Archives for November 2013

Do Dragons Nurture Ideas or Slaughter Them?

Imagine you are an entrepreneur You have a great idea that needs funding, what do you do? Find a venture capitalist or business angel and ask them to invest.  The chances are the first one will say no, but if it is a good idea and you ask ten dragons then maybe one will say […]

For the Lack of a Nail

Old Clichés For the lack of a nail, the horseshoe was lost For the lack of a horseshoe, the horse was lost For the lack of a horse the rider was lost For the lack of a rider the battle was lost With the loss of the battle the war was lost On losing the […]

The Big Problem With Systems Thinking

There is lots of talk about systems thinking.  The talk sounds a little like this: Organisations are a system of connected parts It is the connections in the system that dictate performance If we improve the system we can improve performance It is a fascinating conversation — no really it is. But there is a […]

Scientific Proof – Politicians are Stupid

Have you ever wondered why people hold onto their beliefs despite statistical proof that they are wrong? Is it that we don’t understand what the numbers are telling us? Or is it that we just chose to ignore them? Dan Kahan is the professor of Law and Politics at Yale University.  This question perplexed him. […]

The Princess and the Library Book

My youngest daughter is five. She is enthusiastic in the way that only a five-year-old can be. She is also hopeless in the way that only a five-year-old can be. The other day I took her to the library, she loves books, particularly if they have lots of pictures of fairy princesses with long blonde […]

Management: Can you Have too Much of a Good Thing?

Good management is a good thing and organisations have a shortage of “talent”.  Having more and better managers is critical to success. So you should put all your effort into hiring and developing breadth and depth of leadership. Really, is more always more? In his book David and Goliath Malcolm Gladwell discusses school class sizes. Conventional […]

Sexism and Process Improvement

The Big Five are five symphony orchestras in the United States that “lead the field in musical excellence and calibre of musicianship”. If you went to listen to them in the 1970’s, you would have noticed that about 5% of those excellent musicians were female. If you do the same thing today that proportion is more like a […]

God-Awful Art and Operational Measurement

I am not bestowed with an artistic talent. I can’t draw. That is not a defeatist attitude, just (another) realisation that I am less than perfect. At school I took art lessons.  They were possibly the most painful hours in my life; my school friends would sketch away with alacrity creating images of great beauty […]