Tag Archives: 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

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

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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First they came for the desks, and nobody said NUFFINK

What’s the DEFINING FEATURE of a bureaucrat?They have a bureau! Or rather, a desk, cos we’re not French and thanks to Brexit no longer have to follow EU regulations on what we call our desks. The bureaucrat has a desk. … Continue reading

Posted in command and control, me doing it, purpose, systems thinking | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

Thor describes my purpose

I sit next to the photocopier at work. About 3 times a day somebody printing some papers off will ask me if I have a stapler they can borrow, to staple their papers together. This is a question I am … Continue reading

Posted in command and control, public sector, purpose, systems thinking | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

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

Posted in clarity of purpose, command and control, purpose, systems thinking, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

The Chris Pratt dance-off against Organisational Transformation programmes everywhere!

*****The gifs take a while to load, they’re not just photos but actually move. Worth the wait. **** Possibly the funkiest take down of Organisational Transformation programmes you’ll see this week…. Like all good systems thinkers everywhere Chris Pratt, or … Continue reading

Posted in all wrong, command and control, leadership, systems thinking, systemz comix, vanguard method | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

How to create magic

Oh, Seth. He wrote in “Who has a seat at the table?” this…. “When designing a new product or program, it’s pretty clear that a successful organization will invite: The lawyer, so you don’t break any laws. The CFO, so … Continue reading

Posted in leadership, psychology, systems thinking | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Why I don’t care about the reputation of my organisation

This is Ant and Dec. They’re here to talk to us about trust. [For the benefit of my non-UK readers, they are TV presenters who have conquered virtually every glitzy shiny floored big budget Saturday evening show. They win awards … Continue reading

Posted in communication, customer, public sector, purpose, systems thinking | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

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

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

Posted in clarity of purpose, public sector, purpose, systems thinking, systemz comix | Tagged , | 7 Comments

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 measure a meeting

I’ve been in a meeting today! How can I tell how successful the meeting was? Measure it! With numbers! -it was held in room 42 -it lasted 75 minutes -there were 10 people -there was 1 PowerPoint -I ate 2 … Continue reading

Posted in command and control, public sector, purpose, thinking | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

How to achieve immortality in one easy step

Do you want to be remembered in your workplace? Want to be talked about when you’ve gone as that person who…? Here’s how in one easy step. Step one… 1: Do work that helps the end customer That’s it. Whether … Continue reading

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How to get it

Has she got it? Well, has she? This is what I’ve heard people ask, if someone has got it or not. Meaning systems thinking. Of course. It’s not like getting the measles, I know that, but I’ve been puzzled for … Continue reading

Posted in command and control, learning, me doing it, systems thinking in housing benefits, thinking, vanguard method | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

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

Posted in clarity of purpose, command and control, public sector, purpose, systems thinking, thinking | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Posted in clarity of purpose, command and control, leadership, systems thinking | Tagged , | 30 Comments

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

Posted in all wrong, clarity of purpose, purpose, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 1 Comment

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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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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Easier Better Faster Cheaper

Solve this puzzle. Imagine you are trying to solve it with an increasingly annoyed customer standing in front of you waiting, tapping their foot whilst you try and work out what that strange yellow small breasted creature is and why … Continue reading

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100% wrong

“Fill this in.” At a meeting in a Government call centre they are being asked to fill in a spreadsheet. An Excel spreadsheet, so accuracy is paramount. It probably has macros and everything. Call centre managers have to account for … 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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My friend the Building Society

My mobile phone rang this morning. -She said: “This is a courtesy call from the Halifax, how are you?” -I said: “I am at work thanks” -She said: “I can call you back another time, would you like that?” -I … Continue reading

Posted in command and control, customer, systems thinking | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Three reasons why you’re wrong

“It depends” and you forgot that it does or thought that it didn’t. But it always does. You’re actually right! But you answered the wrong question. See point 1, above You think there actually is an answer. There isn’t, there’s … 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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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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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

Documents ‘Я’ Us

Remember when I had a gas leak? Click above, or read it below in 66 dull words. My gas meter was exchanged for a newer gas meter, a few days later there was a lingering strong smell of gas, I … 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

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

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 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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Clarity of purpose is not the same as clarity of wording

No-one could argue with purpose, it’s like “family values”, one of those things people auto-nod to. BUT IT’S NOT THE SAME AS CLARITY OF MEANING. Simply saying some words in a sentence that are very clear is not it.

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purpose from PUSH to PULL

The following types of council services THOUGHT they knew what their purpose was, until they listened to their customers and looked at actual demand on their service. Using data gathered from their customers, listening to the problem the customer had, … Continue reading

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