but it was all I had, and someone wanted my contact number. I found the ‘historical artifact’ […]

Why does everything cost £4,999?

Workarounds, common behaviour? Obviously ‘everything’ doesn’t actually cost £4,999. However, if you work in public services sometimes it feels like a lot of things do. It’s linked to some common behaviour you see around procurement and ‘workarounds’. The magical £4,999 figure might be something you are familiar with if there’s an organisation procurement policy with […]

Rip up your Culture Change Road Map and learn to use a Compass

Road Map Fatigue. One of my (many) failings is getting irritated by the ‘change road maps’ you see on office walls. You know what I mean. I’m particularly triggered by those proclaiming a ‘road to a better culture’. Please can we rip up the road maps and start learning to use a compass – because […]

Innovation Urban Myths and Bootlegging as an Immunosuppressant

I love a good story. What I mean is the messy, unpolished and authentic stories people tell about real life. The stories I don’t like are the ones manufactured as part of ‘corporate storytelling’. To engage staff, get a message across, change culture (ha ha ha ha!), ‘sell’ the need for change or indeed ‘sell’ […]

Measurement is a Smorgasbord.

Buffet v Smorgasbord. A ‘buffet’ is a cornerstone of society round these parts. From the most ‘interesting’ of family gatherings through to the most soul draining of organisational morale boosters; there’s always a buffet. Basically a mixture of foodstuffs, something that will more or less please everyone. The range and randomness can vary a lot, […]

Every organisation needs a Historian (Cofiadur)

Why do organisations need historians? In straightforward language, to avoid repeating the very obvious mistakes of the past. In addition, I’d suggest that it’s to help cope with ‘policy boomerangs’ and ‘faddism archaeology’. Organisational memory can be a fragile and ephemeral thing. So, if was in charge… every organisation of up to 150 people you […]