The peripheral; extravagance; and paradox: Whistler reflections by Renée Koch


I asked my friend Renée Koch, who was a faculty member at the Whistler Retreat earlier this year, to contribute a guest blog reflecting on her experience and learning at the retreat and beyond.  I love her focus on the peripheral; extravagance; and paradox.   What struck me is how the notion of extravagance again challenges … Continue reading The peripheral; extravagance; and paradox: Whistler reflections by Renée Koch

How organisational OCD is stamping out innovation and agility


Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a debiliatating anxiety disorder that can have devastating consequences for the individual that suffers from it. I think there is a similar disorder that organisations suffer from … I call is Obsessive Certainty Disorder.  It too is linked with anxiety and the need for control.   And it too has devastating consequences, … Continue reading How organisational OCD is stamping out innovation and agility

What Van Gogh & Cape Town’s water crisis can teach us about innovation


Most people believe that innovation requires creativity, and therefore that creativity is a pre-condition for innovation.  This has somewhat “mystified” innovation and sparked entire industries focused on creativity training, design thinking courses and all manner of “creative disruption” processes to help people “think outside the box” in an attempt to unleash the latent creative genius … Continue reading What Van Gogh & Cape Town’s water crisis can teach us about innovation

Using Cynefin to make sense of preparing for the future of work


These past two weeks, I’ve had several conversations with executives and OD/L&D professionals who are trying to make sense of the complexities that automation initiatives are introducing into the workplace. We found it helpful to use Cynefin to understand some of these dynamics.  Now we know things tend not to fit neatly into the domains, … Continue reading Using Cynefin to make sense of preparing for the future of work

One sure-fire way to poison your culture


Sometimes I come across ideas in business that are just so counter-productive that I really cannot understand how they ever became accepted practice.  One such idea that I’ve seen wreak havoc on corporate culture is the so-called Forced Ranking performance assessment process (or as Jack Welch termed it “Rank & Yank“). In virtually every company … Continue reading One sure-fire way to poison your culture

Declaration of Interdependence


I love some of the things that the Agile community comes up with.  I am very excited about the apparent move of this thinking from IT into the rest of the organisation.  I’ve known about the Agile manifesto for a while, but recently came across a new one … the Declaration of inter-dependence. Here’s what people … Continue reading Declaration of Interdependence

Leadership is about climate control, not command and control


In a new TED talk by Sir Ken Robinson (embedded below) he focuses on prevailing education systems and how they stifle learning and creativity.  He eloquently makes the case that education is not a mechanistic endeavour that is about conformity and compliance, but an inherently human and organic process that is about valuing diversity and … Continue reading Leadership is about climate control, not command and control