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Month: March 2010

How do you recognise the Godhead?

Surviving confusion

No doubt, when we are psychologically healthy, we swing between states of goal orientation and confusion.

Going after a goal is super-cool.  We ‘go’ like the proverbial train, getting things done, feeling powerful.

Sadly, though we run over everything before us like the tanker in the video that did the rounds of Twitter this morning.  It clipped a  Renault Clio and continued to race down the motorway at 80mph, with the Clio trapped to its hood, seemingly oblivious to its use of a mini-car as a bull-catcher.

While we may be more gentle with those around us when we are less goal oriented, confusion is deeply uncomfortable.  The neat parcelling of one day a week as a day of rest, and some prayer time each morning and each night, is probably a good budget for giving us time to slow down and think.  But life is rarely that tidy.

We have moments when we are not ‘going like a train’.  We are lost and disoriented and can barely remember where we are going, let alone how to get there.

It’s a simple problem.  It’s easy to make a plan when we know the goal.  But when we don’t know the goal, we feel confused.

Goethe puts it so well.

“how does one, in the limitations of one’s individuality, come to know what is most excellent?”

…I have found no confession of faith to which I could ally myself without reservation. Now in my old age, however, I have learned of a sect, the Hypsistarians, who, hemmed in between heathens, Jews and Christians, declared that they would treasure, admire, and honour the best, the most perfect that might come to their knowledge, and inasmuch as it must have a close connection to the Godhead, pay it reverence. A joyous light thus beamed at me suddenly out of a dark age, for I had the feeling that all my life I had been aspiring to qualify as a Hypsistarian. That, however, is no small task, for how does one, in the limitations of one’s individuality, come to know what is most excellent?

How do you know “what is excellent”?

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You want in on the dream team? Meet them 20x before they will hire you!

How much work will it take to land your dream job?

The first time I migrated,  I set up the 100:10:1 ratio.  100 applications: 10 interviews : 1 job.

I set the ratio for psychological reasons.  I was being practical.  My goals and plans include the endurance I need to succeed the race.

Do you go green at the sight of these figures? Want to puke?

Truthfully, most people don’t have the stomach for these figures.  They go green, and then grey.  They aren’t motivated by these figures.  They are depressed.

Now I tell you, that the position is far worse than this

If you are a migrant, which you may be for many reasons, or if you are changing career track, the figures will be a lot worse.  Think of 200 applications.  Think of 300 applications.  Think of 1000!

And think of the worst possible behavior on the part of people who process them.  They ignore you.  They patronize you.  They stand you up (even when they’ve paid for your air ticket).  They lie.

Oh those 999 who don’t hire you are seriously depressing!

This cannot be true you say

“I know someone who got a job first time”, you say.   “This cannot be true!  I have never had this trouble!”  “This country needs skilled migrants.”  “They advertised and asked us to apply!”  “You are being cynical.  You are jaded.  This is just sour grapes.”


Let me tell you how it works

Today I found this mantra for advertising.

“The first time a man looks at an advertisement, he does not see it.
The second time, he does not notice it.

The third time, he is conscious of its existence.
The fourth time, he faintly remembers having seen it before.

The fifth time, he reads it.
The sixth time, he turns up his nose at it.

The seventh time, he reads it through and says, “Oh brother!”
The eighth time, he says, “Here’s that confounded thing again!”

The ninth time, he wonders if it amounts to anything.
The tenth time, he asks his neighbor if he has tried it.

The eleventh time, he wonders how the advertiser makes it pay.
The twelfth time, he thinks it must be a good thing.

The thirteenth time, he thinks perhaps it might be worth something.
The fourteenth time, he remembers wanting such a thing a long time.

The fifteenth time, he is tantalized because he cannot afford to buy it.
The sixteenth time, he thinks he will buy it some day.

The seventeenth time, he makes a memorandum to buy it.
The eighteenth time, he swears at his poverty.

The nineteenth time, he counts his money carefully.
The twentieth time he sees the ad, he buys what it is offering. “

This was apparently written by Thomas Smith of London in 1885 and was reproduced to “advertise advertising” and to make the point that we need, what may feel like, excessive redundancy in advertising.

You need 20 contacts to make a sale!

I said 100:10:1.  Yes, that 1 sale will come from 20 contacts.

So if we contact 100 people, and we instinctively home in on that one employer who will eventually employ us, we need to make 100 (inital contacts)+10 (interviews) +20 contacts with the luck employer of me!

And as we are not likely to be so lucky, we need to make initial contact with 100 people and expect to contact each of those 20 times, with the one we stay in contact with employing us!  100 people x 20 contacts = 2000 meetings.

OK so lets get real.  Are you starting cold?

How do some people get jobs more quickly!  Well they are already in a sales funnel.  They are using their Dad’s contacts.  Their university does part of the work for them.  They belong to a network without understanding that they do.

If for some reason you are starting cold, or you get part way down your career and you realize you want to make a big change, you need to take charge and weave your own network.

You cannot afford to act randomly.  You have to be prepared to find out

  • Who you want to work with
  • And assiduously build up contact with them.

If you are at school or university, begin early.

Compare with these figures

In a social network, 1% of people generate content, 9% critique content and 90% consume content (1:9:90).  We see the same “J curve” on student chatter lines and in professional associations.

Ken Thompson of SwarmTeams talks of the 2% economy.  Only  2% of messages to people are opened when they are from someone we don’t know or remember.  We open all the messages from our friends.  And we respond to about 10% of them.

Yup, we ignore 90% of what our friends tell us!

Get cracking!

I strongly recommend listing 10 firms who interest you on 10 old envelopes and look for ways to meet people who work in the department you want to join.

Keep notes.  Add envelopes.  Prioritize them.

Budget your time.

If you are starting a 3 year degree, you need to meet 2 people a day, every day, including Saturdays, Sundays and Christmas, to make 2000 contacts before you graduate.

And think career from the outset.  Don’t think job.  Think career.

Start now

Start exploring now and start collecting information, contacts and know-how.

It all adds up and takes you closer to that team who is doing exactly the sort of work that you want to do and that they need you so badly to do!

(And if you haven’t started and need a job now?  Then divide your time.  Put time aside for this project daily and do whatever you have to do to survive as a separate project.  Just don’t let go of this one. That you will regret.  The lost time will irk you more than flipping burgers.  Begin!)

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You want an employer for life . . . or a life?

Employers for life

Today, CIPD published a story that we want an employer for life.

Insecurity distracting us from growth

Some people don’t understand the economic numbers and if they don’t, then the responses reported by CIPD spell out for them the meaning of a severe recession.

Employees are grubbing at the bottom of Maslow’s Need Hierarchy.

It’s not much of a life, and we won’t be going any where fast as a country until we reduce the fear and worry about basics.

Employment relations and psychology

We need to get the politics right.  We need to get every one to sit down and see what we can keep stable, and keep it stable.  Give people as much security as they can so they can plan.

But we also have to learn to function in the “whip and crack of the whirlwind.”  Other communities do.  We need to as well.

Careers have changed

CIPD was knocking the ‘free agent’ route.  Well, UK has not had much of tradition of self-employment or entrepreneurship.   We will get panic simply because we don’t have many role models around us.

Let’s take the intrapreneurship route with which we are more familiar.

Before social media

Our CV showed an obedient relationship with authority.

In a social media world

Our CV is our portfolio of original work and our evolving purpose.

What is our evolving purpose?

When we aren’t used to telling our story, explaining our purpose can be the hardest thing in the world.

So often our purpose has been no more than “hitch a ride on a gravy train.”

For too long, we’ve pretended

  • we can drive the train
  • make gravy
  • and that we are welcome on the train.

That is the crisis that we are facing.

But hey, if catching gravy trains is our skill and purpose in life, then at least we can become knowledgeable about gravy trains. When do they come and how do we hop on and hide?

We can write about it.  We might have to be like Banksy and keep our identify quiet. But we can write about it.  And show he evidence.

To carry on the train metaphor, we can show a picture of  us in Edinburgh in the morning and in London in the evening.  Of course, “they” will be looking out for us now.  No problem.  We are the experts.  Another route!

Psychologists reading this know where I am headed .  .  .

Build that portfolio!

You can call your life by any name you choose but there is only one life you can call your own.  Start you blog today!

Don’t do anything indiscrete.  Begin with the small things.  Take a picture of a train.

And then another.  Then another.

It’s a cheap hobby at least.

Bet it becomes lucrative though!


“conduct your blooming in the whip & crack of the whirlwind” : Gwendolyn Brooks

“there is only one life you can call your own” : David Whyte

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3 reasons why I will use Barack Obama’s speech as a masterpiece of leadership

It has happened . . .

PULLED UP FROM MY DRAFTS:  Hard to believe that only 18 months ago we waited till morning for a speech to appear on YouTube.  We take for granted now the quality of Obama’s speeches.  And now we are in thick of the adventure, we deal with multiple voices of doubt, fear and plain colly-wobbles.  Come on America.  The world needs you to do what only America can do.  Lead.  Show us the American Dream.

The historic has happened.  On Thursday night, Barack Obama accepted the Democratic Party nomimation for the Presidency of the United States of America.

Some people are not sure why .  . .

I have many friends and acquaintances throughout the world who are apalld.  I have never got to the bottom of it.  A few months ago, I polled LinkedIn.  I received many emotional responses from people who were willingly to answer my follow up queries.  But I couldn’t get to the bottom of their objections.  This could be my blindness.  But I perceived panic and a general rejection – “I don’t agree with his policies but I cannot say exactly what they are”.

The hope in my classroom is palpable .  .  .

I teach in London, the capital of the Commonwealth,  and have around 100 students from all over the world.  The response to Barack Obama in that room is quite different.  The mix of hope and fear is palpable.  The students are literally holding their breaths hoping for his success.

We are on the cusp of change in media too  . . .

On Thursday night, I woke intermittently hoping that BBC would stream the acceptance speech.  Sadly, we are still in ‘old media’ here and they kept interrupting ‘to tell us what to think’.  In the morning I was able to patch together some of the speech from user submissions to YouTube.  And I was able to download the transcript. This morning the Obama campaign circulated the link to their submission to YouTube.

Permanent links . . . mavens will keep them

The dance of leadership

I’ve added the links because we are going to be studying this speech for a long time to come.  I had high expectations.  And it exceeded my expectations.  Barack did not improvise in the fashion of the “I have a dream” speech of 45 years ago.  Nor did he ‘riff’ which he often does.  He does ‘dance’ with the crowd, though.  We love his speeches because he co-creates the experience with us.

Getting down to the deed

The key idea in management theory is that leaders must command an unbroken chain from our strategic goals to the details of our action.  We can often recognize the micro-manager.  They harp on the details.  It can be harder to show how strategy must be reflected consistently in day-to-day actions.

In this speech, Barack Obama was also much more concrete than he usually is, e.g. we are the party of Roosevelt and Kennedy.  Don’t tell me that Democrats wont’t defend this country.  Change doesn’t come from Washington, it comes to Washington.

It was this feature that particularly caught my ear as I listened to snippets through the night.  I will be looking at the speech more for that quality.

Resolutely positive

It can be difficult to phrase change positively.  By definition, today is not enough.  Barack Obama comes back to what is ‘true and good, better and possible’.   The USA has still not fulfilled the vision of its founding fathers.

Moreover, he defines clearly the ground rules of free speech.  First, we must accept that both we and our opponents belong.  We must accept they have a right to be here and will be here in perpetuity.  We must accept this principle before we can truly accept that our opponent has a right to speak and to hold an opinion.  It is difficult to understand the notion that I can compete with you and at the same protect your right to hold your opinion unless I begin with a  deep and uncertain belief that you are entitled to membership of our group and that is unquestioned.  Belonging is a very important foundation of democracy and the good life.

Case study

I intend to to distribute his speech to my students as a career exercise and ask them to rewrite their vision of what they will contribute to the world in the next 8 years.

This weekend I will put together some exercises for them.  Will you be using the speech in your work?

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Searching questions about management in the 21st century

So you want to be a manager?

Harvard Professor, Gary Hamel asks “What problem was management invented to solve?”

How to do things with perfect replicability, at ever-increasing scale and steadily increasing efficiency.

“What is the problem that needs solving now?”

How do you build organizations that merit the gifts of creativity and passion and initiative?”

Are we on the verge of a post-managerial society?

Many organizational designers have been asking: will we have managers of the future?  Here are some of the central dilemma.


What is the role of talent?  Is it something to be bought and profited from?  Or is what emerges from the configuration of the organization?  Are we talented because we are talented together?

What is the key concept in organizational design?

Understanding how to create organizational value by installing the right feedback loops

What is the nature of change in this century?

Purposefully and creatively experimental

How do we manage risk and not knowing the outcome of our creative experiments?

Set clear boundaries about risk.  Engender insights that minimize risk.

Gary Hamel also asks:

“How have you been trained as a business innovator? What investment has the company made in teaching you how to innovate?”

What will global organizations look like?

The Internet is making it possible to amplify and aggregate human capabilities in ways never before possible.

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Ushahidi is working!

TEMPORARY POST:  I couldn’t post this on the forum and it is late.  So here it is for people working in the next few hours.

FIRST, please note that I am no expert.  Just stubborn and two days of searching found me this post.  I thought I had tried this before but evidently something has changed and this time it has worked.


1.  The map on my main page was not showing incidents.
2.  I was getting cache errors when I used tabs to approve/verify incidents.


1.  The problem is in the .htaccess file as usual
2.  I found this [url=] link[/url] . It links through to other sites. Coders might like to check this out for us.
3.  Precipitating Condition:  Kohana running on some versions of Apache servers
4.  Quoting now from the above link.

No input file specified’ – Kohana/htaccess Error
November 1st, 2009

When using .htaccess to remove index.php from urls in Kohana sometimes you may find yourself getting a “No Input File Specified” error. This had my head in a pickle for quite some time until I found this post.
If PHP is running on Apache as a CGI module then Apache won’t support “PATH_INFO” which is used inside Kohana (CodeIgniter too).
There’s a simple fix, edit the .htaccess file and replace the last line like so:

#RewriteRule .* index.php/$0 [PT,L]
RewriteRule ^(.+)$ index.php?kohana_uri=$1 [L]


1.  For other noobes lik me, first make a copy of your existing .htaccess file with a different name such as original.htaccess.  (Just in case you want to go back to it.)

2  Open the .htaccess file in Wordpad (not Notepad which lays out in a continuous thread.)  Be careful. Detail matters.

3. Read down the file and note that our .htaccess has some stuff after this Rewrite rule.  We are not working on our last line. Look For the Rewrite rule similar to the first line of the couplet above.

4. Now edit. Add a # to the existing Rewrite Rule to turn it into a comment.

5.  Then cut and paste the second line of from the couplet above.  It should look like the couplet above.

6.  Save and run.


I hope so.  A lot of my bugs a gone. I can see a few left but I can see my incidents on the front page (yay) and I am basically functional.


I don’t know if this will work without changing the API.  I had already replaced mine.

I am running on ‘localhost’ so when I went to get a Google API, I typed in http://localhost/mysitename.

Again for noobes, on my own computer mysitename is at c://wamp/www/mysitename and all the Ushahidi files are in that folder.  e.g., c://wamp/www/mysitename/application.


# Turn on URL rewriting
RewriteEngine On

# Installation directory
RewriteBase /mysitename/

# Protect application and system files from being viewed
RewriteRule ^(application|modules|system) – [F,L]

# Prevent schedulers from being accessed remotely
RewriteCond %{REMOTE_ADDR} !^$
RewriteRule ^.*/scheduler/.*$ – [F,L]

# Allow any files or directories that exist to be displayed directly
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d

`# Rewrite all other URLs to index.php/URL`
# RewriteRule ^(.*)$ index.php/$0 [PT,L]
RewriteRule ^(.+)$ index.php?kohana_uri=$1 [L]

# Protect the htaccess from being viewed
<Files .htaccess>
order allow,deny
deny from all`

# Don’t show directory listings for URLs which map to a directory.
Options -Indexes


The problem is caused by Kohana running on some Apache servers and is fixed by modifying a Rewrite rule in your .htaccess file.

Check Lines 2, 4 from top are correct (carefully) and edit lines 8&9 from the bottom (not counting blank lines).


It’s close to midnight here.  I’ll check in first thing in the morning to see if I can help anyone who is still stuck.


Thanks eyedol for your quick response to our tweet today and to Charlie for working together this evening!  Hope to see your on Dreamhost soon!

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Turn the business models in knowledge network industries the right way up again

Business models in knowledge network industries

Earlier today, I commented on a post by Jon Husband and it released for me an understanding about university business models that has lain around in the back of my mind for a number of years.

Most of us see one side of universities – the extension of high school. We arrive as undergraduates and we can be forgiven for thinking the university is about us.  After all, we only see what we are involved with.

Universities don’t care all that much about undergraduates though.  Oh, yes, students are there.  And they must be taught properly.

But universities care about research.  And they care about research for a good reason.  Because when undergraduates are taught by someone who is actively developing the discipline, then students learn to think about where the discipline is going and how it will get there.

The ‘knowledge’ they acquire is very different from the ‘knowledge’ acquired from someone who knows the current state of the field but who sees it as a static subject.

Herein lies the difficulty for universties.  Knoweledge isn’t created within universities. It is created between them.  It is created in the give-and-take between active researchers in the discipline.

To be a ‘player’, a university must be able to fund a researcher. This means a salary, pension & insurances,  office space, computers, libraries, laboratories and international travel to conferences and meetings.  For all this, a lecturer (professor) normally delivers 4 lectures a week for about 25 weeks and hosts a handful of tutorials or labs.

In so far as money comes from government, clearly the amount provided must allow this level of activity and the quality of a university  is dependent on providing this funding.  A university can be a player in the great game of knowledge development if it has a lot of money.

Turning business models on their heads

Universities have tried to reverse this model where research activity brings in revenue.  This is all very well, but value is not created within the university.   It is created by having the “table stakes” to take part in the supply chain (or network)  that is cutting edge research.  Turning things on its head is a good try but it won’t work.

Consulting firms often try the same gambit.  They try to hire in staff hoping the staff will bring in the clients.

Turning business models the right way up again

The thinking needs to be turned around.

If we want to be players in the development of business systems in this town, then what will it take?  What endowment is needed to support the people who are working with other people in other firms to define the cutting edge?

For people entering either industry as researchers or consultants (as opposed to equity and working capital providers), then we ask other question?

  • What part of the supply chain/network do we want to work in?
  • Who takes up our work and on whose work do we depend?
  • How and where do we get together to work out goals for the whole of our supply chain/network?

That’s the thinking that turns us into  players.

Managing in knowledge network industries

For HR manages and other system designers, we have to remember this essential fact: we cannot produce knowledge within the firm.

Knowledge is created when we work on projects with people in other firms.   So we are not ‘in control’.  All we can ask is what does it take to be a player in this game?

When we undertand this question, and we depend on our ‘employees’ to explain the game to us, then we can broker the resources to allow us to host chunks of the game.

This is simply not a factory model where we make something and sell something.  This a game where we negotiate participation in a supply chain network that is advantageous to our stakeholders.

To take an example, in physics, obviously we want representation at CERN.   And so it goes with other subjects too.  Which are the frontiers where we want to be represented?  Why?  When we understand the what and the why, we might know who is motivated to pay.

We are brokers in these businesses, not managers or even private equity players.  If anyone suggests otherwise, you can be sure that business is not cutting edge.  It can’t be.  No enterprise has such a narrow knowledge base that it can be cutting edge and under the control of a handful of people.

Our job in knowledge work is to have knowledge workers on one hand and people who need knowledge on the other.   And broker the match.

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I write to understand the future of social media, positive psychology and the future of work

My blog as my whiteboard

Welcome.  This is my personal whiteboard where I jot down thoughts and notes as I read things around the net and make sense of what is happening in the world of work and social media as we race through the 21st century.

Positive psychology

A psychologist by training, I follow the rise of the positive movement.  Many people think positive psychology is just a surge ‘touchy-feeling’ gush that matters little in the world of hard-knocks.  Certainly, I have some reservations about the political stance, and even ethics, of some positive psychologists who appear to willing to serve the ‘haves’ and to leave the ‘have-nots’ to the protocols of self-help.

I also have some reservations about the self-proclaimed scientific or evidence-based approach which depends up on linear models and ‘positivism’ and a methodology that outsources reality and morality to forces outside our control.   Proclaiming this position while stating the ‘have-nots’ are responsible for their well-being appears to me a double-bind.  I am still to meet a positive psychologist who will engage in this debate.

Positive psychology and social media

The positive movement is far more than these reservations though and we ‘should not throw the baby out with the bath water.’  The positive movement is also the bedrock of the new networked age ushered in by the internet and more urgently by the readwrite, two-way, 2.0, or social media, the media where we communicate laterally.

In this field too, a big question is whether we are going to throw the baby out with the bath water.  Here the ‘baby’ is the command-and-control structures in the world of work.

The future of work

The world of work is not a world of positivist science, much as many of my colleagues in science try to claim. It is a world that we have made. To use Dan Pink’s words, the world of work is akin to a TV set. Our workplace procedures are a bundle of ideas that allow us to create particular solutions for a specific age.  As our circumstances change, so do our solutions.

Nonetheless, habits die hard and for that reason many methods of work will not change until there are no ‘takers’ in the community.  Working methods will survive for many reasons and in different forms, just as The Worshipful Company of Pewterers, for example, survives as a charitable organization run by descendants of pewterers and supports medical research and inner city schools and those few people still earning their living through pewter.

Changes in work that we can count on

So bearing mind that work is a matter of culture that has quite different dyanamics from high school experiments in physics, we can look at changes that are taking place in the world of work for heuristics, that is, ideas about how to run our own affairs.

For anyone well versed in management history, they know that a management system must create value.  In simple terms, the value produced by management must exceed the cost – and by a large margin.  When we are destroying value, we must go, because when we cost more than marginal value that we add to a firm, the direct producers are better off without us.

BPR, business process re-engineering, and Toyota methods of management, despite its current troubles, have already shown us how to use computers to simplify processes within an organization and between organizations and to significantly enhance our ability to deliver better products and services more reliably and less expensively.  At best, management work changes. In many instances, management work disappears.  The structure of organizations changes.  No longer does communication go up-and-down the organization.  It goes across and out.  This is not a trivial change.  It is not a matter of putting in computers.  It is a matter of taking out the cost of management.

Social media has stepped up our potential to deliver quickly to an entirely new level.  Transaction costs in many industries have plummeted and entire industries, like journalism, are about to be made redundant. Social media has changed our relationships with each other within industries and organizations.

It is no mean change that news is transmitted around the world via cell phone cameras and Twitter.  Nor is it any mean change that students can pull up HSBC on Facebook for unilaterally changing their contracts.

Yes, we will resist some changes – because we like the way we do things.  But we will probably pay dearly for that resistance.

Guessing at the other changes in  work

What is more interesting to me and the bloggers I follow is how do these new organizations work?  What opportunities do they offer?  How can we see ahead so that our actions today are relevant to our choices of tomorrow?

  • So I follow social media closely and I encourage people to acquire social media skills and experience.
  • I write up examples of social media in the world of work and business.
  • And I drill down to the principles and rules-of-thumb that we use to bundle up the solutions, the TVsets, that are working organizations and fun and viable businesses.

The positive movement and the future of work

The positive movement is part of this great wave of change. We have five basic principles that are phrased one way or another but go generally like this.

#1 This is our story

We are trying to jettison the pseudo-scientific language and management-speak and  we trying to learn to speak in terms of the hopes and dreams of the people around us. Narratives, hero’s journeys, poetry and snappy engaging talks are the mode of our time.  We encourage people to talk in their own voice.  In the social media world, we counsel against using false persona’s on Twitter, Facebook, etc.  He or she swho speaks must have the authority and experience to hold the conversation.

#2  Each of us is important

We recognize that each of us is our own hero and we have our own journeys.  Yet our own journey is also a journey of relationships. Much of leadership is hearing and understanding the journeys of people around us and finding the common cause where we journey together or part of the way.

#3  Life is an open-ended adventure

We understand that life is an open-ended journey.  We don’t know where we are going or what the new day will bring.  What we do know is who we have with us and what we do well. We know our hopes and dreams.  Rather than commit to a destination into which we shoehorn ourselves and our companions, we proceed more cautiously, reviewing as we go and shaping our destination as learn. It’s like the old advice to travellers. Taking half-the-clothes and double-the-money.  We keep ourselves flexible so that we can respond to opportunities that arise along the way.

#4  We move in the direction of the questions we ask

We manage ourselves through the questions we ask.  We know we cannot do everything and decision-making takes time, attention and resources.  So we are careful about our questions and we focus on what is worth doing and we ruthlessly rule out questions that are based on fixed ideas.  We don’t waste time worrying about what has not happened.  We attend to what we want to do and the resources we have at hand, including what we do well. Point #1 converges with this idea.  Failure and disappointment makes us moody and despondent.  We watch our language and the words we use so we don’t mood-hoover our motivation and abandon our journey downhearted and dejected, we have to do some work to watch our language.  As David Whyte says, sometimes life depends upon a walk around the lake.

#5  At any minute, we like to be in control

We celebrate the active nature of human beings. We love to do.  Give us half-a-chance, we learn new skills, try things out and help others. We like situations like computer games where can jump in and try, where we can learn and go to new levels and where we can play with others. The game designer, Jane McGonigal, described our needs as urgent optimism, tight social fabric, blissful productivity, & epic meaning.

Fortunately we know a lot about the psychology of situations that allow us such an engaged and vital existence. All the information for doing and being must be stored in our heads and and organized there in coordination with the hand that writes, the eyes that see, the feet that walk.  The thinking and control must lie with us. Then we feel like a superhero. Sometimes we are. We certainly feel alive and in flow.

The general change to working style

We don’t know where the world of work is going, in detail.  But we do know the focal point of control has moved to the consumer and therefore to the front line.  We do now that patterns of communications have changed.  If you send me a message, I expect you to answer my reply and answer my questions – quickly.  We are going to judge each other on our ability to respond quickly.

Like many people I worried about quality.  There are some jobs that require more than a 30 second response.  I no longer wonder whether the changes will happen, though.  It is only a question of how.

To find me on the internet




jo at working2 dot 0 at gmail dot com


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3 key ideas to management in the 21st century

What is management after all?

In the discussion following his post on performance management on FastForward today, Jon Husband of Wirearchy said:

“The challenges to managing collective performance are clearly collective in nature, and involve, I think, a significant combination of individuals’ characteristics – motivations, personal skills, abilities to learn, and so on mashed together with both business processes and group dynamics and constantly changing rapid information flows, etc.

There’s a good reason for business process frameworks … those are where employees in effect engage with the whole, and what the group dynamics ultimately serve … and where the tangible things that come out are the business results.”

#1  The challenges to managing collective performance are clearly collective in nature.

#2  There’s a good reason for business process frameworks … those are where employees in effect engage with the whole, and what the group dynamics ultimately serve

#3  business process frameworks … those are where . . . the tangible things that come out are the business results.

Every first year text book in management should begin with this framework.

I wonder, Jon did you mean the group dynamics serve/precede the business process, or are created by the business process?

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