September 28, 2021
Of people, roles and ritual (2 of 3)
To continue from my post of yesterday, and with less intent to be polemical, but definite intent to disturb, I […]
September 27, 2021
Of people, roles and ritual (1 of 3)
From time to time I am invited to speak at The Stoa, a group that got together at the start […]
September 14, 2021
Prevarication by platitude
The road to hell, they say is paved with good intentions and nothing is more frustrating in the general field […]
August 25, 2021
…the eye was bewildered
Back from holiday (of which more tomorrow) and a chance to pick up the blog agai as well as to […]
July 24, 2021
Too fast, too soon?
This post picks up on the idea of shallow monogamy in my post of a few days ago looking at some of the […]
July 19, 2021
Pleaches, Liggers & the ‘C’ words
Two interesting sets of interactions on social media triggered today’s post.  One was a distinction made between cutting down a […]
July 18, 2021
At the Complexity turn …
We live, as the Chinese curse tells us, in interesting times;  and those times, to paraphrase Lincoln require us to […]
June 7, 2021
complex system
How the elephant got his trunk: what evolution can teach us about complexity
I’m going to assume that everyone who frequents this blog and is a regular reader of Dave’s work is very […]
May 4, 2021
Coherence and ‘truth’
So I’m back at the desk in my study, driven home from two weeks walking and cycling in the Lake […]
April 4, 2021
A word or two about words … (2/2)
In yesterday’s post, I was concerned about both the abuse of power, and the effectiveness of confessional use of language. […]
April 3, 2021
A word or two about words … (1/2)
In some ways this post is a follow up to a point I made yesterday about the dangers of creating […]
April 2, 2021
Fool or foolish?
Having All Fools Day as your birthday means that you rapidly become hyper-cautious until midday or simply avoid communication.  The […]
February 17, 2021
The loci of competence
An alternative title for today’s post could have been sometimes necessary, rarely sufficient with the same subject namely the legitimate discussion […]
January 9, 2021
“Living is Easy with Eyes Closed”
Earlier today I got irritated by several things on social media. I admit that this is not unusual and some […]
January 6, 2021
Twelvetide 20:13 The Baker’s dozen
This post is by way of a postscript to the main theme of the series.  To be honest, I am […]
December 8, 2020
The straw man fallacy
One of the things that most irritates me on social media is the complete ignorance people seem to have of […]
November 17, 2020
Its not about winning
 l was thinking about Max earlier on today.  I had planned to post an update on my uncertainty matrix, now […]
November 9, 2020
Lustful appetites
The title of this post is used collectively to refer to gluttony, fornication, and avarice in one of the sources […]
September 2, 2020
Mostly harmless
I was asked this evening, via LinkedIn to comment on the Baldridge Performance Excellence Program and I replied with the […]
August 29, 2020
Rules of engagement
I got a little angry in a Slack group a day or so ago at an attempt to manipulate what […]
February 16, 2020
Wherefore, part the first
We tend to read ‘wherefore’ as a question asking where something is, but the meaning is actually for what, or […]
October 14, 2019
Breaking the forest cycle
I’ve been meaning to write about the “forest cycle” or the supposed necessity of chaos for some time.  Yesterday’s post […]
August 28, 2019
“… save his own fame and gratification.”
A reminder that his blog is my personal opinion and is not an official statement from Cognitive Edge, its staff, […]
August 27, 2019
My/Our research …
I’ve long pointed out, to many over enthusiastic proponents of ‘story telling’; that the phrase has a double meaning in […]
August 17, 2019
Turning truth into myths
My original intent for today was the write a post about a new event for all those interested in the […]
April 27, 2019
Monocarpic banality
I’m starting to think that it is only a matter of time before I graduate from being merely  curmudgeonly  and […]
March 2, 2019
Patience is virtue of necessity
Around five years ago I spent a difficult and unplanned night in Toronto airport. I didn’t enjoy it but in […]
August 19, 2018
I didn’t fly, I wasn’t well served
Given I live in the UK and have a preference for One World I spend a lot of time on […]
August 18, 2018
We need an new Albigensian Crusade
If I had to choose a heresy (and it may be heretical to even pose such a question) then it […]
August 2, 2018
Compliance, disintermediation and wisdom
One of the really difficult aspects of leadership is that you have to get used to the fact that very […]
July 31, 2018
The myopia of metrics
I still have affectionate memories of my slide rule. We learnt how to use them around the age of 14 […]
July 28, 2018
The tyranny of the explicit
One of the phrases I coined many moons ago is that of ‘necessary ambiguity’; or, if I am feeling less […]
July 28, 2018
The tyranny of the explicit
One of the phrases I coined many moons ago is that of ‘necessary ambiguity’; or, if I am feeling less […]
December 23, 2017
A sheep in wolves clothing
Nothing pleases people more than to go on thinking what they have always thought, and at the same time imagine […]
November 13, 2017
Fidelity in complex systems consultancy
It been a week since my tirade against the abrogation of leadership by falling back to the crutch of a […]
November 6, 2017
“No one gets fired for buying ….
… IBM” was a standard adage a few decades ago. You could have a better software package, or better hardware […]
October 1, 2017
Scaling in complex systems
I wrote a series of posts about scaling over three year ago which in part addressed some of the perversities […]
June 30, 2017
Power of the facilitator
I’m picking up on my earlier posts on experts and professionalism by addressing the more controversial issue of workshops in […]
June 28, 2017
Here we go again, or why I resigned from Ethos
Way back in my DataSciences days before the IBM takeover I worked on a new approach to providing services based […]
May 11, 2017
… and nearer to the Dust
One of the deeply negative aspects of the knowledge management period of a decade or more ago was the gross […]
May 4, 2017
The trust word
A weapon is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary either as A thing designed or used for inflicting bodily harm […]
February 26, 2017
Early onset adulthood?
Reading up on the Borg for yesterday’s post (I’m a trekie but don’t have an eidetic memory) I was reminded […]
February 25, 2017
Details of the way that the twitterverse and Facebook were manipulated in the Brexit vote and the descent of humanity […]
February 14, 2017
James 2:24 & Cyborgs
An odd combination of things came together for this post. I was working earlier today on a signifier set to […]
February 2, 2017
Don’t prescribe sainthood
One of the many things that has always frustrated me about too many organisational change theories and practices is the […]
December 27, 2016
3: to illuminate a small field
  Anyone who has ever been walking in the hills will have had the experience of a sudden shaft of […]
December 13, 2016
It never troubles the wolf how many the sheep may be
I’ve been developing an flexuous approach to understanding strategy for several decades now. A part of that approach has involved […]
December 9, 2016
‘I’d have said anything in THERE
Picking up on my theme of yesterday I was reminded of a scene from The Wind in the Willows by […]
March 7, 2016
Return to the ducking school
Yesterday I argued that the confusion of managerialism with management was in effect a modern form of witch trail. Things […]
February 28, 2016
Religious Wars
I had a long drive from Hull to the Arms Park today to watch the Cardiff Blues beat Ulster and […]
February 24, 2016
covetousness makes merchandise
A few things came together this morning which sent me scurrying to find a half remembered text from the Letters […]
January 30, 2016
The need to rethink research
One of the things that I could have added to my earlier post on CfAC plans What’s it all about […]
January 27, 2016
On evidence
When does evidence based policy become policy based evidence? These days it would appear to be when a hypothesis held […]
January 14, 2016
Leadership is contextual
In yesterday’s post I said that I would look at the role of a leader in initiating and making change. […]
December 24, 2015
Do not an engineer or a therapist be
My Just leave it alone post of yesterday argued for a less control and against an excessive focus on hygiene […]
December 23, 2015
Just leave it alone ….
I loved this picture from Science Dump when it came popped up in Facebook a few days ago. Aside from […]
October 22, 2015
Mindful or mindless?
Before I start here I need to make something very clear. I want to raise some concerns about the current […]
September 17, 2015
Nudge or Yank (sic)
The recent White House Executive Order has given considerable credibility to behavioural economics and to the whole idea of Nudge […]
September 13, 2015
Redoubling failure
My thanks to Rodrigo Yoshima for reminding me of of a quote from one of my favourite philosophers when I […]
September 11, 2015
On the value of disputation
I was having a chat this morning with my host Barrett Horne this morning about the nature of argument and […]
August 30, 2015
Conviction v Professionalisation
I was in Cardiff yesterday for one of those meaningless warm up matches that give you a sense of the […]
July 5, 2015
The dangers of compromise
The most chilling aspect of Animal Farm comes right at the end: “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, […]
July 4, 2015
Of practical wisdom
I couldn’t have found a better image for today’s post which is about the proper balance of theory with practice; […]
June 26, 2015
The use and abuse of cases
I’m late, possibly too late, in completing an article on exaptation in human systems. The final, final deadline was Wednesday […]
May 10, 2015
Retrospective coherence
I had a lot of idle time in airport lounges during the last twenty four hours, returning from Auckland to […]
May 10, 2015
Retrospective coherence
I had a lot of idle time in airport lounges during the last twenty four hours, returning from Auckland to […]
April 21, 2015
Think trope not meme
There are some words that irritate the hell out of me for the concepts they embody. One of those is […]
February 25, 2015
Light weight and then plain wrong
Just to be clear, the opening picture is not intended to represent the human brain. Now in my wildest dreams […]
February 4, 2015
Rendering plants for people
An interesting day working with a group of Partners from ETHOS with whom we are starting to form an interesting series of […]
February 3, 2015
You need human agency
A couple if inches of snow this morning and life became difficult.  The local authority have decided to rebuild the […]
January 25, 2015
Culture is entangled
Another Gaping Void cartoon for this second post on culture, which makes the point that change initiatives come and go […]
January 24, 2015
The evolution of culture
One of the tasks I have to complete over the next day or so is supporting material for a range […]
January 11, 2015
Nasty, brutish & far to long
I took the train to Cardiff yesterday to watch the Blues play Leinster.  We lost the match, not due the […]
January 6, 2015
Then kill the messenger …
12: Avoiding uncertainty and anti-intellectualism It’s the twelfth day of this series and time to draw it to a close. […]
January 5, 2015
Deal with the system as a whole please
11: You can’t reduce or aggregate a complex system and trying is wrong a priori Reductionism in human thinking goes […]
January 4, 2015
Roots determine routes?
10: Trying to get to a single causal line of reasoning The picture is from Avebury just around the corner […]
January 3, 2015
‘Essential’ flows
9: Against essentialism, defining potential through action I fell in love with Philosophy as a subject through reading Plato.  That […]
January 2, 2015
Trials need tribulations
8: Issues of evidence and judgement & a false dichotomy The phrase evidence based decision making is commonly touted and […]
January 1, 2015
Little Boxes
7: The dangers of categorisation The great dystopian novel  Brave New World foresees a future state in which humans are decanted into […]
December 31, 2014
A lick of new paint
6: Using language without meaning I’m never sure if this particular fault is deliberate sin, simply going with the flow […]
December 30, 2014
Industrialisation of the craft
5: Taking something of value, but then seeking to industrialise it While I detest cults I have more sympathy for […]
December 29, 2014
The Cultists
4: Anything requiring you to attain levels of enlightenment I’m never sure if I dislike pseudo-science more than crypto-religious movements. […]
December 28, 2014
The Popinjay
3: The old ways are evil, I bear the torch of truth and enlightenment I remember a publisher explaining three […]
December 27, 2014
Statistical tails wagging the dogs of truth
2: Confusing correlation with causation and the paucity of good data This seems to have been an innate feature of […]
December 26, 2014
The Strathern variation
I promised an attack blog for each of the twelve days of Christmas and received lot of suggested targets.   So there […]
December 15, 2014
Management corsets
One of the observations I have made over the years is that senior management and the coal face get complexity […]
October 24, 2014
And here I stand
I was engaged in an interesting conference call yesterday while Michael was teaching a session in our four day programme […]
September 18, 2014
From the malarial swamps of Darien
It would be too easy to comment on the Scottish referendum tomorrow, or even late tonight when we know the […]
August 1, 2014
True passion requires depth
The keynotes here in Medellin fell into three board categories.   Firstly we have the really famous namely Steve” Wozniak […]
July 16, 2014
On public speaking
I delivered a webinar this evening for a client of Harvard Business on leadership and complexity.  Cynefin was already in […]
July 10, 2014
Just a little creepy …
I suppose the best that can be said of the journey back home today is that everything ran to time. […]
July 9, 2014
The Stepford syndrome in KM
I was in a bad mood this morning.  A consequence of drinking far more than I am used to these […]
July 7, 2014
Things go wrong, but …
Today was meant to be a relaxed day, catching up with some papers and email.  I have to be in […]
July 6, 2014
The a priori refutation
I've been having an interesting set of interactions  on a Linkedin discussion group with various followers of Jaques and the Requisite […]
March 21, 2014
The new Luddites?
The luddites were not the first to resist the introduction of new technologies and I have always had some sympathy […]
March 16, 2014
Health polemics
I ran a workshop today for several NHS groups in Leatherhead.  It was a basic introduction to complexity theory and […]
January 26, 2014
Don’t blame the manifestation
A copy of the Observer arrived with breakfast this morning and I was greeted by the headline Extremist religion at root […]
January 20, 2014
Patterns & significance
A series of emails and skype calls today built up a head of frustration with some people’s obsession with statistics […]
January 14, 2014
Options in parallel PLEASE
Yesterday I talked about some of the information issues around the WestJet debacle.  Today I want to come to some […]
January 13, 2014
Fair weather tweeters
WestJet decided to rub salt into my wounds today.   I had moved my departure to allow another half day […]
January 8, 2014
Dire prognostications - 3
Things got better today, eventually, but there were some more twists to come.   I slept fitfully thanks thanks to […]
January 7, 2014
Dire prognostications - 2
So midnight passed and some planes were taking off.  Our captain was chatty and kept us informed, but as the […]
January 6, 2014
Dire prognostications – 1
Today started well, but then disintegrated.  The man from Sky arrived early to install the HD box I had ordered […]
January 3, 2014
The “it works for me” argument
I've encountered this argument a few times over the year.  Most recently last night in respect of Net Promotor Score […]
December 16, 2013
fides caritate formata
The daily Gaping Void cartoon is one of the ways I keep sane.  Every now and then one of them […]
June 7, 2013
Father, why weepest thou ?
There are some days when you should really stay in bed lest Mike Harding's prophesy of dire prognostications will befall […]
June 5, 2013
Adventure & security
It’s Thursday so it must be Bangkok more or less summarises this week which is a series of 1/2 night […]
June 1, 2013
The poverty of modern debate
Luckily I attempted an on line checkin yesterday as otherwise I would not have discovered that I had been booked […]
March 29, 2013
On sleeping (or not)
One of those nightmare flights that you get from time to time.  It started badly with the One World Lounges […]
March 26, 2013
Cutting through a weave destroys it
Last Thursday night saw a Rugby dinner sponsored by KPMG and the British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong.  It's […]
March 22, 2013
The new Calvinists
I don't think I ever repeat a presentation, but over time certain elements stay constant, then new ideas are tried […]
March 10, 2013
Control is key in managing a CAS
I really apologise for the opening picture, but it was too good not to use.   Yesterday I picked up […]
February 26, 2013
Babies & bathwater again
I picked up a great tweet from Umair Haque yesterday (@umairh and a hat-tip to Jules for the link): Maybe […]
February 25, 2013
OMG, its culture change time
If in doubt, blame the culture seems to be a golden rule in consultancy and management alike.  And of course […]
February 13, 2013
Age of Entitlement
I was catching up on back copies of the New Statesman today and came across an outstanding article on the […]
February 10, 2013
Of McKinsey & druidic sacrifice
The morning after a good day of conversation, a Welsh victory at Rugby and an evening meal with friends in […]
January 30, 2013
Your privilege to fly with them
Ironically given my earlier blog about Graciousness, I was the recepient of the opposite this morning on arrival at Heathrow. […]
January 20, 2013
A bland (sic) insipid betrayal
I'd been looking forward to the BBC's serialisation of P. G. Wodehouse's Blandings series for some time, the cast looked […]
January 19, 2013
Wheatley, Nietzsche & the Blues
Today was a somewhat bazar set of coincidences.  I had little sleep in part due to the travel traumas of […]
January 18, 2013
It is better to travel well than to arrive
Today, Friday started on Thursday evening.  At the end of the Advanced Course in the Westin with the snow cleared […]
January 9, 2013
Aspects of narrative work: III Power
This picture of a Gypsy boy in Hungary taken in 1931 and it tells a story; what story is an […]
January 7, 2013
Charity is the opiate of the people
It will take a bit of time to get to my twist of Marx's famous comment on Religion, and a […]
December 10, 2012
All is vanity, nothing is fair
Isn't it nice to be nice?  To talk only about how things would be so nice.  To posit a future […]
December 9, 2012
Lord, the bureaucracy
I'd hoped to publish the first draft of the complicated sub-domain today but I can't really get my mind around […]
December 3, 2012
The many & devious sins of Atomism
Having sounded off yesterday about relativism I thought I would pick another bete noir today, namely atomism. Democrates (pictured) has […]
December 2, 2012
Do not wait for the last judgment. It comes every day
I was wondering what to write about today, when right on cue I got an email from my daughter with […]
November 29, 2012
CASinGov 2: opening thoughts
I made a promise yesterday to talk more about the questions posed by the Auditor General and to do so […]
November 25, 2012
A Parable is worth many ‘values’
The parable of the sower occurs in three of the four gospels, and its always been one of my favourites. […]
November 19, 2012
Travel voodoo & the healing power of a bath
It was a long day and night getting to Calgary from Auckland, not helped by the fact that I was […]
November 12, 2012
Constraints in on line interaction
I withdrew from my last remaining listserv this morning.  I used to be active in several but generally I found […]
November 3, 2012
Two alien species
Sometimes a cartoon is simply too close to reality to be other than painful.  This from the imaginatively named Toothpaste […]
October 31, 2012
Halloween thoughts
A retrovirus (pictured) replicates itself as a part of the host cell's DNA; endogenous retroviruses inherit across generations as part […]
July 25, 2012
It never rains but it pours
Looking back there are far too many personal blogs here,  I promise something more serious (on Cynefin and the complexity […]
July 8, 2012
You can’t create a craft by committee
From time to time in knowledge management circles the cry of standardisation is raised. It's just happened again with a […]
May 6, 2012
On coins and the greenback
I flew over to the US today, New York then on by train to Washington for a two day run […]
December 2, 2011
Good and Bad support
Contrasting experiences with support lines this week. Hootsuite is playing up on direct messages so I tweeted a concern and […]
November 20, 2011
Blues ….
Serious posts will have to wait for tomorrow. I was up at 0400 today to clear some work before a […]
November 15, 2011
Babies should not be thrown out with bathwater
For some years now I been distinguishing systems thinking from complexity thinking in a variety of ways. Technically I suppose […]
October 31, 2011
Pre-flight thought
A lesson for those who can’t cope with disagreement. Thanks as ever to Gaping Void
October 26, 2011
“…like a horse and carriage”
“Economists and workplace consultants regard it as almost unquestioned dogma that people are motivated by rewards, so they don’t feel […]
October 24, 2011
One of the pleasures of having a daughter study your subjects at under graduate level is that you get asked […]
August 14, 2011
AoM2011: Primative dichotomies and emotional foolishness
The choice of illustration here is ironic by the way – its original title is The Women’s Studies Course. A […]
August 13, 2011
AoM2011: Post gender society
So its August and it must be the Academy of Management, its normally interesting and its my fifth year at […]
August 12, 2011
Five years of editing Wikipedia
At 1401 on the 12th August back in 2006 I made my first edit to the Wikipedia, all to the […]
March 21, 2011
Your privilege to fly BA
Back in January I flew out to Amsterdam to speak at a conference. British Airways decided to cancel the flight […]
March 19, 2011
Digital primitives
I have railed in the past about the habit we have developed of putting people into primative categories and assuming […]
March 15, 2011
Another cube grenade from Hugh at Gaping Void. If there is one thing more frustrating than having to tolerate mediocrity, […]
February 8, 2011
Reading styles: the sequel
Bill Proudfit asked an open question today to my earlier post on reading styles; What possible difference, he asks, can […]
January 19, 2011
A rant on new wine on old wineskins (again)
I had a conversation a short while ago with someone who had been using a “complex systems method”. I was […]
December 30, 2010
Penultimate: forget cultural change
Yesterday I argued that compatible but different cultures had more resilient than a “common culture”. Having tackled one of the […]
December 29, 2010
The last thing you want is a common culture
Culture is one of the most abused words on the OD lexicon and one of the most common mistakes is […]
December 17, 2010
The only excuse for this nonsense is drugs or alcohol
I fail to see why any intelligent broadcaster would want to inflict a Fox news equivalent on the UK (or […]
December 13, 2010
Tits, bums and objectivity
We are suffering a spate of edit wars from right wing editors on Wikipedia at the moment. Basically they are […]
November 26, 2010
Perdition they name is ….
In an idle moment between shower and meeting I did a quick scan of incoming Tweets and found one from […]
November 18, 2010
KMWorld - the resilent organisation
The first keynote I gave at KM world over a decade was one of the best I have given and […]
October 25, 2010
Making values mundane; inducing mendaciousness
There are various meanings of the word Common. it can mean shared by as in held in common which is […]
August 10, 2010
on partial knowledge
Yesterday was my final one at the Academy as I need to get down to Ottawa tomorrow before moving onto […]
August 8, 2010
Oh please ….
Two long sessions to day on the future of management education, on the subject of which I will post on […]
August 7, 2010
Silos & sinecures
I’ve got a series of heavy weight posts to make from the Academy, a few really good sessions today, especially […]
August 5, 2010
Cynics are the ones who care
Watching back episodes of series 3 of The Tudors on long flight today (kudos to Air Canada for leg room […]
August 3, 2010
Excuse me for asking, but if an elderly man won the Poetry Crown at the Eisteddfod, would he be subject […]
August 2, 2010
Gruesome & dehumanizing
Speaking about the implications of a knowledge based strategy, Boisot states: In industrialized countries, this kind of management probably holds […]
July 25, 2010
The Limbo Cube
Today’s Dilbert cartoon (see below for the full version) brought back memories of corporate life. Innovation in general seemed to […]
July 23, 2010
The illiterate five
Updating the language is unlikely to improve the literary merit; and the thought of some of the worst social attitudes […]
July 21, 2010
The bland tyranny of premature consensus
Tom Fishburne’s cartoons are a frequent tonic when they pop up in my RSS feed, but I really have to […]
July 16, 2010
Shoring it up until Christmas
I only met Rosabeth Moss Kanter once when we both spoke at a conference in Boston many years ago, along […]
July 5, 2010
From communication strategies to emergence
The persistence of failed ideas continues to surprise me, and especially in the case of those who claim to embrace […]
June 24, 2010
The tyrrany of the abstract symbolic
“Whereas young people become accomplished in geometry and mathematics, and wise within these limits, prudent young people do not seem […]
June 16, 2010
robotic systems require robots
A frantic few days, getting ready to fly out to New Zealand tomorrow. I never get used to the date […]
June 12, 2010
Good, Bad and Ugly on the WIkipedia
My first encounter with some of the idiosyncrasies of editing the WIkipedia remains memorable; being told that you obviously don’t […]
June 8, 2010
The ontology word
While the word tree can not realistically be used to describe a pig or a house, but we do have […]
June 6, 2010
Falcons and white feathered pigeons
Many years ago I read Max Boist’s Knowledge Assets and came across his I-Space model which inspired an early version […]
May 15, 2010
Ever heard of triage?
My experiences at Dallas Airport yesterday are still fresh in my mind and if anything my level of frustration is […]
May 14, 2010
In derrogation of the precious
Now taken to excess the message of this offer from Hugh could too easily be seen as an excuse for […]
May 1, 2010
It ain’t that romantic …
Every now and then someone makes a comment about how the romanticism of travel. Well to be fair, it is […]
April 30, 2010
Tomorrow belongs to me
April 7, 2010
From oratory to the soundbite
The picture shows David Lloyd George in 1919 speaking to the crowd at the Railway Station in Lampeter. He was […]
April 2, 2010
Absorbing uncertainty
Aye on the shores of darkness there is light, And precipices show untrodden green, There is a budding morrow in […]
March 4, 2010
Obfuscation, power and corruption
Hugh of Gaping Void has his dark side, but that is a part of the attraction. This particular cartoon suits […]
February 15, 2010
Slimy Stigma
My thanks to Brian for bringing this blog on sick stigma to my attention. The Gotta have a Process Blues […]
February 10, 2010
Avoiding reality in favour of a vision
Some time ago Ivan Webb reminded me of a quote from Doug Griffin’s book The Emergence of Leadership. To my […]
February 8, 2010
This isn’t philosophy, it’s petulance
Sometimes you come across a well worded criticism, I referenced one from the Archbishop of Canterbury last week. I came […]
December 23, 2009
Providing comfort through chicanery
Some nonsense yesterday and today on Twitter and elsewhere on Neuro-Linguistic Processing (NLP), including an absurd notion that the complex […]
November 28, 2009
The Marriott revisted (sic) & the value of persistence
An interesting supplement to my earlier post on the Marriott in San Jose and a related issue with Vodafone. Readers […]
November 24, 2009
Well this is the Marriott
Sometimes loyalty schemes confuse me. Last week in San Jose I switched hotels. For several years I have been using […]
November 21, 2009
BBC #fail
A gentle build today in preparation for a very long trip. I head for the airport this evening and thence […]
November 16, 2009
You should’t attempt to conquer complexity
Let me start off my making it clear that I have an affection for Delphi Group and for its leader […]
September 15, 2009
The bus journey up to Heathrow Airport this morning was a little surreal. It started when I had to register […]
August 11, 2009
Call this a four star hotel?
Regular readers will know that I have never failed to praise good service or pillory bad service. Every now and […]
July 31, 2009
The capacity of humans for obscene cruelty never ceases to amaze me. Child sacrifice in early civilisations was all too […]
July 13, 2009
Some irritations
I am in a curmudgeonly mood at the moment for a range of reasons, so I am venting a little […]
July 4, 2009
Disconnected events, a common theme
The theme of justice permeated today. One would have expected an apology and a degree of contriteness after five Lions […]
June 8, 2009
Ok their vote was down and it was the lowest ever turnout in the history of European elections, OK the […]
May 19, 2009
The occult insignificance of meaningless numbers
I’ve been in Belgium and Luxembourg for the last two days delivering two half day seminars for the EU. All […]
May 14, 2009
The train from Eindhoven
My journey back was more troublesome than the one out. Firstly I discovered that outside of Airports and the capital […]
May 13, 2009
Another dystopian quote
The tabloid press comes to mind with this one Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to […]
May 1, 2009
If one more person talks about competence mapping I will scream
Yesterday I outlined a series of known effects that produce errors in perception and judgement in humans. I argued then […]
April 25, 2009
Why oh why let Tom Cruise loose on history?
I planned to spend most of the flight to Washington today working, which I did. However two things disturbed me. […]
April 19, 2009
Let people interpret their own stories
A promotional video popped up in my email today, from someone working in the area of story. Now I won’t […]
April 9, 2009
The economics of ecology
To hire a car for a day and drive to Liverpool next Tuesday will cost me around £75-£80, while a […]
March 25, 2009
Old wine in new wineskins
Anyone seen the connection? The new programme for primary school education includes blogs, tweets and wikipedia, and at the same […]
March 23, 2009
Sharepoint spawns silos ..
Euan quoting Thomas Vanderwal on silo spawning post implementation of Sharepoint. Its a balanced piece and well worth reading. My […]
March 19, 2009
Brassed off
Ironically given my post of yesterday I ended up watching Brassed Off on early morning television this morning in Washington. […]
March 16, 2009
Adding insult to injury
You arrive at a hotel in Washington at around 1930, after getting up at 0330 for a 0415 taxi to […]
March 15, 2009
Happiness Csars & HBR editors
Readers may remember my concerns about the focus on symptom management implicit in the UK governments seemingly blind adoption of […]
March 5, 2009
Negative evidence and the village idiot syndrome
One of the interesting (but sadly neglected) questions on Wikipedia at the moment is that of negative evidence. If you […]
January 29, 2009
A frustrated question (but answers are welcome)
I’ve had several meetings with people in local and provincial government over the last few days. One of the things […]
December 29, 2008
Life, debt and the pursuit of happiness
This has been hanging around in my RSS feed with a must blog tag attached to it for several months […]
December 10, 2008
Rubber necks & moral turpitude
Still not feeling 100% and the blog is suffering a bit in consequence. I intend to return to my Think […]
November 29, 2008
Ordinary, said Aunt Lydia, is what you are used to
Hat tip to Brian Sherwood Jones for this scary quote from Ron Suskind writing in the New York Times back […]
November 27, 2008
The major obstacle to the adoption of social computing
Having spent a good half day teaching approaches to social computing, the biggest obstacle to adoption is not gaining participation, […]
November 17, 2008
Ever heard of stock transfer?
I finally took the plunge and decided to replace my trusty Nokia with a Blackberry. I’d hoped to hang on […]
November 9, 2008
Late at night and irritated
Does anyone know which misguided wretch first decided that all knowledge management could be categorised under the trivialising trio of […]
October 18, 2008
From today’s Guardian (one of the best online sites for a major newspaper). The only historical parallel one can think […]
October 17, 2008
Ethics & narrative
One of the themes of my keynote at ActKM in Canberra this week was the issue of ethics in narrative […]
October 15, 2008
Winging about university IT
Why is that Universities have the most archaic and paranoid IT systems in the world? I’m here at the Australian […]
October 14, 2008
Mechanistic & intrumentalist (not to mention Myers Briggs)
I’ve been in Singapore for two days at IRAHS and moderated one panel this morning. I’ll post on that panel […]
October 7, 2008
Darth Vader hiding behind the face of Yoda
OK, conference blogging again, but it may not be posted real time (I really hate University firewalls). Our speaker is […]
September 26, 2008
Trust again
A week in San Jose gave a contrasting picture with recent changes on Great Western Railways in the UK. I […]
September 24, 2008
You don’t innovate by copying
Here we go another keynote on innovation, excuse me for being cynical but yesterday was about economic comparison not innovation […]
September 20, 2008
Bio data
Its only been a few weeks since I was last in the US, but things change. Fingerprints of your index […]
September 18, 2008
Oppression is the lot of the literate male
I don’t know who invented the idea of book clubs, but as of today I am firmly of the opinion […]
September 9, 2008
Reducing your employees to numbers
Another reference from Willem, this time to a reported attempt to create mathematical models of 50,000 of IBM’s tech consultants. […]
September 8, 2008
Wikipedia, don’t offend the master(s) of the universe
I will confess to feeling slightly disappointed with Wikipedia today. We have one very good editor, who has done massive […]
July 30, 2008
The Shire Hall and Sharepoint
This post is actually about IT and Sharepoint in particular but bear with me while I build context. I spent […]
July 29, 2008
The invidious knol
My third post on the subject and potentially the most worrying. This blog suggests that Google are tipping the search […]
July 22, 2008
Tom Davenport has cast the cold water of sanity on those who conflate management with command and control and venerate […]
July 13, 2008
1 Peter 5:8
The Wikipedia is a fascinating example of a complex system and I am enjoying editing it far more than most […]
July 7, 2008
Australasian network access
I have winged on several occasions about internet charges and facilities in Australasia and this trip is no exception. My […]
July 4, 2008
Oh when will they ever learn?
Stephen Holt of Boeing drew my attention to this blog which seeks to make blogging mandatory as a means of […]
June 18, 2008
Good Lord preserve us from fundamentalism
One can get very depressed flicking between television channels early in the morning in the US. I’ve ended up with […]
June 14, 2008
Of memes and Calvinism
A really outstanding post here taking apart the concept of memes. This quote will give you the essence of it: […]
June 6, 2008
If you try and set targets for knowledge sharing you have failed to understand the subject
I think I first said this over a decade ago and I have seen no reason to change it since. […]
June 5, 2008
Not everyone has to do the same thing
Controversy on the BBC breakfast news this morning about drop out rates from Universities. Looks like its about 14% entrants […]
June 2, 2008
Mars bars and murder
More on the stupidity of outcome based targets here. This paragraph is particularly telling: The first perverse consequence was that […]
May 31, 2008
Okum, malarky and balderdash
A refreshing demolition of stupidity by Neuroanthropology. He is dealing with a report that Chris Parry, the new chief executive […]
May 21, 2008
Matthew 7:3
Ok it’s late at night here in Singapore, and I am waiting up for a conference call listening to CNN […]
May 17, 2008
The arrogance of arrogation
A recent and delightful Dilbert cartoon that reminds me so much of the reality of business planning. You do an […]
May 7, 2008
Terminal 5 (again OMG)
How can BA create new super swish first class lounge (OK I am traveling economy to Athens but AA Exec […]
April 30, 2008
Academic respectability …
Thanks to Brian Sherwood Jones I have discovered a far more respectable phrase for one aspect of sense-making namely interpretive […]
April 22, 2008
“Wikipedia is an interesting long-term study in editing by psychopaths”
I’m getting worried about some aspects of the `Wikipedia. The problems I reported earlier have continued with more encounters with […]
April 20, 2008
Whither the MBA?
One of the questions asked yesterday at the Durham Seminar (Podcast and slides available when I get home tonight on […]
April 19, 2008
University IT Departments
I always like coming up to Durham, although arriving at 0115 this morning as a result of a series of […]
April 14, 2008
The abuse of language
Once upon a time people in Information Management decided that they wanted a cool new name or two. Taxonomy was […]
April 14, 2008
Thought police - help needed
The debate in Wikipedia over standards has got interesting. On the one side we have those of us who spend […]
April 10, 2008
Conformity and evolution
A small war has broken out in the Wikipedia involving the pages on Wales and Scotland. If you want to […]
April 8, 2008
Is this what academics have come to? Please someone tell me its an April Fool hangover.
April 7, 2008
Take the following: The Chef who makes the best Bouillabaisse in the world (located on the harbor front in Marseille) […]
April 3, 2008
How metaphor influences design
Metaphor is fundamental to humans for understanding, communication and meaning-making. It is also pretty key to innovation. It provides a […]
March 28, 2008
Not my fault Guv …
I find it difficult to believe (well maybe I don’t) that after producing a major engineering project on time and […]
March 26, 2008
A nightmare
The only place I get any peace these days is on airplanes. No email, no mobile phones just a good-bad […]
March 25, 2008
Rearranging the chairs on the decks of the Titanic
Much as I remain committed to the original ideas behind Knowledge Management(KM) I do wonder as some of the more […]
March 15, 2008
Linked in, or hacked off?
Linked In while having general utility is starting to irritate me as people use it to send me unwanted questions […]
March 13, 2008
Watch this and weep – courtesy of the NHS Blog Doctor
March 12, 2008
To inform our understanding of the present
Sitting in a hotel in Canberra (with free internet access, an Australian first) I was watching a late night programme […]
February 19, 2008
Why, oh why do students keep asking me to fill out meaningless surveys about knowledge management?
February 11, 2008
The world exists, stupid.
Every now and then I despair for the intelligence of people. My RSS feed has a category Fluffy Bunny which […]
February 6, 2008
Polar bears, populism & patronage
I am on my way to Lake Tahoe in California to talk about complexity and narrative at the OSWC-XIV. It’s […]
February 4, 2008
A pot calling the kettle black
A curious attack on Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Yahoo from Google. It seems petulant when you have a virtual monopoly […]
January 30, 2008
Stealing souls
There used to be (and probably still is) an issue in some societies of taking photographs without permission. In some […]
January 29, 2008
English Identity (A rugby blog)
The Six Nations is upon us (how could Gatland leave out Jenkins and Shanklin?) and it is time for my […]
January 26, 2008
The poverty of surveys
Ever filled out an employee satisfaction survey? I’ve lost count of the time I have wasted on these over the […]
January 18, 2008
Platitudinous charlatans
Patrick Lamb has a great post which summarises my concern about the over enthusiasm in the consultancy market for Story […]
January 15, 2008
Creationism and management “science”
Some things are too good not to share, and I really liked this cartoon so here it is. Hat tip […]
January 14, 2008
“When you got a problem, work out where it begins”
A great line (the title) from Caroline Green’s class in California, in the context of their use of the Cynefin […]
January 7, 2008
Sick Stigma
When even Tom Davenport argues that a process based approach is limited you have to sit up and take notice. […]
December 28, 2007
An antipodean dust up
Shawn has created some controversy through his recent claim that The term ‘knowledge worker’ is now a meaningless concept, Matthew […]
December 18, 2007
Driving (or rather being driven) up to Leeds this evening I was asked about different adoption rates for new ideas. […]
December 10, 2007
From Animal Farm to Brave New World
A great letter to Therapy Today from Janet Low on the issues associated with blind adoption of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy […]
December 7, 2007
State barbarism
I have always opposed the death penalty seeing no evidence that it defers and much evidence that it dehumanises all […]
December 3, 2007
Rip off internet access charges
I love visiting New Zealand (and Australia) but there is one major frustration – internet charges. Last night I finally […]
November 29, 2007
British Airways
Thanks for Steve Freeman for passing me details of this web site. It made me realise that I am not […]
November 26, 2007
Story Telling has two faces
As many people know I tend to avoid the use of Story Telling in connection with my work. Firstly because […]
November 25, 2007
Are you on the Bully watch?
Virtual Canuck picks up my posting about crews, teams etc but takes issue with my position, I quote: So I […]
November 24, 2007
While I support the Wikipedia as a useful source of knowledge, along with the general principles of mass participation, it […]
November 23, 2007
Little Western, or too little and too late
I took the train up to London this morning from Pewsey on a Great Western service (the title of this […]
November 22, 2007
Work and Play
I have always had a lot of time for Tom Davenport, which is not to say that I always agree […]
November 18, 2007
BA & the class divide
I have always thought that flying with BA was one of the best ways of becoming aware of the worst […]
November 18, 2007
The power of prayer, and case studies
In the middle of the night a connection suddenly came to me between claims that payers answered prove the existence […]
November 13, 2007
“A calming effect”
Further to my earlier post on the dangers of a single approach to treatment for psychic distress, and the dangers […]
November 13, 2007
Junk Science
Mind Hacks does a good job of reporting criticism of the recent experiment where brain scans were taken of people […]
November 12, 2007
Animal Farm
Paternalism has always worried me, especially when it is exercised with the power of the state. An example came to […]
October 17, 2007
Ignorance, opportunism, trivialisation & hijacking
There are upsides and downsides to being a pioneer. You start off excited by a new idea or concept, continue […]
October 15, 2007
Forget left/right brain tests - they are a nonsense
Like many others my RSS feed has been full of the spinning silhouette optical illusion. It has been used as […]
October 5, 2007
Huginn and Muginn
The above named were Odin’s two Ravens. Melanie Rawn’s latest novel Spellbinder references the translation of their names as Thought […]
September 25, 2007
Personal mastery as moral self righteousness?
Hugh is on form with this latest cartoon drawn on the back of a business card. It reminded me of […]
September 18, 2007
Internet access in hotels …
Does anyone know why, the more expensive and up market a hotel the more likely they are to make an […]
September 16, 2007
BT need to sort out their priorities
Having given up any hope of getting any response from BT help after six months I was amazed to discover […]
September 12, 2007
A perverted system
A really scary example of what happens when process builds on process, well summarised here by the BBC. 40 procedures […]
September 3, 2007
Six Stigma, the epitaph?
In his penultimate guest blog, Michael pointed to an excellent article. I recomend both blog and article, this quote gives […]
August 28, 2007
Uncle Jerry - the “T” shirt
You may remember that some time ago Uncle Jerry over at AOK decided that young Valdis Krebs was behaving in […]
August 27, 2007
Just cause it goes quack don’t mean its a duck
One of these days I am going to find out why some people want to argue in the face of […]
August 25, 2007
Go God Go
Normally I cope with jet lag well, but for some reason it’s hit me badly after three weeks in the […]
August 3, 2007
So that’s what they really think ….
I found this post depressing for many many reasons, but in particular for what it revealed about consultancy culture. I […]
August 2, 2007
Political satire
One thing I miss when I am overseas is the satirical writing in the British broadsheets. The parliametary sketch writers […]
July 25, 2007
Hugh’s Law
This is too good not to share, the law states: All online social networks eventually turn into a swampy mush […]
July 12, 2007
Aspirational futures.
Ok so this makes it about 30-40 years to go before we have a generation of senior leaders able to […]
July 7, 2007
We know you have a choice in air travel …
The world seems a little out of true this morning. I am on a plane from London to the US, […]
July 2, 2007
Never trust a biologist on the make, or a former Trotskyist who aligns himself with the neocons ….
Armando Iannucci had a delightful back page piece for the Observer this sunday. He picks up on the competition for […]
July 1, 2007
Consultants as butterflies, not doctors …..
Patrick Lambe is much taxed with the state of this throat. It’s not as easy read: I am not sure […]
June 30, 2007
An encounter with Michael Jobsworth
Every now and then you come across one of those petty minded bureaucrats who regard customers as a means to […]
May 11, 2007
Dogbert works for BT
One of my first ever blogs reflected on my experiences with BT help lines. Six months later I have re-entered […]
May 4, 2007
there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth
You know its interesting to see the way in which people involved in social computing are paranoid about distinguishing themselves […]
May 4, 2007
Poetic justice (an aside for Rugby fans)
There is a certain irony in the English and French clubs doing to New Zealand rugby, what New Zealand rugby […]
May 1, 2007
7/7 and a failure of intelligence, not Intelligence
I was driving up to London yesterday (of which more later) listening to the news of the conviction of Omar […]
April 5, 2007
The necessity role of the curmudgeon
The four hour flight to Moscow went quickly yesterday as I was traveling with David Gurteen. It’s being a long […]
April 2, 2007
Impalement is too good for fence sitters …
The issue of moderation and restriction of free flow of debate is a hot topic for me, partly of my […]
March 30, 2007
Bill & the Blog: come on in, the water is lovely
Two of the four lists serves in which I am, for the moment, participating have picked up anti-blog themes over […]
March 24, 2007
I have been interviewed by a lot of journalists over the years and realise that, with a few exceptions, their […]
February 22, 2007
Peers, desist!
Once apon a time if you wanted advice then you got up from your desk and wandered around talking to […]
February 21, 2007
Radio days
Jon Husband sent me this interesting reference to the value of radio. I generally agree with the points it made […]
February 14, 2007
Form not function
Following up on my reference to form and function in yesterday’s blog (number 200 since I started), this Alex cartoon […]
February 10, 2007
Hubert’s error
As referenced earlier I was disturbed by a couple of comments by Hubert Saint-Onge at the end of his presentation […]
January 27, 2007
Antiquitas saeculi juventus mundi
In 1676 Newton, in a private letter to Robert Hooke said If I have seen further, it is by standing […]
January 22, 2007
Bring out the tar and feathers
This delightful sketch comes from indexed, a blog which is worth a daily feed. Having spent a lot of time […]
January 19, 2007
BA, your privilege not to be allowed to fly on them
I should have been writing this from Zurich, but thanks to BA I delivered an address by telephone from home, […]
January 7, 2007
You can’t commoditise knowledge
One of the 2007 predictions in the I, Cringely column caught my eye. It reads as follows: Remember outsourcing and […]
December 28, 2006
One of the other characteristics of any establishment is an unwillingness to accept that they may just be wrong. As […]
October 12, 2006
Retwist that which has been untwisted
Language, said Mulla Nasruddin, was devised to describe actions as well as thoughts. That means that all you have to […]
October 9, 2006
What is truth? or, the old patterns repeat
I was reflecting this morning on the news that Google had bought YouTube for $1.65bn. Now I remember when people […]
September 21, 2006
Industrial best practice does not make for good Government
I ran a lecture/workshop for 170 civil servants in Singapore yesterday on the general theme of complexity and networked government […]
September 15, 2006
Reality avoidance
Sonja Blignaut brought my attention to an article from TIME on conspiracy theory. One of the most interesting assertions is […]
September 10, 2006
The continued saga of getting service from a Telecoms company
Taking a short break in the UK during my sabbatical gave me a chance to pick up post. I don’t […]
August 29, 2006
Standards & a trip on the Lego lake (with crocodiles)
Patrick Lamb’s article on the certification wars continues to attract some comments and reminded me of a side panel that […]
August 26, 2006
Money, Testosterone and Knowledge Management
Patrick Lambe over at Straits Knowledge has finally published his excellent article whose title I have stolen for this blog […]
August 24, 2006
Dogma and definitions
The hoary old question of definitions raised itself on one of the KM list serves this week. The argument was […]
August 16, 2006
The consequences of measurement
Goodhart a British economist is widely held to have formulated the equivalent of Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principal for economics. It states […]
August 9, 2006
Web 2.0 Cults, amorality and new age re-discovered
Steve Barth and I, in between too many other things are writing a chapter for a book on Web 2.0 […]
August 5, 2006
Does consultancy ape the oldest profession?
An interesting thread just appeared on one of the list serves that triggered the pain in several of my old […]
August 3, 2006
The Masochism Tango
One of the really depressing things about being on the circuit of conferences and seminars is to hear the same […]
August 2, 2006
the yang doesn’t get the yin-yang
I’ve been engaged in a debate on a list serve with someone who has been using De Bono’s water and […]
July 27, 2006
A tirade against Telecom Companies and process
Why have people converted all customer relationships into processes? Having failed two years ago to get British Telecom to sell […]