Gotong royong (on finding co-owners)

Gotong Royong [Indonesian: to carry together] Friends and champions are indespensible for your project; just as vital are co-owners – people who will actually carry it together with you. Without co-owners, your project will die when you do. With co-owners,…

Steven Pinker on passing on language

Language is created anew every generation by the minds of the children who construct it out of the data that they get from their parents and peers. Steven Pinker – with Tyler Cowan, in Conversations with Tyler, Ep 14 The…

Rainmakers

Who makes good things happen in and for your organisation? Who gets referrals? Who finds new clients? Who gets donations flowing? Who brings in new volunteers? Who finds new rainmakers? Don’t neglect this harder-to-measure quality: slightly less skill in planting…

Front foot (2): head in the game

If you’ve done the big picture, general preparation it doesn’t take much extra to make sure you show up on the front foot. Here are some things to run though before you go into a meeting: Who are you meeting?…

Creeds and values

Creeds and value-statements can be useful ways to remind your team who you are, and how you work. They can help your team to develop a shared vocabulary and shared principles, which can be a powerful way to start shaping…

Tom Peters: the bottom line for hiring

Be explicit. Use these words – damn it! – and not some HR gobbledy-gook equivalents: – Listening– Caring– Smiling– Saying “Thank You”– Being warm– Nice– Empathy– Better people– Character– No jerks– No shitheads I cannot think of any position in…

Podcast recommendation: Ben Horowitz on organisational culture vs product (a16z podcast)

Episode 503 of the a16z podcast, The Stories and Code of Culture Change, is a great overview of Horowitz’s book, You Are What You Do, and features some highly memorable (and hilariously violent) stories that illustrate what culture is, and…

Customer hierarchy (2)

It’s well accepted that great organisations focus on delighting their customers. But we talk less about managing the sometimes conflicting needs of multiple customers (see yesterday’s post). A good way to manage this tension is to draw up a customer…

Scissor skills [guest post]

I pride myself on my ability to cut a good straight line. I enjoy the feel of scissors slicing through a fresh piece of paper: the beginning of some kind of a creation. I don’t remember the process of learning…

Five Questions: Janice Whyne

The health and future of your team, project, organisation, profit margin etc. can hinge on your ability to sufficiently understand the nature of existing relationships, and your ability to appropriately maintain them. Janice Whyne 1. Introduce yourself: who are you,…