Resource: Seth Godin on Systems Thinking

Akimbo Season 4 Episode 20 (July 10, 2019) – Systems Thinking This is a great episode of riffs on how systems create – and constrain – possibilities, and the opportunities that open up when systems change. Featuring Mr Heinz and the fictional (!) Betty Crocker. Akimbo Season 4 Episode 18 (June 26, 2019) – Find the others: Apollo 11 and…

Money: cause or symptom?

We often focus on the money, but it’s not a cause or an end in itself. It helps to think of your financial position as a symptom of faithful partnership development. Darren Wall

Seeds (3): becoming Beatrix Potter

1866 Helen Beatrix Potter born in London. 1876 Beatrix Potter has already been doing a lot of drawing and painting. This watercolour is from 1876, a couple of months before her tenth birthday: 1883 Aged 17, she writes “I can’t settle to anything but my painting. I lost my patience over everything else.” 1890 Beatrix Potter sells her first pieces…

Drucker on the theory of the business

The theory of the business must be known and understood throughout the organisation. This is easy in the organization’s early days. But as it becomes successful, an organization tends increasingly to take its theory for granted, becoming less and less conscious of it. Then the organization becomes sloppy. It begins to cut corners. It begins to pursue what is expedient…

Gifts

What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not? Paul of Tarsus – First Letter to the Corinthians Count your gifts: knowledge, skills, dispositions and attitudes; assets, wealth, health, time; places; people. Where did they come from? What are you going to use them for?…

Where do you want to go?

And do you trust that the people you’re following can get you there? Have they been there before? Has anyone been there before? For interesting work, there probably isn’t a map of the route, so you’ll looking for: People who have been to similar places People who have been part of the way A cohort of fellow travellers Compasses, not…

Motion sickness: change and stability

If you’ve ever suffered from motion sickness in a car or on a boat, you probably know that it helps to look at a fixed (or at least slower moving) point on the horizon. A stable reference point helps your body to make sense of the continual movement and to stay oriented and balanced. Rapid, continual change creates its own…

Seeds (2): bikes, planes and automobiles

Many of the seeds of the automobile industry came from bicycle manufacturers (I touched on this in Use, Copy, Repair, Make), and on a visit to the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu I learnt some more of the story. Karl Benz, widely credited as the maker of the first practical automobile, started in mechanical engineering and ironwork and started experimenting…

On inequality

Inequality is inevitable (because we’re all different), and it isn’t necessarily wrong (if we value the freedom to make meaningful choices) and doesn’t necessarily have to be corrected (because we value diversity). Once we’re clear on this, we’re forced to be specific. We can ask which kinds of inequality we’re not prepared to tolerate, making sure that we’re clear about…

Project phase, organisation size and specialisation

A friend shared this great analogy* for how teams work at different project phases. Early phase: Golfing Buddies (2-3 players) In the early phase of a project you and a partner or two (if you have any!) do all the work. You do a lot of your work together with quite a lot of crossover, share tools, might carry each…