Category Archives: Management & Leadership

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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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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Let your yes be yes, and your no be no

I have spent thirty-eight years in the enterprise work-a-day world. From this long experience, in multiple countries, multiple industries, and in roles from entry-level computer operator to Chief Executive Officer, I have one core observation to take away. Most managers … Continue reading

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Who do you serve?

Information Technology groups frustrate the rest of the people in the organisation because they’re not seen as serving their needs. That is a trite statement: the battle between users and technologists is an old one. Still, what could you be … Continue reading

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