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 […]

Obsessive Measurement Infinity Loops (OMI Loops)

The Raspberry Jam Test. The recent post about The Duke of Wellington and failure to account for jars of raspberry jam, in a sandstorm (link here), seems to have struck a few chords. That’s given me a bit of confidence to open up about what I think is a terrible modern day curse, Measurement Obsession. […]

Failure to Account for Jars of Raspberry Jam (in a Sandstorm)

Clerks and Copy-Boys or Winning the War? You can’t have both. A friend recently sent me a copy of a letter from the Duke to Wellington, August 1812, to the British Foreign Office, London. Just to put the letter in context. At the time, Wellington was on the way to Madrid, ‘dragging an army over […]

The Ministry of the Predictable. Eliminating Uncertainty, Risk, and Resilience.

For every complex human problem, there is an answer that is simple, obvious and WRONG!* But it is the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) of the Ministry of the Predictable (MOP). The MOP work by; developing universal policies, providing conditional funding, linking funding to milestones in a project plan/programme and measuring your progress against the targets […]

Far, Far Away Land Syndrome

Life in Far, Far Away Land is so much better than here… I’ve been watching a lot of Shrek recently. I’ve also been attending seminars and learning about good practice through the medium of beautifully presented case studies. For anyone not familiar with Shrek, it’s your classic fairy tale. Everything we need in a good […]