Monthly Archives: July 2016


The Good old days

Recently we have heard some politicians promise to take us back to the ‘good old days’ in order to make their countries ‘great’ again.  And yet when their voters were asked when exactly the good old days were, they could not could come up with a period where, under scrutiny, was not as good as it is today. In business too, it is vitally important not to be nostalgic. Good periods in the past, always had their downsides and to be honest, are often not relevant to the current situation. I do believe, however, that there is a great deal [...]

2016-11-17T08:23:31+00:001 Comment

Crossed wires – same words, different meaning

All industries have words or phrases that are unique to them. Being ex-military and Police, I can tell you that there are a number of phrases used in these professions that are rarely used elsewhere. For instance, the term RVP  (Rendezvous Point), is used by military and police personnel, both inside and outside of their work hours. While the majority of us would say “Where shall we meet?” my ex colleagues would ask, “Where’s the RVP?”. When abbreviations are commonly used within the same industry then there is little room for confusion, or at least that’s what I thought. A [...]

2016-11-17T08:23:31+00:000 Comments

How to draw an alien – a lesson in change reticence

According to professor Thomas Ward, if you ask a bunch of people to draw an alien the majority of them will present you with something looking like this. However, commonsense tells us that if mankind were ever to detect alien life the chances are that the alien would look anything but like a human.  And yet, because cinema once created an image of an alien with human like features, we tend to follow the norm and depict them that way. And so it is that once something has been invented, we tend to find it almost impossible to invent radical [...]

2016-11-17T08:23:32+00:000 Comments

“This company is insane”

Is this what you think about your company?  Is this how people in your team would describe your organization to others?  Luckily for us change managers is that most companies are indeed insane but only according to the definition as per Albert Einstein who famously reported: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results each time.” It is so easy to criticize and to make telling observations.  It’s also pretty easy to come up with great new ideas. What is much more difficult (as explored in last week’s blog with our CIO’s) is to [...]

2016-11-17T08:23:32+00:000 Comments

Don’t bother making plans

Some of the most memorably stressful moments in my career have been spent arguing the benefit of building detailed project plans. Typical counter arguments included “In this company there is no point in making plans because everything is changing all the time and no one sticks to their commitments”. My reaction was, and still is, “if your company is that chaotic, there is something fundamentally wrong with it and perhaps you should invest time identifying the causes of the chaos and lack of commitment?  Having done so, you could then work with the leadership team to come up with a [...]

2016-11-17T08:23:32+00:000 Comments