Category Archives: clarity of purpose

The Kung Fu Panda principle.

Imagine you want to buy a bar of chocolate from a supermarket. You are sitting at home, so you need to get in your car, you need to drive to the supermarket, you need to park the car, you need … Continue reading

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I am a police officer. 

When people ask me, “So what do you do, where’d you work?” I reply… I’m a Policy Officer And inevitably people mishear that as police officer. “Oh really!” they exclaim, looking me up and down with surprise. Then I have … Continue reading

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If it’s too complicated to understand it’s probably total nonsense

I stand on the periphery of “improvement activities” going on elsewhere in the organisation. I see things second and third hand through organisational gossip, i.e. people mentioning phrases or names of IT companies doing work elsewhere, somewhere. I’ve got no involvement … Continue reading

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Why killing Sweat Angels is the most valuable work I do all day

Most readers of this blog probably sit behind a desk all day, like me. Sipping tea in nice surroundings with nice people. They don’t have to push a mop around the floor cleaning up after others. Dreaming about the dignity … Continue reading

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Cloud cuckoo-land

“What matters to me as a customer is getting everything for free. I’d appreciate it if all organisations could just go ahead and arrange that please. No, I didn’t think so.” This comment left on a recent post shows the typical command … Continue reading

Posted in clarity of purpose, command and control, customer, Demand, systems thinking, vanguard method | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

One weird trick to design your organisation, in one easy step! (Management consultants will HATE you!)

Don’t design your organisation for efficiency for managing demand for digital by default to achieve strategic priorities by copying best practice So what do you do then? Do Design against customer purpose That’s it. The predictable value demands presented by … Continue reading

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Computers are weird

Computers are weird. People sit with both open hands held next to each other in front of their body, their palms down. Fingers wiggling. They call this work. They call it work cos they’re at work, and that’s where they … Continue reading

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How NOT to do demand

Just like Batman, demand management is an insane attempt to solve a problem. In this case demand  management is an attempt to solve the problem of less money in the public sector, but in a totally insane way. We here … Continue reading

Posted in all wrong, clarity of purpose, command and control, Demand, purpose, systems thinking, targets, vanguard method | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

What business are you in?

 I was in Chicago airport, drinking from a water fountain, and I saw this out the corner of my eye…. I was intrigued, so I squatted  down next to the pillar and read the words… This is telling the poor … Continue reading

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Three  things that will make you a brill presenter

Q: What’s better than the world’s best PowerPoint? A: No PowerPoint. Literally. The internet is full of good stuff on how to do, and not do, PowerPoint. The VERY best thing to do is avoid it altogether. Whatever you do, … Continue reading

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How to be Bert or Ernie

. This is what happens in every organisation I’ve been in when someone more important asks someone less important for something. The someone-less-important doesn’t feel they can ask more about what it is that is needed, as the someone-more-important has … Continue reading

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How do you make it hard to find a job?

It is hard enough to find a job if you need one, but if you don’t work, the system that is supposed to support you find a job certainly doesn’t work too. It is broken at the most crucial part … Continue reading

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Wag the dog

Who wags the tail? Spot wags the tail. Who wags the tail where you work? I have learnt that everything starts with the customer. Resident, patient or pupil, whoever When they contact the doctor/council/police/whatever that’s where things start. You: -start … Continue reading

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How to spot what’s in charge at work

Seth told us today how to tell who is important in an organization by using coloured badges. In an important project his company had worked out the “critical path”, the things that had to be done before anything else could … Continue reading

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Head-smashed-in buffalo jump

Yes, you read right. Head-smashed-in buffalo jump. For 6,000 years in North America the Blackfoot tribe ate, dressed and made their homes with bison that fell to their deaths at some cliffs called Head-smashed-in Buffalo jump The bison were not … Continue reading

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Twerking or working?

Rule 1: Twerking is not the same as working! If you worked here how could you know what “work” actually was? You’ve only seen twerking. If you work in a place where you get your purpose from the mouth of a … Continue reading

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4 German words we should all use

The Germans have a language that seems a bit like Lego. You can stick lots of little bits together to make a new one that has never existed before. This way they can make all sorts of useful new words … Continue reading

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Poof goes the purpose

“When people stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing — they believe in anything.” G.K. Chesterton Anything goes when purpose isn’t there to tie everyone to reality. There’s no fad too superficial, no gimmick too glib, no novelty … Continue reading

Posted in clarity of purpose, communication, me doing it, systems thinking | Tagged | 15 Comments

Purposeful parts

Organisms and organisations are systems that usually have purposes of their own. However, the parts of an organism (i.e., hearts, lungs, brain) do not have purposes of their own, but the parts of an organisation do. An organisation with purposeful … Continue reading

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Meet Henry

This man is Henry Rollins. He is one mean mother, as you can probably tell. He is also a publisher, stand up comedian, poet and bodybuilder. This is from his essay where he talks about lifting weights, something he credits … Continue reading

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Sets of things that are together as a whole thinking

They say that if you can’t describe simply what something is, so somebody who doesn’t know about it can understand it, then you don’t really know it yourself. Look here! This is from here, a description of the different parts … Continue reading

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Ox

You need not see what someone is doing to know if it is his vocation, you have only to watch his eyes: a cook mixing a sauce, a surgeon making a primary incision, a clerk completing a bill of lading, … Continue reading

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We build ships

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I am Luke Skywalker

A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow … Continue reading

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When is a purpose NOT a purpose?

When anything is done for… auditing purposes health & safety purposes regulatory purposes compliance purposes monitoring purposes inspection purposes training purposes regulation purposes data protection purposes data sharing purposes data purposes policy purposes transparency purposes statistical purposes watch-your-back purposes scatological … Continue reading

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the right way round: a cut out’n’keep guide

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Paper Purpose

“the direction in which a compass needle normally points, towards the horizon on the left-hand side of a person facing east, or the part of the horizon lying in this direction” Now you have those careful clear words from the … Continue reading

Posted in clarity of purpose, command and control, purpose, systems thinking, Uncategorized | Tagged | 4 Comments

Think Dolphin

If your purpose is vague and hazy, start finding out, go out and get knowledge about it. Look anywhere but a document. It’s never in there. Purpose doesn’t come with version control, isn’t written by a strategic planner and never … Continue reading

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Thank Crunchie!

Keep systems thinking, and have a lovely day!

Posted in all wrong, clarity of purpose, command and control, psychology | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Purpose eats leadership for breakfast

Take a good close-up look at this picture. That is the first thing that appears when I Google images of “leadership”. Not “dictator” or “complete dick” even. But who are the real dicks? The guy surfing the arrow, or the … Continue reading

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Prince laid bare

Everybody loves Prince. The diminutive thex thimble, with his cheeky pencil moustache and cheeks hanging out of a pair of leather chaps, who wouldn’t? And everybody loves PRINCE too. The flabby paper factory, with its deliverables hanging out of a … Continue reading

Posted in clarity of purpose, plans, purpose | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Why did I ring you today?

Was it: to increase your customer satisfaction score? to increase the % of calls you answer? to increase the % of calls you answer within 20 seconds? to decrease your “wrap-time”? to increase the % of calls you handle between … Continue reading

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Milking turnips

Firefighter, School Crossing Patrol, Police Officer, Ambulance Paramedic.  You can tell from the uniforms. Go into any workplace and see if by standing at the door you can tell what it is that happens there. If you are at the … Continue reading

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Alchemy

There’s no such thing as alchemy. Despite that, I have been disappointing senior managers for years by failing to produce gold out of dross. Alchemy is still believed in, at the highest levels of organisations. There are senior managers who believe that the … Continue reading

Posted in clarity of purpose, command and control, data, learning | Tagged , | 24 Comments

How clean is my table?

The last post was about there being “no true value” of a measure, unless you define what you mean to measure, and that the way to know what you are supposed to be measuring is to define measure by purpose. … Continue reading

Posted in clarity of purpose, deming, purpose, systems thinking, Uncategorized | Tagged | 1 Comment

No true value

How many continents are there? 7! Say most people. North America South America Europe Africa Asia Australia Antarctica Continents are generally “understood to be large, continuous, discrete masses of land, ideally separated by expanses of water.” Asia, Africa and Europe … Continue reading

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A Koch in a car

This man (above) is in a car aiming a Heckler and Koch gun at the photographer. This Koch in a car got away with it this week following pressure from the UK government on the French police to not pursue … Continue reading

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A tawdry end

As you are no doubt aware, I had a gas leak. I complained about it, and there was a to-do over whether some boxes were ticked, or whether gas leaked out of a pipe. Both can’t be true, obviously. It … Continue reading

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Thinkpurpose of chocolate

It’s 5 days after Easter and the local supermarket has piles of reduced price chocolate Easter eggs by the checkouts. The egg above is a premium brand of milk chocolate, organic and contains a luxurious 37% cocoa solids, high for … Continue reading

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Punk rock purpose

There you go, 3 chords, now form a band. This cartoon from a Punk fanzine in the late 70’s tells you that you, yes you, can form a band. No years of training, no expert or arcane knowledge. It doesn’t … Continue reading

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I smell something rotten, and it’s not gas

I had a gas leak last night. I live in a house that is about 50 years old, and I was contacted about 18 months ago by our gas infrastructure owner to replace and update my gas meter. After many … Continue reading

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So you work in The Adminisphere…

That’s OK! You can still learn lessons from your mug of tea. What can you learn from this mug of tea? Assuming you work in the adminisphere, and are therefore an adminisphereaucrat for short, look at the work you are … Continue reading

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3 reasons why job descriptions are phooey

Silly. Un-needed. Harmful at times. They not worth the paper they are written on.   The paper they are written on Read on for why!

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Let’s rewrite Seth again!

Again, it’s a crime but here is Seth as he’s meant to be, as the systems thinker he doesn’t know he is. From here.   There’s nothing wrong with having a plan Plans are great. But purpose is better. Purpose survives when … Continue reading

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Everyone is strategic or no-one is

C&C Manager: “Where are your strategic measures then?” ST Manager: [pointing at a control chart] “Here. This is our most important measure, our measure of purpose. This is how we know how well we are doing.” C&C Manager: “No, you’ve shown me … Continue reading

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Clarity of purpose

“Great white shark. A mackerel! No, some man diving in a pool. Like that painting! No. Not that, erm, no idea. Whitebait!”

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Clarity of realpolitik

“Nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests.”    Lord Palmerston, 19th century prime minister and foreign secretary There’s purpose for you.

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