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  Daily Thoughts

May 12th, 2021

Entering as a question mark, leaving as a period

We were all born as questions. The old saying that ‘children enter school as question marks and leave as full […]

May 11th, 2021

To Scale or not to scale? This is the Shakespearean culture question.

Behavioural/cultural shaping in organizations does not scale up by the leaders simply having the right mindset and motivation. A mechanism […]

May 10th, 2021

The world is flat, leadership is global and I want to go home

Where is home? Ask this question to an Irishman or Irish woman. Even if they have been living abroad for […]

May 7th, 2021

15 things to look for in a culture

Over the years, I have had lots of conversations about ‘corporate culture’ and in particular  ‘what to measure’. I must […]

May 6th, 2021

Leave your sandals at the door

This is the request we make at the beginning of a Viral Change™ programme. Forget your function and your hierarchical […]

May 5th, 2021

What I learnt from the monks: a little anthropology of leadership and space on one page

My friends, monks of a Benedictine monastery in the Highlands, Scotland, spend most of the time in silence. I mean, […]

May 4th, 2021

FAQs to myself (about organizational life)

In my work as Organization Architect, I have dealt with clients of many sizes, shapes and colours over the years. […]

May 3rd, 2021

Not even bottom-up. Certainly not top-down. Lasting organizational change is a polycentric social movement, or it isn’t.

In organizational life we are used to the dichotomy ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom up’, for example, when we talk about change. […]

April 30th, 2021

A ‘culture of X’ is not the same as a culture of ‘training on X’. Safety is a good example.

Organizations have traditionally used a three-legged approach to creating a ‘culture’: Communications, training and compliance. None of those in isolation […]

April 29th, 2021

Training and culture change. The love affair that ends in tears.

It seems to be very hard for people to get away from the idea that, if we just put individuals […]

April 28th, 2021

Is victimhood a good model to understand some forms of employee disengagement?

I have been researching for a while the not-that-easy topic of ‘cognitive mental frames’ or ‘mental models’ that take over […]

April 27th, 2021

Micro-behaviours plus peer-to-peer equals social change dynamite

Serious behavioural change? Start with micro-behaviours, then walk backwards to values, never the other way around. And bring peer-to-peer or […]

April 26th, 2021

Rewarding collaboration by reinforcing individual contributions is management’s decaffeinated espresso: good taste, no effect.

Can we work on the collective and reward the individualistic? Well, sure you can, it happens every day. But it’s […]

April 23rd, 2021

The year of the peer (one of us, people like me, my horizontal tribe)

If I were the one in charge of deciding the ‘person of the year’ for the front cover of Time […]

April 22nd, 2021

A mobilizing platform is the human operating system of the company. You need to install your HOS.

I said previously that large scale mobilization of people (AKA social movements, AKA company culture) needs a platform. They don’t […]

April 21st, 2021

Networks have hierarchies and hierarchies have networks. Excuse the ranting.

When I was young, very young, many moons ago, I remember my school mates and the priests having discussions such […]

April 20th, 2021

Large scale mobilization of people needs a small scale set of orchestrators. It works in society and it works in organizations.

I wish I could remember where I read these stats.  Russia under the Tsar 1914-1917…had 180 million peasants and workers […]

April 19th, 2021

The Twenty Percenters

It is said that in any organization, 20% of the people do 80% of the work. I often think that […]

April 16th, 2021

Great players, great training, wrong game

It’s a new world out there. You’ll realise this truth if you open the windows of your organization and let […]

April 15th, 2021

If you have two guys who think the same, fire one of them

I must have heard this for the first time from Tom Peters many years ago. He was, and he is, […]