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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

Scaffolding: Temporary, Lightweight and a Utilitarian Metaphor.

I’m a bit of a sucker for metaphors. Which one of these descriptions works best for you? Option A. “To make this project something that will be a success for many years we need to put up the right sort of ‘scaffold’ to help it develop…” Option B. “To ensure the successful delivery of the […]

Ordinary Clay, Not Gold and Silver #Cynefin21

Clai cyffredin nid aur ac arian. Being ordinary doesn’t feel like much of a goal does it. It’s certainly not aspirational in the sense of the ‘happy clappy’ vision statements you see in lots of corporate documents. But ordinary and mundane are essential. This is the stuff of everyday life, the fabric of society, the […]