Machine. Ecosystem. (1)

Here are two useful ways to view your organisation: as machine, and as ecosystem. A machine is usually a complicated system: lots of moving parts, not necessarily easy to understand… but consistent and predictable once you do understand it, with a limited number of inputs and outputs: Fail to put fuel in your car, and you can predict fairly accurately…

Systems: complicated and complex – Aaron Dignan

The engine inside a car is complicated. A complicated system is a causal system – meaning that it is subject to cause and effect. Although it may have many parts, they will interact with one another in highly predictable ways. Problems with complicated systems have solutions. This means that, within reason, a complicated system can be fixed with a high…

Drucker on abandonment

Effective executives know that they have to get many things done effectively. Therefore, they concentrate. And the first rule for the concentration of executive efforts is to slough off the past that has ceased to be productive. The first class resources, especially those scarce resources of human strength, are immediately pulled out and put to work on the opportunities of…

The level of your systems

You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. James Clear – Atomic Habits If you want things to be easier tomorrow, it really helps to have strong systems in place. Most of the important things that you do go a lot better if you have a system for making sure…

Toolkit (v0.1)

My last post got me thinking again about the toolkit for making change and building a good future. What follows started out as the tail of that post but grew too long, so I’ve cut it off and put it here as a springboard to bounce off (or a wave to ride) later. So here are some tools… There are…

Tim Harford: slow-motion multitasking

I love Tim Harford‘s stuff, and I’m surprised he hasn’t featured here before. 50 Things that Made the Modern Economy is a delightful romp through economic history from cuneiform to mobile money transfers by way of clocks and the Haber-Bosch process. For a more detailed review try this one by a chap called Ian Mann, who finishes off by describing…

Computers marching towards us

Computers have been on a steady march toward us. At first, computers were housed in distant air-conditioned basements, then they moved to nearby small rooms, then they crept closer to us perched on our desks, then they hopped onto our laps, and recently they snuck into our pockets. The next obvious step for computers is to lay against our skin.…

A reading list for 2019

Here’s a DC-related hitlist for the first part of 2019… images link to Amazon UK. The Invisible Killer: The Rising Global Threat of Air Pollution – and How We can Fight Back – Garry Fuller A gift from Sharky. Necessary reading for someone living in Jakarta. Or anywhere. The Inevitable – Kevin Kelly See also WtF? Technology and You. KK is…