Information Overload

The world has changed When I was 15 it was hard to share information: There were three TV channels to watch, and my parents wouldn’t let me look at one of them. When I did my homework I had to go to the library to find the single book on [insert subject of choice]. I […]

For “Game Changing” Performance, Change the Game

Game changing Everybody is hell-bent on moving quicker, faster and harder. Everybody wants “game changing” levels of performance improvement.  Managers, executives and shareholders demand it… So if you want “game changing”, what are your options? Three parts to an organisation The systems thinkers categorise organisations into three elements: The components. The team-members and functions, the […]

Management Heresy

Heresy — noun (ˈhɛrəsɪ ) An opinion or doctrine contrary to the beliefs of an organisation The act of maintaining such an opinion or doctrine An interesting word And an interesting activity. I often wonder about heretics. Are they a bunch of loony tunes who can’t see how wrong they are? Or are they perfectly […]

Was My M.B.A. A Waste of Time?

Collaboration For my sins I have an M.B.A.  I am a child of the ’70’s.  By the time I hit the ’90’s an M.B.A. was the qualification to have if you were intent on pursuing a corporate career. The course taught me all about the parts of big business.  I learnt about: Finance and accounting […]

Changing the Rules

All organisations have rules We have rules about expenses and rules about systems access.  There are rules about promotions and rules about mobile phones.  Still more rules about budgets and rules about supplier gifts. Organisations have hundreds of rules.  These rules, explicit or not, define the way our organisations work. The problem with rules If […]

The Strategic Comms Centre of Excellence

Management Speak I reached out to my boss first thing this morning.  I had to square the circle about one of our strategic imperatives.  Fortunately he cascaded the relevant information.  He had the helicopter view, I was too busy searching for low hanging fruit. If there is one thing that is guaranteed to set me […]

Variation or Standardisation?

Standard work The process guys will tell you that you should standardise and reduce variation. Variation is a bad thing. The customer experience guys will tell you every interaction is different.  No customer is the same. Variation is a good thing. Which camp is right? The case for allowing variation Some situations call for a […]

The Dark Side of Data

Data-centricity Organisations are tripping over themselves to become data-centric.  They are busy investing in business intelligence and analytical infrastructures.  There is a thriving market for analysts and data scientists, accountants and actuaries, people who can pore over the numbers and provide insight. Data is the new gold, businesses are spending money like drunk sailors. Data […]

A Culture of Fear, Intimidation and Retaliation

The scandal In 2011, a state report to the Governor’s office in Georgia claimed that there was “organised and systemic misconduct” in 44 of Atlanta’s 56 schools.  2 years later 35 teachers, head teachers and administrative staff were brought to trial and charged with racketeering and other offences. The smoking gun The accusations revolved around […]

Management Cardboard

Management control Rather longer ago than I care to admit, I worked for an FMCG company.  I worked in R&D, and developed new frozen food products for a living. There were two things we worried about: The contents – the product that customers pay for, the fish finger or ice cream. The container – the […]