Category Archives: thinking

3 things you will never find on a lessons learned report

In Prince2 it is best practice to conduct a Lessons Learned Exercise for the Lessons Learned Log to go into the Lessons Learned Report. I find it is much more useful to conduct a Lessons Not Learned Exercise. It’s far … Continue reading

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A load of old cobblers

Who’s got the mankiest shoes? Cobblers! They spend so much time mending other people’s shoes that they have no time to mend their own. There is a “humorous” saying in large organisations that HR have the worst sickness, Finance are … Continue reading

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The astronaut answers

Remember this? The correct answer is……it falls to the ground. The answers you gave are below. 70% of you are correct! Well done! There is gravity on the moon, it is just weaker than on earth as the moon has … Continue reading

Posted in learning, questions, thinking | Tagged | 8 Comments

How to be Topp

“You don’t eat to be “the best” taster the world, don’t take a stroll to be “the best” stroller in the world, don’t push buttons in an elevator to be the best button pusher in the world. So if you … Continue reading

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The Schleswig-Holstein Question

Here is a test, a maxim and a principle to guide you on your way. 1: The Dick Gregory Better Mousetrap test “When you’ve got something really good, you don’t have to force it on people. They will steal it!” … Continue reading

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Do you pretend to do pretend work?

Is this work? No, it’s art. It’s the minimum wage machine! The minimum wage machine allows anybody to work for minimum wage. Turning the crank will yield one penny every 4.97 seconds, for $7.25 an hour (NY state minimum wage). … Continue reading

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What’s the greatest thing?

Read that text above. Then without looking back at it write down the answers to the following: (or say out loud, I don’t care) the name of the inventor of sliced bread? the name of the brand of bread? the … Continue reading

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Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?

ROLL UP! ROLL UP! Get your untested management assumptions here! People don’t like to think they’ve been made fools of. So they don’t think they’ve been made fools of, even when they have. And especially if they made fools of … Continue reading

Posted in change, learning, me doing it, public sector, systems thinking, thinking | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Burn the witch!

There’s an unread book sitting on my bookshelf that I’ve dipped in and out of when passing, and read some extraordinary statements like these: “Killing people is too superficial” “Compliments are life-alienating “ I love anything counter-intuitive so I know … Continue reading

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A strategy amuse-bouche

Thinking dominates all. There is nothing more strategic than changing the way management think. In fact if it doesn’t change the thinking, it’s not strategic.

Posted in strategic, thinking, very short posts | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Views not my own

“ALL CONTENT IS MY OPINION AND NOTHING SHOULD BE INTERPRETED AS BEING ENDORSED BY MY EMPLOYER. THIS IS A PERSONAL BLOG.” “Views my own, not employers” “Tweeting in a personal capacity only, not in a professional capacity” The above are … Continue reading

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Thank you for shopping at PeopleRus!

Why do you shop at Argos? What matters to you? Is it the sterling customer service? The hand tooled exquisitely crafted customer service? Or the cheap prices, no searching for goods and a very quick turnaround between entering the store … Continue reading

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Views not my own

I buggered up again, it’s not here, it’s there. I will be manually correcting my blogs stats at the end of the month to ensure there are no double-counting. In the meanwhile, here is a picture of a cat doing … Continue reading

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5 things I’ve actually been told off for at work

5 things I have actually been told off for that could only happen in a command and control organisation. Saying “I don’t know“ Asking “What’s the purpose of this report I am writing?“ Saying “I don’t understand“ Sending around the … Continue reading

Posted in command and control, learning, systems thinking, thinking | 17 Comments

A circular argument

 “The thing is when you start looking at the work, you see that the measures don’t tell you anything about how things really are.” “But they want numbers for when Joe Resident asks for example, ‘What is the council doing … Continue reading

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How to change nothing in 9 easy steps

People are always trying to improve work, with little to no success. Despite this the plucky little blighters keep on at it. Me too! Very recently I have attended or facilitated myself 2 sessions that I thought would change the … Continue reading

Posted in all wrong, change, command and control, thinking | 8 Comments

Give me the child

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The Pickle Principle

“Cucumbers get more pickled than brine gets cucumbered.” [link] It’s not just Deming that said that the system is responsible for 95%, and individuals only 5%. The power of context over the individual is huge and that’s science. There’s a … Continue reading

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The curious incident of the folder that doesn’t exist

From a drop of water,” said the writer, “a logician could infer the possibility of an Atlantic or a Niagara without having seen or heard of one or the other. So all life is a great chain, the nature of … Continue reading

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An open letter to corporate colleagues EVERYWHERE!

Hi! Do you work in the corporate part of the public sector? The bit in the middle that is often called Chief Executives Directorate, or Organisational Services and changes its name every two years? Me too! You’re probably worried about … Continue reading

Posted in command and control, learning, public sector, thinking | Tagged | 3 Comments

Futile Flipcharts

I saw this flip chart yesterday, left behind in a meeting room.  I felt so sorry for those beleaguered slightly pathetic three words, curvy bubble and wonky line. I thought, “they deserve more than this, let’s make them famous!”, or as famous … Continue reading

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The U.S. Forestry Service’s guide to 2013

Hello! And back to work. Here is the U.S. Forest Service’s guide to 2013, it was written in 1946 masquerading as a guide on what to do if you get lost in the woods. Whether you get lost in the … Continue reading

Posted in psychology, thinking | Tagged | 2 Comments

Originally posted on Bulldozer00's Blog:
The underlying assumptions harbored by executive decision-makers drive an org’s processes/policies. And those processes/policies influence an org’s social and financial performance. As a rule, assumptions based on Theory X thinking lead to mediocre performance…

Posted in systems thinking, thinking, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Getting to yes

“Understanding the other side’s thinking is not simply a useful activity that will help you solve your problem. Their thinking is the problem. Whether you are making a deal or settling a dispute, differences are defined by the difference between your thinking and theirs. When two people quarrel, they usually quarrel over an object — both … Continue reading

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3 brilliant systems ideas THAT WILL EXPLODE IN YOUR FACE!

Here are three brilliant systems ideas that will explode in your face. . 1: POSIWID What is it? A cunning acronym, “the Purpose Of a System Is What It Does.” Why’s it brilliant then? It reminds that intentions and express … Continue reading

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S/He

Q: When should a he be a she? A: As often as a she should be a he A reader, or follower as WordPress cultishly calls them, occasionally contacts me to point out that my posts refer to non-specific humans … Continue reading

Posted in human brains are weird, systems thinking, thinking, vanguard method | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Swampy Friday

“There is a high, hard ground overlooking a swamp. On the high ground, manageable problems lend themselves to solution through the use of research­based theory and technique. In the swampy lowlands, problems are messy and confusing and incapable of technical … Continue reading

Posted in experiment, it depends, systems thinking, thinking | Tagged , | 2 Comments

3 brilliant systems ideas THAT WILL EXPLODE IN YOUR FACE!

Here are three brilliant systems ideas that will explode in your face. . 1: POSIWID What is it? A cunning acronym, “the Purpose Of a System Is What It Does.” Why’s it brilliant then? It reminds that intentions and express … Continue reading

Posted in command and control, systems thinking, thinking | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Fallacy Friday! Bananas and Clearly Communicating

I got bored with not blogging and couldn’t wait till Movember so welcome back to Fallacy Friday! This is part two of a major new series that on sporadic Fridays explores two common things that everybody does but nobody knows … Continue reading

Posted in communication, thinking, Uncategorized | Tagged | 2 Comments

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

[link]

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Hugging & Learning

Think of “Sex and the City”. Now stop, you’re probably at work. Each episode has some kind of journey where the characters face some minor turmoil, but through laughter (not necessarily ours) and a few tears, with the support of … Continue reading

Posted in learning, systems thinking, thinking, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

John Seddon is not systems thinking

Truth or Lie? Read on to find out… One of the cool things about WordPress is that you can see what people have entered into search engines that pointed them to your blog. Some people find mine through phrases such … Continue reading

Posted in John Seddon, systems thinking, thinking, Uncategorized, vanguard method | Tagged , | 9 Comments

Turf Wars

Never: play pool with a man named after an American city (eg. Cincinnati Joe, The New Orleans Kid) fight a European war on two fronts (eg. Hitler, Napoleon) try to argue somebody into Systems Thinking (eg. Me) That last one’s … Continue reading

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Bang!

“When a culture doesn’t know how to think critically, then all critical thinking is viewed as cynicism, and disagreement is viewed as hate.” Glenn Packiam

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Needy kitten

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Fish heads

The fish rots from the head down. Nobody would eat a rotten fish by covering the maggot ridden parts with a nice creamy sauce, but I’ve lost count of  work rotten from the start that people have made the best … Continue reading

Posted in leadership, systems thinking, thinking, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 3 Comments