Thought Walks

Brainstorming doesn’t always cut it Sometimes you have a problem that requires an imaginative solution. The standard management method for adding a spark of creativity is to brainstorm the problem. But brainstorming doesn’t always work. The ideas can be a little tired, you may not get something really new. Random thoughts There is an argument […]

Why Were You Late for Work?

Logic Trees There is a simple way of diagnosing a problem, and then finding a solution.  It is called “the five whys?” No doubt you have heard of it, it is a way of refining a problem until you get to its cause. When faced with a problem ask why it happened. Then ask again. […]

Avoiding Death by PowerPoint

Selling ideas We spend our time selling ideas.  We invest hours persuading people to give time, energy and resources to our projects.  Then we spend more time letting them know how those projects are going.  Ensuring that the all important funding and investment keeps on coming… The weapon of choice It doesn’t matter where you work  — with the odd […]

Let’s Try It and See

Test and learn I love hanging around musicians.  I love their energy and perspectives that are different from mine. That’s why I was hanging out in a music studio on a fine summer day a few years ago while a recording session was underway. The band had been going for an hour or so when […]

Selling an Idea

Presentation skills I guess that you — like me — spend lots of time selling ideas.  Trying to get funding and resources for the projects and improvements that you want to do. My standard approach is to bang a load of information into PowerPoint and hope for the best.  I want to show the man […]

5 Ways to Cultivate Evidence Based Management

In my last post I argued for E.B.M. (evidence based management) as an approach that will help you: Make the best possible decisions As fast as possible At the lowest possible cost Here are some suggestion on how to promote E.B.M. in your own organisation. 1. Change your own mind Management deals with social problems, not mechanical […]

The Rules of the Workplace

The 20 rules: Prioritise the work Don’t make your customers wait There is always more work than people Study the work Understand how the work works Standardise the work If the work is important write it down Train your staff Make the work easy Build systems Stream line the work Find the bottleneck Clean the […]

Rule 15: Remove the Waste

Improving the work is easy All you have to do is take out all the waste.  If you could take out all the waste then the workplace would be perfect. But what is waste? If you don’t know then you could try reading this, or maybe these. Experience is the best teacher I have a game […]

Red is Good Green is Bad

The RAG status We love RAG statuses, Red, Amber, Green: My project is on track We are meeting all our SLA’s We have some minor resourcing issues Our cost performance is upper quartile We manage our businesses with green happy faces.  It gives executives a sense of control. And if performance is red? What happens […]

How to Improve (at just about anything)

There are two ways to improve: 1. The classic way: Do – make an improvement Do – change a process Do – implement some training Do – install a system When you have been through the 4 do’s keep right on doing. 2. The recommended way: Plan – develop an idea or innovation, work out how […]