Data and ethics

The BBC recently ran a news item describing how an airliner got into difficulties because of a software flaw. On closer examination, it's probably more precise to say that an airline pilot got into difficulties because some people interpret the meaning of the title "Miss" differently to others, but that's not as snappy, and doesn't … Continue reading Data and ethics

Zoomed out?

The world is suffering from Zoom exhaustion, apparently. We find ourselves in a state of permameeting, where hours become but interchangeable units of attention mediated through Zoom, Teams, Meet or, for the really unfortunate, WebEx. Because back in the (prepandemic) day, meetings were great, right? It's not like HBR were publishing articles like this but … Continue reading Zoomed out?

Maslow’s hierarchy of User Needs

One of the most often cited bits of psychology that haunts the corridors of organisations and management training is Abraham Maslow's 1940s theory of human motivation, The Hierarchy of Needs. As with any well established model, there is critique, but nonetheless it forms a useful and popular way of visualising what it is that motivates … Continue reading Maslow’s hierarchy of User Needs

Lists, maps and strategy

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about a distinction between two types ofthinking - map thinking and list thinking. In a chance' conversation this week with a former colleague Mark, we started to explore how these two mindsets might apply to the thorny world of strategy. To start off, there are many interpretations of … Continue reading Lists, maps and strategy

Evolution, not intelligent design

Eight or so years ago, I found myself at a software developer event organised by the US company Twilio. If you are not familiar, Twilio provide software that allows other people building apps to connect their products and services to the telephone system. They enable you to integrate with voice and text messages without the … Continue reading Evolution, not intelligent design

Carpentry vs Gardening

On the long drive down the A303 to Somerset yesterday morning, I caught a show on Radio 4 that was exploring the concept of "over parenting". It was an interesting listen, and one thing in particular has been bouncing around my head since, a metaphor for describing two different styles of parenting: the carpenter or … Continue reading Carpentry vs Gardening

Shadowless IT

I've never been a big fan of the associations of the concept of "Shadow IT". It's been often portrayed as a bad thing, the result of a Corporate IT department that has lost control. Somehow that those pursuing alternatives to the mandated corporate systems are somehow furtively trying to undermine the power of authority. Ever … Continue reading Shadowless IT

Back to back

People are getting overloaded with meetings. There's no two ways about it. A combination of the lack of informal conversations in office environments plus the ease of organising meetings with online diaries multiplied by there no longer being the limiting factor of "no meeting room available" means that for many of us there is no … Continue reading Back to back

Let them play

In the course of my research for Who Shares Wins, I was told the possibly apocryphal story of how email was introduced into a law firm back in the early 1990s. The senior partners had been sceptical about this new-fangled communications medium, and had resisted its introduction. However a more tech-friendly group of employees started … Continue reading Let them play