Print This Post Print This Post

First published in August 2018.

We are used to look at the cost of doing things. And rightly so. We ask those questions as a routine. Our financial spreadsheets are there waiting for ‘cost of doing’. Under a big banner of costs you’ll find unlikely fellow travelers such as the cost of the maintenance of photocopy machines just a few lines above or below the cost of having people around, or the cost of training. Accounting logic is often true life nonsense, but, hey, this is how it works.

Nowhere we are asked for the cost of not doing something. The cost of not pushing for a culture shift. The cost of not training enough. The cost of not engaging an expert.

Think how many times we have found ourselves in a situation in which the cost of not doing something is thousand times the cost of doing it.

Questions such as ‘can we afford not to do that?’ or ‘what is the true risk of not embarking upon that change or transformation?’ are less common but equally important, if not sometimes the most important ones.

It would be very simple for leaders to systematically ask for the cost of doing X, always accompanied with the cost of not doing X. This mirror accounting should be the norm even if only 50% of it goes to the spreadsheet.

And, BTW, the cost of asking the question is zero, and the cost of not asking is (pick a number).

Keep up with the Daily Thoughts

Twitter Email

Would you like to comment?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To search my website, please use the form below.

  Daily Thoughts

July 15th, 2019

10 types of people who challenge the status quo in the organization. The art of dissenting (1/2)

Who challenges in organizations? People who have nothing to lose People who know that the art of challenging, equals not […]

July 13th, 2019

‘Nothing new under the sun’ ? Take off your sun glasses and stop the Valium

Often you see people in organizations disillusioned with changes, considering themselves survivors of the yet another reorg, getting on with […]

July 12th, 2019

We need the aliens. Everybody needs aliens. Smart aliens who can ask questions and open Pandora boxes for us.

The best swordsman in the world doesn’t need to fear the second best swordsman in the world; no, the person […]

July 11th, 2019

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 […]

July 10th, 2019

Work-life balance: the on-off switch is broken, and they don’t make them any more.

Forget work-life balance. It was a good concept that did a lot of good but has now retired. It cannot […]

July 9th, 2019

The fastest and best way to build a creative culture: all revealed now

The fastest and best way to build a creative culture is to have lots of creative people together. No kidding. […]

July 8th, 2019

Accountability holes? Desert spaces? Orphan ideas? Buy the tent, occupy the street.

Any organization has accountability holes, areas where nobody really owns the space. Sometimes these are true ‘grey areas’, sometimes are […]

July 3rd, 2019

Dreams deferred?

Perhaps the  best we can do for the next generations is to understand their dreams. They are not the same […]

July 2nd, 2019

Always manage the verbs, not the nouns: teaming -up, not teams; role-modelling, not role models.

We need teaming up, but we may not need more teams. We need role-modelling but may not need to call […]

July 1st, 2019

For any ‘what you say’ there are always many ‘how you say it’. Impact is in the how.

Let’s revisit re-framing techniques. I covered this in a previous Daily Thought but still relevant today. Take  a look at […]

June 28th, 2019

Change is great, you go first.

It’s 2019 – I wanted to revisit this from 2018 – are corporations developing, evolving, transforming, adapting….? And old sticker […]

June 27th, 2019

You want A, but you are systematically reinforcing B.

A simple exercise that leaders can do, either on their own with paper and pen, or with their management team, […]

June 26th, 2019

There are Good Leaders, Excellent Leaders, and Gold Leaders.This is what Gold looks like

A ‘Daily Thought’ taken from one of my Leadership series’. Gold leadership, is the one above silver and bronze, that’s […]

June 25th, 2019

If leadership in organizations followed some ‘activism rules’; not standard management logic. Here is one rule.

One of the key rules of activism (social, political, cause) is not to spend more than the minimum necessary time […]

June 21st, 2019

The Daily Me, information bubbles, and keeping sane

Something for the weekend. Written back in 2017 but still rings true today! We naturally retreat to comfort zones. If […]

June 20th, 2019

Happiness in the organization is an outcome not an input. Prescribing happiness is a behavioural nonsense.

Another important idea (first published in 2016) worth revisiting. Enjoy! You can’t inject happiness in the organization. You can’t put […]

June 19th, 2019

“A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world.”

A previously posted Daily Thought – well-worth revisiting. John Le Carre, British ex secret intelligence serviceman, espionage writer, dixit. He […]

June 17th, 2019

‘All Big Data comes from the same place, the past’

The formidable Rory Sutherland, vice chairman of Ogilvy (who declares that has ‘an attractively vague job title which has allowed […]

June 14th, 2019

Polarity is the new slavery. We need new Abolition Laws.

On one side, taxes are good, big government, social welfare, fighting for social justice and social mobility, human rights, women […]

June 13th, 2019

Culture is the small print.

Standard Operating Procedures, strategy documents, all normal process and systems and the organization chart are the headlines. If you really […]

June 11th, 2019

If you really want diversity and inclusion, don’t have a Programme on Diversity and Inclusion

It is counterintuitive to managers but not to cognitive scientists. Given airtime to an issue is not always a good […]

June 10th, 2019

On the apparent difficulty of taking a holiday from yourself. As seen in a conference.

A few days ago, I went to a conference. It’s unusual for me these days because I have close to […]

June 3rd, 2019

Managing by thermostat (I want a culture of feed forward, not feed-back)

The Good Mechanics of Continuous Improvement have given us a culture of feed-back. Feed back is worshiped. There is a […]

May 31st, 2019

Companies with ‘autoimmune disease’ : difficult treatment and poor prognosis

Sorry for the medicalization, an annoying legacy in my brain from many years of diagnosing and prescribing. Unlike many other […]

May 30th, 2019

I don’t know. And I suspect you don’t know either

It’s terrifying. You are in front of an inquisitorial crowd, maybe your own people, and have to say, I don’t […]

May 29th, 2019

Stable culture is cultural sedimentation. It is like having a calcified boiler

I don’t know anything about boilers. Only that they are prone to take sabbaticals and stop delivering. In many cases […]

May 27th, 2019

Corporate language (waiting for the robots to come?)

I published this ages ago. Some people have asked me to repeat… since the robots are still coming and apparently […]

May 21st, 2019

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 […]

May 20th, 2019

Culture conversations hijacked

We can measure anything. Vital things, rubbish things, relevant, secondary, soft, hard, anything. We have been told by the Wise […]

May 15th, 2019

Be authentic not Fake You. But you may not be liked.

What is authenticity? For starters, a very nice word. One of these that we love to attach as a command: […]

May 10th, 2019

People with all the answers may be overqualified for their jobs

First published in September 2018. An American educator said that children entered school as a question mark and left school […]

May 9th, 2019

Question: what is the cost of not doing X?

First published in August 2018. We are used to look at the cost of doing things. And rightly so. We […]

May 8th, 2019

Confronted with dysfunctionality, a reorganization solution must be the last resort, not the first.

First posted back in January. Most of our organizational problems are behavioural. Structural answers hardly solve behavioural problems. Amalgamating A […]

May 7th, 2019

If the business is the mission, culture is the strategy

First published in November 2018 If one thing has become clear after all these decades of management soul-searching for more […]

April 30th, 2019

‘Let our destination be decided by the winds of our discussion’

Socrates said. Or Plato said Socrates said. Socrates never wrote a word. He did not trust them. They were the […]

April 29th, 2019

‘What is in it for me?’ Don’t answer that for anybody

This is a question always  tempting leaders to give an answer. Eager to show that people will benefit, we spend […]

April 25th, 2019

Changing minds?

My mind is not for change. Look how strong I am. In the Brexit context, the discussion has often been […]

April 24th, 2019

Reflection is subversive. Uprise! Slow down!

Space to reflect? Where is that? Are you saying we are not reflective? Don’t we have an intelligence? Are you […]

April 23rd, 2019

‘Culture of feed back’ has gone nuts

I know leaders who are obsessed with this: the systematic use of feed back between managers and staff, between people. […]

April 15th, 2019

Walking e-bays bearing second hand thoughts

We are pulled to conform to the group, to participate, to contribute, to say something. Nodding is not enough. Taking […]

April 11th, 2019

My last Employee Engagement model. (7/7): Activists on the payroll.

In this model, the employee (1) is an activist, (2) largely working peer-to-peer, and (3) progressing towards (if not arriving […]

April 10th, 2019

Employee Engagement as morally imperative. (6/7) A forgotten model?

Here is a ‘very novel’ concept. Employee Engagement is needed because… it’s good in and of itself. Because work enhances […]

April 9th, 2019

Employee Engagement Models continue (5/7): ‘The Investors metaphor’.

This is model 4 of the series.  The concept is simple. Imagine that you, as an employee, are in reality an […]

April 8th, 2019

How to start a discussion of a small problem and end it with having a big one

(the series on Employee Engagement will continue later) Organizational dynamics are full of ‘default thinking’. We assume that some things […]

April 5th, 2019

More on Employee Engagement (4/7): ‘The Cause’. Engagement with the company or within the company?

This is model 3 (but the 4th post, confusing!)  ‘The Cause’. Employees join forces to work on a Cause: green agenda, corporate […]

April 4th, 2019

Employee Engagement week ( and debunking) continues. (3/7): The Happy Cows model

This is model 2 in the pack of 6 that I have described. There is a book, or two, and its […]

April 3rd, 2019

Debunking the Myths of Employee Engagement (2/7): Giving employees a voice. So, now we have a choir. And then what?

Model 1 of my 6 is what I call, ‘Air time’. It translates into: ‘we recognise that employees’ views are not properly […]

April 2nd, 2019

Debunking the Myths of Employee Engagement: a land of Emperors with No Clothes. (1/7) The six models

Over the next 7 days, we wanted to revist a series of posts from 2017, exploring the important topic of […]

March 26th, 2019

Individualism and collaboration are contagious. This is no news, but some experiments may explain how

In yet another experiment by Nicholas Christakis team (see previous Daily Thought on mistakes by robots!) they tested the power […]

March 25th, 2019

‘Oops! Sorry! I got this wrong’. Share mistakes to increase collaboration.

Being open about mistakes, own mistakes, team mistakes, has always being considered a driver for trust. If I as leader […]

March 22nd, 2019

There is really only one measure of the attractiveness of the organization you lead

First published October 2018 If you love KPIs, here is one. The attractiveness of your (corporate) function is defined by […]

March 21st, 2019

The Zeus strategy: de-aggregating the problem

First published back in 2016 Plato told us in his Symposium that humans were originally androgynous, not men or women. […]

March 20th, 2019

Leave your sandals at the door

First published in November 2017. This is the request we make at the beginning of a Viral Change™ programme. Forget […]

March 15th, 2019

‘Getting out of the way’ as a leadership strategy

First published September 2018 Also called get out of the room and don’t interfere. Also asking the question ‘may I […]

March 14th, 2019

If the business is the mission, culture is the strategy

First published back in November 2018. If one thing has become clear after all these decades of management soul-searching for […]

March 11th, 2019

If I were the CEO’s speechwriter for a day, this I will say

Don’t look at us, at the leadership at the top. We are the wrong mirror. Of course, we are committed […]

March 7th, 2019

‘If’ the management poem. c2019

Every year I review the version of this list and share with my community. Here is again, 2019 mode, with […]

March 5th, 2019

Culture is what happens when compliance leaves the room

The unwritten rules of the organization tell you more about its culture than all powerpoionts of its leadership programmes. The […]

February 28th, 2019

The intensity of the discussion is often inversely correlated with the importance of the issue

There are many versions of the same principle. We spend disproportionate amounts of time on issues. We often have deep […]

February 26th, 2019

Company culture is the fabric, the tapestry. David Brook’s wants to find all the weavers (tejedores, tisseurs…)

David Brooks, columnist of the New York Times and author (too conservative for the liberals and too liberal for the […]

February 25th, 2019

Forgot to ask what motivates you (but we all people are the same, anyway)

Organizational life can go on, driven by management, without asking people about their motivations. These are assumed in a rather […]

February 20th, 2019

15 random organizational irritations and inconvenient truths

Bottom-up is not more (of the same) workshops but at the bottom of the organization. Changing the geography of top-down […]

February 19th, 2019

‘But, how many people need to change for a culture to change?’

The ‘critical mass’ concept, as the number of people required to move forward, to change collective behaviours, to see a […]

February 18th, 2019

The Free Rider Problem in organizations

The Free Rider problem is studied in social sciences and refers to people who benefit from a collective (mainly public) […]

February 15th, 2019

The obvious but overlooked fact that connectivity and collaboration are not always good.

Increasing the connectivity of people, who will benefit from enhanced collaboration ,to achieve good things better, faster, differently, is a […]

February 14th, 2019

‘Every Corpse on Everest was once an extremely motivated person’

I don’t know where this comes from but it’s in posts and posters all over. It’s perhaps one of these […]

February 13th, 2019

Clues to mobilize people inside the corporate tent, come from outside that tent.

People reading these Daily Thoughts may be used to common themes, indeed. After all, I am not writing about nuclear […]

February 8th, 2019

Kids characters are shaped in the playground, not the classroom

And employee characters, and company culture, and all the unwritten rules of the organization are shaped in the cafeteria, the […]

February 7th, 2019

The painting is a beautiful, delicate masterpiece. The artist’s workshop is a mess.

The process of creativity can be very messy. In fact, it is perhaps necessarily messy. Like the artist’s workshop. The […]

February 6th, 2019

There is a strong case to start reading a book backwards. And other rambling comments

Given our growing impatience and limited attention span (our minds are overheated in the filtering of information, like traffic control […]

February 4th, 2019

Monochrome cultures ( and their Royal Courts)

Possibility is perhaps the most beautiful word in management. There are organizations in which possibilities seem exhausted, work is an […]

February 1st, 2019

Purpose kidnapped?

Suddenly purpose is back. We are told that Millennials want purpose. Which may be true. As much as many other […]

January 31st, 2019

‘If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change’

Attention Chief Transformation Officers, Offices of Transformation, Change Management Units, and Change Offices, and Projects of Future A,B,C,. Units of […]

January 29th, 2019

‘Victorious warriors win first and then go to war’ (coaching session circa 500 BC)

The full quote: ‘Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to […]

January 28th, 2019

And they took the British flag with them

Yesterday, my wife and I said goodbye to a good friend from France who works as a high level executive […]

January 24th, 2019

The person saying ‘we need to make sure that’ is probably the less likely person who will do anything ‘to make sure that’

Wisdom Nomads go form meeting to meeting. ‘We need to make sure that’, ‘we have to know how this fits […]

January 23rd, 2019

Most mechanics of behavioural change sold to organizations, are deceitful armchair inventions.

Behavioural change is still presented in many quarters with the same language as installing a piece of software. Or maybe […]

January 22nd, 2019

Confronted with dysfunctionality, a reorganization solution must be the last resource, not the first.

Most of our organizational problems are behavioural Structural answers hardly solve behavioural problems. Amalgamating A and B because A and […]

January 21st, 2019

Catastrophic success (may even have a celebration party)

I was used to the concept of catastrophic failure, but not catastrophic success, until I read an article in the […]

December 14th, 2018

Daily Thoughts takes a break, but you don’t have to

Hello from The Chalfont Project Daily Thoughts is in pause mode until the New Year. You can still browse and […]

December 10th, 2018

Leaders and Change: 12 Rules. (1) Stop admiring the problem

Some organizations seem to have a love affair with problems. They love their disruptive and furtive nature.  Secret encounters in […]

December 4th, 2018

Peter’s world in a reasonable day.

I could  not sleep, it was almost unbearable. Then I woke up and  the weather was horrible. The traffic was […]

December 3rd, 2018

8 hard arguments on culture for people who think this is is fluffy, woolly, soft stuff

  Culture is the difference between 30 people making a decision in 30 days, and 3 people making the same […]

November 30th, 2018

Teamocracies are tired, networkracies win the day.

A final “favourite repost” for this week. Enjoy and have a good weekend! For as long as anybody can remember […]

November 29th, 2018

Culture is in the A list, the one where ‘work’ sits. Not in the B list (‘when I have time, after A’)

Another favourite, this time from May 2016. Enjoy! Culture is not a project, something to do on top of normal […]

November 28th, 2018

A team is not a meeting. The best team is the one that does not need to meet. Almost.

Reposting a favourite from back in April 2017. Enjoy! One of the most toxic practices in organizational life is equating […]

November 22nd, 2018

The collaboration of rivals is always the strongest. Try it!

The author Doris Kearns Goodwin wrote a most interesting book  about the Lincoln presidency: ‘Team of Rivals’. It says it […]

November 21st, 2018

In search for the common traits of good leaders

If you want to learn from biographies of leaders, from their inspirations, about their traits, maybe tricks, read about Lincoln, […]

November 20th, 2018

Children don’t hate (other than broccoli, or the nanny). Then, we all grow up and…

I own this phrase to John Kerry whom I had the privilege to see at his London tour in promotion […]

November 19th, 2018

20 reasons why I trust you

I trust you because I can say ‘I haven’t got a clue’ and you don’t think I am an idiot […]

November 16th, 2018

Shifting the narrative: one of the finest roles of leadership

A favourite post from back in 2016 – enjoy!   One of the fundamental roles of leadership is to frame […]

November 13th, 2018

Would you like a 3 hour appendectomy or a 1 hr one?

I am back to one of my favourites: measuring value. One of my oldest Daily Thoughts told this story. A […]

November 12th, 2018

‘Every day is election day’ (also in the office)

It’s a typical saying in US politics and I suspect in many other places It’s a powerful thought. Every day […]

November 9th, 2018

Reinvent some wheels

Allow yourself to be a bit inefficient Reinvent some wheels from time to time Don’t always reuse the same presentation […]

November 8th, 2018

Proposed new management competency: deprogramming

Deprogramming is a form of management detox. We navigate and work in organizations with a great deal of automatic pilot […]

November 6th, 2018

The curious (anthropology) case of once a year Employee Satisfaction Survey Tsunamis. (Don’t be put off, I could not find a better title)

The cult of Employee Satisfaction surveys is fading.  Companies are doing less or less frequent. Perhaps there is some tiredness. […]

November 5th, 2018

If the business is the mission, culture is the strategy

If one thing has become clear after all these decades of management soul-searching for more or less universal truths, this […]

November 2nd, 2018

“The best model of a cat is another cat. Preferably the same cat.”

Says Barbara Webb, professor of Biorobotics, who tries to simulate living organisms behaviours and extrapolate form here. It sounds like […]

October 31st, 2018

A label does not give you a why. The art of remaining in the dark but happy with a no explanation

Your son’s teacher says: your son John does not hand out the homework on time, quality is poor, we don’t […]

October 29th, 2018

Have you seen that slide? The transformation thing, old power, new power and all those shifts

I have seen the same slide yet again. It keeps following me in tweeter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Ok, not in […]

October 26th, 2018

The orphan trolley problem

At a recent conference, one of the speakers explained his recent experience in a building materials, large shop where he […]

October 25th, 2018

“Sometimes a majority simply means that all the fools are on the same side.”

As with many modern clever quotes, there is more than one author claiming this. Symptoms of potentially ‘all fools in […]

October 23rd, 2018

Corporate responsibility starts in the office

Multinational companies are values and behaviours schools. It may not be in their mission and vision, in the job descriptions […]

October 19th, 2018

The internal-external mismatch says a lot about companies

Some organizations that are very good at (external) marketing, are terrible at internal. Grand market(ing) plans, but can’t sell a […]

October 18th, 2018

There is really only one measure of the attractiveness of the organization you lead

If you love KPIs, here is one. The attractiveness of your (corporate) function is defined by the number of people […]

October 16th, 2018

The Irish Health Service silent culture revolution is driven by ‘if-not-us-who?’ employees

Two years  ago, starting in the Midwest of Ireland, a bottom up social movement, ‘Values in Action’, started to shape […]

October 15th, 2018

‘Act as if you were the owner’ (really?)

This has become a mantra used by many leaders to express the desire that people take seriously their commitments ‘as […]

October 11th, 2018

Sweating, pain, temperature. Organizations can show symptoms.

Some organizations are breathless. Frantic. It could be good or bad, usually not too good.  Other organizations are like funerary […]

October 9th, 2018

Some things that are not (a sort of inconvenience)

Malaria is not an increase of temperature in the thermometer Employee engagement is not a score in a Gallup scale […]

October 8th, 2018

The ‘cult of fun’ in the organization. The takeover of fulfilment by fun.

For many non-American, non-Anglo-saxon organizations the idea of fun is ‘that American thing’. It’s a bit unfair and reductionistic. I […]

October 5th, 2018

For every ‘I have a dream’, there are thousands of ‘are you serious?’

The recent launch of the “Mobilize!” Masterclass has led to much discussion about Social Movements here at Daily Thoughts HQ. […]

October 3rd, 2018

10 rules for external or internal partners, for change or transformation.

These rules apply whether you are an external partner or an internal one. Rule number 1. Resistance is never universal. […]

October 2nd, 2018

Management conversation

Do you understand the strategy? Yes Can you see why we need to change, to do anything? Yes Do you […]

October 1st, 2018

Talk a lot, meet a lot, converse little. Time to call Socrates back

Semi connected reflections: [1] We talk a lot, email a lot, reply a lot, post a lot, say ‘I agree […]

September 27th, 2018

All the roads lead to Rome, but mind the axle of the car

A friend of mine Carlos Orozco  uses this analogy. If you are driving a car and you have a puncture, […]

September 26th, 2018

You are your calendar. Calendars don’t lie.

Airtime is finite. Initiatives, activities, tasks, ideas, attention to people, reaching the boss, innovation discussions, programmes, change programmes, leadership programmes, […]

September 25th, 2018

Change? Give us a break, we have just had organization plastic surgery

In the previous  Daily Thoughts I suggested: Readiness is a red herring and usually an alibi for not starting something […]

September 24th, 2018

Too busy getting ready, no time to go.

A  client, senior manager, mentioned to me recently that his company spent a disproportionate amount of time ‘getting ready’. He […]

September 20th, 2018

Quick Philosophy of Time in one page (Untapped applications for management)

[1] January starts around the 10th of the month. February is shorter and boring. Unless you go skiing, which half […]

September 18th, 2018

People with all the answers may be overqualified for their jobs

An American educator said that children entered school as a question mark and left school as a full stop. I […]

September 17th, 2018

The ‘Smoking Kills’ equivalent in Corporate Communications

‘Smoking kills’, or ‘Don’t Drink and Drive’ or ‘Get the Flu Vaccine’ are wonderful attempts to warn your fellow citizens […]

September 14th, 2018

The influencers have arrived! What can we do?

Many years ago companies started to say ‘we are organized in project teams’. Professional projectization was the thing. Until it […]

September 12th, 2018

‘The candidate who is less afraid of losing usually wins’

This is an unwritten rule in US presidential elections and a line in a witty and fascinating book by Dan […]

September 11th, 2018

Mobilize! Masterclass. A blueprint for social movements inside the organization and society. Launched to Daily Thoughts readers.

From The Chalfont Project, UK office: Dear all. Dr Leandro Herrero has produced a 5 hour masterclass divided into 28 […]

September 10th, 2018

‘Getting out of the way’ as a leadership strategy

Also called get out of the room and don’t interfere. Also asking the question ‘may I be, perhaps, actually, the […]

September 7th, 2018

For better decisions, bring the foreigners

Our thinking is far from rational. What’s new? Perhaps ‘making a rational decision’ should be reframed as ‘making a decision […]

September 6th, 2018

Team Rules: a sample

One of my favourite sets of Team Rules. Real life. Not invented. One of my best clients. Always curious No […]

September 5th, 2018

Employee engagement, fruit bowls and free peanuts

A headline in a newspaper on the 9th of August 2018 red ‘Deutsche Bank Cuts Again. Not Even Fruit Bowls […]

September 3rd, 2018

To tell you the truth

‘To tell you the truth’ is an opening in English conversation. Other similar are ‘to be honest with you’, or […]

August 31st, 2018

The impact of unintended/extended positive consequences of organizational initiatives may be bigger than the individual desired outcomes. So who sees them?

Co-benefit is a term broadly used in the Climate Change movement to explain the unintended/extended consequences of actions beyond an […]

August 30th, 2018

For any ‘what you say’ there are always many ‘how you say it’. Impact is in the how.

Take  a look at these 5 re-frames. You should see the differences not just the simple literary ones but the […]

August 29th, 2018

Change is great, you go first.

And old sticker said This is a situation in which I find myself very often: Several corporate groups agree (vocally, […]

August 28th, 2018

You want A, but you are systematically reinforcing B.

A simple exercise that leaders can do, either on their own with paper and pen, or with their management team, […]

August 24th, 2018

Breaking news: Company culture is very important. A high level business academic piece of research says. (Who moved my Valium?)

We need a revolution in business academia or it will become irrelevant. Apprenticeships  are already far greater value than academic […]

August 22nd, 2018

Question: what is the cost of not doing X?

We are used to looking at the cost of doing things. And rightly so. We ask those questions as a […]

August 21st, 2018

Most conspiracies of silence and coverups in our organizations are not even consciously orchestrated

And those which are maybe less dangerous than those who aren’t. In an old 2005 study, which findings are very […]

August 20th, 2018

‘Labor omnia vincit’. So let’s get back to ‘it’, with a good pair of glasses.

‘Work conquers all’, or ‘steady work overcomes all things’ Virgil dixit. For many, the time of post-break is approaching, if […]

August 17th, 2018

Weekly Recap: Social Movements (part 3 of 3)

Welcome to the last in our summer recap series. We hope you have enjoyed re-reading some of our favourite posts […]

August 15th, 2018

Weekly Recap: Social Movements (part 2 of 3)

The second of this week’s recap posts on Social Movements. Enjoy! Tribes in the organization: seeing the world in segments, […]

August 13th, 2018

Weekly Recap: Social Movements (part 1 of 3)

Normal service will be resuming shortly at Daily Thoughts HQ! But first, we wanted to share some of the best […]

August 10th, 2018

Weekly Recap: Leadership (part 3 of 3)

Here is the third of our favourite posts on Leadership. Enjoy and have a great weekend! The ‘research’ for the […]

August 8th, 2018

Weekly Recap: Leadership (part 2 of 3)

Here is the 2nd of this week’s revisited posts focused on Leadership… Three magic questions for leaders 1. Will I […]

August 6th, 2018

Weekly Recap: Leadership (part 1 of 3)

Welcome to the third in our series of summer “Recaps”, this week focusing on Leadership. We hope you enjoy our […]

August 3rd, 2018

Weekly Recap: Culture (part 3 of 3)

Here is the third of our favourite posts on Culture. Enjoy and have a great weekend! Grab the magic thresholds […]

August 1st, 2018

Weekly Recap: Culture (part 2 of 3)

The second of this week’s posts on Culture. Enjoy! Lazy managers love questionnaires No offence to questionnaires. They are legitimate […]

July 30th, 2018

Weekly Recap: Culture (part 1 of 3)

As Daily Thoughts is taking a short summer hiatus, this week we are sending you a few of our favourite […]

July 27th, 2018

Weekly Recap: Viral Change™ (part 3 of 3)

Here is this week’s final recap post looking at the Viral Change™ Mobilizing Platform. Have a great weekend! Networks have […]

July 26th, 2018

Weekly Recap: Viral Change™ (part 2 of 3)

Here is this week’s second “recap” post on the Viral Change™ Mobilizing Platform. Enjoy!   Change management is dead. Let’s […]

July 24th, 2018

Weekly Recap: Viral Change™ (part 1 of 3)

Dear Readers, Daily Thoughts is taking a short holiday! But never fear, over the next few weeks we will be […]

July 19th, 2018

The journey: for an Himalayan trip, trust a few good shepherds. Including your company Himalayans

Organizational transformation equals organizational life. Sometimes we add an adjective to signpost a direction. For example, digital transformation. Very often […]

July 18th, 2018

If work shapes our lives, should ‘management’ and ‘company’ have a bit of reboot?

In the old days of my parents, there was an unwritten consensus that your problems in life, your anxiety at […]

July 13th, 2018

There is a strong case to start reading a book backwards. And other rambling comments

Given our growing impatience and limited attention span (our minds are overheated in the filtering of information, like traffic control […]

July 12th, 2018

Management technique: the transplant

The answer to individual negativity is group positiveness.  Fighting individual negativity at individual level is a risky fight. If you […]

July 11th, 2018

The obvious but overlooked fact that connectivity and collaboration are not always good.

Increasing the connectivity of people, who will benefit from enhanced collaboration ,to achieve good things better, faster, differently, is a […]

July 10th, 2018

Engage to flip. (2 of 3). A magic threshold of number of people to shape a company culture? It’s actually complicated.

(A similar version of this post was released out of sync with it;’s part 1. Apologies for those who got […]

July 9th, 2018

Engage to flip. (1 of 3). A magic threshold of number of people needed to shape a company culture? The headlines

A glitch in the system made the publication of part 2 of this out of sync and was sent last […]

July 4th, 2018

Team, the noun, the structure, or teaming up, the verb, the behaviour?

Teamocracy may be the worst form of people collaboration  except for all those other forms that have been tried from […]

July 3rd, 2018

Cooking and shopping are two different things. I wish some ‘change managers’ could distinguish

If you talk to my clients, they will tell you that I use cooking analogies all the time. Cook this, […]

July 2nd, 2018

Focus, focus! But only after un-focusing a lot

Our managerial training and praxis has been quite successful at making us guilty of not focusing enough on a task […]

June 28th, 2018

Change management models on sale.

Give me a sequence, some boxes, a template on steps, lots of arrows and a PowerPoint, and I will create […]

June 27th, 2018

How many people on your payroll have never licked a stamp?

Beloit College, in Wisconsin, creates every year a ‘Mindset List’ It shows a list of facts about a particular new […]

June 26th, 2018

Storytelling wins wars whilst everything else is fighting battles (and 3 of 3): event shocks coming to you, that may not feel like gifts.

In October 2013, a ship carrying migrants sank off the Italian island of Lampedusa. 300 people drowned. As The Guardian journalist Kenan […]

June 25th, 2018

Three magic questions for leaders

1. Will I regret not doing this? Bezos, Amazon chief. Here it is from a recent article: ‘When faced with […]

June 22nd, 2018

Storytelling wins wars whilst everybody else is fighting battles. (2 of 3): leaders of organizations, are you listening?

Friday 25 May, 2018. Ireland votes 66.4% in favour of repealing the Eight Amendment of its Constitution, inserted in 1983, […]

June 21st, 2018

Storytelling wins wars whilst everyybody else is fighting battles (1 of 3): the ingredients

Today we are in front of daily wars of narratives: political, social, models of the world, futures, concept of Man. […]

June 20th, 2018

The bottleneck in organizations is gone North. Stop blaming middle management. Look up.

For the last, at least, 10 years of my consulting life, I have struggled to confirm the thesis, well publicised […]

June 18th, 2018

Grab the magic thresholds in the organization’s life

Continuous culture shaping within an organization equals social movement: large scale behavioural and cultural change, for a purpose, powered by […]

June 15th, 2018

People who welcome criticism don’t say ‘I welcome criticism’

‘I welcome criticism’ is often an alibi to avoid criticism. OK, that’s as harsh as it goes for a generic. […]

June 13th, 2018

‘How can we make this fail?” is a more powerful question than its opposite

Accustomed as we are to create plans to succeed  on something, this may sound counterintuitive. Creating (serious) plans for failure […]

June 12th, 2018

Plan for the intended, watch the unintended, embrace the extended

(1) We plan operations, change, leadership, anything, with intended consequences in mind. These are often translated into KPIs, milestones, and […]

June 11th, 2018

For every ‘I have a dream’, there are thousands of ‘are you serious?’

For every community struggling to achieve something, and deciding to launch some form of collective action; for every minority that […]

June 7th, 2018

Mind the frame ( or you may regret your frame of mind)

George Lakoff, a familiar name in these Daily Thoughts, is on a mission. The US cognitive psychology specialist,  emeritus professor, […]

June 6th, 2018

May Change Management have a great funeral

I good friend, expert in Communications, has created her new website with a prominent quote of mine, ‘Change Management as […]

June 5th, 2018

The painting is a beautiful, delicate masterpiece. The artist’s workshop is a mess.

The process of creativity can be very messy. In fact, it is perhaps necessarily messy. Like the artist’s workshop. The […]

June 4th, 2018

The alternative Post-mortem of failed change programmes. (and 5 of 5): we communicate too much.

In this miniseries I have shared so far four inconvenient truths uncovered by the forensics of ‘change management’ failure: Too […]

May 31st, 2018

The alternative Post-mortem of failed change programmes. (4 of 5): Too much vision, not lack of it

Forth in the mini series:  uncovering of truths of the failure of change and transformation programmes, via a reverse engineering. […]

May 30th, 2018

The alternative Post-mortem of failed change programmes. (3 of 5): Antibodies to start with.

Third installment in the uncovering of truths via a reverse engineering of the failure of change and transformation programmes. Finding: […]

May 29th, 2018

The alternative Post-mortem of failed change programmes. (2 of 5): It was fireworks and corporate flash mobs

Second installment in the uncovering of truths via a reverse engineering of the failure of change and transformation programmes. Many […]

May 28th, 2018

The alternative Post-mortem of failed change programmes. (1 of 5): There were too many people involved, and too much debate. Not the opposite.

This five part mini-series (!) is not glamourous. It tries to uncover some inconvenient truths via a reverse engineering of […]

May 25th, 2018

In my shopping list for new leaders, circa 2018 (and 5 of 5): Mobilizers

Managing? Leading?  Probably one of the worse dichotomies ever invented. Another day. Engaging? Motivating? Committing? Consider Mobilizing! It means…what it […]

May 24th, 2018

In my shopping list for new leaders, circa 2018 (4 of 5): Invitational people

I have held the view for many years that management is ‘by invitation’ (Disruptive Ideas, 2008). For example, I am […]

May 23rd, 2018

In my shopping list for new leaders, circa 2018 (3 of 5): Bridge builders

The word Pontifex (Pontiff in English) is the term associated with the Pope (twitter account…err.. @pontifex, what else?). I love […]

May 22nd, 2018

In my shopping list for new leaders, circa 2018 (2 of 5): Reframing

I have referred before to  George Lakoff’s work and his little book ‘Don’t think of an elephant’, which makes the […]

May 21st, 2018

In my shopping list for new leaders, circa 2018 (1 of 5): Depolarization

F. Scott Fitzgerald is one of many who have described this, but his articulation is the one widely quoted: “The […]

May 18th, 2018

Organisational culture shaping. Counterinsurgency field manual (and 5 of 5): Be a bit inefficient if you want to be effective. Or you can be boring

The problem with super efficacy and super efficiency is that what works for a Swiss watch does not work for […]

May 17th, 2018

Organisational culture shaping. Counterinsurgency field manual (4 of 5): Structural changes hardly solve behavioural problems. It’s a trap.

Structural answers to organizational problems are very unlikely to succeed. Division A people don’t collaborate with Division B people, so […]

May 16th, 2018

Organisational culture shaping. Counterinsurgency field manual (3 of 5): don’t do half social (unless you want to kill a project)

Would you join a Facebok with 100 users? A Yammer with few entries? A Twitter where only a few tweets? […]

May 15th, 2018

Organisational culture shaping. Counterinsurgency field manual (2 of 5): Learn from mistakes (only if your manager does too).

Learning from mistakes, make mistakes, learn, it’s OK, mistakes are OK, we are human, if we did not make mistakes […]

May 14th, 2018

Organizational culture, Counterinsurgency Field Manual (1 of 5): What to do with toxic people.

Toxic people. A sample. The top 12 to watch: The bully who is not challenged The bully who is not […]

May 10th, 2018

News from the front line

Yesterday was International Receptionist Day. Perhaps it was buried in a myriad of International Days of Something. But the receptionist […]

May 9th, 2018

The geography of change. Where to start.

Read. Take a deep breath. Read again. Keep breathing, think about this. ‘The system will prevent itself from solving the […]

May 8th, 2018

Organizational structures that (dis) aggregate by design

New organizations, and old ones in the business of transforming themselves, would be better off learning by heart these two […]

May 3rd, 2018

Framing is a leadership must (3 of 3): ‘Intention and Outcome’

My third framing comment, after (1) framing new behaviours, and (2) the framing of the overall narrative of the organization, […]

May 1st, 2018

Framing is a leadership must (2 of 3): frame the narrative before it frames you

I said yesterday that I would put framing at the top of the list on ‘leadership tasks’ I also said […]

April 30th, 2018

Framing is a leadership must (1 of 3): your mini-revolution starts with simple behaviours.

I put framing at the top of the list on ‘leadership tasks’. One of those non-rocket-sciences around us that we […]

April 27th, 2018

These are my trade-offs, what about yours?

We never solve problems, we trade them off. The thought is not depressing. It is liberating because it means we […]

April 26th, 2018

Childhood ‘monsters under the bed’ never go away. They seem to reappear in corporations. Without the beds.

If I had a say in new roles for large organizations, I think I would establish this new Division: VP […]

April 25th, 2018

Magic trick to ‘engagement’: leave the sandals at the door

If you follow my Daily Thoughts you would know that I despise Employee Engagement as something that you need to […]

April 24th, 2018

‘How does the medicine know where to go in the body?’

When my daughter was in primary school, I was invited by the teacher to give a presentation to small girls […]

April 23rd, 2018

Organizations wired wrong (and 5 of 5): If you want ‘One Company’ surely it’s because you don’t have one. The more you push it, the more it will slip away.

No medium to large size company has a single culture.  No medium to large size French, or British or American […]

April 19th, 2018

Organizations wired wrong (4 of 5): Don’t team up with people you know very well.

Affinity, like-minded groupings and ‘we know each other very well’ works if what you want is to get things done, […]

April 18th, 2018

Organizations wired wrong (3 of 5): Behaviours create cultures. Cultures do not create behaviours (unless they have them already)

Our concept of organizational culture as a receptacle for values, beliefs, attitudes, mindsets, ways of doing, written rules, unwritten rules, […]

April 17th, 2018

Organizations wired wrong (2 of 5): Why if you want ‘transparency’ you should not ask for it.

An 18 year old paper in social anthropology by Marilyn Strathern (then at Cambridge) had the intriguing title of ‘The […]

April 16th, 2018

Organizations wired wrong (1 of 5): desired outcomes mistaken as inputs. The case of ‘Engagement’

Employee engagement is an outcome, not in input. You don’t inject engagement or engineer activities to engage. Those do exist. […]

April 12th, 2018

The ‘research’ for the real-real unique attributes of world class leadership is embarrassing.

I sometimes think that management thinking, management speak and management education (that includes ‘research’) makes everything possible to avoid critical […]

April 11th, 2018

Organizational Pathologies (and finally (!) 10 of 10): Empowerment as risk transfer (or the traffic of monkeys across the organization)

This is the last one in the series  of 10 Organizational Pathologies, and the longest write up. Sorry! Bear with […]

April 10th, 2018

Organizational Pathologies (9 of 10): Measure the measurable

Attributed to Peter Drucker, we have inherited the ‘you can’t manage what you can’t measure’. Drucker meant that you need […]

April 9th, 2018

Organizational Pathologies (8 of 10): Busy-ness

Almost there, two to go. I have posted one pathology per day (see the website) Busy-ness! From all organizational pathologies […]

April 6th, 2018

Organizational Pathologies (7 of 10): Useless over-inclusiveness

Over inclusiveness paralysis occurs as a side effect of good intentions. The intentions are usually democratic, egalitarian, based on respect […]

April 4th, 2018

Organizational Pathologies (6 of 10) : Processism and process junkies

Processes are supposed to provide these three  things A sure and presumably tested path to address repetitive situations, so that […]

April 3rd, 2018

Organizational Pathologies (5 of 10): The company in rehearsal mode (or Waiting for The Barbarians)

‘Postponing’ (AKA as procrastination) maybe healthy and reasonable, maybe not. Cultures are created by behaviours. The best predictors of behaviours […]

March 29th, 2018

Organizational Pathologies (4 of 10): (Auto) Immune diseases

In medicine, autoimmune disease is one in which ‘the body produces antibodies that attack its own tissues, leading to the deterioration […]

March 27th, 2018

Organizational pathologies (3 of 10) : Premature de-hierarchical-ization

Hierarchy is dead, proclaim people in the advanced, enlightened, guru-read organization. Hierarchy is bad, ugly, cause of all problems, constraining, […]

March 26th, 2018

Organizational Pathologies (2 of 10). Over-communication

Communicate, communicate, communicate, we were told. All the problems go back to communication. This is your default culprit. In doubt, […]

March 23rd, 2018

Organizational Pathologies. An update (1 of 10): Solutionism

Solutionism  is a common condition in which the energy and airtime of the organization is consumed in finding solutions to […]

March 20th, 2018

6 types of employees I want (2 of 2): synthesizers, designers and re-inventors of wheels

I shared yesterday three types of employees I want for the modern organization. Different characters on the payroll. If there […]

March 19th, 2018

6 types of employees I want (1 of 2): craftsmen, entrepreneurs and activists

My ideal modern organization has different characters on the payroll. If there is a payroll. These are three of them […]

March 15th, 2018

Obituary: Incrementalism

Please pray for the soul of incrementalism that, after a long and slow incremental illness, left us for good. After […]

March 14th, 2018

The Church of Hard Evidence has many funny members of the congregation

I have never found a client that says we don’t need evidence, or data, or facts, or hard measures. Most […]

March 13th, 2018

The world is messy, the consulting world is MECE

I’ve learnt recently  a new Mckinsean acronym: MECE (Mutually Exclusive Collectively Exhaustive). Meaning, you break ‘it’ all down  in (Mutually […]

March 8th, 2018

Don’t read this. It’s a commercial. (Part 2 of 2, promise)

Ok, so you are back. I shared yesterday 5 shifts. Here are the other 5. As I said yesterday, Viral […]

March 7th, 2018

Don’t read this. It’s a commercial. (part 1 of 2)

  Ok, if you insist, here it is. Commercial or not, it’s also true. I need to share with you […]

March 6th, 2018

Casinos don’t have clocks.

Ryan Holiday (media critic, stoicism vendor, marketing strategist) is ‘the best-selling author of Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a […]

March 5th, 2018

The video and the audio of empowerment are out of sync.

Have you seen those videos, or TV interviews, or programmes, in which there is a disconnect between what the person […]

March 2nd, 2018

A vast epidemic in organizations that seems to grow and grow

I must say I am getting very frustrated to see more and more companies which  workforce seems to function as […]

March 1st, 2018

Networks have hierarchy and hierarchy have networks of it. Excuse the ranting.

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

February 28th, 2018

Memo: Permission never required, so don’t ask.

I read a while ago this story. Within the highly structured and hierarchical (by design) Catholic church, a Religious Order […]

February 27th, 2018

‘A few good men’.

Part 2 of 2 from yesterday’s ‘The (re)volution will be postponed. Once more’ Margaret Mead (anthropologist, 1901-1978) ‘Never doubt that a […]

February 26th, 2018

The organization (re)volution will be postponed. Once more.

The below is the equivalent of how in some organizations the so called ‘management of change’  or cultural transformation are […]

February 23rd, 2018

Which benchmarking data did you use to fall in love?

Did you fall in love after reading case studies and using benchmarking data?  Did you see the Mona Lisa in […]

February 22nd, 2018

Entrepreneurs on the payroll

Maybe, just maybe, we don’t  need ‘managers’ and ‘employees’, as in generals and troops. My strong bet is for a […]

February 21st, 2018

Tripadvisorisation of life

Really? Recently I went to visit a specialist doctor in a private facility. Of course I was handed out a […]

February 20th, 2018

The Tyranny of Metrics.

For the record, you can measure anything, the relevant, the irrelevant, the crucial and the distractions. Measuring is not a […]

February 19th, 2018

You can’t plan for unintended consequences, but you want as many good ones to emerge

What if your unintended consequences were as big as the intended ones? This happens in our Viral Change™  programmes all […]

February 16th, 2018

Note to procurement: no more tanks, we got the wrong war.

There was a time when ‘my tanks are bigger than yours’ was the so called competitive advantage. Bigger muscle, bigger […]

February 13th, 2018

Change management is dead. Let’s go and have a nice funeral

No offense to those with the title in the business card. No offense to the whole industry. You are well […]

February 12th, 2018

We have a sophisticated brain with a not very sophisticated copying machine inside

When researching for my 2011 book Homo Imitans, I was interested in the human ability to copy from our environment. […]

February 10th, 2018

Kids characters are shaped in the playground, not the classroom

And employee characters, and company culture, and all the unwritten rules of the organization are shaped in the cafeteria, the […]

February 9th, 2018

Your mind will trick you. Including when you move jobs.

When people join a company, coming from another one, they need to marry different worlds: The one of the company […]

February 8th, 2018

The burning platform was the greatest management invention. Now, can we move on?

Apparently nothing can change unless there is as ‘burning platform’. Business and old change management loves that kind of drama. […]

February 6th, 2018

Lazy managers love questionnaires

No offense to questionnaires. These are legitimate tools to know what is going on! People may argue that in a […]

February 5th, 2018

The tyranny of knowledge. Seeking unpredictable answers

The ‘tyranny of knowledge’ is one of these phrases used in a diversity of contexts. It means amongst other things […]

February 2nd, 2018

We live in a cultural Hiroshima

There is a point in time in which the brain starts filtering the images coming in, all the lines written, […]

February 1st, 2018

Back to the Daily Date.

It’s been a while. Having a gap in the writing daily date helps to gain perspective. I went through a […]

January 15th, 2018

Announcing: MOBILIZE! Masterclass; a blueprint for social movements

Happy New Year! Daily Thoughts will be back in flow on the 1st of February During this gap, I have […]

December 14th, 2017

And I’ll see you all back in the New Year!

It has been an intense year in many aspects. I am grateful to clients and friends, and above all my […]

December 13th, 2017

The conspiracy of the books in my library.

This is a straight quote from Nassim Taleb (Fooled by Randomness, Black Swan, Antifragile) A private library is not an […]

December 12th, 2017

The Pancake Revolution in management missed some details

Flat organizations, part of the Pancake Revolution (got the patent pending) that we have gone through, trimming management layers and […]

December 11th, 2017

Amateurs borrow, professionals steal

The phrase is from John Lennon who stole it from TS Elliott (‘amateur poets borrow; mature poets steal’). There are […]

December 8th, 2017

Do visionary leaders nominate non-visionary successors?

Hardly a question I can answer with statistics, but I would tend to agree. This good article points in that […]

December 6th, 2017

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, […]

December 5th, 2017

What do a flipchart, a kid’s dinosaurs toy, and a simulation software have in common?

  Donald Winnicott (1896- 1971) was a brilliant British psychoanalyst. And you won’t find many instances of my praising psychoanalysis, […]

December 4th, 2017

The absurd and the alien as sources of serious enlightenment

In the old days of medical school and psychiatric training we used to say that schizophrenia was a secret society […]

December 1st, 2017

10 shifts in the Remarkable Organization in the making ( and Santa wishes ideas)

In preparation for Santa, I suggest we aim at a package of shifts in the organizational life: a 10 point […]

November 30th, 2017

Warning: your people operating system is no longer supported. Upgrade!

Some organizations want agility, entrepreneurship, great innovation and superb customer centrism. But they are operating with structures, processes and behaviours […]

November 29th, 2017

A type of project team member called ‘The Visitor’

The Visitor is a full time member of a project team. He arrives late, very late. Smiles a lot. Takes […]

November 28th, 2017

Bezos did not tell us anything about the size of the pizzas.

So some organizations cook very, very large ones. No, this is not a gastronomic blog. Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO, said […]

November 27th, 2017

Try to have no work-life balance. The more you lose the balance, the more you’ll enjoy it.

This is of course not something every mortal is privileged to do: to make ‘work’ an exciting, fulfilling and meaningful […]

November 23rd, 2017

A refresh of Viral Change in a 30 minutes video.

I have recorded this for an HR and Communications conference that I could not attend. This is a good recent […]

November 22nd, 2017

Santa is too big for our chimney

There is a moment in the life of our kids in which they start questioning the story of Santa coming […]

November 21st, 2017

Project management is a state of mind. Big Picture people must have it as well.

Project management is a state of mind, not a software. But if you have both, it helps. Some people have […]

November 20th, 2017

Slow Change, Fast change. Mobilizing people: the alternative view ( 1 of 3)

Whether in society or inside the organization, we have plenty of ‘theories of change’ surprisingly unchallenged. Can we please look […]

November 19th, 2017

End of Week Summary: Activism

Happy Weekend Daily Thoughts Subscribers! Here is a compilation of 3 of some our latest posts – all with the […]

November 17th, 2017

‘They changed, they did well, because they were ready for it’.

This piece of conventional wisdom is almost never true. That ‘they were ready’ is very often the a posterity rationalization. […]

November 16th, 2017

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

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

November 15th, 2017

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 did read these stats.  Russia under the Tsar 1914-1917…had 180 million peasants and […]

November 14th, 2017

15 things to look for in a culture

In the last weeks, for a number of reasons, I have had lots of conversations about ‘corporate culture’ and in […]

November 13th, 2017

Spreading the word and unleashing a movement. Guest blogger

Spreading the word and unleashing a movement Guest blogger: Kahlil Coyle. Social Movement Leader; Values in Action Core Team, Health […]

November 12th, 2017

End of Week Summary

Welcome back Subscribers!   In case you are not aware, posting of Daily Thoughts resumed on Monday 6 November after […]

November 10th, 2017

Leave your sandals at the door

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

November 9th, 2017

Get on the phone. It’s personal.

In the era of digital semi anonymity, personal contact wins. In the era of corporate email broadcasting, personal contact wins. […]

November 8th, 2017

‘Design thinking is bullshit’

I did not say that. Natasha Jen did. She is a designer who has given some provocative presentations under this […]

November 7th, 2017

Teamocracies are tired, networkracies win the day.

For as long as anybody can remember in management history, the team has been highlighted as the unquestionable form of […]

November 6th, 2017

And they all gave one day of their holidays.

A true story. A health care worker is truly struggling to do her work and caring for a son who […]

October 18th, 2017

Pause, recap, reflect: See you on November 6th

Dear Subscriber My team has been posting for a while, selected previously published Daily Thoughts.  Also retweeting some of them. […]

October 6th, 2017

The tyranny of the small things

Grandiose plans get sabotaged by small things. Many years ago, I was involved in what was going to be a […]

October 5th, 2017

My last Employee Engagement model. (7/7): Activists on the payroll.

In this model, the employee (1) is an activist, (2) largely working peer-to-peer, and (3) progressing towards (if not arriving […]

October 4th, 2017

Employee Engagement as morally imperative. (6/7) A forgotten model?

Here is a ‘very novel’ concept. Employee Engagement is needed because… it’s good in and of itself. Because work enhances […]

October 3rd, 2017

Employee Engagement Models continue (5/7): ‘The Investors metaphor’.

This is model 4 of the series.  The concept is simple. Imagine that you, as an employee, are in reality an […]

October 2nd, 2017

More on Employee Engagement (4/7): ‘The Cause’. Engagement with the company or within the company?

This is model 3 (but the 4th post, confusing!)  ‘The Cause’. Employees join forcers to work on a Cause: green agenda, corporate […]

October 1st, 2017

End of Week Summary

Happy Weekend to all our readers Today we are taking another look at activism and grass roots communications.  We hope […]

September 30th, 2017

Employee Engagement week ( and debunking) continues. (3/7): The Happy Cows model

This is model 2 in the pack of 6 that I have described. There is a book, or two, and it’s […]

September 29th, 2017

Debunking the Myths of Employee Engagement (2/7): Giving employees a voice. So, now we have a choir. And then what?

Model 1 of my 6 is what I call, ‘Air time’. It translates into: ‘we recognise that employees’ views are not properly […]

September 28th, 2017

Debunking the Myths of Employee Engagement: a land of Emperors with No Clothes. (1/7) The six models

A while ago I posted my views on Employee Engagement. Since this has become an industry in its own right, and […]

September 26th, 2017

Will the last employee in Command and Control Inc/Ltd/Plc/SA please turn off the lights? (But have a good lantern with you)

The new, emerging organizations, many people would agree, are more collaborative, more leadership-distributed, less top-down, with more levels of empowerment […]

September 22nd, 2017

The clouds move to follow me; the traffic lights go green when I move

These two statements represent a form of magical thinking of the kind seen in ancient humans (clouds) and todays humans […]

September 21st, 2017

Build your own Employee Engagement argument for free. You can’t go wrong

Here are three baskets full of concepts: Basket one: Working conditions, Flexibility at work, Pay and perks, Reward and recognition, […]

September 19th, 2017

This is a non-smoking flight

If you are a frequent flight traveller, as I am for business reasons, you will be familiar with the standard […]

September 18th, 2017

The Rolling Luggage Paradox

I owe this to Nassim Taleb (‘Fooled by Randomness’ (2007), ‘The Black Swan’ (2008), ‘Antifragile’ (2013). As a traveller of many years […]

September 17th, 2017

End of Week Summary

Happy Weekend to all our Readers This week we have decided to take another look at some posts that focus […]

September 16th, 2017

The last thing I need is creativity

Henry Ford is quoted to have said ‘why is it every time I ask for a pair of hands, they […]

September 15th, 2017

We are so good at crisis!

Many clients have expresed this thought over the years: ‘Leandro, we are so good at crisis!’ And indeed they were!  […]

September 14th, 2017

3 versions of speed

Andrew Grove, ex Intel This business about speed has its limits. Brains don’s speed up.  The exchange of ideas does […]

September 13th, 2017

‘Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig’

Robert Anson Heinlein (1907-1988), American science fiction writer, was famous for his quotes. This is one.  Many uses and interpretations […]

September 12th, 2017

The three ‘magic’ words: transparency, clarity and fairness

These three organizational ‘magic words’ manage to get mixed up a lot. It’s hard to believe because they are so […]

September 11th, 2017

Make your trade off(s) transparent

In my experience, people can understand budget cuts, but there are several types of acceptance, leading to several levels of […]

September 10th, 2017

End of Week Summary

Happy Weekend to all our Readers This week we have decided to take another look at some posts that encompass […]

September 9th, 2017

To learn how to create a culture of customer focus, use one

Disclaimer: I don’t have shares in the company, or discounts, or commissions! No place I know can match Chateauform  ( […]

September 8th, 2017

I can prove anything in management thinking. Watch me!

I can’t remember where I saw this. This is part of the point. It could have been anywhere. But I […]

September 7th, 2017

Never sell your time

A friend of mind, a great artist, posted his latest challenge in Facebook.  He had presented a product idea to his […]

September 6th, 2017

When necessary use words

Saint Francis of Assisi is a 13th Century figure revered as a Saint by the Catholic Church, and who founded […]

September 5th, 2017

Stop press: Candidate interviewed by authentic people

A recent senior hire in a client company commented to me that the thing that most impressed her in the […]

September 4th, 2017

Empowerment: the muddle. The wrong conversation, until you start unpacking the concept and dismantling the house of buzzwords.

The ‘expectations muddle’ of empowerment has different shapes and flavours: I expect you to do something but you don’t think […]

September 3rd, 2017

End of Week Summary

Happy Weekend to all our Readers This week we have decided to take another look at some posts that encompass […]

September 2nd, 2017

‘We have a communication problem’ is not always a good start.

‘Lack of communication’ or  ‘a communication problem’, is perhaps number one declared culprit in most of our troubled organizational life. […]

September 2nd, 2017

Employee Engagement as morally imperative. (6/7) A forgotten model?

Here is a ‘very novel’ concept. Employee Engagement is needed because… it’s good in and of itself. Because work enhances […]

September 1st, 2017

In the War for Attention within your company, you may need a communication ceasefire

Our faith in communication is enormous. Why? Perhaps because we know well the problems associated with the lack of communication. […]

August 31st, 2017

‘Nothing new under the sun’ ? Take off your sun glasses and stop the Valium

Often you see people in organizations disillusioned with changes, considering themselves survivors of  yet another reorg, getting on with the […]

August 30th, 2017

‘The Dunbar Number’ and ‘Mad Lean Numbers’: a question of the right critical mass of people to make things happen.

Robin Dunbar, an anthropologist and psychologist, Oxford professor, has formulated that 150 was the “cognitive limit to the number of […]

August 30th, 2017

If you want to increase employee engagement and employee satisfaction, increase your company performance (yes, the order is not a typo)

With the holidays coming to a close and everyone returning to ‘work mode’, here is a recent post on employee […]

August 28th, 2017

If you have anything to do with developing leaders don’t kid yourself. These ones had never gone, and one who didn’t want to be, is in.

It’s 2017. Business as selfish, self-centered, a-social, ‘it’s-all-about-money-sorry’, is gone. So many people say. ‘Old fashioned views, we have moved […]

August 27th, 2017

End of week Summary – some thoughts on behavioural change & culture

Happy Long Weekend to all our Readers This week we have decided to look at behaviour and culture, first with […]

August 26th, 2017

There must be a better way (I have good news)

There must be a better way than having 200 consultants landing in my company and doing the stuff for me, […]

August 25th, 2017

Innovation? Great, but I am not in charge of it!

Years ago I was talking to a client, a Senior VP in the company, about a project that had to […]

August 23rd, 2017

We need the aliens. Everybody needs aliens. Smart aliens who can ask questions and open Pandora boxes for us.

The best swordsman in the world doesn’t need to fear the second best swordsman in the world; no, the person […]

August 22nd, 2017

‘Jeff Bezos assures Amazon Employees that HR is working 100 Hours a week to address their complaints’ (that they are working 100 hours a week)

Whatever he had in mind, it was communicated in an incredibly poor way. The prize for messaging goes to Amazon […]

August 21st, 2017

If you needed to remember only one classification of people: ‘external and internal locus of control’

This is old Psychology lesson. ‘External locus of control’ translation: the problem is somewhere else, not me. It’s the environment, […]

August 18th, 2017

A behavioural epidemic can’t be fought from within. It needs a behavioural counter-epidemic to take over

I have explored this theme before in my Daily Thoughts, but I feel compelled to go back! Behavioural issues, whether […]

August 17th, 2017

“There are two types of people in the world: those who can extrapolate from incomplete data sets”

What type are you? How our mental models work is part of the Minimal Introspection, something we tend to overlook, […]

August 16th, 2017

Iconic leadership: the illusion of copying a one off

Whilst the holidays roll on, here is a continuation of the leadership theme to consider before the summer is over  […]

August 15th, 2017

Last in my holiday readings. Here is the plot.

A glitch in the system yesterday meant there was a duplication in the Daily Thoughts posts.  Please accept our apologies […]

August 14th, 2017

The 3 Grand Ds (‘Direction, Discovery and Destiny’), have also their 3 little personal and powerful ‘d’ sisters.

Good Morning! The following article extends on our recent series on leadership this week, which we hope you enjoy In […]

August 11th, 2017

The best question is the one which has no answer

Good Morning!  Here is the last of our series of three on Leadership this week. Recently, I keep finding myself […]

August 10th, 2017

It takes only one question to know about your model of leadership (and there is always an alternative question, just in case)

Morning to you.  Here is our second post in a series of three on Leadership: Don’t define leadership for me. […]

August 9th, 2017

My contradictions are my friends, and they come with me as leader

We are revisiting leadership this week.  This is one of a series of 3.   We praise people because of […]

July 30th, 2017

End of Week Summary: Social Movements

Happy weekend!   To finish our week of recaps on Social Movement related posts, we have selected 3 more favourites […]

July 28th, 2017

Reinventing management is reinventing the skill set. It’s urgent, and the answers are elsewhere, not in traditional management practices.

Reinventing management to deal with the complexities of the world and, therefore, the complexities of business challenges is something that, […]

July 27th, 2017

12 simple rules of social change, organizational (culture) or societal (2 of 2)

Continuing my revised 12 laws of social change at a scale. Very simple laws apply to any large scale change […]

July 26th, 2017

12 simple rules of social change, organizational (culture) or societal (1 of 2)

The second of this week’s revisited posts – this one was first published in June 2016 (check back tomorrow for part […]

July 25th, 2017

Hooked on tactics: from macro-social movements to inside the organization.

As Dr Leandro Herrero is away, the Daily Thoughts will be taking a short “pause” this week. In the meantime, […]

July 23rd, 2017

End of Week Summary: Time to Review

Happy weekend to all our readers!   This week we decided to look back over some old posts around organizational inflection […]

July 20th, 2017

Organizations have their own ‘People who like this, also like that’. Their ideology (idea-Logic) may be too crafted. (2/2)

Part 2 of 2, first published November 2015 Yesterday I offered 10 types of people that challenge the status quo […]

July 19th, 2017

10 types of people who challenge the status quo in the organization. The art of dissenting (1/2)

Part 1 of 2, First published in November 2015… Who challenges in organizations? People who have nothing to lose People […]

July 17th, 2017

Builders build, and build. Problem solvers solve, and need more problems. Choose.

Unless we call ‘problem’ to any management activity, as many people do even without acknowledging it, and, in which case, […]

July 15th, 2017

The myth that everybody needs to be involved in ‘the change’

This is an obvious desideratum. But very often it’s unrealistic. Conventional management approaches tell us that we have to communicate […]

July 14th, 2017

‘Bottom up’ is not more workshops at the bottom. That is just a migration of the top-down to a lower level.

Apologies for the delay in Daily Thoughts posts this week, we have been having some technical issues! We are now […]

July 10th, 2017

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 […]

July 9th, 2017

End of Week Summary: Behavioural Change

Happy weekend to our readers!   Behavioural Change is pivotal to all of our work at The Chalfont Project and as […]

July 7th, 2017

Work-life balance: the on-off switch is broken, and they don’t make them any more.

Forget work-life balance. It was a good concept that did a lot of good but has now retired. It cannot  any […]

July 6th, 2017

It has taken me so long to understand why they are so slow! They love ‘concrete’! (Ideas made of concrete?)

I remember last year in the US. I had given them ideas, insights, reflections. I had shared experiences. I had […]

July 5th, 2017

The fastest and best way to build a creative culture: all revealed now

The fastest and best way to build a creative culture is to have lots of creative people together. No kidding. […]

July 3rd, 2017

Accountability holes? Desert spaces? Orphan ideas? Buy the tent, occupy the street.

Any organization has accountability holes, areas where nobody really owns the space. Sometimes these are true ‘grey areas’, sometimes are […]

July 2nd, 2017

End of Week Summary: 3 Favourites

Happy weekend to all Daily Thoughts readers! Unbelievably we have have reached the end of another month, so it’s time […]

July 1st, 2017

The health-care-delivery Onion System does not need Big Consulting but small common sense. Maybe that’s the problem, it’s so uncommon.

My experience of several health care delivery systems, both as a patient and as external consultant, is that they function […]

June 30th, 2017

There are Good Leaders, Excellent Leaders, and Gold Leaders.This is what Gold looks like

The third post in my “Leadership Recap” series… Gold leadership, is the one above silver and bronze, that is. Sorry […]

June 29th, 2017

If leadership in organizations followed some ‘activism rules’; not standard management logic. Here is one rule.

The second post in my “Leadership Recap” series… One of the key rules of activism (social, political, cause) is not […]

June 28th, 2017

The wolf pack and leadership : the lesson(s)

Over the next few days, I will be revisiting some of my favourite posts on Leadership. I hope you enjoy […]

June 27th, 2017

The minority tyranny in the organization

Nassim Taleb’s piece in Medium about ten months ago entitled The Most Intolerant Wins: The Dictatorship of the Small Minority is […]

June 26th, 2017

Sharing thoughts, being carriers, and why there are no idiots anymore.

I have described before the role of managers in many ways, often pointing to the risk of becoming ‘information traffic […]

June 25th, 2017

End of Week Summary: some thoughts on culture

Happy weekend to all Daily Thoughts Readers, and apologies for the lack of summary last week! This week we have […]

June 24th, 2017

Feed back loop management strategy is not strategic. Excuse my language.

Steve Richards’  ‘The Rise of the Outsiders: How  Mainstream Politics Lost Its Way’ (2017), has prompted me to reflect on […]

June 21st, 2017

There is something only you can do: be yourself. Everything else can be outsourced.

There is something only you can live: your life. Socrates said that ‘the unexamined life is not worth living’. Being […]

June 20th, 2017

Mindfulness, the new solution. Oh, sorry, I forgot, what’s the problem?

Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, a software millionaire, has discovered mindfulness. And has installed ‘mindfulness rooms’ in the Salesforce building […]

June 16th, 2017

Backstage Leadership™ is key to collective leadership, a cornerstone of the modern organisation

I believe that one of the fundamental types of leadership in this Century is Backstage Leadership™. This is the art […]

June 14th, 2017

An audience is not a community. A community is not a team

Below is a popular post from last year which we thought was worth revisiting – enjoy! Audiences receive messages, whether […]

June 12th, 2017

Organization Math Compilation.

Admin note: We would like to apologize for the disruption in the past few days on the regular posts by Dr. […]

June 7th, 2017

Organization maths (3 of 3). Matthew Effects, and a summary

In previous Daily Thoughts  (here and here) I wrote about some simple maths of the organization when understood as a […]

June 5th, 2017

There is a new world currency, with its traders and its own economy. And it’s not money.

It’s hard to write after yet another terrorist attack just a few miles from my keyboard, and not to make […]

June 3rd, 2017

End of week Summary: 3 Favourites

Happy weekend everyone! This is the Daily Thoughts support team calling! As we start another month, we take this opportunity […]

June 2nd, 2017

Organization’s arithmetic continues Part 2 (of 3). Sorry to be a pain but, how many have the real power?

Yesterday Daily Thoughts started some Organization Mathematics for dummies. [Training is to addition what culture change is to multiplication] Believe […]

June 1st, 2017

Training is to addition what culture change is to multiplication. Organization’s arithmetic Part 1 (of 3)

So if you have a ‘culture change programme’ that is based on adding more and more people going through a […]

May 31st, 2017

A thousand and one blogs. Now I need you

Yes, I’ve reached that quota. They are all in the website and, incidentally, they are screaming for a new home […]

May 30th, 2017

Bullshit re-gaining academic recognition. Now, not a simple outburst but a formal topic of intellectual interest.

English not being my mother tongue, I always take the liberty of using terms that polite English people don’t use […]

May 26th, 2017

Confidence, vulnerability, trust: my kingdom for a good theory. In the meantime, I’ll see these when I see these.

Vulnerability is a luxury. The world may attack you, take advantage of you. You should measure the love of people […]

May 25th, 2017

Absurdity: the trade, and a couple of solutions

Many years ago I met somebody at a conference. He was one of the speakers. He told us a great […]

May 24th, 2017

Manchester, we cry. Calling all competent ex-terrorists

It’s just simply impossible to go business as usual after the Manchester events. Yet, the best thing we could do […]

May 22nd, 2017

The Disruption Religion misses the point: what will not change, and how we can capitalize on it. (2 of 2)

In the previous Daily Thought I shared the simple idea that change management approaches often miss a big elephant in […]

May 21st, 2017

Change management most important announcement: this will not change (1 of 2)

The change management industry has traditionally missed a big elephant in the room: in times of change, what is actually […]

May 19th, 2017

The glass-always-half-empty people never bother to fill it in

Entire organizations are kept alive and kicking by the glass-half-full-people whilst the glass-half-empty-people spend their time feeling sorry for themselves. […]

May 18th, 2017

Weekly Summary: Organization Architecture

Welcome to this week’s summary (a bit earlier than usual!)   Here at Daily Thoughts HQ and The Chalfont Project, […]

May 15th, 2017

Good leaders are a bit of corporate anthropologists, without the six months in Tanzania.

Good leaders are a bit of corporate anthropologists. In fact, we are all exotics in the payroll. In my idiosyncratic, […]

May 13th, 2017

End of Week Summary: Peer-to-peer influence

Happy weekend to all our Daily Thoughts readers! This week, some of The Chalfont Project team have been at a […]

May 12th, 2017

The 4 hats of leadership: a review

I am reviewing an old pots on our 4 Hats leadership. The trouble with the talking about leadership is that […]

May 11th, 2017

Talk like an organizational and cultural expert. Money back guarantee.

Back in 2015 I wrote this. In the context of some recent conversations, I went to review the validity of […]

May 9th, 2017

10 principles behind culture, behind ‘Employer Branding’, and behind anything that has to do with the DNA of an organization

Today I have presented my views on Employer Branding at a conference in Berlin. The trouble with this area is […]

May 8th, 2017

The best contribution that Neurosciences can make to Management and Leadership is to leave the room

I have talked a lot in the past about the Neurobabble Fallacy. I know this makes many people uncomfortable. I […]

May 7th, 2017

End of Week Summary: Social Movements

Happy weekend to our readers!   Here at Daily Thoughts HQ, social movements are one of our favourite topics…so although […]

May 4th, 2017

Tribes in the organization: Managing by Segmenting Around (part 3 of 3)

If you followed the two previous Daily Thoughts, you would have got into the idea of ‘Managing by Segmenting Around’. […]

May 3rd, 2017

Tribes in the organization: seeing the world in segments, one character at a time . The Big 40 (part 2 of 3)

Exercise: take a piece of paper and put names next to each category. Use your organization or an organization you […]

May 2nd, 2017

Tribes in the organization: seeing the world in segments, one character at a time (part 1 of 3)

This almost one year old Daily Thought has done the rounds of social media many times over!  I replicate it […]

April 30th, 2017

End of Week Summary: 3 Favourites!

Happy weekend Daily Thoughts Readers!   As we reach the end of another month, it seemed a good time to […]

April 28th, 2017

I have to be honest: look how many things around are wrong. But let’s be positive.

My son, I’ll be honest with you. You can become a successful person or an alcoholic. I have to be […]

April 27th, 2017

Today’s Daily Thought is completely stolen. My best proud robbery in 10 lines.

The original  is here: TED talk: Why the only future worth building includes everyone. By Pope Francis. “The Future You:” […]

April 26th, 2017

Many cultural change efforts fail out of a mathematical mistake

Originally published a few months ago, I wanted to resend this as an opportunity to re-read and reflect. I hope […]

April 25th, 2017

A team is not a meeting. The best team is the one that does not need to meet. Almost.

A dangerous metastatic cancer in organizations ( no apologies for the strong language) is the equating of ‘team’ and ‘meeting’. […]

April 24th, 2017

Bezo’s Day One is a good place to be. Line stolen (again) with thanks

Jeff Bezos. Amazon’s CEO, has been using the ‘Day One expression since the 1997 letter to shareholders. Now, it is […]

April 22nd, 2017

End of Week Summary: Trust

Happy weekend to all our readers! Here at The Chalfont Project and Daily Thoughts HQ, we have been talking a […]

April 20th, 2017

The enemy is most likely to be within

Looking outside is great. Looking inside is not a good idea. It leads to navel gazing. Nombrilisme in French, more […]

April 19th, 2017

12 Things your organization needs. The world circa 2017

Deal with /learn to navigate in ambiguity and unpredictability. We don’t have good toolkits but any investment in at least […]

April 16th, 2017

End of Week Summary: Storytelling

Happy Easter to all our Daily Thoughts readers! We hope you are having an enjoyable weekend and that the sun […]

April 11th, 2017

Change management theories have only interpreted the organizational world. The point however is to actually change it.

Since we all love conceptual frames, it is not surprising that in the area of ‘change management’ there are a […]

April 10th, 2017

The power of absurdity in fighting absurdity. We should use more of it.

A couple of years ago, a client of mine in mainland continental Europe moved to new, pristine, shinny offices. Suddenly […]

April 9th, 2017

End of Week Summary: Behavioural Change (part 2)

Happy weekend! Welcome to part 2 of our look at behavioural change. For all the most recent posts on this […]

April 7th, 2017

Plateau is the enemy. Hard work the remedy. Out of plateau the priority.

The secret of success revealed: it’s hard work! There you are. Now mix it with healthy ambition. And now make […]

April 6th, 2017

Social Daily Thoughts? Two recent ones to discuss with somebody.

Still in pause mode, here is a reflection from the Daily Thoughts Support team @ The Chalfont Project Two recent […]

April 5th, 2017

Daily Thoughts are in pause mode for a few days. But we are close to the 1000 Daily Thoughts in the library. It’s all yours. 7 ways to use them.

Hi This is the Support Team  @ The Chalfont Project, behind the Daily Thoughts that Dr Leandro Herero writes personally. […]

April 3rd, 2017

Many reorganizations based upon ‘structural problems’ have a name and surname behind

We often hear the need to put some order in Division A, or to restructure X and Y by putting […]

April 2nd, 2017

End of Week Summary: Behavioural Change

Happy weekend to all our Daily Thoughts readers! This week at we have been focusing on Behaviours – after all, […]

March 31st, 2017

The Inevitability Principle is inevitably wrong. Leaders must avoid it.

Years ago,  political scientist Francis Fukuyama wrote about the End of History. We all are converging to ‘the end’: liberal […]

March 30th, 2017

Employee satisfaction/engagement surveys: The Chicken Version. This is what they may look like with their eggs.

Employee satisfaction/engagement surveys are a one way traffic systems. They are about what the company gives you, or does not. […]

March 29th, 2017

Don’t be prescriptive, just tell me what to do

Or the curious phenomenon of not wanting something that you really want. Leadership is full of this stuff. We don’t […]

March 27th, 2017

What I really, really want?

Somebody asked a group of senior IT people about to buy a whole new software infrastructure based on the ‘agile’ […]

March 26th, 2017

End of Week Summary: Performance

Hello Daily Thoughts Readers! We hope you are all having an enjoyable and relaxing weekend. This week we are thinking […]

March 24th, 2017

The Red Traffic Light Logic

I used to have a paranoiac patient who tried to explain to me all the time her very special powers. […]

March 23rd, 2017

Change the world, maybe one world at a time. But with a plan.

My recent Daily Thought (I’m now of an age when I only want to work with people who want to […]

March 22nd, 2017

The Negative Inventory Manager is a toxic manager, an organizational health hazard.

There is a type of manager/leader who masters the art of listing what you don’t have.  We don’t have the […]

March 21st, 2017

I’m now of an age when I only want to work with people who want to change the world

And still I get lots of people who raise eyebrows, people who look at me with a conspiracy-like smile (‘you […]

March 20th, 2017

‘Our best days are yet to come. Our proudest moments are yet to be. Our most glorious achievements are just ahead’

I am borrowing Ronald Reagan’s lines to remind ourselves that, as leaders in an organization, we must visualize a future. […]

March 19th, 2017

End of Week Summary: Viral Change

Happy Sunday to all Daily Thoughts readers! This week, The Chalfont Project team have been busy working onsite with one […]

March 17th, 2017

The 51 week problem.

I got this insight from one of our Viral Change™  clients in the health care sector. We were talking about […]

March 16th, 2017

There is no cost to being, and the ROI is pretty good.

The cost of authenticity, of being yourself, is zero. In theory, the cost of pretending you  are somebody else is […]

March 14th, 2017

The most dangerous character in the organization’s plot: The Self Proclaimed Saviour.

The Self Proclaimed Saviours will never save you since their only intent is their personal success. It happens in society […]

March 13th, 2017

An enlightened top leadership is sometimes a fantastic alibi for a non-enlightened management to do whatever they want

Nothing is more rewarding than having a CEO who says world-changing things in the news, and who produces bold, enlightened […]

March 12th, 2017

End of Week Summary: 3 of our Favourites!

Hello from the Daily Thoughts team! Here at HQ, we can’t quite believe it’s March already – although we are enjoying […]

March 10th, 2017

From mess to clarity in two paths: the rational and the effective.

Type One: This is messy. Accountabilities are not clear. The process sucks. Too many people involved. The issue to address […]

March 9th, 2017

Behave or I will 360 you

Ever since glorious Michael O’Leary CEO of Ryanair was told to control himself and get close to the customer (I […]

March 8th, 2017

The real risk is not to be risky enough.

Is this risky enough? The modern risk manager says. This question usually sits high in many our Viral Change™ programmes. […]

March 7th, 2017

The insurgent wins.

The insurgent strategy may be called. It is applicable to politics and also to business. The insurgent does not play […]

March 6th, 2017

7 Rules to negotiate and lead ( and control your destiny). Number 5 is the tricky one.

Control the conversation. Control the dialogue. Don’t accept a dialogue imposed to you. Common ground is OK, but only if […]

March 5th, 2017

End of Week Summary: 3 Daily Thoughts on Innovation

Happy weekend from Daily Thoughts HQ! This week we wanted to send you three posts on Innovation, which we hope […]

March 3rd, 2017

Organizations: The Enemy Within (3/3). What the real enemies look like.

My final topic of these 3 parts:  We have a full mythology of what can and can’t be done in […]

March 1st, 2017

Organizations: The Enemy Within (2/3). What the real enemies look like.

How to look for the enemy? It is there. It is in the form of divisional silos that don’t talk […]

February 27th, 2017

Organizations: The Enemy Within (1/3). There is no ‘war on talent’

When years ago McKinsey consultants produced a book entitled “The war for talent”, they successfully created the impression that talent […]

February 26th, 2017

End of week Summary: 3 on Leadership

Happy weekend from Daily Thoughts support team at The Chalfont Project HQ! Leadership is always a popular subject and an […]

February 25th, 2017

Don’t trust armchair critics, reformers, and broadcasters of leadership who don’t know what a dry cleaner is

Follow the ones who do, who move, who try, who push.  The ones who get dirty ( and send their […]

February 24th, 2017

‘If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there’. But if you are stuck deciding, that place is worse than any other.

The old saying, ‘if you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there’ (Lewis Carroll dixit) […]

February 23rd, 2017

It’s the journey, not the milk and honey.

I am revisiting an old Daily Thought  of 3 years ago as a reflection of how see things from the […]

February 22nd, 2017

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 […]

February 21st, 2017

Corporate brands are behavioural. They have always been, but no much spoken about.

Brand (identity), whether big brand or small brand, is a behavioural powerhouse. Strictly speaking I would say a Pull-House, because […]

February 20th, 2017

There is a colossal world replay of the Asch’ conformity experiment, and you are part of it.

It’s 1950.  Solomon Eliot Asch (1907–1996), social psychologist, runs a series of social experiments. In one, he tells students that […]

February 19th, 2017

Sunday’s little refresh: Building Remarkable Organizations

Hi, this is the support team of the Daily Thoughts on  Sunday’s duty! Refresh! This week we have been thinking […]

February 17th, 2017

We must resist the tripadvisorization of human relationships in the organization.

Random, semi-connected, unfinished thoughts on this: A so called ‘culture of feedback’ is conceptually overrated. It has become one of […]

February 16th, 2017

Speak like an organizational expert. Actually to fool everybody is not that difficult

A year and a half ago I published a list of 10 statements that can make you speak like an […]

February 15th, 2017

If you need to parachute help, send builders, not problem solvers

Parachuting help is daily life in leadership of organizations. It may take the form of sending leaders from outside the […]

February 14th, 2017

What is your world view? Surely, this must be the new greeting. (Alt-greeting?)

I propose this as the 2017 alternative to ‘How do you do?’ (correct English) or ‘Hey, how are you?, nice […]

February 13th, 2017

Corporate initiatives are born and die. And the reasons are seldom lack of goals.

I can’t get rid of this theme in my head. I have written about it so many times that my […]

February 12th, 2017

End of Week Summary: Backstage Leadership

Hello from Daily Thoughts HQ! This week we have gathered together some of our favourite posts on Backstage Leadership – […]

February 11th, 2017

There is always room for uniqueness, even in the most standardized management process. What would it take?

Uniqueness is a tough concept. I’ve got countless examples of clients pushing back  over the years. ‘Come on, this is […]

February 9th, 2017

The organizational structure vs what is really going on. Or the loneliness of an organization chart.

The snap short of the company as pictured in an organizational chart, is probably one of the most fictitious work […]

February 8th, 2017

Solidarity as a form of organizational culture is both a soft label and a secret weapon.

At some people’s request, I am revising an old Daily Thoughts on ‘solidarity’ in the work place. Solidarity is one […]

February 7th, 2017

Five fast track to hopelessness in the organization. Little cure afterwards.

Prevention is the only serious approach. The extra problem is that all these five tracks may be partially invisible, used […]

February 3rd, 2017

Clues to mobilize people inside the corporate tent, come from outside that tent.

People reading these Daily Thoughts may be used to common themes, indeed. After all, I am not writing about nuclear […]

February 2nd, 2017

Where is home? A serious management question to employees

I am (in) IT, I work for X (company) I work for X (company), I am in IT These are […]

February 1st, 2017

From protest to action, from voice to action. On TV and in the organization.

Protests all over the world linked to a reason. Let’s take the Women’s march in January 21st In Washington. I […]

January 31st, 2017

Peer to Peer networks are the strongest force of action

First published in November, here is an insight into peer to peer networks that got a lot of interest when […]

January 30th, 2017

Don’t preach diversity, practice it. Start with mundane process rules.

In the day when Tim Crook, Apple’s CEO, had to send a note to everybody in the company reminding them […]

January 29th, 2017

End of Week Summary: Activism

Happy weekend from Daily Thoughts HQ! This week’s summary focuses on Activism. Something we have been seeing a lot of […]

January 28th, 2017

‘If’, the poem. (Management version circa. 2017)

If instead of a company, you had and led a community. If instead of employees you had internal social activists. […]

January 27th, 2017

Thank God for management stereotypes. They solve many of our thinking problems (for lousy managers, that is)

Let’s try this. Somebody who asks lots of questions becomes ‘a micro-manager’, which solves the problem of my questioning whether […]

January 26th, 2017

Thinking abdicated

There are many situations in organization and corporate life when either the collective or others with authority solve our decision […]

January 24th, 2017

Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ was not in the script.

Most of what is very good comes from discarding the standard or the good itself. The best scripts I have […]

January 23rd, 2017

Don’t preach diversity, practice it. Start with mundane process rules.

In the day when Tim Crook, Apple’s CEO, had to send a note to everybody in the company reminding them […]

January 23rd, 2017

Corporate grammar could learn from Obama’s spelling guidelines

“This isn’t a period, it’s a comma, in the continuing story that is America,” Obama said when leaving office. Well, […]

January 22nd, 2017

End of Week Summary: Peer-to-Peer Influence

Hello and happy weekend from Daily Thoughts HQ! Welcome to our weekend summary post, this week focused on the power […]

January 20th, 2017

Along came a spider.

(Friday 20.01.17 AD, 45th President of the USA, Inauguration Day) Conscious that this only makes sense to the Anglo-Saxon tribes […]

January 19th, 2017

In ‘people like us’ we trust, others must try harder, and leaders should go to the optometrist.

 Edelman Trust barometer is out again. Extraordinary piece of work. The highlights? Trust is at its lowest, everywhere. The media […]

January 17th, 2017

Is leadership so elusive? Or only in the hands of academics?

A recent publication around the Mighty Davos meeting portrays the views of five expert academics on the topic of leadership […]

January 16th, 2017

Archaeologists usually don’t build houses. We have lots of archaeologists in the payroll

Over years of consulting, I have realised that the best leaders I know, never talk about their previous companies, what […]

January 15th, 2017

End of Week Summary: Social Movements

Hi! This is the Daily Thoughts Support Team speaking. We hope you are all having a good weekend! Welcome to  […]

January 14th, 2017

The Daily Me, information bubbles, and keeping sane.

We naturally retreat to comfort zones. If we didn’t, we would not survive, physically or psychologically. We live in Confirmation […]

January 13th, 2017

Bold leadership pays off. It can also be killed by those who are highly paid to be professionally afraid

Years ago, I persuaded a pharmaceutical client to make three bold moves in one: (1)   To create a New Product […]

January 12th, 2017

Obama’s farewell speech has calls to actions relevant to organizations. Most can be summarised: take charge, get involved.

Obama’s farewell speech contains enough reflective materials, statements and arguments to spend hours of learning, no matter where you are […]

January 11th, 2017

Quick self-test on guts to call out non-compliance.

I’d like you to do this quick exercise: Part 1. Read this edited version of a summary in a 2008 […]

January 10th, 2017

Thought leadership is making people think, or there is no much thought or leadership. Maybe journalistic leadership?

True thought leadership is not about conveying new ideas, showing directions for innovation and offloading the latest trends. There is […]

January 9th, 2017

The only change worth changing, is people’s lives. Why are we shy to say it?

Business organizations have grown in a traditional alpha male model where emotions are weakness, irrationality is banned and ‘the human […]

January 8th, 2017

Week end Summary: Truth, Rumours and Dragon’s Den. A critical thinking trio

Welcome to 2017 and the first of our weekly summary posts – this week focusing on “Critical Thinking”. We have […]

January 7th, 2017

Trust is (mostly) horizontal. Our organizations are (mostly) vertical. No wonder…

‘People like me’ is a category on its own right in the Edelman Trust Barometer. Multiple sets of data point […]

January 6th, 2017

Behaviours are the syntax of the organization. Values are the grammar. Your space in the world is the story.

Your linguistic and behavioural frame must be in sync. Story, values and behaviours need to be solid and well connected. […]

January 5th, 2017

When I hear ‘this is a culture of consensus’, my Trouble Detector starts blipping

Organizations can have the flu. And it can become epidemic. The epidemic of consensus is one. The conversation often starts […]

January 4th, 2017

Forward to the Past: If this is what your brand-new strategy smells like, do the honourable thing. Kill it.

Your big leadership choice for 2017 is between being the guardian of what has already happened, or the prophet of […]

January 3rd, 2017

Happy New Year! Good to see you again. Just checking in.

Back at 08:00 GMT, my alarm clock, with  ideas left behind with the community of readers, followers, clients, my global […]

December 31st, 2016

Best Of Daily Thoughts 2016 Countdown: The Top 3

Thanks to all those who voted for their favourite Daily Thoughts of 2016 – we compiled the results and here are […]

December 30th, 2016

The Best Of Daily Thoughts 2016 Countdown 10-4

Thanks to all those who voted for their favourite Daily Thoughts of 2016 – we compiled the results and here is […]

December 23rd, 2016

Daily Thoughts run up to end of the year (5/5) Forget robust and forget the tanks. It’s guerrilla and its gazelle/cheetah/falcon in the project team.

Renounce adaptation, robustness and even ‘flexibility’ in favour of ‘taking any opportunity to do things you think you could not […]

December 22nd, 2016

Daily Thoughts run up to end of the year (4/5) If you are not in crisis, reboot. Declare inflection points. That’s readiness.

Some leaders are very good in a crisis. They may or may not acknowledge that, but the adrenaline of the […]

December 21st, 2016

Daily Thoughts run up to end of the year (3/5) The real readiness trick is behavioural. The rest is commentary.

The Four readiness drivers I have mentioned in previous days are: Rapid Reaction and Reconfiguration (RRR) Focus on your ‘social […]

December 20th, 2016

Daily Thoughts run up to end of the year (2/5) Readiness is the new capability (just don’t ask what for) and it has four drivers.

The word ‘ready’ has at least 4 meanings in any dictionary:   1. Prepared or available for service, action, or […]

December 19th, 2016

Daily Thoughts run up to end of the year (1/5) You never let a crisis go to waste

This is the famous quote by Rahm Emanuel, now mayor or Chicago and before Chief of Staff of Barack Obama: […]

December 17th, 2016

3 Daily Thoughts on: Culture

In the second of our Daily Thoughts summaries this week, I focus on Organizational Culture. Read on for some examples […]

December 16th, 2016

3 Daily Thoughts on: Leadership

Many of you have told us that a regular summary of Daily Thoughts’ posts, focused on certain topics, would be […]

December 14th, 2016

The leader is not an answerphone. Or a help-desk.

In our Viral Change™ Programmes, members of the community (company) of activists, invariably ask questions such as, what shall we […]

December 12th, 2016

The curious case of management bad sync: the video and the audio don’t match

This is a pattern that I encounter in many of my clients. Top and less top leadership, of the progressive […]

December 10th, 2016

No revolutions here, we are corporate. Is corporate life shielded in the Era of the Unpredictable?

Here we go again. I keep sounding gloomy these days. I don’t mean to. Promise. The Era of Anger, the […]

December 9th, 2016

Management may be getting a free upgrade. To leadership. It’s time to review these categories.

The current theory on the future of management, going around in some circles, (courtesy of Gary Hamel, somebody people pay […]

December 8th, 2016

‘The truth will set you free’, the Bible says. Using a Baloney Detection Kit will keep you sane.

It’s official. Well, it has been now for a little while. “Post-truth” has been named Oxford Dictionaries’ 2016 international word […]

December 7th, 2016

This time it’s personal, actually.

A fairly constant finding in political science experimentation (and this is a rich field completely neglected by traditional HR/OD in […]

December 6th, 2016

My soft stuff/test results: 3 Plus, 3 Minus, 3 Grr!

I have found myself in full philosophical mode, taking stock. End of year I suppose. This is like a blood […]

December 5th, 2016

Bonkers is the new black. New management ideas for the NHS are that kind of black.

According to The Telegraph, Mr Jeremy Hunt, Health Secretary of Her Majesty’s British Government has declared that doctors and nurses […]

December 4th, 2016

Preach your values all the time, when necessary use words

This is plagiarism, of course. I am stealing 13th Century saint, Francis of Assisi’s  line: ‘Preach the Gospel all the […]

December 2nd, 2016

Five spaces that the organizational leader needs to design and nurture

What about the leader as a designer of spaces, a social architect that creates places (physical) and spaces? Not hard […]

December 1st, 2016

The Self-Induced Complexity Kingdom (SICK) in organizations looks sometimes like a conspiracy

We all live and work in bureaucratic organizations. The differences between us is the dose. In today’s world, bureaucracy is […]

November 28th, 2016

The ‘quick win-win’ theory, and tactics, often lead to people being put off quickly

One of the most conventionally accepted theories of change, perhaps better called ‘tactics of change’, says that it is important […]

November 27th, 2016

‘If there are no nurses, I don’t want to be part of your revolution’

This is Rule number 13 of the just published, new book ‘Rules for Revolutionaries- how Big Organizing can change everything’, […]

November 26th, 2016

What about a little epidemic of generosity in our organizations?

From all human qualities and types of character, from all human values and personality traits, from so many character-istics of […]

November 25th, 2016

A tsunami of navel-gazing, force 11, is impacting business, society and politics. And individual identity.

I don’t like to sound gloomy. But, is the current self-centrism an epidemic of colossal proportions? Or, another way to […]

November 24th, 2016

Leadership scaffolding. Let’s try this mental model

Leadership can be taught, of course, but not in the same way as teaching how to drive a car or […]

November 23rd, 2016

Three Daily Thoughts for a quick catch up and reflection

Hi there! There is a pause in Daily Thoughts today, but here are three you may have missed that we […]

November 22nd, 2016

No more change please, we need change-ability.

‘Lasting capacity’ must be a keyword for change management and its methods. The issue today is less about how to […]

November 21st, 2016

Sustainable? Competitive advantage or disadvantage?

There was a time, not long ago, when people got fed up with ‘change programmes’ that faded at the speed […]

November 20th, 2016

Here is the good news: good values, translated into behaviours, are contagious.

How do you make values live? Install them in a culture? Model 1: You preach them, and preach them, and […]

November 17th, 2016

Your mental frame, as defined by words, will dictate your actions. Even your values. Words are dictators.

The purpose of the organization is… The objectives of the strategy are… The reason why we have restructured is… From […]

November 15th, 2016

Wicked Problems? Bad news. Prevent.

This is my compiled list of characteristics of a Wicked Problem. The term was first described  by Rittel and Webber […]

November 14th, 2016

‘Agency’ won the US election. Leaders of all sorts, politics and not, take note.

“Agency’ is the word used in social sciences to refer to the ability of an individual to act and make […]

November 13th, 2016

The birth of Behavioural Politics? (And Big Data has gone to the doctor for a check up).

What is happening in politics is the equivalent of what has happened to Economics years ago. Economics was based on […]

November 11th, 2016

The answer to Trumpism: get involved, call out the in-human, the non-truth. Start inside the organization.

When I first read Saul Alinsky’s ‘Rules for Radicals’ a long time ago, I was impacted by a little paragraph […]

November 10th, 2016

I’ve seen another Black Swan and it’s Blonde. And he has grabbed America by the polls. And I’ve seen it on 9/11.

Black Swans stand for the unpredictable. I thought Brexit had occupied that space for a while. Then, well, you know. […]

November 8th, 2016

Give them an A. Then ask them to justify it.

Wonderful orchestra conductor, music educator and leadership speaker, Ben Zander, used to explain how he gives his music students an […]

November 7th, 2016

Rumours in the organization spread faster than light. Find your shelter and scrutinize. Then, call them out.

Years ago, 2011, when we had ‘the riots’ in the streets of London, The Guardian had a tracking system for […]

November 6th, 2016

Defeatism and cynicism are two toxic sisters that need to be challenged. Any second of silence is a terrible complicity in the erosion of hope.

A slow growth cancer in organizations. People unnecessarily and gratuitously condemning the company to an impossible future: we will never […]

November 5th, 2016

Running organizations like a permanent Dragons’Den is not my idea of good management.

Yes, we are in the era of ‘elevators pitch’, of one page formulations, a clear summary, a 140 characters message […]

November 4th, 2016

25 facets of a Project Leader in a large organization (spoiled for identity choices)

There you are. This is a 25 facets supermarket of identities for Project Leaders/Product Developers/Team leaders etc. Some you’ll like […]

November 3rd, 2016

What do I do with a resistant manager? Find five non resistant colleagues, then…

A CEO asked me recently: what do you do with a manager who does not embrace or support change, in […]

November 2nd, 2016

Best Practices is dead, and Benchmarking is not feeling very well.

I think that current life cycle of a ‘best practice’ is a month, or so. And this is benevolent. In […]

October 31st, 2016

News headline about you three years from now. Try this in a group. Agree. Then start seducing people. (Leadership for dummies lime me?)

Where are we going? That’s a simple question in leadership, from followers to leaders. Forgive me this non-sophisticated approach to […]

October 30th, 2016

How do we lead? Try not to start with ‘it depends’, please. (Split personality used to be a disorder, but not anymore. That’s the trap).

Religious leader and child molester? Beacon of moral values and having a secret affair? Anti poverty leader managing a healthy […]

October 29th, 2016

And he took the patient to see his cattle, and the patient progressed very well.

Amongst the fascinating, moving, brilliant stories of health care workers in Ireland, that I have come across in the last […]

October 27th, 2016

My well intentioned food fed my well intentioned thoughts. How weird.

In my job as an organization architect, I travel quite a lot and therefore I stay in lots of hotels […]

October 25th, 2016

‘Self, us and now’: the very old, uncomfortable trio for a modern look at leadership.

Hillel the Elder, or ‘Rabbi’ Hillel, Jewish leader who died in 10 CE, is remembered outside the Jewish tradition by […]

October 24th, 2016

The two in-trays: ‘Time will solve’ and ‘Time has solved’. And some gods to take care of.

It would be nice if we could just sit in the middle of the two in-trays, right and left, and […]

October 23rd, 2016

Exercise: 100 people vote on jumping off a cliff. 48 say no; 52 say yes. The majority wins and collective death looks inevitable. Discuss.

100 people get together and decided that it would good to jump off a cliff. Some people think it’s crazy. […]

October 21st, 2016

And suddenly there are lots of Black Swans around! What are we supposed to do?

The Black Swan theory says that… all swans are white, and your Strategic Swan Management Department should cater for a […]

October 20th, 2016

Re-structuring to force collaboration, is likely to create more anxiety than collaboration. Structural solutions for behavioural problems hardly work.

Sometimes restructuring is done with the intention of solving a collaboration problem. A people don’t talk to B people; if […]

October 19th, 2016

Irrelevance, survival, average, good, or ahead of the game? Buying tickets for the latter.

I’ve been in front of 2000 people in Ecuador last week. Out of 8000, all belonging to a family owned […]

October 18th, 2016

The single self-test, one question, I care about.

I have a simple self-test to deal with the question of legacy. Own legacy, collective, as a company legacy, leadership […]

October 13th, 2016

Do corporate habits shape the morals of our families?

Not a long time ago, we would have considered the employee having a sort of schizophrenic mind by force. Persona […]

October 12th, 2016

The corporate mille-feuille. Layers of initiatives don’t touch each other

In a large company, what do a leadership development, a culture change and a business integration programme typically have in […]

October 11th, 2016

Agree conceptually on values, then abandon the labels as fast as you can and focus on their behavioural translation

In yesterday’s Daily Thought I suggested that leadership competence-based systems may be better at providing a language than at creating […]

October 10th, 2016

Do competence-based management and leadership systems create better managers or leaders? (Sorry for the inconvenient question) 

In Louis Gerstner’s autobiography as chairman of IBM from 1993 until 2002, he recalls the company’s use of a competency […]

October 9th, 2016

Much that looks sexual, hides deeper truths about human relationships. So we must travel behind the headlines to make sense.

When in the not too distant future, cultural digital archaeologists will dig into the remains of the legacy of sexual […]

October 7th, 2016

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

If I were the one in charge of deciding that ‘person of the year’ front cover in Time Magazine, or […]

October 6th, 2016

The Ordinary Irrationals

These are us, you and me. Ok, apologies for calling you ordinary . But it’s not disrespectful. Believe me. It’s […]

October 5th, 2016

What kind of association? What you think you are, where others see you, and where you may end up

This is my non-scientific classification of forms of ‘collective action’ (association and collaboration for a purpose, in general)  and how […]

October 4th, 2016

Thinking leadership in terms of legacy. There will be one

Big L, small l, legacy is the long term outcome of leadership. There will be legacy. You’re better off shaping […]

October 3rd, 2016

Why getting rid of inefficient processes in the organization is so hard. Anthropology explains it.

I have had discussions with a client during the last weeks about the resistance to get rid of complicated processes […]

October 1st, 2016

Organizational Physics. The First Law.

I am back with a favourite theme: hierarchies and power The first law of organizational hierarchical power is my version […]

September 30th, 2016

Business discovers the ‘social movement’ language. I hope we don’t corporatize it.

A social movement is not a bunch of people, even hundreds, or thousands, moving socially. A social movement needs a […]

September 29th, 2016

When your organization not only has good leadership but is a Leadership Lab, a live School for Leaders, we are talking serious cutting edge.

An organization is super rich in leadership and becomes a Leadership Lab, a School of leaders, if it has three […]

September 28th, 2016

Speak from a position of strength, not of arrogance. But do you really know what that position is?

Know your strength and speak from that position. What is it? Knowledge? Expertise? Experience? Wisdom? Here are others: simplicity, communication, […]

September 25th, 2016

Prolonged agony in reorganizations, is simply bad management

  Reorganisations often follow these phases: smell, gossip, announcement and implementation. The period between announcement and implementation is when most […]

September 24th, 2016

‘Diversity and Inclusion’ needs more diverse thinking. If people could take out their PC hat, deeper conversations would emerge.

I often think that the standard ‘diversity and inclusion’ discourse that floats around companies is a bit superficial. It stops […]

September 23rd, 2016

In the organization, human capital interventions need to be split into those which scale and those which don’t.

Their worlds and the laws governing them are completely different. Coaching and most management and leadership (team) development are not […]

September 22nd, 2016

Corporate language shapes the tribe. Good or bad, you are stuck with it.

The language of behaviours in a corporate set up is often either bland or too ‘corporatized’, sounding artificial. Many of […]

September 19th, 2016

The Descartes legacy. The tyranny of bipolar thinking is always upon us.

One of us or one of them. Liberal or conservative. Top-down or bottom up. Progressive or retrograde. Robust or fragile. […]

September 18th, 2016

The ‘Non Strategy’ strategy is now a mainstream concept worth studying. And we have a benchmark.

Imagine you run a large organization confronted with a future-critical, one off, Big Strategic Decision. The consequences may be dramatic, […]

September 16th, 2016

The ‘what’s the strategy’ question after six months of having one.

A strategy review and implementation meeting takes place months after a new strategy has been launched. All goes smooth until […]

September 15th, 2016

Happiness in the organization is an outcome not an input. Prescribing happiness is a behavioural nonsense.

You can’t inject happiness in the organization. You can’t put happiness capsules in the water supply. You can’t prescribe happiness, […]

September 14th, 2016

The cult of issues. The culture in which airtime is dominated by problems and where navel-gazing is king

Some cultures a very introspective. In a healthy way. Some are pathologically introspective and spend a lot of time dissecting […]

September 13th, 2016

WEIRD Western, educated, industrialised, rich and democratic. It’s our management education crafted in this model?

Yuval Noah Harari uses this term in his new and excellent Homo Deus book to describe the narrow view that […]

September 12th, 2016

‘Leave it with me’ is a magic behaviour. Spontaneous ‘jumping in’ and help, if widespread, is like winning the lottery.

Something short of a miracle occurs in some lucky organizations where leaders spontaneously ‘jump in’ and take over a piece […]

September 10th, 2016

The courage to listen: because it might take us to conclusions different form the ones we have already made

Madeleine Albright, politician and diplomat; former and first female U.S. Secretary of State, said in her Commencement Speech at Scripps […]

September 9th, 2016

Orphan grenades: the worse form of friendly fire in the organization. Some examples.

We have a problem in Division A. Leaders are not doing their job. Leaders are nor living the values. Some […]

September 8th, 2016

The Zeus of Management is a god called They.

If we needed a handy god in organizational life, somebody who could come to the rescue and have the final […]

September 7th, 2016

Post-Truth Era: organizational life, please close the windows; stay indoors.

Several articles in the British Guardian and Observer (Memo to the BBC: balance is not fairness when one side is […]

September 6th, 2016

Your opinion, your input or your expertise, please. Or just talking. 4 different things we often mix up.

Listening to everybody’s opinions is an unquestionably healthy feature of open organizations, inclusive cultures and good leadership. But it requires […]

September 5th, 2016

Employee Disengagement (2 of 2). A cheap experiment to test your test.

Following on yesterday’s Daily Thought on Employee Disengagement, in which I suggested four main sources: The video and the audio […]

September 4th, 2016

Employee Disengagement is far more interesting than Employee Engagement. And they are not a mirror. These are 4 types (1 of 2)

I am more interested in employee disengagement than employee engagement. The journey of disenchantment intrigues me more, and interests me […]

September 3rd, 2016

4 types of company cultures in their journeys under internal or external pressures. Stealing from Network Theory

The Robust Culture: the culture handles well internal faults and external stress. There may be internal gaps (skills, unfilled positions, […]

September 2nd, 2016

‘Perfection of planning is a symptom of decay’. Winning by making less errors, and other digressions.

The art of dealing with incomplete and imperfect data: I want to put this in the water supply of some […]

September 1st, 2016

The garbage collection problem (in organizations)

Analogy stolen from the brilliant The Systems Bible (John Gall, 2003) We tend to look at problems from the angles […]

August 30th, 2016

Beyond the ‘change method’: the long term Mobilizing Platform

I wrote a couple of days ago that the traditional model of change ‘A to Z’ or ‘destination’ is in […]

August 29th, 2016

The secret of success revealed. The PC answer is passion. The prosaic truth is hard work.

I’ve written many times: passion is overrated. Of course I am pushing the envelop with this. Passion is the fuel. […]

August 27th, 2016

The end of the One Off Change Management Method.

The traditional model of change is the one I call ‘destination’ type, that is, how to go from A to […]

August 26th, 2016

I am going to vote vs. will you please vote. The organizational lessons from political campaigning ( and a pinch of behavioural economics)

Tried and tested in political marketing/mobilization/campaigning, many times, that ‘intention to vote’ increases the probability of other people voting by […]

August 25th, 2016

Leadership in organizations is about mobilizing people. The leader is a ‘Social Arsonist’

“A good organizer is a social arsonist who goes around setting people on fire.”—Fred Ross Fred Ross (1910-1992) American community […]

August 23rd, 2016

No hiding leadership: ‘We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek’

I often use Obama’s some of his 2008 speeches lines to ask leaders about their sense of destiny, small d […]

August 22nd, 2016

Some company cultures are works of fiction. Some leadership teams harrypotter a narrative that nobody else recognizes.

The description of some company cultures by their leaders may sound like a work of fiction by people inside. I […]

August 21st, 2016

Donald Trump does not worry me. His supporters’ true colours do.

I am not worried about Donald Trump. After all he is just an individual with no decent principles, a narcissistic […]

August 20th, 2016

For any organizational solution, we bring along extra problems. The system always kicks back.

Attention re-structuralists, strategists and people about to be sold a multi-million reorganization solution that will solve all those nasty problems […]

August 19th, 2016

Be computationally kind to others. Give them less choices.

Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths are the authors of ‘Algorithms To Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions’ (2016), […]

August 18th, 2016

Leadership: The way of the Cat and the way of the Monkey

There are two ways carry a baby – in ancient Hinduism tradition- the way of the cat and the way […]

August 17th, 2016

Values don’t pre-exist, their behaviours do, then values are born. E.g: there is no such a thing as kindness.

There is no such a thing as kindness. Unless, and until, somebody does something to another human being who can […]

August 16th, 2016

Listen, people. I’ve got good news! The company is now fully prepared for the past

This is my rephrasing of ‘The army is now fully prepared for the previous war’, inspired by John Gall, in […]

August 15th, 2016

Leadership and the art of managing disappointments

A less spoken feature of great leadership is the art of managing the disappointments created by that same leadership. I […]

August 3rd, 2016

Gone fishing. Well, not quite. In the meantime…

Daily Thoughts will be back soon after a break. In the meantime, here are two recent ones on Leadership that […]

July 29th, 2016

A few Daily Thoughts you may want to catch up with

  Daily Thoughts have a short summer break. In the meantime I thought you’d welcome to read some of the […]

July 28th, 2016

Blair, leading, and the discussion I did not intend to have

  Daily Thoughts have a short summer break. In the meantime I thought you’d welcome to read some of the […]

July 26th, 2016

Have your Big White Board of Distractions in front. Keep your list very fresh. Then, execute the strategy.

If you want to execute a strategy, you want to keep cool and move inexorably forward, and you think you […]

July 25th, 2016

Dr Kate Grange, R.I.P. Hello, my name is Leandro Herrero

Dr Kate Grange has died. Terminally ill from cancer for a long time, she has finally left us. She campaigned […]

July 24th, 2016

Two types of Exiled Executives: Nostalgic and Nomadic

The nostalgic executive, refers constantly to the past. What she did in her previous company, how she managed to build […]

July 23rd, 2016

Zoology language in management. The organization as a zoo?

Have you ever thought of this? We speak Zoology language in management. We have more animals that one would have […]

July 22nd, 2016

Here we go again. Another month another Employee Engagement revelation and another Confirmation Bias

‘The study surveyed more than 8,000 employees in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific to gain more insight on employee […]

July 21st, 2016

Cultural fit = non negotiable + compatible dreams

Is cultural fit a question of hiring (or converting people into) clones? Not many people would agree. However, the question […]

July 19th, 2016

Inquiring, inquisitive and restless minds: positions permanently open in your organization.

If you were to list your most important people assets, above the best set of skills and competences, above the […]

July 18th, 2016

Uncertainty, vulnerability and control are the three sisters dominating our lives.

There are hundreds of pieces of evidence including serious research that show that human beings ( and animals for that […]

July 17th, 2016

The most powerful leadership instructions are the ones that are unsaid

And that can be good or bad. Usually bad. Islamic terrorists who follow strict orders from ISIS, have a plan, […]

July 16th, 2016

In management of change, as in leadership of organizations, ‘every day is Election Day’

‘Everyday is Election Day’ is an expression used in political campaigning and widely used in the masterful Obama campaigns. The […]

July 15th, 2016

Human behaviour laws are unfair. Positive or negative consequences are disproportionate to the causes. Get used to it as leader.

An old patient was concerned about her hair. A nurse came in at 7 am to put colour in her […]

July 14th, 2016

The ‘operating system’ of the company shapes people’s behaviours and this may take over ‘culture’

We influence and indeed shape the way we do things at work, but these ways also shape us at the […]

July 13th, 2016

The Yellow Life jacket Communication Problem in organizations. May I have your attention, please.

If any business executive, head of communications function, or HR messenger, or agency communications for that matter, has any doubt […]

July 12th, 2016

Shifting the narrative: one of the finest roles of leadership

One of the fundamental roles of leadership is to frame the narrative of the organization. This is easy to say […]

July 11th, 2016

My updated 20 Rules of Leadership

I review my 20 rules of Leadership every few months. I have published this list in My Daily Thoughts about […]

July 10th, 2016

What they don’t teach you in Business Schools about financial management: managing resources you don’t own or control.

My kingdom, my budget, my P&L, my operating expenses, my pot of money. Traditional financial management is about the efficacy […]

July 9th, 2016

The 19th Century Great Man Theory of history is still well alive in our understanding of leadership in organizations.

My Daily Thought yesterday about the Blair’s Fundamental, Leadership Error has triggered a lot of comments in social media. Most […]

July 8th, 2016

Compelling narrative and truth are, of course, two different things. Leadership must make them inseparable

  For months now a picture of a pack of wolfs walking in the snow has been circulated in many […]

July 7th, 2016

The ‘Blair’s Fundamental Error’ of leadership (it’s not political)

In the day in which the Cilcot Inquiry on the war in Iraq has been finally presented in the UK, […]

July 6th, 2016

‘Every Corpse on Everest was once an extremely motivated person’

I don’t know where this comes from but it’s in posts and posters all over. It’s perhaps one of these […]

July 5th, 2016

Find your own performance recipe. Today, the life cycle of a Best Practice is a week

Organizational performance is unique. Cut and past does not work. You need to find your own formula. Good to hear […]

July 4th, 2016

We are all HR. So, we’d better upgrade ourselves. A lot of HR is deja vu

HR is a function. Well, hardly one. It’s a supermarket that has in its shelves a variety of brands, from […]

July 3rd, 2016

No single discipline has the answer anymore. There is no escape. Read and re-skill like mad.

Whether you are sitting in HR, Organizational Development, or any other corporate function, or simply in a position of management […]

July 2nd, 2016

Creating a Gender and Race, Diversity and Inclusion programme? A culture of Diversity-Full-Stop will be you best powerful engine.

People creating ‘diversity and inclusion’ programmes often  have a hard time. The programme for the concert is brilliant, the music […]

June 30th, 2016

How to create collaboration? Parachute people who collaborate a lot.

Collaboration is behavioural, not a process or system. As a behaviour, it can’t be taught. It’s something that some people […]

June 29th, 2016

If you ask people for input they will expect you do something with it, not to disappear in limbo

That is the trouble of many well-intentioned ‘crowd-sourced’ rounds of input in the form of focus groups or similar. We […]

June 28th, 2016

Where are all these people coming from for the meeting? Their previous, unrelated meetings have the key for yours

“Priming’ is an old concept. It means you can influence events by exposing people to subtle messages, colours, perhaps emotions […]

June 27th, 2016

Imperfect data, imperfect instructions, low predictability, high trust: just a model for business (from boat racing)

My very good client BTG plc has created a habit of getting leadership teams together into racing boats for a […]

June 27th, 2016

The room was filled with smoke, no windows, I had to leave. The day I deleted my LinkedIn post for the first time

As I had spent the week, and to my own surprise, highly impacted by the Brexit results, I wrote a […]

June 24th, 2016

Certainty! Or reduced uncertainty! We all can practise it. No rocket science, just zero cost behavioural science.

Managing uncertainty is something our brain loves to do. And it loves even more  to be helped. At macro-macro-level, Theories-Of-Everything […]

June 23rd, 2016

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Killers (in the organization)

1. Postpone. Some great killers postpone everything. They don’t even have to use the language, they simply organise things in […]

June 22nd, 2016

What is the point? Probably the best answer is when ‘there isn’t any’.

For sixteen days in June, people could walk over floating peers on Lake Iseo (Italy) , all covered with yellow […]

June 21st, 2016

In organizations, self-inflicted pain and negative thinking are not personal. The infection works like passive smoking.

Last month I was part of a team discussion in which one of the participants, Peter, managed to put the […]

June 20th, 2016

I’d love to run this experiment in a hospital.

Reported in many places: The noise levels of some Intensive Care Units (ICU) in hospitals are similar to those of […]

June 15th, 2016

Built to what?

It always amazes me how much of the real purpose of the organization is often unsaid, assumed, never proper articulated. […]

June 14th, 2016

Heroic corporate stories build motivation for a future. Routine stories of achievement show that the future is already here.

Corporate storytelling has been largely dominated by heroic stories, referring to extraordinary circumstances, handled by extraordinary people. They make for […]

June 13th, 2016

‘Sustainable but not too much’ is the best state of the healthy organization

Sustainability of change, of cultural initiatives, of well intentioned corporate improvements is the key challenge. We all are quite energetic […]

June 12th, 2016

Corporate Change is Corporate Rafting. And Heraclitus knew a thing or two about rivers (tip: change is not ‘created’)

Heraclitus (535 BCE) was probably the father of change management. Two quotes There is nothing permanent except change No man […]

June 11th, 2016

People who perform and live in Formal Org Land, and people who have make/break power: two different lists

These 8, self-explanatory categories of people are the natural focus of traditional HR and management systems . They are needed […]

June 10th, 2016

The New Classics of Management (2 of 2)

Following on yesterday’s proposition, the new disciplines of management, ‘The New Classics’ are these 10:   1. Behavioural Economics. 2. […]

June 9th, 2016

The New Classics of Management. (1 of 2)

Amongst the challenges that management in the 21st Century has, which are shared, of course, by specific functions such as […]

June 8th, 2016

From VUCA with love: your HR toolkits have expired; those versions are not supported anymore (try eBay)

VUCA: volatile, unpredictable, complex and ambiguous environment, term created by the military to say that the future is not what […]

June 7th, 2016

The Stopping Rule in organizations, where the meaning of life may be 37

In The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, ‘the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, […]

June 6th, 2016

It’s cool to think. It’s not cool to do crap things. (2) Can we think better in ‘Employee Engagement’?

An undetermined glitch in the system made the distribution of this Daily Thought very limited to my community of email […]

June 5th, 2016

There are always trade offs. If you or your people have a plan, a great plan, without trade off in it, it’s not a good plan.

You always have the trade off between doing X, and not doing it at all. There will be a cost […]

June 3rd, 2016

‘One problem, one visit’. My primary care physician’s screen in the waiting room says. I am revolted.

My General Practitioner’s (public health, UK) waiting room has a new big screen that announces ‘Your visit with the doctor […]

June 2nd, 2016

There is no ‘readiness’. Go, go, go; people will get ready.

There was a time, I am told, when before starting a programme or initiative within the company, you made sure […]

June 1st, 2016

Dont let Tuesdays be shaped by Mondays

Many people have asked me repeatedly which ones of my Daily Thoughts are my best or favourites. Hard to say. […]

May 31st, 2016

The Benign Dictatorship of the Feed Back Form

You’ve just been to a concert in the Great Hall of your city. Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection”. Berlin […]

May 30th, 2016

The pilgrimage to the top of the Leadership Mountain to ask for permission, blessings and a bit of gratification.

Scenario 1: The Leadership Team/top Management Team is in high control mode. They feel they need to make many kinds […]

May 28th, 2016

To decrease uncertainty is not always difficult. These examples show the big difference.

Read the following pairs. Notice which ones make you more comfortable. ‘Your are in a queue/line and we will respond […]

May 27th, 2016

Competing on mistakes.

I have referred several times to Charles Munger, investor, critical thinker, ‘librarian’ (he reads more books than anybody else): we […]

May 26th, 2016

It’s cool to think. It’s not cool to do crap things.

I am borrowing this line from Obama’s speech at Rutgers. Of course he was referring to certain presidential candidate. “Facts, […]

May 25th, 2016

Within us, between us and around us. The only 3 chapters of Psychology and the only 3 modules of leadership development.

Trying to make Psychology easy! There are 3 spaces, and only 3 that matters: Within us: how can we get […]

May 24th, 2016

Thanks for your email. A proper robot would have done better.

Dear Mr Herrero. I have been trying to contact you but you were busy. No, you haven’t, we have no […]

May 23rd, 2016

Why people ‘with leadership traits’ don’t become leaders. Waiting for the other half of the article.

Jack Welch, ex CEO of GE and Suzy Welch, Journalist, author and Jack’s wife have written in Linkedin, in one […]

May 22nd, 2016

Most good clues about the culture of the organization can be found in the invisible, the unsaid. This is where serious culture work needs to start.

Public sector health in many parts of the world has been financially squeezed. Committed health workers have continued to deliver […]

May 21st, 2016

Always attacking ‘the roots of problems’ is not necessarily the best route.

That traditional logic is unfortunately very weak. That logic only works if we can really find those roots. But, take […]

May 19th, 2016

Bring the aliens. The others are too familiar with the solution

‘Familiarity breeds contempt’, the proverb says. But in management, it also breeds lost of content and satisfied people. We are […]

May 18th, 2016

Small steps, small wins against an accelerated reality. Sensible strategy or a suicidal note?

‘I am convinced that a well thought out “small wins approach” is the premier path to effective strategy implementation, and […]

May 17th, 2016

If we wear earplugs, the annoying noise of the organization would disappear and, life would much better.

A friend of mine told me a story about his laptop. It got warmer and warmer; the fan on all […]

May 16th, 2016

The secret weapon of digital transformation revealed: human judgement. In doubt, ask Facebook

An unexpected ‘revelation’ by Facebook (also known as the mother of all algorithms) gives us an important insight about the […]

May 15th, 2016

‘Every word that she says is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the’. The Post-Truth Era is upon us.

I’ve learned this quote from an excellent article in The Guardian by Jonathan Freedland about ‘post-truth politics’ (Post-truth politicians such […]

May 14th, 2016

Why I will be back to the hotel with a bad experience and a long email, but not to another in which I got a discount from the bill

Something went wrong in the room allocation in my hotel. When I arrived to the corridor in the 3rd floor […]

May 13th, 2016

What the brain teaches us about consumer behaviour. Fascinating.

Neuroscientists at the Advance Brain Research Institute in Minnesota have found that there is a direct connection between ‘intention to […]

May 12th, 2016

Inefficiencies, frustrations and unhappiness? In the right path to growth, congratulations.

A good article came to me via my colleague Caroline, always ready to save some gems form my spam filter […]

May 11th, 2016

Management upside down: global is local, leadership goes grassroots, top is at the bottom, and traditional management needs a retirement party.

It is perhaps the Age of Inversion. The weights have gone the other way. Globalization, big G, or small g, […]

May 10th, 2016

Can we agree on these rules? Since life is short, I thought I would suggest some etiquette for our collaboration.

Don’t leave around a floating opinion, ended by ‘in my opinion’, not leading anywhere in particular. That is just use […]

May 9th, 2016

You can only change ‘the culture’ if you have ‘one’. Otherwise, the problem and the answer are both plural.

The main reason why many cultural change and transformation programmes in large organizations fail is because you can’t change ‘the […]

May 8th, 2016

What do you do with that guy who does not want change and/or is very negative?

Option 1: You try to convince him with rational and emotional explanations about the need for change and the importance […]

May 6th, 2016

Digital Transformation: the new clothes for the enterprise, and something fundamental is missing

An in depth analysis of the world of ‘Digital Transformation’ shows two things. One is that there is no such […]

May 5th, 2016

Most ‘I’m just doing my job’ people, are not doing their jobs

Every morning in my neighbourhood there is a small window of time when traffic becomes chaotic, slow, painful and frustrating. […]

May 4th, 2016

Culture is in the A list, the one where ‘work’ sits. Not in the B list (‘when I have time, after A’)

Culture is not a project, something to do on top of normal work, an extra, something to get your hands […]

May 3rd, 2016

The logic of speed yoga, and organizational clocks

Have you heard of speed yoga? Me neither. Although Mr Google points to some YouTube that in fact are yoga […]

May 2nd, 2016

The focus on the annual Employee Engagement/Satisfaction Survey as the climax of organizational understanding is both absurd and lazy.

If you are in the consumer behaviour field (marketer, researcher, advertising expert, brand strategist) you will not work with a […]

May 1st, 2016

I want builders, not problem solvers, not flow-chart artists.

I also don’t want bystanders, people who give diagnosis but would not have a clue about treatment, people who dwell […]

April 30th, 2016

Produce as many bad ideas as you can. The statistics will be in your favour and a very good idea will come up.

Promise. There is more to gain from many bad, irrational, uncooked, unrealistic ideas popping up and rejecting them so that […]

April 29th, 2016

The new employees who never left their previous one

Have you noticed how many employees seem to be in ‘one employer behind time zone’? They never left the previous […]

April 28th, 2016

Rule #3: Systematic use of sweeping generalizations is reason for dismissal

OK, a bit harsh, but this is what I mean. Some people are very good at this. ‘We have a […]

April 27th, 2016

HBR says culture is not the culprit, and, by the way, you can’t fix it. Yes we can.

Harvard Business Review (HBR) never ceases to amaze me. Very often I feel that there is some sort of a […]

April 26th, 2016

‘Human’ and ‘leadership’ can go together by inviting our demons for dinner.

If leadership is a praxis (see yesterday’s Daily Thought), something that ‘I’ do (name and surname here, please), then, knowing […]

April 25th, 2016

Leadership is an amoral praxis. How about this to start a conversation?

Any label that could be equally applied to Mother Theresa, Hitler, your CEO, Kim Jong-un, Mandela, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and […]

April 24th, 2016

Managerially educated, template rich, model expert. And now what? Ah! That hernia!

I have come to the conclusion that most executive education of any reputation and high fees, is based upon five […]

April 23rd, 2016

The Zeus strategy: de-aggregating the problem

Plato told us in his Symposium that humans were originally androgynous, not men or women. They became so powerful that […]

April 21st, 2016

Fixed ideas. From a guest blogger who knows.

‘In the long run my observations have convinced me that some men, reasoning preposterously, first establish some conclusion in their […]

April 20th, 2016

A new word for corporate life: de-corporatization.

In my world, ‘corporate’ is synonymous of big structure, big processes and big systems. Of course it is not its […]

April 19th, 2016

Unchallenged little nastiness is killing entire cultures.

Those people in the corridor and the cafeteria are very good, and successful, at saying, very vocally: ‘we will never […]

April 18th, 2016

The infuriating Pope Francis style of leadership: he actually does things. What’s wrong with this guy?

Pope Francis, spiritual head of 1.3 billion people went to Lesbos, saw the immigrants, stayed with them for 4 hours […]

April 17th, 2016

How we cope with new environments. The ‘old’ and the ‘young’ extremes of our humanity

Old people who move suddenly to a nursing home/care-assisted home without having been accustomed, can suffer devastating health consequences. In […]

April 16th, 2016

Behaviours are always competing for airtime. What wins may not be what you expect.

There are very few rules in Behavioural Sciences. If we were to write an ABC of Psychology, A would look […]

April 15th, 2016

In empowerment terms, be careful what you are asking for, you might get it.

The project team has been complaining for a long time of their lack of empowerment. They have a lot of […]

April 14th, 2016

The problem with too many decisions pushed up to the top of the organization usually lies with those at the top who complain most

When too many decisions are pushed upwards in the organization, and the top layers of leadership complain about it, often […]

April 13th, 2016

We are all traders of comfort, no matter the degree of uncertainty in our worlds

A specialist nephrologist I know well says to me: I get very nervous with all this heart stuff, I don’t […]

April 12th, 2016

8 ways to sabotage the organization.

Lessons from the Pre-CIA ‘Simple Sabotage Field Manual’ (declassified, in case you wonder). This is how it goes: General Interference […]

April 11th, 2016

Looking for ‘Statesmanship’, in the State and in the Organization

For me, the quality of statesmanship inversely correlates with the number of times you blame the enemy, or others, of […]

April 10th, 2016

Oh, mental frames! How easy to create misery!

‘Let’s be real and aware of the current budget realities’ is a warning that leaders should give to their people […]

April 8th, 2016

Certainty is addictive. Leaders, handle with care.

I’ve come across by chance a short video interview with Tony Robbins, life coach, health guru, motivational speaker, author, self-made […]

April 7th, 2016

Customer centric? How about starting with manners. Revolution, really.

Manners is an old fashion concept. Courtesy, consideration, empathy with the other? All in one? Manners are the behavioural expression […]

April 6th, 2016

This blog is not interesting. It’s about language.

OK, the real title of this post is ‘Landscapes of ideas vs categories of actions. Tapestry of behaviours vs. culture. […]

April 5th, 2016

Bye-bye, annual Performace Management.

It was just a little over a year that I wrote that annual Performance Management needed to be retired. I […]

April 4th, 2016

Protest platforms are hardly learning ones. Engagement surveys and events feed back are often anything but learning tools.

Political commentators in the US have argued that Donald Trump’s campaign is a protest one, attracting people who are against […]

April 3rd, 2016

Exotics in the payroll. Anthropology excursions into corporate life.

‘Daily Thoughts’ is in pause mode for a few days and will resume with new content on Monday 4th of […]

April 2nd, 2016

Why and how some initiatives scale and others get lost in oblivion

‘Daily Thoughts’ is in pause mode for a few days and will resume with new content on Monday 4th of […]

April 1st, 2016

Leadership is still number one, no matter what thousand rankings say.

‘Daily Thoughts’ is in pause mode for a few days and resumes on Monday 4th of April. You may have […]

March 31st, 2016

Management as campaigning. So much to learn from ‘outside our box’

‘Daily Thoughts’ is in pause mode for a few days. You may have missed some of these. Here is a […]

March 30th, 2016

Innovation: still the Holy Grail of management.

‘Daily Thoughts’ is in pause mode for a few days.. You may have missed some of these. Here is a […]

March 29th, 2016

Speaking up: an old friend always to be invited.

‘Daily Thoughts’ is in pause mode for a few days. Here is a quick way to continue some thinking during […]

March 28th, 2016

‘We, as a team’, may actually not need a team.

As some of us punctuate this time of the year (Happy Easter!) it is also a time for the Daily […]

March 27th, 2016

‘The conference”: Tribes talking to themselves

Who goes to HR conferences? HR people. Who goes to Communication conferences? Communication Directors, Managers and Heads. Who goes to […]

March 26th, 2016

Don’t go to Abilene. Nobody wants to.

Jerry B Harvey’s 1974 article “The Abilene Paradox: The Management of Agreement’, contains this vignette. On a hot afternoon visiting […]

March 25th, 2016

Organizations don’t learn. People do. Sometimes too much. So where does company memory come in?

The modern organization is fluid. People are not necessarily assigned to one place, one team, even one single role. The […]

March 24th, 2016

The collective as a bad sum. When collaboration becomes co-recreation and the sum is smaller than the parts.

In my dealing with organizations of many sizes and shapes, cultures and geographies, I always find very fine individuals of […]

March 23rd, 2016

Organizational thrillers, little apocalypses and skies not quite falling: another random day at the office

We have a phenomenal challenge in France. Our people there ‘don’t get the values’, are very cynical and, to make […]

March 22nd, 2016

We are all Generation S (screenagers) climbing up the singularity curve.

There is an anecdote in a recent piece by Noemi Klein’s in The Guardian. A young girl had some kind […]

March 21st, 2016

No more teams, please, we need to team-up.

The prestigious publication ‘The Economist’ has published an article under the title ‘Team spirit. Businesses are embracing the idea of […]

March 20th, 2016

The leader as a blank screen, on which others project.

In his 2003 book ‘The Audacity of Hope’, Barack Obama wrote: ‘I serve as a blank screen on which people […]

March 19th, 2016

Recruited by an algorithm, unheard in a crowed market, competing for attention: know the rules and your stats.

‘Recruiters spend 6 seconds evaluating individual online resumes/CVs’ That’s it. Six. The self-reporting by recruiters indicated 4-5 minutes, but using […]

March 18th, 2016

Mindfulness, the new solution. Oh, sorry, I forgot, what’s the problem?

Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, software millionaire, has discovered mindfulness. And has installed ‘mindfulness rooms’ in the Salesfore building in […]

March 17th, 2016

Trends, predictions and hunches, in the art of avoiding more mistakes than others.

We often tend to mistake these in organizations Trends: See, hear and feel what is going on, and find patterns […]

March 16th, 2016

An amazing new tool for the new business environment revealed.

Experiment. Not kidding. Once upon a time ‘experimenting’ was something that only scientists did. Most people would associate the word […]

March 15th, 2016

And the frog said, next time buy yourself a thermometer

The old tale of ‘Boiling Frogs’ says that there are too basic ways to boil a frog. One, the frog […]

March 14th, 2016

‘The truth will set you’ free, and speaking up will always win

The Biblical ‘the truth will set you free’ should be engraved in corporate walls, next to the values. And in […]

March 12th, 2016

At some threshold, ‘improvements’ become dangerous

‘Continuous improvement’ is part of the management furniture and something that, at a face value, one could not disagree with. […]

March 11th, 2016

Top leadership needs to role model, lead by example and live the values. Now that we have said it, can we please stop talking about it?

Yes to all. All of the above. Who could disagree? Certainly not the leadership development sub-industry. We want the good […]

March 10th, 2016

The #hellomynameis campaign deserves all attention and support

I have had today the privilege of meeting Dr Kate Granger, founder of the #hellomynameis campaign, and a terminally ill […]

March 9th, 2016

‘Management’ is political campaigning inside. Leadership is winning campaigns

Warning: This statement will be dismissed But, before you do that, I’d ask you to consider the differences between ‘organizational-business […]

March 8th, 2016

A 3 point leadership strategy for your transformation, small t, big T.

In caricature, this is a 3 point strategy to develop further. It’s a simple mental and practical frame. Build an […]

March 7th, 2016

Customer-centrism sees a revival. Will we now miss netroots-centrism? Excuse my language.

Ah, the customer is back, some people in management and consulting say, as if the customer had been in a […]

March 6th, 2016

The first edition of Viral Change is 10 year old this year? We have only started.We are going to celebrate. Will you join us?

Although our work on large scale behavioural change in organizations started the same day that The Chalfont Project company was […]

March 5th, 2016

What is the ‘model of the world’ in this organization?

Paraphrasing ( better, stealing from) American anthropologist Clifford Geertz (1926-2006) a corporate culture, or, I would say, a subculture that […]

March 4th, 2016

My unlikely reflection on my unplanned stop at a Michelin star restaurant

When travelling today, I found myself, unexpectedly, a few minutes from a little known restaurant, part of a low key, […]

March 3rd, 2016

Thesaurus – based value and behaviours systems are meaningless, exhausted and cheap.

Let’s start somewhere else. What is the logic behind Listmania? Very often there isn’t one. But starting a note/blog/communication with […]

March 2nd, 2016

What am I building? The 21st Century leader says. Where am I going? Some leaders used to say.

There is a theme in many traditions that describes ‘the way’ as something that is not simply ’there’ but that […]

March 1st, 2016

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

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

February 29th, 2016

Safe to talk, need to talk, must talk. Team meetings and airtime.

Leading a meeting for the purpose of building a team (on top of achieving some business goals) may include a […]

February 28th, 2016

When everything pushes forward, disruptive innovation may also entail going backwards

A short piece in The Guardian announces quietly that Mercedes Benz is replacing some robots with humans. Not the other […]

February 27th, 2016

All that must be spontaneous, must be engineered.

OK, at least you a reading. Thanks. The organization is a network. Networks have emergent properties. Translation: things come up […]

February 26th, 2016

‘Social Change’ is no longer alien to Executive and Leadership Development. These are social and ‘at scale’ or are not fit for this century.

Communicating, triggering behaviours, sustaining them and creating a culture, are all connected, interdependent, overlapping and parts of the chain of […]

February 25th, 2016

An alternative competence system for an alternative HR. Ignore at your peril.

10 key behavioural competences of people to understand what is going. Small sample of my collection. These are 10 type […]

February 24th, 2016

How can I think out of the box? I can’t find the door

Our box is incredibly sophisticated. It has the latest quality walls, sofas, working spaces and lots of meeting rooms. I […]

February 23rd, 2016

A culture of X is one where X is part of the normal conversation.

What is a normal conversation? Well, pick one or combinations: football, how the kids are doing, the pain of the […]

February 22nd, 2016

3 ways to use ‘Digital’ inside the organization. The trouble with wrong expectations.

Model 1. The technology, for example in the form of digital platforms such as Enterprise Social Networks, ESN (Yammer type) […]

February 21st, 2016

Leaders, Dealers and Dreamers.

Leaders. They drive the agenda, the agenda is not driving them. They drive the agenda even when other people think […]

February 20th, 2016

Possibly the most important tribe in the organization is The Brokers.

Each large or not that large organization needs one. This tribe is composed by people who have a natural ability […]

February 19th, 2016

The missing word in the famous Margaret Mead quote

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that […]

February 18th, 2016

If I were the CEO’s speechwriter for a day, this is the speech I would pass on.

Don’t look at us, at the leadership at the top. We are the wrong mirror. Of course, we are committed […]

February 16th, 2016

‘Joining a cause’, vs. ‘being employed’. Can you articulate the reason for your enterprise?

From time to time you see the occasional and mostly not very solid comparisons between ‘the company’ and a religion. […]

February 15th, 2016

Strong thinkers are critical thinkers. Critical thinking can be embedded in the culture.

Strong thinking and strong ideas are great. We need people to defend them, champion them and feel passionate about them. […]

February 14th, 2016

Reacting on spot, and responding in agility mode can be engineered and role-modelled.

Organizations need a Rapid Reaction Force. OK, unless you are in the military, it does not mean military fatigue uniforms […]

February 13th, 2016

I wouldn’t hire anybody who is likely to follow the job description.

The job description is dead. It is replaced by a Lego box, no instructional manual and a map. Welcome to […]

February 12th, 2016

Built to what? Dare to ask your people, and open a little Pandora box.

More than 20 years ago, Jerry I. Porras and James C. Collins, wrote the bestseller ‘Built to Last, successful habits […]

February 11th, 2016

Reclaiming the human values language for the corporate world

Well known Conservative American columnist and writer David Brooks has written a piece in the New York Times entitled ‘I […]

February 10th, 2016

Leadership dialects: you are supposed to join a party, but don’t get an invitation

The language of leadership is often plain and monotone. Used to explain slides and with a screen behind, leadership language […]

February 7th, 2016

‘Problem Three’ appears when we treat complexity with more complexity. Many organizations breed it. The UK NHS is caught in it.

At some point of the organization’s growth, complexity kicks in. Before that threshold, you had two problems: managing growth and […]

February 6th, 2016

Engagement, empowerment and ownership culture meet in one single point. Obvious, simple, and incredibly forgotten.

Employee engagement efforts, ownership values and empowerment behaviours must meet at one point. It’s simple, not terribly controversial, based upon […]

February 5th, 2016

After change you need a period of stability and consolidation’, a last Century employee said.

After the third reorganisation and the fourth quality programme and the second change management initiative, the cry is loud: give […]

February 4th, 2016

Habits have no meaning, they create it. Start with behaviours, get meaning

In my organizational consulting work, and in behavioural terms, I am very used to be told, and challenged, that there […]

February 3rd, 2016

‘Sceptical people and enemies of change need to be sidelined’. Really?

We all have our share of ‘difficult people’. Conventional management of change has taught us that there is always going […]

February 2nd, 2016

The soft stuff, and the hard stuff. Convenient split, but unreal. Leadership is neither hard not soft

There is business and, then, there is all that stuff about leadership and teambuilding. This seems to be the worldview […]

February 1st, 2016

‘Customer Obsession Disorder’ is gaining ground. Bad idea.

Perhaps because costumer focus was not enough, we created customer centrism. Apparently this is no enough and we now need […]

January 30th, 2016

A lot of trumpeted customer-centrism is company-centrism, or us-centrism, disguised as costumer and with a customer music in the background

‘We are reorganising in Business Units to meet customer expectations’. Actually, not, no customer has called you to ask you […]

January 29th, 2016

Critical Thinking is up in the list of skills in the 2020 Davos shopping list. If anything, I have a problem with the date. The skill gap is now, well and alive

A report on the Future of Jobs by the World Economic Forum compares the skills priorities of 2015 with the […]

January 27th, 2016

The myth that only change at the top can ensure change within the organisation.

Sure, you need change at the top. You wish to see that the top leadership takes things seriously and that […]

January 26th, 2016

‘Big changes requires big actions’ is a myth based upon the wrong maths. At the very least, a wrong start.

That ‘big change requires big actions’ is the commonly held belief that is behind the majority of so-called ‘large interventions’ […]

January 25th, 2016

‘There is nothing I can do’ must be fought before it becomes collective belief.

Feeling trapped, is at the core of some aspects of one’s mental health, and also organizational distress. The deep awareness […]

January 23rd, 2016

Employee loyalty is a plural. Leadership is the host of that plurality, always an irrational mix

What should employees be loyal to? Ask an average leader: to the company, of course. Loyalty may be disguised. It […]

January 22nd, 2016

15 things to look for in a corporate culture if you were a corporate anthropologist (or not)

No what it’s written in procedures but what is not written in those pages Not how people behave in meetings, […]

January 21st, 2016

“A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world.”

John Le Carre, British ex secret intelligence serviceman, espionage writer, dixit. He knows about danger, and apparently about the danger […]

January 20th, 2016

Tell me what you want to prove and I’ll give you the name of a company.

Consoled only by having bought the book for £ 0.09 ( and £2.80 postage) in Amazon marketplace, the reality is […]

January 19th, 2016

State of the Enterprise Address Summary: Rethinking in progress.

I don’t think ‘rethinking the enterprise’ is anything new. You could argue that the history of management has this rethinking […]

January 18th, 2016

The organization is not a Grand Bazaar. A transactional model of the firm is a trap. Leaders should get out of it.

If you push me for a articulation of human relationships, everything is transactional. But in a more specific way, transactional […]

January 17th, 2016

Have you heard the one about the three envelopes? There is a whole Theory of Management behind.

This is an old joke and a current non-joke. Here is the story copied from one of the multiple write […]

January 16th, 2016

Entrepreneurs, volunteers, and soldiers: about the human fabric of the enterprise 2016

Entrepreneurs develop ideas and create a structure around them in order to achieve goals. As Seth Godin would say, they […]

January 15th, 2016

Will disruptive innovation go backwards?

Probably we will not go back to the telegraph, but when everything is ‘innovatively disrupted’, where will we go? At […]

January 14th, 2016

‘This follows that; that has caused this’. Of course we don’t think like that! Not your company, anyway

Life in organizations is not usually very rich in Critical Thinking. In fact, from all sectors and areas of activity, […]

January 13th, 2016

‘Forget what they say, observe what they do’. The ‘uniqueness paradox’ revisited. A bit.

Some people in organizations believe that they are working in a very bureaucratic, hierarchical, political and rigid environment. Many of […]

January 10th, 2016

‘Us and them’, and ‘us with them’. From politics to day to day management, Identity is a hot topic. And I am going to elevate the confusion to a higher level.

Field notes: Reflections on ‘us and them’. Sometimes a rejection of something makes its alternative appealing even if that alternative […]

January 9th, 2016

This best kept secret jumpstart will save you months of pain in people and team reorg and alignment.

The following line will short cut months of (building) ‘alignment’, integration, reorganization, team building, coalition building, start-up get-to-know, redeployment of […]

January 8th, 2016

The Einstein Solution: on the curious phenomenon of how the challenges left on the desk before the break have not gone away.

Welcome back to a New Year and its rituals of resolutions, reviews and fresh starts. For some, and I hope […]

January 7th, 2016

Invitation: The year of Bullshit Detection

I declare myself allowed to use the word bullshit, which official definition is nonsense, lies, exaggeration, foolish talk, pretentious talk, […]

January 6th, 2016

Efficiency, Efficacy and Effectiveness: the triplets of Management (and the risk of dating the wrong sister)

Many restructuring efforts, perhaps process re-engineering (whether these days you call them like this or not) and a great deal […]

January 5th, 2016

When the intensity of the discussion is inversely correlated with the importance of the issue, or directly with its triviality.

  There are many versions of the same principle. We spend disproportionate amounts of time on issues. We often have […]

January 4th, 2016

Possibilities! @ 581

I want to start 2016 Daily Thoughts with this word. Possibilities. This is Daily Thought number 581, and the first […]

December 23rd, 2015

A very happy Christmas to all subscribers of the Daily Thoughts

  Happy Christmas! Daily Thoughts is in pause mode. 580 Daily Thoughts later, we are going for a bit of […]

December 20th, 2015

Daily Thoughts goes into pause mode. 580 Daily Thoughts later, we are going for a bit of maintenance. Stay tuned

Daily Thoughts goes into pause mode. 580 Daily Thoughts later, we are going for a bit of maintenance. Stay tuned. […]

December 19th, 2015

(Part 2) Management: The Evolution of the Species. 12 kind of people you need to find, seduce, hire and create a job for. (part 2 of 2)

Repeating from Part 1: Management evolution has overdone it in some species and is now weak, even in survival mode […]

December 18th, 2015

Management: The Evolution of the Species. 12 kind of people you need to find, seduce, hire and create a job for. (part 1 of 2)

Management evolution has overdone it in some species and is has become weak, even in survival mode in others,. Here […]

December 17th, 2015

10 reasons why leaders need to focus on the (un-managing of the) informal organization

Our traditional management education has almost 100% focused on the formal organization, the structural fabric of teams, divisions, groups, committees […]

December 16th, 2015

Volkswagen (VW) apparently ‘needs to change its mindset’. Has anybody ever seen a mindset?

The German car manufacturer has reported that ‘it has detected a mindset in some areas of the company that tolerated […]

December 15th, 2015

Collaborating across borders needs one thing: borders

There is a romantic view of the organization that sees it completely borderless, inside and outside. Inside, this view says, […]

December 14th, 2015

‘You can have any colour of leadership as long as it is white’. This is our “Ford translation’ in organizations.

Henry Ford said that you could have ‘any colours of a car as long as it’s black’. The colour to […]

December 13th, 2015

The formula about what to do when ‘leadership does not get it’, finally revealed.

There are always people who ‘don’t get it’, are against cultural change efforts, do not support a programme, torpedo it, […]

December 12th, 2015

3 Inconvenient truths about leadership and change

(1) If the top leadership of the company does not leave to expectations, and don’t exhibit the values/behaviours that you […]

December 11th, 2015

Empowerment is an output. Only if you can visualize it, you can craft it.

Employee empowerment is an output, an outcome. If you start thinking of employee empowerment as an input, something you are […]

December 10th, 2015

In praise of tension. Consensus as permanent state in the organization, is collective coma.

The trouble with consensus is that it contains all the risks of poor thinking and all the possible cognitive biases, […]

December 9th, 2015

My 10 unreasonable non-negotiable, circa 2016.

Since I spend a considerable amount of my client work time dealing with value systems and their much needed translation […]

December 8th, 2015

Employee Engagement time out! ‘The survey’ has no clothes. Back to thinking, could you believe it?

‘It has been proven that people with more birthdays live longer’. Is this is a line belonging to so called […]

December 7th, 2015

“A man without a smiling face must not open a shop.”

Chinese proverb that is, what else? I wish we could be as crystal clear when it comes to the characteristics […]

December 6th, 2015

Calling the Activists. Calling you.

I started these Daily Thoughts about 565 days ago, give or take, or at least this is the number of […]

December 5th, 2015

‘We are building’ vs. ‘We are solving’. One shapes your future, the other fixes the past.

Facts: abysmal sales in the supermarket chain, strong competitor activity, decrease customer loyalty. Guess what, new CEO Analysis: old fashion […]

December 4th, 2015

We love organizational diagnosis in Technicolor charts. We love the organizational solutions waiting for them. The bridge, is another matter.

Oh! We love diagnosis! Battalions of experts are ready to tell us about the 5 issues and the 3 risks […]

December 3rd, 2015

‘A problem with decision making’ is almost never a problem with making decisions. Here are 3 scenarios.

Many organizations claim that they have a problem with decision making. Maybe, or maybe not. There are at least three […]

December 2nd, 2015

10 Performance Appraisal questions of yourself with yourself : the examined life of the manager.

Socrates was then one who came up with the ‘unexamined life is not worth living’. (And then he chose to […]

December 1st, 2015

Bring in the Buffers. Noise Amplifier people create loud tsunamis from a drop of questions in the organization

Noise Amplifiers. These people will pick up a little piece of problem, a little noise, a little breath of restlessness […]

November 30th, 2015

Given answers, go back to see the solidity of the questions before you adopt them.

If anybody tells you that they have the answer, then probably don’t understand the question This is how the late […]

November 29th, 2015

Defining ourselves by what we are against, does not advance the cause of the for.

I have always been a bit wary of people who repeatedly define themselves by what they are against. It makes […]

November 28th, 2015

Don’t let the expression ‘this is just business’ be a synonymous for inhuman. Business? Not in my name.

Somewhere along the line in the history of ‘business’, something went wrong and people took the wrong turn at the […]

November 27th, 2015

Stuck is the worse status. Worse than being wrong.

You are stuck when confronted with dilemmas. Maybe  contradictory business decisions, or maybe the need to chose between two evils. […]

November 26th, 2015

3 kinds of people you need to replace; 3 kinds of people you need. Development Plan done.

Three bad news people: People who sell discontent. They become experts. You may have an entire internal Sales Force of […]

November 25th, 2015

7 Platitudes in Organizational Life, in need of a very loud ‘really?’ Louder! And some debunking.

We can do much better than this. But we don’t. On the contrary, we exploit these platitudes and repeat them […]

November 22nd, 2015

Jet Skiing Management vs. Scuba Diving Management

The writer Nicholas Carr said about the influence of the Internet in the way he wrote and, in general, in […]

November 21st, 2015

Leaders as architects: how to build the house, page one.

The closest thing to designing and building an organization is the designing and building a house. You can build a […]

November 20th, 2015

I love Apple, I hate Apple: could the discussion on culture be slightly more elevated?

An article on the Apple culture ( What Apple employees say about the company secretive culture? ) is a fascinating […]

November 19th, 2015

The ultimate goal of ‘Employee Engagement’, or ‘Change Management’, is their early retirement, not to have to talk about them.

I while ago I wrote that the ultimate form of Employee Engagement is a Company of Volunteers. In a ‘company […]

November 18th, 2015

Millenials have in common their age. The rest is more about the world we all are in, the meal we have cooked for their dinner.

In a recent conference, the very sharp mind of Marten Mickos, CEO of HackerOne, ex HP, ex Nokia, reminded the […]

November 17th, 2015

Counter-fundamentalism secret weapon is yet to be deployed fully. Homo Sapiens drops bombs. Homo Imitans changes minds.

The best way to help dysfunctional families to get out of their habits and become functional is not an army […]

November 16th, 2015

If you marry a summary, you’ll breed bullet points. Life becomes much easier, if hardily real.

‘The exercise was very rich, everybody participated deeply, the walls were full of flipcharts with stuff. So may ideas floating […]

November 15th, 2015

‘Change management’ forgotten statement: this will not change

‘Change management’ usually forgets a vital component: the things that don’t change or need to change, or, indeed, must not […]

November 14th, 2015

The thoughts are with Paris

The thoughts are with Paris   Liberté, égalité, fraternité Liberty, equality, fraternity

November 13th, 2015

10 alternative questions on Culture and Engagement.

This is my alternative to the Gallup 12. You can develop a whole Organizational Development philosophy around these questions. These […]

November 12th, 2015

Give me a good practice and I will create a good theory to explain it. Even a good philosophy and a disruptive worldview.

Modern and not so modern ‘social movements’ with or a without business proposition are portrayed as a concerted and positioned […]

November 11th, 2015

Leaders who have little control on things, but who think they have a lot of it, are the ones who fear loosing control most.

Fear of losing control is a funny thing. It does not seem to correlate with how much control you have […]

November 10th, 2015

Stop press: The C-suite people, and top leadership, major problem revealed.

For CEOs, CFOs, CHROs, and other Cs, and Divisional Ds’, survey after survey try to identify their focus, their concerns, […]

November 9th, 2015

Common people doing uncommon things together: a plain language definition of the organization.

Peter Drucker put it in his own style: ‘No organization can depend on genius; the supply is always scarce and […]

November 8th, 2015

A 10 line Street Social Dictionary to navigate your social business and avoid fooling yourself with mistaken expectations.

Customer: buys your product, once, or twice, pays, that’s it. Thanks User: buys your product, once, or twice, pays, uses, […]

November 7th, 2015

Is technology transforming (management) life? Is it good or bad? Is this the best you can do with a question?

Back from a conference on ‘technology and management’ (Drucker Forum, Vienna), I realise how futile some discussions on ‘technology’ are. […]

November 6th, 2015

‘A rain dance is a ritual for me, ‘work’ for the one who dances’

I wish I remember the Anthropology book where I got this. I should, because these days I read 50% anthropology […]

November 5th, 2015

Winning by failures and mistakes

The person who fails the most wins Seth Godin dixit. Investors who make less mistakes win Warren Buffet and Charles […]

November 4th, 2015

Dear exec looking for ‘change’. What would you do if told you these things?

If I told you that you have in your organization a small number of employees who have greater influence than […]

November 3rd, 2015

The curious case of the 3 look-alike wandering sisters, and the risks of mistaken identity.

These are 3 sisters sometimes seen together in the corridors of the organization. But, more often, they wander around on […]

November 2nd, 2015

When the organization goes into permanent rehearsal mode, learns to rehearse, not to perform.

We spent more time on preparing for doing than in doing. That would be good if we were just talking […]

November 1st, 2015

The management party (not that kind of party). Don’t stop the music

‘Management’ is like a cocktail party. Some people may get a little bit excited; others certainly drink too much, talk […]

October 31st, 2015

‘New people bring in new ideas’. Keep it as a hypothesis

How many times I’ve seen in my clients the high expectations about new people. Not just the new hires but […]

October 30th, 2015

Corporate tribes, intellectual ghettos, and open windows policies

We talk a lot about silos in organizations usually in the context of Business Units of divisions. But these are […]

October 29th, 2015

4 types of generosity in the workplace. 2 with epidemic potential.

Four types: The generosity of the traffic light. Every fixed interval, it let’s you get through. Even it changes colours […]

October 28th, 2015

May I introduce you to our worse enemy? The word average

Random thoughts: People content with average achievements in the market, launch a party when the statistics show a few points […]

October 27th, 2015

Has employee engagement undergone moral surgery?

No matter how disguised, how avoided, how much of other language used, Employee Engagement as a topic assumes an input/output […]

October 26th, 2015

10 ways to fool everybody as an organization expert. They guarantee some attention and all have been tried and tested, somewhere.

These 10 positions provide organizational solutions with guarantee of some good reception. All of them are ‘possible’. If you want […]

October 25th, 2015

All thoughts come out of silence. Leadership development may turn out to be free after all.

Perhaps one of the most difficult things a leader has to do is to be mindful of his/her own thinking. […]

October 24th, 2015

Trust in 3 models. Trust me, it’s simple

There are three major sources of trust generation. Everything else is commentary: The ‘keep promises’. I can rely on you, […]

October 23rd, 2015

FAQs to myself (about organizational life)

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

October 22nd, 2015

The Leader with Seven Faces. A model of leadership that requires a mirror.

As far back as 2006, it feels like a century, I developed a frame of Leadership that could help understand […]

October 21st, 2015

The ‘Waiting for the Barbarians’ school of Change Management.

Amongst the beautiful poems that Constantine P. Cavafy (1863-1933) wrote, I have always found some which could go straight to […]

October 20th, 2015

The 6 stages of Management Teams. The Origin and Evolution of these Species in one page.

Stage 1: The Accidental Management team. The team is composed by whoever reports to the top. You are in that […]

October 19th, 2015

From political movements to innovation in the company, stuff happens in the fringes, whilst the core feels tired.

A little epidemic of ex-fringe and peripheral organizations, views and people is going on around us. I use ‘fringe’ and […]

October 18th, 2015

From Values to Non-negotiable Behaviours. Continuing the reframing of the company steering system. (3 of 5)

The trouble with value systems is that, very often, they have no proper translation into pragmatic and visible expectations that […]

October 18th, 2015

‘Homeland’ fiasco lesson for my friends in Corporate Communications.

The facts: the American TV series ‘Homeland’ has reached its fifth season , starting staged in a Syrian refugee camp […]

October 17th, 2015

The Organizational Logic: the basic people algorithms that steer the navigation. Reframing the company steering system. (2 of 5)

The previous Daily Thoughts introduced the formula: (1) Space in the World (Purpose) + (2) Core Beliefs + (3) Non […]

October 17th, 2015

An obligatory Chemistry lesson for leaders. AKA thermostat management.

We often use the term ‘chemistry’ as something that you need to have, between people, for example, or something that […]

October 16th, 2015

10 reasons why you should retire ‘Passion’ from your value system

Passion is an emotion, or set of emotions. You may want, indeed, that your people are passionate, but you can’t […]

October 15th, 2015

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 […]

October 14th, 2015

Value conversation or cost conversation? One departure, two avenues, several destinations.

“Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” Oscar Wilde It’s hard to have a conversation […]

October 13th, 2015

Reclaiming Conversations in an Alone Together world

In a study conducted with Fortune 100 companies, and quoted in Sherry Turkle’s new book ‘Reclaiming Conversations’, the following statistics […]

October 12th, 2015

Value systems should be aspirational and behavioural, not just a shopping list of the values or behaviours you don’t have.

When I see a corporate value system containing teamwork, openness and innovation, my cynical, uneducated and undomesticated baloney detector system […]

October 11th, 2015

The ‘Great Man’ model of leadership is well and alive, despite largely exaggerated accounts of its death

The Great Man Theory was born in Scotland, the child of philosopher and historian Thomas Carlyle (1795 –1881) – “The […]

October 10th, 2015

My spell check changes ‘methodology’ to ‘mythology’ automatically. Are the gods telling me something?

Method is a trick that has been used twice, people say. Having a method for anything is hardly a negative […]

October 9th, 2015

Empowerment: the muddle. The wrong conversation, until you start unpacking the concept and dismantling the house of buzzwords.

The ‘expectations muddle’ of empowerment has different shapes and flavours: I expect you to do something but you don’t think […]

October 8th, 2015

The leadership team tipping point: the arrow points South.

Some top management teams and leadership teams are created by the Internal Organization Chart Robot Officer, that is, they are […]

October 7th, 2015

‘The top leaders are not specific, they don’t tell us what they expect’. This is very good news.

Talking about leadership teams at the top, I often hear ‘they launch those words but the don’t give specifics’, or […]

October 6th, 2015

Q: ‘What’s the best innovation in Medicine in recent years? A: ‘The chair’

That’s how Gregorio Maranon put it. Maranon (1887-1960) was a Spanish physician of the ‘humanistic school’. Meaning, more than a […]

October 5th, 2015

It may not be inevitable. It may be that people believe it is inevitable. Grab the script. Change the script.

Scholars of social movements and also of all forms of radicalization processes agree that, quite constantly, there seems to be […]

October 3rd, 2015

Reclaim the non-utilitarian conversation in the organization. It has the greatest utility.

We have made conversations inside the organization (only?) purely transactional. There must be a utility. What’s the goal? What’s the […]

October 2nd, 2015

The ‘Training ex Machina’ delusion. Beware of training solutions for all seasons.

In the old Greek tragedies, when the plot became an unsolvable mess, a God (or few of them) came down […]

October 1st, 2015

Benchmarking deviance inside the organization.

A few years ago, community workers for the Save the Children organisation, an internationally recognised non governmental organisation or NGO, […]

September 30th, 2015

Company vs. Community. Digging the roots of words for a possible reunion.

Company: Where companions are. Companion = com + panis in Latin, that is with bread, sharing bread of food. “Travelling […]

September 29th, 2015

A Gordian Knot Brigade in each organization. All swords on deck.

Get the best minds and hearts people. Get them together. Not permanent, but more than simply ad hoc. Let them […]

September 28th, 2015

Trust is an unfair affair. Don’t apply linear arguments. All trust that is solid can melt in the air.

Trust is the most unforgiving, unfair and disruptive phenomenon in the organization. It takes a while to build, it may […]

September 27th, 2015

The Bad Apples Theory on colossal business fiascos. (It’s the basket, stupid!)

Volkswagen has declared that the Diesel fiasco and the massive installation of software, built in to deceive outputs and pass […]

September 26th, 2015

Shhh! I am playing John Cage’s 4’33 as part of my leadership development.

In an unusual break between meetings in London, I found myself in Foyles, the transformed, iconic bookstore, where I bought […]

September 25th, 2015

The ‘Call me Peter’ School of leadership.

I am reconstructing here a fictitious reply from a middle-senior manager to his CEO, in the way he expressed to […]

September 24th, 2015

Disruptive innovation, like charity, starts at home. Your mind and your people, that is. The rest is the easy part.

The concept of disruption in management has been applied to innovation before. A disruptive innovation is a technology, process or […]

September 23rd, 2015

Talk the walk (Note from the editor: it actually means in that order)

Walk the talk’ is being consistent: say something and then do what you said you would. ‘Talk the walk’ is […]

September 22nd, 2015

I am in favour of consultants entering the temple of the Social Sciences provided they take off their shoes

I am paraphrasing British philosopher Simon Blackburn who said the same about scientists entering the temple of philosophy. There is […]

September 21st, 2015

Good thinking, same thinking: a case of process reengineering without thinking reengineering.

Poor American management, they always get the hit. Blame it to their influence and visibility. Is most modern management American […]

September 20th, 2015

‘Nothing new under the sun’ ? Take off your sun glasses and stop the Valium

Often you see people in organizations disillusioned with changes, considering themselves survivors of the yet another reorg, getting on with […]

September 19th, 2015

We need the aliens. Everybody needs aliens. Smart aliens who can ask questions and open Pandora boxes for us.

The best swordsman in the world doesn’t need to fear the second best swordsman in the world; no, the person […]

September 18th, 2015

“There are two types of people in the world: those who can extrapolate from incomplete data sets”

What type are you? How our mental models work is part of the Minimal Introspection, something we tend to overlook, […]

September 17th, 2015

Being proud of (my company X) can’t be legislated or fabricated. It’s an outcome, a by-product.

You can’t rule on pride, things to be proud of. You can’t launch ‘be proud’ as a value, or as […]

September 16th, 2015

History is constructed. The leader’s legacy is not retrospective. We build it daily, so we’d better test it.

In another context, I wrote about company cultures as having a glue. [The Company Global One Culture does not exist. […]

September 15th, 2015

Management: by invitation. Unbundle reporting lines and management teams

Corporate grade, reporting lines and membership of leadership teams in organisations often go together. But unbundling these components is a […]

September 14th, 2015

7 Ways to get away form the ‘team = meeting’ trap and establish ‘Team365’.

I explained yesterday that ‘team = meeting’ is a cancer in organizations. We have fallen into the trap of making […]

September 12th, 2015

In the name of names: the cause for renaming in the organization

  There is a debate, not only here in the UK, about how to call the ‘so called’ Islamic State, […]

September 11th, 2015

Create inflection points when you don’t need one. It’s better than waiting for the inflection points to come to you.

Crisis are/constitute inflection points. Also M&A, extraordinary organic growth, relocations, and entering new markets. Keep adding. Pain is inevitable, misery […]

September 10th, 2015

I want companies with Post Traumatic Strength Disorder. Untreated.

Nasim Taleb’s Antifragile book has this subtitle: ‘Things that gain from disorder’. This is a model for the new organization […]

September 9th, 2015

Scalable or not scalable. That is the question.

Traditional management has focused on interventions that scale by the maths of addition. Modern, new radical management focuses on ways […]

September 8th, 2015

The best organizational model is the one that has more than one under the roof

Command and control management has less and less friends, and it’s quite terminally ill as well. The heirs are fighting […]

September 7th, 2015

‘The incumbent always loses first’. That may be a winning strategy

In Double Down: Game Change 2012, the detailed account of the USA presidential campaign of that year, by Mark Halperin […]

September 6th, 2015

3 self-sabotage mechanisms in organizations.

Organizations, like organisms, have embedded mechanisms of survival, of growth and also of self-sabotage These are 3 self-sabotage systems to […]

September 5th, 2015

Being compelled to react, does not make you good leader. The clue, and the winning, is in the number of problems that you decide not to address.

Every morning, when we weak up, put our work clothes on and head for whatever is in our Outlook or […]

September 4th, 2015

My top 5 Leadership questions at the top of the agenda.

Here are my top five,  from my organizational consulting work. The paraphrasing is mine, the ownership is shared with my […]

September 3rd, 2015

Organizational Decluttering: A crusade in waiting that may need you as leader

Einstein said, “I soon learned to scent out what was able to lead to fundamentals and to turn aside from […]

September 2nd, 2015

If you needed to remember only one classification of people: ‘external and internal locus of control’

This is old Psychology lesson. ‘External locus of control’ translation: the problem is somewhere else, not me. It’s the environment, […]

September 1st, 2015

‘Jeff Bezos assures Amazon Employees that HR is working 100 Hours a week to address their complaints’ (that they are working 100 hours a week)

Whatever he had in mind, it was communicated in an incredibly poor way. The prize for messaging goes to Amazon […]

August 31st, 2015

Management is analogue. Communication is digital. Have two desks.

A recent book by ex-Microsoft researcher and now MIT prof Kentaro Toyama (Geek Heresy, 20015) is not precisely novel on […]

August 29th, 2015

‘The tyranny of the moment’. Liberating Leaders Wanted.

  Thomas Hylland Eriksen is a Norwegian Anthropology professor that has achieved more than  any of his fellow anthropologists: you […]

August 28th, 2015

The Open Plan Office may be a prison with invisible hanging posters: ‘You will collaborate’

Who needs walls when we have screens? There is open plan and open plan. Open plan with Dilbert cubicles is […]

August 27th, 2015

Performance Appraisals: the 5 reasons why it’s so hard to change them or get rid of them

Only when you see Performance Management as rituals, you can understand why we still do them in the same unchanged […]

August 26th, 2015

‘How to make change sustainable?’ This question needs a warning in the label: ‘but not too much?’

‘Sustainable’ is a magic word. Inevitable seat at the table of of ‘correct language’, 21st Century version. Many things have […]

August 25th, 2015

Decouple discussion and decision-making. Inject a buffer. Relax, it’s not a sin.

Empirically, it works. It has been mentioned in many places. But the false semi-god of managerial efficiency makes us feel […]

August 24th, 2015

Google’s modern family, ‘alphabet’, is not a company but a platform of incubators (one more incubated than others). Corporate is Mother Host.

Why have Larry Page and Sergey Brin produced the Alphabet rabbit out of the hat? They had no choice ( […]

August 17th, 2015

Daily Thoughts is back the 24th of August: just checking in.

Daily Thoughts is back the 24th of August, daily again at 08:00 am UK time in and then in […]

August 16th, 2015

Antifragility: powered by Viral Change TM

Si (Sisan Si Alhir) has organised a webinar in which Leandro Herrero will be talking about ANTIFRAGILITY:POWERED BY VIRAL CHANGE™ […]

August 6th, 2015

Complexity: another short, summer reading list from Daily Thoughts

Whilst Daily Thoughts is still in pause mode, here is another short list of Daily on Complexity. Every successful company’s […]

August 4th, 2015

Simplicity: a summer reading list from the Daily Thoughts collection

Whilst Daily Thoughts is on holiday for a few days, here is a short collection of Daily Thoughts on Simplicity. […]

August 1st, 2015

Daily Thoughts is on holiday. But we can keep ourselves connected

Thanks for you daily following via email, LinkedIn Pulse or twitter. I am in a little pause for a couple […]

July 31st, 2015

10 ingredients to cook your strategy

  List your competitors, then, compare yourself with a different list. Most of the answers lie outside your immediate peer […]

July 30th, 2015

The Tragedy of the Obvious, part 2. The obvious things in ‘management of change’ (and still we can’t see the donkeys)

I shared yesterday the tragedy of the obvious. The obvious that is so obvious that we don’t see it. Read […]

July 29th, 2015

The Tragedy of the Obvious

A man was leading a caravan of donkeys and crossing the border almost every day, coming back with apparently the […]

July 28th, 2015

The unsaid and unsayable are at the deeper layers of culture

When trying to understand a culture, there will be plenty of visible things to look at, to hear and to […]

July 27th, 2015

Segment, segment, segment. Add these three words to the dictionary of Internal Communications.

If you look at political marketing, and a place to look for a serious PhD in communications and their segmentation […]

July 26th, 2015

‘Like fish in the water’ is the real employee engagement.

I don’t think Employee Engagement is a score following a survey, or a series of pulpits for ‘employee voice’, or […]

July 25th, 2015

The unintended consequences of a well intended decision

Short reflection, again, for the slow-down period of Daily Thoughts. When intending to obtain A, how many times do we […]

July 24th, 2015

‘Grasps the facts, misses the meaning’: The Leadership Dyslexia upon us

Did we ever, ever have more facts around us? Certainly not. We talk about Big Data. It is of course […]

July 23rd, 2015

Seducing minds, versus hiring people. Just imagine.

I like the word seducing when referring to working for somebody, a company, a person, a cause, an organization. If […]

July 22nd, 2015

Navel gazing (Nombrilisme in French, sounds much better) is constant in the organization. The issue is not to deny it but to fight it.

There is so much to fix and manage inside the organization that the task could be never ending. Soon, and […]

July 21st, 2015

It’s still Day One: the wining philosophy of Day Two and Day Two Thousand

Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, has a famous and well quoted line: ‘It’s just Day one’ (of the company). And […]

July 20th, 2015

With more time, this post would be shorter

With more time, the report would be shorter, the powerpoint file smaller, and the strategic plan slimmer. Not longer, bigger […]

July 19th, 2015

We, ourselves are the biggest exporters of problems to the organizations we work for.

The great Spanish philosopher Jose Ortega y Gasset wrote about the early 20th Century Spanish society as being ‘led by […]

July 18th, 2015

I fail by my circumstances, I succeed by my great disposition. (‘Don’t challenge it, it works for me’)

There is something quite pompously called ‘the fundamental attribution distortion’, one of the bias or mental traps that are in […]

July 17th, 2015

The many ‘me’ inside Me need some discovery: have a go. They all seem to come for dinner.

Continuing the conversation on leadership. Yes, we could go forever. Let me make an assumption: that miraculously you’ll have some […]

July 16th, 2015

Your most important list of personal assets. Take time. Now?

There are may ways to list our own assets. And that is something very healthy to do. Practice it from […]

July 15th, 2015

What do these have in common? Designing organizations, aquariums and fish soups.

Commenting on the communist legacy, a soviet academic Oleg Bogomolov, who must have known a thing or two about things […]

July 14th, 2015

We work with them very closely, we are very familiar with each other, that is why perhaps we don’t know each other well.

Months ago I found myself in front of a large audience composed by the highest ranks of the HR function […]

July 13th, 2015

Don’t transplant or import a successful management model; reverse engineer it, then pause.

There is a great difference between copying and reverse engineering. Many people in business wish they could copy the great […]

July 12th, 2015

Aspiration: the healthy restlessness of the ‘Is there a better way?’

Complacency is always a risk, more so when we profess to be immune to it. Sometimes, achieving organizational and business […]

July 11th, 2015

1/3 fixed, 2/3 fuzzy: try this organizational diet for a culture of empowerment and ownership.

Imagine a near nirvana, perfect scenario in which you have the right and the best people in the organization, intellectually, […]

July 10th, 2015

The ‘change method’ is dead, long live the method.

Ok, the method never dies, because ‘it’s a trick used twice’. People wanting to go from A to Z need […]

July 9th, 2015

A culture of ownership when you don’t own the company (or even when you do)

It has always been a Great Hypothesis. It goes like this: ‘if employees acted as owners, as if they owned […]

July 8th, 2015

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

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

July 7th, 2015

Entering as a question mark, leaving as a period

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

July 6th, 2015

Measurement: the Dogma. Here are 10 critical thinking principles.

The following are not the same: What you want to measure What you need to measure What you have been […]

July 5th, 2015

Stickiness: the highest, inconvenient management challenge.

  Managers are good at messaging and communicating. Ok, this is a benevolent assessment but let’s assume this. Also, OK […]

July 4th, 2015

The 4 leadership hats in the modern organization.

The trouble with the talking about leadership is that we have made a big basket of it, and thrown in […]

July 3rd, 2015

If you rate me, I’ll rate you

We rate hotels and restaurants in Tripadvisor, we now can rate doctors and teachers, and we rate lots of services […]

July 2nd, 2015

The company that gets better and better after disruption, disorder or chaos.

Nassim Taleb Antifragile concept is perhaps one of the most attractive frames (conceptual, philosophical, practical) we have had recently. By […]

July 1st, 2015

What do you do in a room full of smoke? Apply the same to mental pollution.

Open the windows. Ok, it’s not your room, so you can’t. Don’t get in. Avoid the room. If you need […]

June 30th, 2015

Most likely, the answers are in the room

At the beginning of our Viral Change™ programmes, moons ago, we were worried about a few things. One in particular […]

June 29th, 2015

The cost of doing something versus the cost of not doing it. The second half is often missing.

Confronted with options and strategies, the cost of doing things is very often the first thing that comes to our […]

June 28th, 2015

Chose your problems, before they chose you. We never solve problems; it’s a question of working on the best trade off.

Since we never solve problems completely, only make tradeoffs between them, it would be good to choose problems before they […]

June 27th, 2015

‘Let’s see what that data says’. The Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy lives on.

Probably we will never be short of data anymore. We even have now Big Data, with big capitals, as a […]

June 26th, 2015

Time to retire the ‘HR Business Partner’ concept, if HR wants to ever make it to the high table.

The Business Partner concept or model was developed particularly for HR by Ulrich and Brockbank in 2005 to stress the […]

June 25th, 2015

Darling, what are your expectations today? Or why do we talk Martian in business?

There is a ‘meeting expectations’ cult in business. It has created its own concept of (customer) services: meet customer expectations, […]

June 24th, 2015

Games or Rituals? Anthropology inside the company has valuable things to say.

Organizational anthropology sounds like a grandiose academic affair. You may imagine the anthropologists armed with notebooks and cameras capturing the […]

June 23rd, 2015

Manage the inevitable, lead the unpredictable, allow yourself to do both

I’ve written several times about the tired distinction between management and leadership. It had its logic and purpose, and made […]

June 22nd, 2015

William Hague and Angeline Jolie 5 million rape Summit was an expensive flash mob

Data obtained by newspapers in the UK has shown that a summit against rape in war zones held in London […]

June 21st, 2015

I challenge you with this quiz, when applied to your own organization.

There are about 200 people in the organization. But 10 of them at the top are very powerful. In fact, […]

June 20th, 2015

The ‘initiative’ often lets personal commitment off the hook

‘For every problem, the Victorians have a building’. For every idea that we need to carry forward, we invent an […]

June 19th, 2015

I want to import this ‘act of kindness’ into business life

I know of a brilliant medical doctor who, in front of a worried patient, perhaps with some imaginary worries, perhaps […]

June 18th, 2015

Blasting middle management is a sign of leadership incompetence

For years, middle management has been targeted by executives, business leaders, business gurus and so called ‘change experts’ as the […]

June 17th, 2015

From ‘us and them’ to ‘us with them’. Don’t kill the ‘us’ on behalf of a fictitious ‘global’.

I sometimes think that many global ‘one company’ initiatives are missing the point. The intentions are good: ‘look, we are […]

June 16th, 2015

Some working places are ‘non-places’, with the inspiration of Isolation Clinical Units

Working in a ‘non-place place’ can’t deliver inspirations and aspirations. Ideas need infections, not Isolation Clinical Units Marc Auge is […]

June 15th, 2015

Leadership is a social concept, not an individual trait. But we are fascinated by the individual stock.

Leadership is a term that describes a relationship. No relationship, no leadership. Leadership can only be defined in terms of […]

June 14th, 2015

‘We have no time’ people and ‘There is plenty of time’ people, share the same sixty minute hour.

We all know these two types of people. The ‘there is plenty of time to review X or finish Y’ […]

June 13th, 2015

From airplane cabin temperature control: warmer to sleep, colder to awake. A culture thermostat lesson for organizations.

Temperature control of the cabin is used by airlines in transatlantic flights as a way to change behaviour. It may […]

June 12th, 2015

Consider culture before attending this meeting ( with thanks to ‘Consider the environment before printing’)

Do I really, really, really need to attend that meting? Do I really, really, really need to send one from […]

June 11th, 2015

5 things very successful leaders have in common

1. They don’t read blogs entitled ‘5 things very successful leaders have in common’. 2. They don’t care about lists […]

June 10th, 2015

The leader who said ‘make your numbers’ instead of ‘have a good trip back’

A friend of mind remembers one of his bosses very well. ‘Make the numbers’, was apparently his way to say […]

June 9th, 2015

‘Employee engagement’ is always a line with missing words. Engagement with what? Whom?

When I classified Employee Engagement into six models, I made the point that one overriding classification is the binary ‘with […]

June 8th, 2015

Mondays shape Tuesdays. If you could just fast forward…

Winston Churchill said, referring to the Houses of Parliament in the UK, ‘We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us’. […]

June 7th, 2015

Compatible Dreams + The Non Negotiable = The Journey (AKA the Company)

In a massive street demonstration for Anti Something Big, you have the Anti Something Big activists, the Anti Everything, the […]

June 6th, 2015

Culture = story = business card = halo effect.

I don’t copy and paste in my blogs, little or a lot. But today it’s an exception. This is Fox […]

June 5th, 2015

The Process and The Outcome: married, just friends, or it’s complicated?

So you have The Process and The Outcome dating. You would have thought that they are having a good time. […]

June 4th, 2015

The UK Labour Party, Malaysian Airlines and ‘I am Really Stuck Inc’, they all need Reboot! not ‘Navel-Gazing-Improvement’

When we developed Reboot! a while ago as an intense Accelerator (strategy and change accelerator), a simple premise was in […]

June 3rd, 2015

The curious case of Castro and the Pope. Or maybe not.

I wrote yesterday that magnetism should be incorporated to the category of Prize Winner in corporate cultures: ‘I want to […]

June 2nd, 2015

Magnetic Places are priceless. Run your own ‘People-in-the-queue’ Test.

To lead a Magnet Place (‘I’d love to be there, work there’, ‘I’d love to be part of it’, ‘I […]

June 1st, 2015

Pilot or pastor? From the No-nonsense Francis School of Leadership

Pope Francis has done it again. I mean, his probably weekly plain English (well, Italian or Spanish) bit of nudging […]

May 31st, 2015

‘We should have done’ and ‘too bad we didn’t’. Don’t push the self-suffocating , negative button

  The cartoon has been all over the place. There is a sad side of the funny side and the […]

May 30th, 2015

The organization’s collective self-belief is often hidden. Leaders need to hear the unsaid.

Some organisations, or groups inside the organisation, suffer from lack of self belief. You could say weak self esteem. The […]

May 29th, 2015

The hard sell of a big theme supported by dubious, incoherent but dramatically presented evidence

he British journalist, Bryan Appleyard called Gladwellism: the hard sell of a big theme supported by dubious, incoherent but dramatically […]

May 28th, 2015

In-company clicktivism, not an elevated form of engagement

Clicktivism is a form of digital /online engagement that requires the extraordinary effort of one of your fingers, possibly the […]

May 27th, 2015

The Zappos inmates running the asylum, take two.Warning: this post contains flashes of cut-and-paste organizational models.

I wrote about Zappos and Holacracy here, and got lots of questions. This is take two. In my work on […]

May 26th, 2015

Employees don’t need ‘Voice’. They were born with one. Employee Voice is an alibi for lazy Employee Engagement.

Promoting Parallel Monologues don’t make up employee engagement. A rich world of parallel monologues, don’t make even a poor employee […]

May 25th, 2015

Zappos without the zapatos: not all inmates want to take over the asylum.

Zappos, (from zapatos, Spanish for shoe) has gone self-management. If you have not heard about Zappos, it does not mean […]

May 24th, 2015

The Company Global One Culture does not exist. But pretending that it does holds us together.

The so called One Global Culture is a confederation of (a) Geographical cultures and sub-cultures (Italy, USA, France etc) (b) […]

May 23rd, 2015

Status Unfinished: the perfect state of a healthy organization is beta

The perfect state of a healthy organization is unfinished. Like a human being. ‘Born too early’ (Campbell’s hero). Finished structures […]

May 22nd, 2015

‘You make sense’, is the greatest compliment in the era of non-sense-making

I have explained to a client the logic and principles of the Viral Change Platform. I did not want to […]

May 21st, 2015

Culture secret in one line: people look up, and people look sideways. And also down. As simple as easily dismissed.

People look up. What the immediate boss does and says. What ‘management’ do and say. In some cultures, this is […]

May 20th, 2015

There will always be hierarchy, power and rituals in the organization. The question is how smart we are to chose the right trade off.

Every new form of management, or organizational structure and model, contains all the old mechanisms of management and organizational models. […]

May 19th, 2015

The indecision is final. Keep calm and wait for the next.

A previous Daily Thought about decisions mentioned 3 reasons why decision making may be a problem in the organization (1) […]