Poor Behaviour

Dysfunctional situations It is easy to blame other people’s behaviour for poor performance: He is uncooperative She is selfish He is incompetent She is a bully He is power crazed She is rude Poor behaviour causes all sorts of dysfunctional situations.  Doesn’t it? The experiment In 1971 Phillipe Zimbardo set up the Stanford prison experiment. […]

Tool Hire

There are lots of tools out there I don’t mean that in a derogatory way.  I mean process improvement tools: 5S, control charts, swim lanes… those sort of tools. There are also lots of people who know how to use those tools. It is easy to recruit staff who can bring a toolbox stuffed with approaches […]

Pseudoscientific Management

Pseudoscience Pseudoscience answers everything Pseudoscience hates being challenged Pseudoscience rejects new ideas Pseudoscience cannot fail Pseudoscience is static Science Science questions everything Science thrives on being challenged Science opens up to new ideas Science is designed to fail Science changes Pseudoscience or Science? Opinions or observations? Dogma or debate? Convinced or sceptical? Performance Management or Test […]

Performance Management Best Practice

What is the best way to improve staff performance? There is an awful lot of performance management “best practice” out there.  Lots of books, seminars, HR gurus and management consultants who tell you what to do and sell you a model. But which practice is the best practice? In 2002 the corporate leadership council decided […]

Evolution or Revolution?

What’s the best way to improve your business? Where should you put your development time and effort to get the greatest return? There are two lines of thought: #1: Revolution Focus on the big strategic levers and the radical steps.  Making bold moves is the most important thing you can do.  Don’t worry about the […]

Clear Desks and Other Management Claptrap

Busting management myths I love social psychology, it fascinates me.  I particularly like experiments.  It is one thing to put forward a theory about why people behave the way that they do; it is another thing altogether to prove it with some data. Let me give you an example, how should you set up an office? […]

Prove Me Wrong!

Confirmation bias A scientist has asked you to take part in a test.  It is a simple test, all you have to do is work out a pattern of numbers. He gives you three numbers to start with and then asks you to give him another set of three numbers.  In return he will let you […]

What Do You Believe?

Weltanschauung An interesting word.  It ranks alongside bier and keller in my grasp of the German language noun, German (plural Weltanschauungen /ˈvɛltˌanʃaʊ(ə)n/) A comprehensive conception or image of the universe and of humanity’s relation to it A perception of the world especially from a specific standpoint A particular philosophy or view of life; the world view of an individual […]

What is an Organisation?

You can’t improve it if you don’t understand it You can’t improve your organisation if you don’t understand what an organisation is. So I googled organisation, this is what I found: Organisation: noun /ɔːɡ(ə)nʌɪˈzeɪʃ(ə)n/ An organised group of people with a particular purpose. – “a research organisation” The action of organising something. – “the organisation of conferences” The quality […]

Rule 17: Look at the Evidence

The workplace screams at you It is alive with data and facts and evidence. Our organisations are giant test beds. They will tell you what works, and what doesn’t. The evidence will show you where things are going wrong, and why.  So if you want to improve performance just look and listen to the work. But […]