Tag Archives: command and control thinking

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

Posted in clarity of purpose, command and control, purpose, systems thinking | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

How to have an organisational detox!

Ever wanted to empty your mind of organisational bumf? Start again with a fresh clear mind, untainted by this year’s key strategic priority aims? This seasons value statements cluttering your head up too much to think straight? Have an organisational detox! The … Continue reading

Posted in all wrong, command and control, plausible but untrue, systems thinking, vanguard method | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

How to learn Kung Fu in 1 easy step

Q: How do you learn Kung Fu? A: Attend a 1 hour training session in Kung Fu. Hey presto…. April Fool! That won’t work, if you want to know Kung Fu you’d have to train for years. One hour will do … Continue reading

Posted in command and control, knowledge, learning, systems thinking | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Naughty…but nice

Say the phrase “Command and control management” out loud. Doesn’t sound nice does it? What do you think when you hear it? Things like… Call centre staff told to poo on their own time. Hospital patients dying to meet hospital targets. … Continue reading

Posted in all wrong, change, command and control, public sector, systems thinking, thinking, vanguard method | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

What fresh hell is THIS?

No fresh hell sweetie. Just the latest incarnation of a stale and very familiar hell. Do you recognise this… yawning at yet another exactly-the-same organisational transformation? wiping sleep out of your eyes at yet another whizz-bang IT venture that’ll save lots … Continue reading

Posted in command and control, learning, public sector, systems thinking, thinking, vanguard method | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

I’m not touching that, it’ll do me back in!

This settee is crucial to this post , so take a good look at it. Harder. Go on, put your nose right up to it. This nasty looking thing used to be in my living room, there’s paint on it … Continue reading

Posted in command and control, public sector, purpose, systems thinking, systemz comix, vanguard method | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

A manager’s guide to good and bad measures

How can you tell if you’ve been sold a pup? If some performance spod is fobbing you off with nonsense instead of good sound performance information? Just check what’s put in front of you against this 5 point guide to … Continue reading

Posted in measures, systems thinking, targets, vanguard method | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

One weird trick to outfox the Henry Ford gambit

I done got a letter from a reader! Here is a dramatic reconstruction…. Remember these two diagrams? THIS one, the usual, the boring old triangle? And then there is this one, the one thats not a triangle, the one that … Continue reading

Posted in all wrong, command and control, plausible but untrue, public sector, purpose, strategic, systems thinking | Tagged , , , , ,

The loneliest whale in the world.

Meet the loneliest whale in the world. She doesn’t speak the same language as other whales so they can’t hear her. This is the same as systemsy talking. Once your mental model changes from stupid ol’ command and control to … Continue reading

Posted in command and control, communication, human brains are weird, psychology, systems thinking, thinking | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Your cheatsheet for why league tables are total balls

Public Sector bodies waste huge amounts of money on total balls. One of the most futile are the self-created league tables of performance indicators, showing where their organisation is on sorted lists against other similar organisations. Even though the government got rid … Continue reading

Posted in all wrong, command and control, public sector, systems thinking | Tagged , , ,

Curry by default

Yes, you heard, don’t act shocked.

Posted in all wrong, customer, public sector, systems thinking, systemz comix | Tagged , , | 14 Comments

7 ways to do the Vanguard Method all wrong

Read this first. It was very popular and there’s marbles in it. If you’re too lazy here’s a summary: I went to the executive leadership team, I talked to them about something that started with studying demand and eventually led to huge … Continue reading

Posted in me doing it, systems thinking, vanguard method | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

The Highlander principle

Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will … Continue reading

Posted in command and control, systems thinking, thinking | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Mordecai and Rigby clear up a few common misconceptions

Performance Management doesn’t manage performance. Distance from the work doesn’t provide senior leaders with a strategic view. Distance provides distance. Signing off reports does not ensure quality. It ensures they are slightly worse. Not doing the right thing because “we’ve … Continue reading

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Do you like my piece of paper?

“Say what you see” is the latest tagline of this blog. What I see every day is people creating pieces of paper to take into a room for people to look at and decide if they like that piece of … Continue reading

Posted in command and control, public sector, systems thinking, systemz comix | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

The one thing you never see on an improvement plan

You don’t have a performance management problem. You don’t have a staff engagement problem. You don’t have a data quality problem. You don’t have a budget problem. You don’t have a culture problem. You don’t have a risk management problem. You … Continue reading

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Stay safe, stay stupid

THANKS ZOMBIE DEMING! Enough of systems thinking, let’s talk stupid. Stupid is normally easy to spot. It’s walking into doors, slipping over banana skins and the like. But what happens if “stupid” is so normal, that nobody notices it? What … Continue reading

Posted in all wrong, command and control, plausible but untrue, systems thinking, thinking | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Why the world isn’t a triangle (and what happens when we act like it is)

I started talking about systems thinking at work, and elicited interest. This is of course good, but I was asked to write something up on different management models. So I decided to do a cartoon instead. This is it, attached. … Continue reading

Posted in command and control, me doing it, public sector, systems thinking, systemz comix, vanguard method | Tagged , | 7 Comments

9 reasons why command and control organisations despise thinking

“I don’t want that academic or theoretical stuff I want something practical” A huge number of people who work in offices are not paid to dig ditches or split logs, so if they are not paid for their brawn they … Continue reading

Posted in all wrong, plausible but untrue | Tagged | 5 Comments

6 reasons why I will never be a team player

I am not and will never be a team player, here’s why. Which of these also apply to you? 1: You don’t work on your team Next week I am going to a team building event at work.  It has … Continue reading

Posted in all wrong, systems thinking | Tagged , | 6 Comments

How to spot a performance management

I work in performance in the public sector. I believe in my line of work. I think helping people learn how to understand work using data is useful and important. But I don’t think that everything that happens in my … Continue reading

Posted in command and control, communication, leadership, plausible but untrue, systems thinking | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Saving the world through typing

As you read this lots of keen, dedicated young men and women are improving the world through typing. They think it will. If they didn’t, typing as a job would be silly wouldn’t it? The job of “typist” disappeared along … Continue reading

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Hitting old women

This photo shows a “careworker” slapping a confused old lady who suffers from Alzheimers. It is from a BBC Panorama documentary about abuse in an old people’s care home called Ash Court. The daughter of this old lady found unexplained … Continue reading

Posted in command and control, inspection, systems thinking | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

7 steps to Amnesia Inc.

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” I used to work for Amnesia Incorporated. I can’t remember exactly what business it was in, but no doubt it was dynamic, vital and important as thousands of people … Continue reading

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

2 minute hate

“I am a born leader. I lead by example, being quick to make decisions. It’s all about solutions, it’s not about problems” This is Jade Nash. You know her, she might sit opposite you. She might be your boss. Heaven … Continue reading

Posted in command and control, leadership, psychology | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Stick around, you might learn something

Look at your desk. Go on. Now look at the photo. Do they look similar? If so, congratulations! You are LEAN! This photo tells the infamous story of how the DWP approached improving its service by putting tape on staff … Continue reading

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

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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3 faces for Tuesday

These are the 3 faces you can expect to see today if you talk to anyone about S*****s T******g. If so, you might like to consider the helpful suggestions outlined below by the people at systemsthinkingforgirls “Don’t talk about it at all … Continue reading

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Bicycle Shaped Object

This is not a bicycle. This is a BSO or “bicycle shaped object”.  It looks like a bike, it’s shaped like a bike. But it is not a bike. It is something made to look like a bike, so someone … Continue reading

Posted in all wrong, command and control, customer, human brains are weird, plausible but untrue | Tagged , | 9 Comments

Five things to feed a hungry filing cabinet

There’s nothing sadder than an empty filing cabinet.  Eliminate the hunger of YOUR filing cabinets by feeding them this nutritious diet of paper-based work substitutes. 1:  An appraisal form. Typed up. This will lead to a very different approach to managing … Continue reading

Posted in all wrong, human brains are weird, plausible but untrue, setting a numerical target is like..., Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

How to succeed at work in 5 easy steps!

be visible; emphasize the aspects you’re good at; make those in power feel good about themselves; if you must point out a mistake by someone in power, blame the situation or others; shower those above with flattery. Cost: One soul, … Continue reading

Posted in all wrong, command and control, psychology, very short posts | Tagged | 1 Comment

7 reasons you shouldn’t touch systems thinking

It’s not all cream cakes and beer in systems thinking.  Here’s seven things you’ll have to put up with if you start getting curious and learning. You’ll still work in command-and-control land. Everything around you won’t have changed but you … Continue reading

Posted in command and control, systems thinking, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 27 Comments

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

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

Command and control makes me sick

And you. And everyone around you. That’s a SCIENTIFIC FACT.

Posted in systems thinking, Uncategorized, vanguard method | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Let’s re-write Seth!

From the immortal Seth.  A whole post of his, I’m not sure if this is breaking the law of the internet, but here it is, re-written as it should be, from a systems thinking perspective. “Command & Control managers work … Continue reading

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What not to do

First act. Find data to justify yourself. Move onto something else. Repeat. – Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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This is the most dangerous place in your organisation

“a desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world”-John Le Carre Trading opinions is not getting knowledge. No matter how many people nod and agree with you.

Posted in all wrong, plausible but untrue, systems thinking, very short posts | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Ignore the bull

“Now’s not the time to muck around with this theory, we need facts”

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