Thou Shalt Not Delay, Distort or Withhold Information

Systems need information They use that information to control the way they act. In a system of cells (like your body) that information flows along nerves and via hormones. In a system of animals (like a colony of ants) that information flows via pheromones and signals. In a system of people (like your business) it […]

Not Invented Here

Nothing comes from nothing I sat in a meeting the other day, it was a nightmare… Two guys were trying to extol the benefits of automation to a team of sales managers.  The tension was palpable.  In one corner stood a bunch of consultants trying to explain the latest and greatest thinking in operational improvement.  […]

Human Error

World War 2 During the second world war over 60 million people were killed.  That was roughly 3% of the world-wide population.  It was a hazardous time. Amongst the hardest hit were the bomber crews.  The Eighth Air Force suffered half of all the U.S. Air Force’s casualties.  The British fared as badly.  The chances of surviving the […]

A World Without Objectives

Objectives: could we manage without them? How would we cope?  The guys in H.R. would throw up their hands in horror. We couldn’t rate our staff. Pay for performance would flounder. Annual appraisals would become a farce. We wouldn’t know what we were doing. How could we manage our businesses? But how do we manage with objectives? They just get […]

Did You Know That…

Knowledge is interesting You can classify it into 4 categories.  It all depends on what you know and what you think you know. A diagram might make that a little clearer: There is stuff you know you know I know I know the way to my front door.  This is a safe place to be. There is […]

Blame and Ignorance

I made a fool of myself yesterday I had a road rage incident.  Well it wasn’t so much road rage as pedestrian rage. I was crossing the street on my way to the railway station and some clown in 4 by 4 damn near ran me over.  It ended up in a slagging match between me and […]

I See You

Recognition Connectivity between human beings is the beginning of synergy.  It is written in our genetic code and expresses itself in our drive to join with others and be part of a group.  This is how we are wired.  It makes sense that the most effective management styles leverage this aspect of our species’ psyche. I […]

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 […]

Pride and Ignorance

Scurvy isn’t nice If you are unfortunate enough to contract it you will start to feel tired. Then you will develop spots on your skin and your gums will turn spongy. A week or so later you will start to bleed from your mucous membranes and your skin will turn yellow.  Eventually sufferers develop open […]

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 […]