Monthly Archives: February 2017

//February

And the answer to my question is?

I don’t know what your school teachers were like but mine, on the whole, were rather authoritarian. They talked, you listened, they tested. They gave out books, you read them, they tested. Their questions were predictable and if you were academic (good at storing and retrieving data) easy to answer. For many, this style of learning continued into their university days. ‘Give back to the professors what they want and you will get what you want.’ Now this is not at all to knock the education establishment. In between all the long holidays, I think I had a pretty good [...]

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Peter’s story

Peter left school in 1948. Since the age of eleven he had been written off by the education establishment as boy with below average abilities. On his last day his science teacher asked him what he wanted to do with his life, young Peter said “I want to be a scientist.” His science teacher, unashamedly laughed in his face. Once he finally stopped his science teacher said “forget it, you don’t even have any qualifications!” Peter started his working life in a printing factory. A year or two later, Peter read an article in a newspaper about a business designing [...]

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‘World one’ vs ‘World two’ complex problem solving

I was flicking through some photographs the other day when I was reminded of The Bayard Christmas dinner challenge I had handed to a couple of my dining companions. In doing so, I learnt a new way of solving complex problems. My challenge was that after the main course, with the minimum of fuss, I wanted to shuffle our guests around so we could all sit next to other people for the desert and coffee. I asked a both Phd scientist and a lawyer with years of experience in HR and people management. And although their approaches were totally different, [...]

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The coffee machine is not working properly

I spend a lot of my time in business trying to get people to see the advantage of truly working together. A conversation at the coffee machine the other week, summed up nicely where I think there is room for improvement. “The coffee machine is not working properly. The screen says the cup is full but when I remove it, it is barely more than a third full.” Said my disgruntled colleague. “What do you think the problem is?” I asked, knowing him to be an engineer by training. “It’s definitely a hardware problem, that’s obvious”. He said. “I am [...]

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