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 […]

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 […]

An Extraordinary System

The logistics organisation In Mumbai there is an organisation that delivers meals to office workers. It is called the Nutan Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers Association.  That is a bit of a mouthful, they are more commonly known as Dabbawalas (lunch box men).  Think deliveroo and you wouldn’t be too wide of the mark, except that meals […]

The Solution to Everything

Management is full of solutions… There is always another management solution.  Something that we must invest in.  Over the past 20 years or so the solutions I have seen include: Analytics Big Data Big Scale Value Analysis Customer Journey Mapping Customer Relationship Management Customer Satisfaction Measurement Business Process Re-engineering Business Process Outsourcing Near Shoring Off […]

Do You Know Where You Are Going?

Stating the bleeding obvious… When I was in my 20’s I went on a course.  The instructor put up a slide.  It looked like this: His point was simple.  To be successful create alignment.  Make sure everybody is pulling in the same direction.  It was such an obvious point that I wondered why on earth […]

Busy Doing Nothing

I am a busy man An executive with a burgeoning inbox — or so I tell my wife. This week I… Wrote presentations Prepared for audits Attend stakeholder briefings Drafted investment proposals Wrote appraisals Reviewed budgets Socialised information Reorganised departments Hired new staff Brainstormed solutions Talked about customers Discussed automation strategies Visited suppliers Defined new […]

Rule 1: Prioritise the Work

Café Culture The other day I walked into a café; it was a popular place, there were people crowded around all the tables.  Three members of staff were on duty. They were having a long and detailed conversation about a stock-take. I stood and waited. I waited and stood. The staff gave me a good […]

The 5 Sins of Management

Deadly diseases In 1982 W. Edwards Deming wrote about the 5 deadly diseases that inflict most organisations: Lack of constancy of purpose Emphasis on short-term profits Evaluation of performance Mobility of management Running a company on visible figures alone Are we still infected? 30 years on have we found a cure?  Have a look at the slide […]


It is easy to set up a team… You take a bunch of people, put them in a room, give them a simple task and tell them to crack on with it. Setting up a team is easy. But teamwork is a different matter Teamwork needs: An understanding of strengths An admission of weaknesses Openness […]


I have been on a self-help course My boss insisted on it… It was really very good, lots of interesting insights, most of it you know already: If you eat a full fried breakfast expect to feel sluggish all morning Exercise gives you energy Spending more than you earn will leave you broke Sometimes having […]