Why Silos are Good

For the last decade or so, silo-mentality has been lambasted as the cause of all organisational dysfunction. But silos are good, and here’s why… they group people with similar skills they permit and encourage professional development in a specialised field they deepen specialisation and expertise they encourage specialisation they give focus So why don’t they …

Read moreWhy Silos are Good

Despondency or Despair

With adults 45+ having the fastest growing suicide rate and the highest rates of hazardous drinking in most Western countries, this topic is difficult to write about. Despondency or despair without a way out can lead to extreme measures. The confluence of change in people’s personal, organisational, social and technological lives can sometimes simply be …

Read moreDespondency or Despair

Do We Repair or Do We Build?

Repairing things: cars, motorcycle engines, people, organisations is very different from building something from scratch. The mechanic or doctor, consultant or manager “deals with failure every day whereas the builder does not. This is because the things they fix are not of their own making and are therefore never known in a comprehensive or absolute …

Read moreDo We Repair or Do We Build?

Coping and the Fibonacci Sequence

Today I want to talk about coping. Traditionally, the word has a slightly negative connotation, it suggests an underlying struggle that we perhaps not deal with. But I’d like to suggest that coping is mark of an underlying strength, a silent fortitude that gets us through life and all its challenges. Coping needs to be …

Read moreCoping and the Fibonacci Sequence

Uncertainty and Productivity

A friend and I were talking about uncertainty and before it lurched to Heisenberg we discussed its relevance to management. Taleb’s “Antifragile” is a nice approach to uncertainty in “a world we don’t understand” and broadens the casual use beyond vacillation or simply indecision. But not all of us have time to read 500-odd pages …

Read moreUncertainty and Productivity

Productivity and Emotional Balance

Productivity in manufacturing is affected by Taiichi Ohno’s Seven Wastes: overproduction waiting transporting inappropriate processing unnecessary inventory unnecessary / excess motion defects The elimination of these wastes lies behind most manufacturing process improvement regimes. Waste comes in a different form in the service industries. John Seddon identifies this as failure demand – demand on your …

Read moreProductivity and Emotional Balance