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Control the macro, liberate the micro

Imagine being the conductor of an orchestra and having to make your baton signal for every note of every musician, from beginning to end. Impossible, no? Now try and imagine the musicians playing without the guiding

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Five commandments for high-performance execution

Every industrial workplace has safety rules you ignore at your peril. If you’re not wearing a hard hat and goggles at a refinery, or don’t have steel-capped boots in an aircraft hangar, you’ll be asked to leave. And not politely, either. These are binary metrics: yes or no. In or out. So why don’t we

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Time and tide…

A colleague once turned up late for a meeting and after the usual cursory apology noticed I was not happy: ‘What are you so concerned about?’ he asked with a supercilious grin. ‘It took 14 billion years for both of us to get here, what’s a few minutes between friends?’ Against the scale of time

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mediumThe Magnificent Seven: Books of 2018

When I looked back on the books I reviewed this year as a springboard to a conversation I found I’d covered unconsciously (or was it?) some core themes that represent a sort of mini-syllabus for how to transform your organisation. Or even your life. Although I’ve found myself increasingly turning to online videos and podcasts

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Finding flow is hard, but possible

Why does our productivity rarely meet our own expectations? When planning our work, most of us make a reasonable effort to estimate how long we’ll need. While any given task seems perfectly doable on its own, when we string together a sequence of them we rarely achieve our target. If we were as productive as

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The U Journey: Deliver

The ultimate prize promised by Theory U is the kind of transformational improvement that self-perpetuates. While even the most dynamic systems will eventually succumb to entropy, the Theory U approach is one possibility of creating an organisational shift that embeds a deep culture of learning and continuous improvement. Change demands a step into the unknown.

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