Category Archives: Behaviour

Out of Fear of Embarrassment

In February this year I decided to commit to one blog post a week. I have thought about blogging on and off for over ten years. I had a couple of false starts. I mostly quit out of embarrassment. Not that I ever actually was. I had to post something first for that to happen. But out of fear of embarrassment.

Continue reading Out of Fear of Embarrassment

Handpicked: Interns Get Fired and A Fungus Network

Articles I Saved

Building intentional networks that drive impact (part 1)

Intentional networks have shared purpose. They use network principles to design how they make decisions and coordinate projects. And they show up in the world in different ways than traditional, top-down authority structures

Continue reading Handpicked: Interns Get Fired and A Fungus Network

What Does the Size of a Pizza Slice Teach Us?

Have you seen this video that went viral a few weeks ago?

If not have a look now before reading further.

It is tempting to judge harshly. It is obvious to the watching outsider, it makes no difference how many slices there are … it is still the same pizza.

Well, technically yes.

But that is not  how our minds work. That is not how we perceive what is going on around us.

Look at the following image. Continue reading What Does the Size of a Pizza Slice Teach Us?

Handpicked: Classifications, A Listening Politician, Grown Men Cry and Leceister City

Articles I Saved

Intertwingled Book Excerpt

Benchley’s Law – there are two kinds of people in the world, those who believe there are two kinds of people in the world, and those who don’t – points us in the right direction. To collaborate, we must admit ambiguity and complexity, and avoid premature classification.

41bj3omn05l-_sx332_bo1204203200_Intertwingled is in my top 10 non-fiction books. I enjoyed it enough to have read it twice within 12 months.

This article is one of a series of excerpt that Peter Morville, the author, has been writing from his books.

This article covers one of the core messages in the book, classification.

I am intrigued by the idea of how we classify things. It influences our conversation and the way we see the world. Many of the difficult topics are in some sense bounded by their classification; race, religion, equality, feminism etc. are all forms of grouping. We like to believe that there are clear boundaries, but the truth is never that binary. Things are never that clear.

The real world is grey. Everything is grey. We think it’s not. That is just an illusion.

It all depends on where you start from. If you can change the way a person classifies what they see, you change how they see, and therefore how they think about it.

I work with ambiguity all day. As a business analyst you have to be comfortable with ambiguity and complexity, because that is where the truth is. Continue reading Handpicked: Classifications, A Listening Politician, Grown Men Cry and Leceister City

Can You Learn from Your Own and Others Resistance?

What do you do when you feel offended by a comment or resist a point of view?

Have you ever paid attention to that feeling and asked why?

In her interview with  Tim Ferriss  on his podcast, Tim asks Whitney Cummings  what question she would ask of his audience.

Her first response is ‘Watch Comedy. It’s good for you.” (2:29:26)

Tim then says he will dig on that for a second. He asks what some new to comedy should pay attention to or asks themselves if they want to see another layer.

Whitney says “Look at what Offends you.” (2:30:00)

She continues “If something offends you; Watch Richard Pryor, watch Daniel Tosh, watch the most incendiary comedians, Bill Burr, maybe Louis CK …”.

“If something offends you, look inward. That’s a sign that there is something there. What offends someone says a lot about them.”

That question has stuck with me ever since.

Pay attention to that feeling of offence. That feeling is telling you something about yourself. About your own views and values. 

Similarly, someone else’s offence, or resistance, tells you something about them and what they value.

Continue reading Can You Learn from Your Own and Others Resistance?

What Can You Learn From Watching a Five Year Old Play Soccer?

My son started school this year. As he turned five our weeks started to fill with sporting commitments. In particular for us hockey (the field/grass/artificial turf kind) and soccer.

Every time I watch one of his games of either hockey or soccer I am reminded of this post Business Strategy and Kindergarten Soccer by Nick Malik

On the Inside Architecture blog for Microsoft, Nick writes the following back in July 2011:

It is interesting to watch very young kids play soccer, because the instructions are so simple: kick the ball into the goal.  With instructions like that, what do you get?  Bumblebees, of course.

Continue reading What Can You Learn From Watching a Five Year Old Play Soccer?

Show Early, Show Often

I once worked on a team supporting an internally developed and maintained application.

This application was the beating heart of the organisation. Every organisation has one of these.

You know the application at your company, the one that can’t be bought off the shelf? The one that reflects your company’s business model?

That one.

Continue reading Show Early, Show Often

Poor customer service? Are you doing your part?

Are you a good customer? Have you ever thought about how your own attitude in a given scenario affects the interaction?

I was working at the Keystone Resort, in Colorado, in the US, over the winter of 1998/99 as part of a student working holiday program.

I was assigned to Base Operations. We were the groundsmen of the resort. We cleared the footpaths after snowfall, collected the trash from restaurants, and we marshaled the car parks amongst other things. Not very glamorous but a lot of fun.

We also had to man the parking booths. Remember the old days when you paid a real live human on leaving a paid parking lot? Well that was us.

Continue reading Poor customer service? Are you doing your part?