Author Archives: passionateobserver

About passionateobserver

I am a passionate observer of our society, the economy, and politics. Mostly I don't like much of what I see, so I write as a concerned citizen. To the fray, I bring a background in the philosophy of history, a lifetime's reading, a work history in information technology management, consulting and education.

Organizations are conservative

You’ve got all these people. So you organize them, right? That was really useful back when communications around the office moved at the pace of a handwritten note or a typed carbon copy, coupled with an occasional person-to-person telephone call. … Continue reading

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Principles as Attractors and Safety Mechanisms

Governing IT to generate innovation and value means having the business unlock resources for these purposes. Safe-to-fail experiments — the hallmark of probing for opportunity — are a type of “project”, therefore, that will be run. They will tend to … Continue reading

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Governance models for the real world

Different types of order require different approaches to leadership, and thus different approaches to governance. First, let’s get situated. If you’re not familiar with the Cognitive Edge Cynefin Framework, this post is going to lean on it heavily. Dave Snowden, … Continue reading

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Rebalancing is an ongoing task

All asset portfolios in an enterprise must be periodically renovated, refurbished and replaced. That’s certainly true for software assets. Software is designed at a point in time, and reflects work as it was understood then. Eventually the deviation between old … Continue reading

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Getting past the impulse to order everything

There’s a constant temptation in management more generally, and IT specifically, to presume that everything not only can be ordered, but that it ought to be. Perhaps, for IT people, it comes from the origins of the work. The original … Continue reading

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Signs of an Organisation in Trouble

What are some of the warning signs that an organisation may be headed into trouble? Start with how people spend their time. We’ve known since at least the 1950s, with the work done by William Oncken and Peter Drucker, that … Continue reading

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Portfolio classes for the greater recession

In an economy that doesn’t move forward easily if at all, the traditional classes in portfolio planning aren’t enough. A Governing Board needs to establish a mix designed to deal with a long period of malaise. That would be now, … Continue reading

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