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 […]

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 […]

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 […]