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,…

William Slim on operations and administration

To separate operational and administrative responsibility is to break a rule I have rarely seen violated without someone paying a heavy penalty. Viscount William Slim – Defeat Into Victory Full quote on the fall of Burma (Myanmar) to the Japanese…

On tiredness, bad form and self talk

On tiredness, bad form and self talk

I’m a good swimmer. My form is pretty good (at least to non-swimmers), and my powerful strokes allow me to cut through the water like a knife. For fifty meters. From about 58 meters (or as far as I can…

Ben Horowitz on leadership and making unpopular decisions

This is from Ben Horowitz in a fantastic interview on building a successful culture in your organisation. Highly recommend. If you make decisions that everybody likes all the time then those are the decisions they would have made without you,…

Specs, laws and floors

A spec sets standards and defines output, and laws set the boundaries of acceptable behaviour. They are indispensable, but here’s the thing: specs and laws are always floors. You can’t legislate the maximum. There is always an extra mile. There…

More from Seth Godin on slack in systems and resilience

A friend was talking about building resilient systems today, something Seth covered at length in Akimbo (S4 Ep 20)… and also in this blog post: Systems with slack are more resilient. The few extra minutes of time aren’t wasted, the…

Peter Drucker on pay and rewards for knowledge workers

Knowledge workers demand economic rewards… Their absence is a deterrent. But their presence is not enough… [Knowledge workers] need opportunity; they need achievement; they need fulfillment; they need values. Only by making themselves into effective executives can knowledge workers obtain…

Networks: your organisation as an unending conversation

What would happen to your organisation or movement if you dropped out? If the answer is “It would probably die,” then you probably* need to think about building something bigger and longer lasting than yourself. One lens for understanding how…