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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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The 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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mediumThe U Journey: Running the Foundation Workshop

This is Part Two of our series on the ‘Explore’ phase of The U Journey to guide an organisation through a transformation. In Part One we looked at how to set up the Foundation Workshop for success. We considered its purpose, where it fits in the overall U Journey and some social processes required to

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How to change: Introducing Theory U

Bringing about deep change in an organisation is hard. Legendary management consultant W Edwards Deming claimed that transformation was simply not possible without profound knowledge: appreciation for a system, knowledge of variation, theory of knowledge and the psychology of people society and change. With my engineering background, I appreciate the systems view, understand variation, and

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Change up to a Critical Chain Operating System?

In the movie City Slickers, cowboy Jack Palance is riding with Billy Crystal who’s slowly shrugging off a midlife crisis. He asks if Crystal knows what the secret of life is. ‘No, what?’ The old-timer raises his index finger and, pausing for dramatic effect, says, ‘One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and

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