Can We Get Over Scientific Management, Please?

One of the primary products of the second Industrial revolution around the beginning of the 20th century came from Frederick Winslow Taylor. We need to move on. Read more

Primum Non Nocere

June 27, 2017 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, Quality 

A colleague of mine recently pointed me to an article about Design Thinking (caps intentional here). The article nicely explained the principles behind Design Thinking, but I felt it went off the rails a bit toward the end, when the author described a ‘recipe’ for Design Thinking. Read more

Universal Principles

June 12, 2017 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, People, Teamwork 

Way back in 1687, Sir Isaac Newton published Principia Mathematica, where he described the concept of gravity. It’s been said that he discovered gravity then, but it’s a pretty safe bet that apples fell in the downward direction from trees before 1687, and they will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Gravity is a universal principle. Read more

What’s Your Story?

May 22, 2017 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, People, Resilience 

It’s a classic exchange, repeat many times on a daily basis. Go to any industry event, or even meet someone on the street, and simply ask someone “what they do”. Read more

Unlearning

March 24, 2017 by · Comment
Filed under: Agility, Leadership, Project management 

The well-known Marshmallow Challenge asks teams to construct the tallest tower they can using spaghetti, tape and a string. Young children regularly do better than MBA graduates. Read more

Lenses

March 6, 2017 by · Comment
Filed under: Agility, Leadership, People 

If you like to watch movies, you have probably found that there are movies from certain directors that fit a particular style, giving you a bit of a short cut to decide whether you are likely to enjoy another of their movies. The Wachowski siblings are likely to challenge your view of reality, Alfonso Cuarón is going to take you through some long harrowing scenes without a break, The Coen brothers are going to throw plot twists at you that you could never imagine. They all have their particular lenses through which they see the world. Read more

Stay Balanced

January 18, 2016 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, People 

There are a few terms that are front-and-centre these days around the workplace, with gender equity and cultural diversity often leading the pack. During a presentation a few months ago, I asked the group about the challenges they face on projects. One woman, from the back of the room, suggested there were too many men on her projects. While at face value I don’t have enough information to agree with her particular case, I do believe this thinking leads to an area where we need to focus – not on equity, but on balance. Read more

Stay Humble

December 16, 2015 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, People, Teamwork 

We all suffer from a variety of cognitive biases, faulty assumptions that screw up our ability to make decent decisions. One of my favourites is the Dunning-Kruger effect, where those that are unskilled tend to overestimate their abilities. Apparently the study of this bias was inspired by a bank robber who smeared lemon juice on his face (you may have used lemon juice as invisible ink when you were a kid) to hide from surveillance cameras. Read more

Stay Fresh

December 9, 2015 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, Resilience 

It’s something we all tend to do: rest our laurels on the same behaviours, the same activities, the same stories that have worked for us in the past. It’s a simplification to make sense of the complicated, information overloaded world around us, but it’s dangerous. Read more

Cost of Non-Quality

August 12, 2015 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Leadership, Quality 

I just read an article, albeit a year old, that suggests preventable medical errors persist as the number 3 killer in the US, behind heart disease and cancer. I wasn’t surprised for two reasons: a) I had seen similar literature before from other sources, and b) I had worked with companies in the medical field and large IT infrastructure projects. Read more

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