The H.R. Hammer

My brother is nothing like me Before I start this post I should point out that my brother and I live in very different worlds: He works for a F.T.S.E. 100 bank (not an insurer) He works in Canary Wharf (not the City) He works in I.T. (not operations) He is going bald (see picture […]

Specialists Kill Innovation

Organisations want innovation I’m not sure that statement is strictly true. Organisations say they want innovation, but the status quo is a very comfortable, unthreatening place to be. Organisations need innovation Maybe that is more realistic. If you don’t evolve and adapt whilst those around you are, then you are unlikely to survive. Innovation comes […]

There Are Lies, Damned Lies and Descriptive Statistics

Anscombe’s quartet Here are some interesting numbers for you. Interesting in a geeky sort of way… They are 4 sets of readings for two variables, X and Y. That is a horribly algebraic. It brings back memories of a comprehensive school deep in the 1980’s. All polyester blazers and fermenting gym kit. Let me bring the […]

The One Place You Should Excel

Excellence Managers talk a lot about excellence.  It monopolises their communication. They rattle on about: Being best of breed Transcending the top quartile Utilising best practice Becoming best-in-class, world-class and maybe even intergalactic-class I’m sure you have heard something similar along the way. But it is only talk There are a handful of problems with […]

Is Big Always Strategic?

The small project Today you (and I) will be confronted by a handful of “small projects”.  Things that you could nail down within a couple of weeks.  Small things that will make your business work better.  Perhaps you could: Free up some space on the servers to make them run more efficiently. Draw up a […]

Myopic Management

The quick fix Managers are problem solvers. We spend our days finding issues and fixing them: We solve the problem of low sales by offering discounts. We solve the problem of high costs by cutting budgets. We solve the problem of poor quality by extra inspection. Our time is filled with discrete problem after discrete […]

The Two Faces of Accountability

Accountability When things go wrong there is a simple solution. Politicians do it, journalists do it, managers do it and even my children do it.   When things go wrong we search for somebody to blame “hold accountable”.  It’s in our nature. Fortunately it is more nuanced than that. There are two ways we can […]

Data and Wisdom

Internet Claims I came across three interesting claims whilst searching the internet this week, I thought I’d share them with you… Claim 1: 90% of the world’s data was created in the past 2 years ~ Science Daily Claim 2: An ounce of information is worth a pound of data An ounce of knowledge is […]

What Are You Talking About?

Does your language define you? The Sami people in the far north of Scandinavia have lots of words for snow. Soavli — Wet slushy snow Vahca — New snow Guoldu — Very fine snow that blows up from the ground when there is slight breeze Skavvi — Snow with an icy crust Snow surrounds them, […]

Corporate Conflict

The battle On any given day in any corporation you will see: barbed e-mails, poisonous meetings, water fountain back-stabbings and all out turf wars. This is common or garden violence and nothing to write home about, though it may cause some gossip in the pub. Organisations are chock-full of conflict: Conflict between departments Conflict between […]