Blog Posts

Post Category: ‘Culture & behaviour’

Helpfully stolen accountability – a lesson in delegation, accountability and decision making control

Let me tell you the story of the curious case of missing financial control. In one organisation we worked with, the objective was to develop the autonomy and capability of various business units, located in separate properties around the country.   The company ran multiple properties, around the country, where each property was designed to be a profit-making profit centre. …

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The Chief Executive and the Lightbulb: How we think about performance management

As I talked, I noticed that the Chief Executive was no longer listening.  She had gone into that state of deep thought, staring up and away into the distance; thinking intensely: thinking about something – I had no idea what. I decided not to disturb those thoughts for the moment, but to let her ponder, while I continued to talk …

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Passion is NOT a strategy!

OK, I will admit, I am completely fed up reading various web pages, listening to talks and hearing people say, they are “Passionate” about being whatever they are, or doing whatever they are doing. Let me be clear here: Passion is not a strategy! Passion is not a business model! Passion is not even a necessity for running a successful …

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Organisational structures do not exist – they are a myth!

Ok, I can hear the squeals of anguish and dissent.  “Of course organisational structures exist” I hear people say. We have organisations and we create structures and we do organisational design to place people within those structures. We spend time and effort and energy creating and maintaining and adjusting these organisational structures. Why organisational structures are a myth The equivalent …

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The Balanced Scorecard is not a technical tool: It is a social tool!

Most of what we see in “Balanced scorecards” are technical tools. Many of the questions we see and hear on balanced scorecard forums are technical questions.  Many balanced scorecard projects are seen as, primarily, technical projects. This applies to of all generations of balanced scorecards and many implementations.  To many, the whole approach is thought of as a technical solution …

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You can’t sack people in the public sector. Really!

This is a phrase I keep coming across, “You can’t sack people in the public sector”. Here is the catch:  When you want to bring about cultural and behavioural change there will be some people who cannot, or will not, change their behaviour.  They retain the behaviours of the old regime or approach.    The problem is, that if you leave …

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Insight 6: If you want proper leadership, draw your organisational chart upside down

Insight 6: If you want proper leadership, draw your organisational chart upside down This insight is part is a series of six insights into strategy, people and performance, derived from working with my clients in 2013. Creating the space for others to perform If you genuinely believe that leadership is about creating the space for others to perform; if you …

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Rationale people: Econs, Workers and Human beings – encouraging behaviours.

There is a running joke between economists and psychologists: Economists, have a model of a rational decision maker.  Psychologists are used to people being emotional and less rational and try to understand that irrationality.  So Psychologists say that Economists work with ‘Econs’ whilst they work with ‘Human beings’.   (Fortunately, these two camps are starting to meet in a camp known …

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Purpose and meaning at work, in business and in organisatons

I have been working with a client recently who, like many organisations, was getting a little tangled up in definitions of purpose and mission.  They knew what they were about, but were having some difficulty articulating it.  They were looking for statements that described what they were about and their purpose and contribution as an organisation. I realised that the …

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Does culture precede strategy – I don’t think so

Someone suggested to me that culture precedes strategy.  I am not at all convinced.  First however we need to dispel the  myth that “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”. Culture only eats weak strategy for breakfast On the contrary, I believe that that just means your strategy for culture change is weak. I’ll say that again: Your strategy for changing the culture …

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