Karl Marx on automation and job losses due to disruption

“In these spacious halls the benignant power of steam summons around him his myriads of willing menials.” Andrew Ure Marx’s rage against the machine Another thought about the rate of change and “distruption,” this time from Karl Marx. I love…

Tom Peters on the dull old days / life before “disruption”

“It is the conceit of every age to say that we live in confusing times compared to the placid age the prior generation experienced.” Henry Mintzberg While we’re on the topic of perpetual and accelerating change, here’s a helpful reminder…

On new expertise

We live in the age of the perpetual newbie, as rapid change forces us to keep learning, all the time – or to be left behind. This represents an opportunity: as diving into the new, we have a chance to…

Thousand year old wisdom*: on oxen and mangers

Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty,    but from the strength of an ox come abundant harvests. The Bible – Book of Proverbs Oxen are hungry beasts. If you worked a farm and owned a pair, it might be…

Burn rate (4): black beans and rice (or: cutting costs for a longer runway)

Of course, efficiency is a virtue. Waste is… wasteful, makes everyone worse at their jobs, and reduces the number of possibilities open to you and your team. Knowing where it goes Good financial management is essential for this, of course:…

Burn rate (1): the formula

Your organisation’s burn rate is the amount of money you “burn” each month to do what you do. It’s a simple sum, but few organisations seem to keep a close eye on it. Expenses How much are you spending each…

Who pays? (Donor edition)

“Who pays?” is an important question for all sorts of reasons. In the world of non-profits, donors often pay. This can mean: That the charity is free to act in the best interests of the people it seeks to serve,…

The discipline death spiral

You make a bad decision (because everybody does).* You get busy fixing it – on top of all the other things you were already doing. You get tired and distracted. You start doing less of the right things, less well,…

Peter Drucker on balancing short and long term goals

If a manager does not take care of the next hundred days, there will be no next hundred years. Whatever the manager does should be sound in expediency as well as in basic long-range objective and principle. And where he…

Maximising components vs maximising systems

Some examples to illustrate what it means to maximise components rather than systems – and why it’s best avoided: Sports teams with star players that don’t gel as a team – maximising individual talent at the cost of collaboration, team…