If you’ve seen the television show NUMB3RS you may have the impression that it is possible to mathematically predict complex situations. Gather some NUMB3RS (data, information etc), apply a relevant mathematical model, calculate the next occurrence of the event and catch the perpetuator in the act. All you need is the application of some fiendishly […]
Failure* should be part of your CV (*= fast intelligent failure)
Now that’s a statement that might cause a few recruitment consultants and career coaches to splutter into their skinny macchiato. Surely its all about winning and trumpeting your success, isn’t it? Admitting to failure, and claiming it as some sort of achievement is a pretty alien concept. In many organisations the approach to failure is […]
Learning from Failure. The more it hurts the better you learn.
I’ve heard lot of people recently going on about how necessary it is to fail. “Fail fast, fail forward”, “Learn the lessons from failure, and move on”, “Take risks and accept that some things will fail”, “Share your mistakes”. It’s all a bit worrying if you’ve spent your working life in organisations where failure (and […]
What IKEA Hacking has taught me about project management and learning from failure.
I’ve used a version of this picture before (see 4 foot posts story), but it’s so uncannily accurate that it’s worth seeing again. The purpose is to illustrate some of my project management ‘issues’ and learning through failure. This was all the result of some accidental IKEA Hacking. The Project: Refurbishment of a Client’s (youngest […]
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’ […]
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. […]
Homologation Special! Regulation *can* Drive Innovation.
But, it depends… Whether or not a regulation process (including inspection, audit and any other ‘control’ method you can think of) actually ‘drives’ innovation depends on a lot of things. For me, the biggest influence is ‘purpose’. If your main purpose is to ‘enforce’ compliance with clearly defined rules or standards it could be a […]
Asshole friends. Why are they necessary?
We need ‘difficult’ friends. I think everyone needs a ‘difficult’ person in their life. That awkward git that won’t shut up and tells you exactly why your brilliant idea is doomed to failure. They aren’t afraid of offending or hurting your feelings, publicly embarrassing you, treading on your toes and causing a ‘stink’. Just what’s […]
Minimum Viable Product (MVP) – The Soothing Balm for Pseudo Competence Syndrome
I’ve no Idea what I’m doing. Here’s a a confession. Quite a lot of the time I don’t have a clue what I’m doing. I don’t know precisely how things are going to end up. I’ve usually got a rough sense of the direction where things are headed. I’ll be aware of the danger zones […]