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 […]

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 […]

The email ‘cc’ option undermines the very fabric of society.o

Email uses 19th Century technology and 20th Century management practices to undermine trust. I’m not mincing my words here and you’ll need to follow my logic. Trust is one of the strands that hold people, communities and society together. People need to be able to trust each other, at an individual and group level to […]

Negative Capability, John Keats and Half Man Half Biscuit.

Everybody sing along……. There is nothing better in life, Than writing on the sole of your slipper with a biro. There is nothing better in life, Than writing on the sole of your slipper with a biro. There is nothing better in life, Than writing on the sole of your slipper with a biro, On […]

Malicious Compliance, I hate painting……. and filling in forms.

This week has been all about malicious compliance: filling in my tax return before the £100 fine; ‘helping’ my kids with home work (work out who is least willing and compliant here); completing my expenses form before the deadline; working out why some people are resistant to tagging for document management; and painting a room […]

X Factor (not quite) Public Review as an Improvement Technique

Well, last week I got a taste of what I think it might be like to be an X-Factor contestant: Stand up in front of some highly experienced people; Deliver your best amateur effort; Listen carefully to what they have got to say about it; Then: laugh/cry/high-five/run away/smile graciously (delete as appropriate). No, it wasn’t […]

“poxy communities of practice…” another reason for slow progess with social media?

A while back I wrote about why I thought lots of public servants  don’t use social media at work. I’ve also met people from the private sector who are prevented from using it for similar reasons, explained as ‘lost productivity’ or ‘security issues’.  Not a great position to take when  this infographic of Cisco research (via suggests that 56%of young professionals […]

The Scorpion and the Fox

This is a post I’ve wanted to do for a while. It’s all about trust and links to the one I did about how low trust costs you money. In my day-to-day dealings I really want to follow the advice from people like US Politician Henry L. Stimson: “the only way to make a man trustworthy is to […]

Asymmetric Warfare – Me and the Mosquitoes

I’m not entirely sure what this sign means. It just seemed like a suitable image for last week when I was on holidays in Madeira (a volcanic island, way out in the Atlantic off North Africa coast). I spent a fair bit of the week engaged in asymmetric warfare with a bunch of mosquitoes.  The asymmetric warfare definition […]