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Bruce Holland

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Strategic Snippets

Written by BruceHolland/BruceHolland

151. A New Way Of Looking at Leadership - Leadership is confusing because so much has been written about it and as a result, most managers focus on the wrong things and get what they don't want. The whole area can be simplified down to three eyes. Leaders need: 1. An eye that looks inward. 2. An eye that looks outward. 3. An eye that looks between. This Strategic Snippet introduces a video to help you develop your leadership skills. The link to the video is:

150. Innovation is Creativity With Its Sleeves Rolled Up - Many people have great ideas in the middle of the night. Few get up and write them down before they forget; and even fewer commit to turning the ideas into reality. This shows you how to be successful, roll your sleeves up, overcome fear and go to work.

149. WHERE ARE YOUR STRATEGIC BLIND SPOTS? - Organisations are smart in some areas and almost blind in others. In strategy development this is important;because their strategic advantage depends upon building on their strategic smarts; and their strategic survival depends on seeing pitfalls in the areas where they are blind.

148. To go faster, slow down - Organisations need to go faster but working faster or longer is not the answer.

147. The current business model is slowly killing the planet and humanity; but, it doesn’t have to be that way! - By looking back over about 30,000+ years of history, I’ve tried to explain in less than 10 minutes, why our current business model is so dangerous and what we can do about it!

146. Has the Public Sector Taken a Wrong Track? - Ironically we were closer to the right track before the reforms of the 1980s that attempted to make the public sector more efficient but reduced its capacity to solve ‘wicked problems’. Let me explain.

145. Why Good Managers Behave Badly - Ordinary managers in a great system can produce outstanding results. Great managers in a poor system act badly, quickly become angry and frustrated.

144. Do You Know About The Three Worlds Of Leadership? - Successful leaders are familiar with three worlds: 1. The world inside, 2. The world outside and 3. The world between.

143. Do Your People All Pull Together? - When people don't pull together, many managers assume it's because of lack of will or workers just don't care. However, it's nearly always because of poor organisational design.

142. Inspirational Leaders Are Soul Proprietors - Inspirational leaders nourish the whole person: body (more income), head (more learning), heart (more belonging) and soul (more meaning). Each level is deeper and more powerful. Of the four levels soul is the most powerful. This is why inspirational leaders are 'soul proprietors.

141. Leadership without all the answers - Best leaders don't pretend to know everything, so, they see their main job as creating the conditions where answers are likely to emerge. This gives guidance to creating these conditions.

140. A New Role For Business - From Breaker of the world to Maker of the world. Business has been responsible for much of the damage to the world, but, it is also our only hope to save the world.

139. From a Job to a Calling- Four ways to create callings even inside large organisations.

138. The Case For Including Tops, Middles and Bottoms In Your Strategy Development

In the long run it's quicker and better to involve Middles and Bottoms in strategy development because, as these are the people who will implement the strategies, they need to understand it deeply.

137. Who should do strategy: Managers or Directors? - People often ask who should develop strategy: managers or members of the board of directors? This is my answer.

136. Two schools of strategy: Logic and Magic

The Logic school is by far the most common, however, on its own it is seriously lacking. It is based on several unspoken assumptions that are highly questionable.

135. Strategy perpetuates the status quo

Managers are frustrated that strategic planning does not produce novel strategies. Instead, it perpetuates the status quo.

134. I used to think of myself as a Change Agent - I was wrong!

The real power lies in what is unchanging, what is always the same, what is the essence of the thing.

133. I feel really stupid

I feel really stupid. For the last 40 years I've worked to help organisations grow. Now, after all this time, I've come to realise that growth cannot be sustained. We need a new business model that creates more sustainable things. Things that based on infinite assets that make us stronger as they are used rather than weaker as they are used.

132. Would Your Organisation Survive In A Crisis?

Would your organisation survive if the Earth scientists are right and there was a crisis? Ten Ways to Organisational Resilience.

131. Don't be on the beach watching as the tsunami comes in

Earth scientists say our current business model is close to reaching a critical limit which has stressed the planet to such an extent that we could suffer catastrophic failure.

130. Change Your Habits - Change Your Life

Only in the past two decades have scientists really begun understanding how habits work –– and, more important, how they change. This will show you how.

129. Eight stories to change the world – or at least your organisation

There are two routes to changing social systems: 1. Changing structures (this is difficult and usually leads to resistance); 2. Changing stories (this is totally painless and has no resistance; indeed when one has a new story in one’s head, it’s almost impossible to continue to do the things that seemed to make sense under the old story.

128. Could you be missing out on three-quarters of your business opportunities??

Most service providers make a fatal assumption that their customers want to be treated the way they want to be treated. This is true in only a quarter of the population, so they miss out on the other 3/4. Great sales people know how to score with 100% and your people can learn too.

127. How toxic is your culture?

Recently the newspaper has been full of the importance of culture in organisations like ACC. Some cultures are toxic and destroy whole organisations; this Snippet gives you a tool to measure your risk.

126. Beware of One-Size-Fits-All Leadership Development

Most leadership development programs are based on 'best practice' and assume 'one-size-fits-all.' In other words participants are taught to do the things that made other people stronger; but often, when they try to do these things, they just look silly. What they need to do are the things that will make them be stronger.

125. How to future-proof your organisation for the next 50 years

Recently I've been working on an 'I can't get it out of my mind' project called the Wellington Blue Star Future. The aim of the project is to make the Wellington Region the most livable region in the world, beyond sustainability. At the start I was attracted by the audacity of the aims, the people who were involved and some of the wonderful change management approaches our American mentor Bill Veltrop introduced; but soon I started to realise that these ideas would also be important to my clients who want to future-proof their organisation for the next 50 years.

124. Leadership development is on the wrong track

Leadership development is far more than just gaining skills. It's on the wrong track. It's run by trainers not business people. It assumes you need to change people when all the evidence is that people can't be changed all that much but you can draw them out. And it is boring and lacks relevance.

123. What do you think makes a great manager?

The conclusion my clients and I have come to is that great managers are givers (not takers), radiators, not refrigerators. Great managers do not place themselves at the centre, they place others there. They do not focus on satisfying their own needs and desires, they look for ways to satisfy the needs and desires of others. Find out how.

122. Is your life dominated with reports, coordination meetings and preparing for the Board ?

Research shows that in the 20% of organisations that are most complicated, managers spend 40% of their time writing reports and 30% to 60% of it in coordination meetings. What to do about it.

121. Irresistible Leaders never die

Irresistible leaders are those rare people that others are drawn to and want to follow without knowing why and they never die. Become one of them.

120. How to do more with less

Real ideas about how to do more for less supplied by our clients.

119. How to become a trusted advisor

Many of my clients are advisers. They include accountants, scientists, engineers, analysts, statisticians, information specialists, researchers, and policy-people. They often have stronger analytical skills than interpersonal skills, however, their communication skills could stand improving.

118. Great Managers Play a Bigger Game

All managers make use of individuals' talents, but great managers play a bigger game; they understand the potential of entire teams. Performance reviews typically look at individuals, but managers are responsible for the output of a team, not just the team's components. Find out how they do it.

117. Buddha Hunters Unlock the Frontline

Buddha Hunters know that every person was born with a golden Buddha inside them (a core of greatness). Buddha Hunters know how to unlock this gold, especially in he frontline where it's often most obscured.

116. Irresistible leaders are Buddha Hunters

Irresistible Leaders are Buddha Hunters. They know that everyone has a Golden Buddha somewhere inside, however, it's mostly covered with mud that people have flicked at them over the years; and it becomes part of the picture they have accepted of themselves. Buddha Hunters help them find their greatness again.

115. Look in the mirror to see your opportunity

Look in the mirror, because, when you do, your biggest opportunities will look back at you! I think our greatest opportunity lies in discovering inner space (not outer space).

114. Is the Public Sector is going in the wrong direction?

The purpose of this Snippet is to illustrate how bureaucracy and red tape may be driving the Public Service in the wrong direction. Indeed, because of unquestioned assumptions, government may be inadvertently designing failure into many things they do on our behalf.

113. From Me to We Collaboration

How the new connectedness world-view will shape management action.

112. The Business of Love

Over the years I have come to realise that love may be the most under recognised asset and under-utilised competitive advantage available to an organisation.

111. Who did Celia Wade-Brown seek out to make her Council more collaborative?

110. Public Sector: Overloaded, Frustrated, Anxious and Tired

Many of my clients in some of the biggest Public Sector organisations talk to me about being overloaded, feeling frustrated, being anxious and tired. They want out. Find out why and how to fix it.

109. Leaders are BIG people who know themselves - Do you?

Many managers define themselves by the outside. Ask them who they are and they talk about their occupation (I'm an accountant), where they've come from (I'm from Timaru) or their experiences (I've consulted for some of the largest organisations in New Zealand), but none of this really talks about who they are, what they stand for or believe in.

108. Leaders know human nature. Do you?

Are humans are basically "bad" or basically "good"? Your answer shows what sort of leader you are.

107. Do people follow you because they have to or because they want to?

Control Leaders force their way toward their goals but often at the expense of other people. Authentic Leaders know who they are and what's important. They make their followers feel strong, capable and hopeful. They liberate people, expand them and search out their strengths. People follow them because they want to.

106. Are you a perfect leader?

The best leaders know they, like everyone else, have strengths and weaknesses. In areas where they can't provide their people with leadership they build it through their leadership team.

105. Are you a Radiator or a Refrigerator?

There are two types of leaders. Research shows one is far more successful than the other. Find out what you are. And what your boss is!

104. A story about cooperation

One of my clients told me this wonderful story about the power of cooperation. It has serious implications for managers.

103. How to get them out of silos and stop fighting each other

For years, Chief Executives have pulled their hair out in frustration at the lack of cooperation between Finance and Sales. Neither seem to listen to each other nor understand. At best they misunderstand each other, at worst they hate each other. It leads to separation and silos. Similar disagreements exist between Product Development and Production. This Snippet tells you why and what to do about it.

102. Why silos are so dangerous

The main reason why silos are so dangerous is they cut a system into bits, and bits of a system can't possibly emerge like a whole system does. Try cutting a fly into bits and you'll see what I mean.

101. What really motivates workers

This is one of the Breakthrough Ideas for 2010 (reported in the Harvard Business Review, January-February 2010) is research about what really motivates workers.

100. Irresistible leaders are Go-givers

This is the story of Joe, a young go getter who starts off believing his success is all about getting and taking, and ends up realising it's about giving and serving. Along the way Jo discovers the five laws of stratospheric success. You'd be hard pressed to find five better laws to lead by.

99. The essence of strategy

There are six big ideas associated with strategy. This Snippet tells you what they are.

98. Stuck in current business model

Strategic leaders have the wisdom to question and change the business model that nearly everyone else follows. They understand that the current business model is outdated. It has been around for over 100 years. It no longer fits the world we live in.

97. Strategy is top of the pops again

After several years when strategy seemed to fall out of favour, it's suddenly top of the pops again. Following a period when the old ways have so obviously failed, everyone wants to think through their direction and their business model.

96. A parable - The long black cloud

Once upon a time, not so long ago, a long black cloud fell over the land ruled by King John.

95. How to structure your organisation to maximise genius - a case study

This is a case study of an organisation that restructured itself to release the genius within its people.

94. Irresistible leaders find Genius in their people

As an irresistible leader, probably the most important thing you can do is to identify and use your Genius factor more often. The next most important thing is to help others see theirs. Listen to the Genius secret. 4m47s.

93. The sixth secret of Irresistible leadership

Irresistible leaders never forget they have a choice. They can choose to include rather than exclude. They can choose to join rather than separate. They can choose to find the good in people, not the bad. They can choose to trust rather than distrust. Listen to the sixth secret. 4m47s.

92. The second secret of Irresistible leadership

Irresistible leaders know people are essentially the same as each other." We all want to be loved, appreciated and included. Listen to the second secret. 2m20s.

91. The first secret of Irresistible leadership

Irresistible leaders know people are fundamentally different from each other. Treat them the way they want to be treated and they will give magic. Listen to the first secret. 5m27s.

90. Test How Collaborative Your Organisation Is

Take the following test to find out how collaborative your organisation is.

89. Secrets to Achieving Collaboration

Even the best organisations have trouble harnessing their resources across internal boundaries in a way that customers truly value and are willing to pay for. Sometimes this is due to the organisation structure, technology or processes but mostly it is about wrong thinking. Change the thinking of your managers and silos miraculously disappear.

88. A Sector-wide Case Study on Collaboration

A case study of collaboration between Police, Fire Service, Rural Fire, Ambulance, Department of Conservation, Defence and Civil Defence to create a seamless way of working together during n emergency. It has made New Zealand safer.

87. A Definition of Collaboration

When I talk about collaboration I'm talking about something deeper than most people would think about.

86. The Business Case for Collaboration

Lack of collaboration is the single most wasteful practice in New Zealand business today. While conditions were favourable we could tolerate this waste. Given the economic mess we are in now, this is waste we simply can't afford.

85. People are Crying Out for Leadership

Where is the leadership? Real leaders know that within crisis there are opportunities. It's conditions like today, that provide the opportunity to make changes that managers can usually only dream about.

84. Don't Repeat the Mistakes Made Last Recession

If the patterns we saw after the last recession repeat, a significantly different group of organisations will emerge as the future leaders of New Zealand business. This is your opportunity. There will also be many casualties. Don't be one of them. We are at one of those rare moments in history where what you do, or don't do, in the next couple of months may make the difference. Don't delay. Somethings are just too risky to put off.

83. Many organisations are trying to see inside the brains of their customers

Great service providers know that people are different from each other. Treat everyone the same and you'll satisfy about a quarter and turnoff about three-quarters. It's all to do with the colour of their brains and how they think.

82. The Public Sector is on the brink of crisis

Regulation today reaches into every aspect of our lives, from paying the gas bill to phoning a friend or using a credit card. Yet despite its achievements, the regulatory state is on the brink of a crisis. The current model of public policy making is no longer right for any government that has set itself the challenge of delivery.

81. 10 Practical things you can do to think like a leader

If you want to be at the top, or in the Top Team, you need to move beyond management to leadership, broaden your mindset and begin thinking like a leader. These ten actions will help propel you to the top.

80. Most leadership comes from Middles not Tops

The number one misconception people have about leaders is the belief that leadership comes simply from having a position or title. This misconception is so pervasive we have given it a name, we call it the, "position myth". Nothing could be further from the truth. You don't need a position at the top of your group, department, division or organisation in order to lead.

79. Do you have a job, a career or a calling?

Some people see themselves as having a 'job', others have a 'career', and others have a 'calling'. This shows you how you too, can have a calling, and get far more meaning from your work.

78. Strategies to increase flexibility

This Strategic Snippet addresses second level strategies to increase flexibility and break down silos. These strategies are required after the business system and senior managers have been addressed.

77. Building a more flexible organisation

Systems thinking is based on the idea that complexity is so great there is no way we can know, with any certainty, what's going to happen. In these conditions, the trick is to build an organisation that's so flexible and responsive that we don't care what happens.

76. Improve your team's effectiveness by 66.6%

Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It's teamwork that gives the ultimate competitive advantage, because it's so powerful and so rare. Here's how you can improve it by 66.6%.

75. The untapped competitive advantage of large mature organisations

New research suggests that large mature organisations should have a natural advantage over smaller organisations due to power-law scaling; however, experience shows that this advantage is seldom realised and small organisations are leaving them for dead.

It doesn't have to be this way. Things could be different. They need to eliminate their silos, increase their speed and substitute small-thinking for big-thinking; then they would become as innovative as small organisations, and far more efficient. Read on ...

74. Big people make others big

Managers who come from a place of strength and self-worth increase their ability to pass these feelings onto their staff a hundred-fold. And this translates directly to the success of the organisation.

73. How to get on in your organisation

There are four major cultures which exist in every organisation. To get on you need to understand how to work the culture to your advantage.

72. The curse of silos, slowness and small-thinking

Silos may be the most universal problem facing large mature organisations. And most people don't realise how much pain they are causing or the cost to the organisation. Silos cause slowness and small-thinking because people are focussed inward protecting budgets and power structures rather than focussing outward on customers and problem-solving.

71. How to get people to follow you to the death

"It's important to talk to people in their own language. If you do it well, they'll say: 'God, he said exactly what I was thinking.' And when they begin to respect you, they'll follow you to the death." Lee lacocca. Learn how to do this.

70. How to Revitalise Large Mature Organisations

I know from many conversations with Chief Executives and Directors that silos and slowness are two of their biggest frustrations. It's silos and slowness that obstruct their progress, reduce their achievements and keep them from success. Silos and slowness lead to anger and frustration, not only at the top, but also right through the organisation. Yet many organisations seem to be powerless to break out. Find out how to attack silos.

69. Staff Intimacy (BUZZ)

In my job I go into lots of different organisations. Some are buzzing. Others are dead. Mostly the difference is due to the senior management and some remarkably simple things they do (or don't do).

68. Managers forget we are hard-wired and demotivate us

Great managers know that for 99.8% of our history we have been tribal hunters and gatherers. Under our veneer of sophistication we are primitive animals that are successful in surprising ways.

67. Breaking down organisational silos

I think silos may be the most universal problem facing large organisations. And most people don't realise how much pain it is causing or the cost to the organisation. Silos cause people who are supposed to be on the same team to work against each other, paralysing performance.

66. Why The Public Sector Is Too Siloed and Analytical And What We Can Do About It - this a longer paper that angues that the way the public sector is structured means it will fail in achieving its outcomes.

65. Paula meets the Wizard - how to implement strategy and get it right the first time.

This is a powerful parable, loaded with specific advice about how to run a more successful strategy process. It is based on a true story and reveals some of the most useful secrets that you can understand and use if you tap into its principles of success.

64. The leadership required for innovation

This Strategic Snippet deals with the leadership required to build innovation within an organisation. I have taken two perspectives:

  1. Innovative leadership according to Tom Peters and
  2. Innovative leadership according to Bruce Holland.

63. Experimental proof that the way we do business sets us up to fail

This is about an experiment that shows that there is something wrong with our business system. Unless the system is changed it can not succeed. We need to change the system in at least three ways.

62. Are you a Clever Manager or a Wise Manager?

There are many clever managers around but few wise managers. Clever managers are good at left-brain activities (analysis and planning). Wise managers are good at left and right-brained activities (meaning and relationships as well as analysis and planning). This extra dimension is one of the fundamental differences between managers and leaders.

61. Our conscious minds are very limited - yet this is where most of us try to solve our problems

Compared with the subconscious, the conscious mind is very limited and yet this is where most of us try to solve our problems. This Snippet shows you how to connect to the enormous power in your subconscious mind.

60. Is Your Organisational Subconscious an Enemy or a Friend?

Your subconscious is a powerful friend but it can also be a powerful enemy. Many people don't realise that what they focus on is what the subconscious will deliver. Focus on problems and you'll get problems. Focus on opportunities and you'll get opportunities. None of this is very new. At an individual level we all know this stuff, however, at an organisational level it has been largely ignored. In my work I find that establishing the right images in the 'mental subconscious' of an organisation is vital to success.

59. Boost Innovation In Your Organisation by Drawing on the Right Hand Side of the Brain

The right brain is far better connected to the enormous power of the subconscious than the left brain. Compared with the subconscious, the conscious mind is very limited and yet this is where most of us try to solve our problems. Drawing is a technique that helps you connect to your subconscious.

58. The difference between left and right brain thinking and why it matters

Understanding the human brain is critical to understanding innovation; and most of what is known about the brain has been discovered in the last 10 years.

57. Women are significantly more right brained than men

This Strategic Snippet is the first in a series on how to build more creativity into your organisation. It shows that Western business is dominated by men and reports on research showing clearly shows that women are significantly more right brained (creative) than men.

56. Purple Cow

A purple cow is a product or service that is worth making a remark about. Just like if you saw a purple cow you'd go home and tell someone, if you saw a 'purple cow' product or service you'd go out and tell someone. There is a great opportunity to create purple cow products because most people are scared to do it. This Snippet is based on "Purple Cow" by Seth Godin.

55. The importance of Purpose.

Victor Frankl once said, "Man is ready and willing to shoulder any suffering as long as he can see meaning in it". In the same way, your people will walk over glass if they see the meaning in their work.

54. How to become as focused as a laser through alignment.

Alignment is like the focussed beam of light generated by a laser. Ordinarily, incoherent light consists of waves of many frequencies, in all phases, and moving in all directions. Light waves in a laser beam are coherent, organised in the same frequency in phase, and travelling in the same direction. This gives the laser the power to cut through even very dense materials. You have the same power available to you through Alignment.

53. Why you need to know your value proposition

All the skills and resources in the world are relatively useless unless they are all pointing in the same direction where it will make the most difference.

52. How to improve your corporate services team

Most Corporate Service Departments achieve a tiny fraction of their potential value to the organisation. This is a real waste because actually they are central to managing the organisation's intangible assets.

51. What are you good at?

Often strategy sessions spend time answering the question: "What business are we in?"; but this question is not as important as another one: "What are we good at?"

50. Research shows only 4 things really matter in business)

A groundbreaking five-year study has separated the facts from the fads and found the management practices that truly produced superior results. It found that most of the management tools and techniques studied had no direct impact on superior business performance, but 4 did!

49. Innovation Is Not A Quick Fix

Unfortunately innovation will not just happen because management declares it should. Improving innovation in organisations takes energy at three levels.

48. Speed - The New Frontier Of Competition

In organisations, power is moving from the slow to the fast. This is a natural law of the universe whether in species, nations or organisations. The old categories of Capitalist and Communist, North and South are increasingly obsolete, today all that matters is fast and slow.

47. Management's Sweet Spot

In the last 10 years scientists have found that life has a sweet spot... a spot where living systems thrive, where all growth and creativity occurs. Since organisations are living systems, understanding this sweet spot is vital to understanding organisations and business.

46. Succeeding In Today's Business Environment

In today's environment some organisations are really struggling because they lurch from one state to another: for example, from centralisation to decentralisation and back again, from control to empowerment and back again. It does not have to be this way.

45. How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference

This Snippet is based on: "The Tipping Point - How little things can make a big difference" by Malcolm Gladwell. In my experience, of changing organisations it's always the little things that matter. Indeed they are so little that often managers think they can't possibly matter.

44. Would The 20-225 Rule Make You More Effective?

Typically 20% of customers account for 225% of the profits, which of course means that the other 80% "lose" 125 percent of the profits.

43. Six Secrets Of Leadership

Research shows that 5% of people in any organisation are natural leaders, 5% are 'no hopers'; and 90% can be influenced to swing one way or the other depending on how they are led. This is why the 6 secrets are so important.

42. The Most Important Things Never Change

We've all heard that everything is changing. Well, some things are, but the really important things never change ... and they never will. This has important implications for business.

41. The Single Most Important Thing For Your Success

This Snippet is about how to network and build relationships. I think it is probably the most important single thing you can do in business to be more personally successful.

40. Do You Know Your Genius Factor?

We all have a bit of genius. We know that we haven?t spent enough time looking for it, and even if we've found it, we haven't spent long enough using it. Just imagine how much more successful the world would be if we all knew our genius and used it much more often! This Snippet tells you how to find yours and help others release theirs.

39. Change Is Not A Straight-Line Process

Research is showing that change does not occur in the way that we thought it did. It's not like a billiard ball, rather, it's much more about managing, cultivating and spreading change by sneezers. Execution is difficult, but it doesn't have to be. Find out how, and some pitfalls to watch out for.

38. Is Your Organisation Strategic?

Does your organisation have a clearly stated focused strategy? Does every single person in your organisation know what the strategies are and agree that this is the right direction? Does your organisation have no more than 4 strategies? Is your strategic plan summarised on one page? .... If not, you probably aren't strategic. Read this to find out what to do about it.

36 -37. Ambush The Time Bandits - part1, 2 and 3

Time starvation is arguably the most insidious threat to managers in the 21st century. These three Snippets give deep insights into how to break out and find time for the important things in business.

34 -35. Scarcity Or Plenty - part 1and Part 2

Research is showing that we live in a world of plenty, but as business people, nearly all our training has been about how to succeed in a world of scarcity. We need a new working theory of Economics, the old one no longer explains what we see happening? This Snippet explores the work of Paul Zane Pilzer, author of Unlimited Wealth and his rationale. It is mind changing stuff!

33. Cooperation Vs Competition

Read about the research that supports more cooperation in business.

32. Networks And Networking

How to build better networks and a warning about how much emphasis business theory puts on the concept of competition.

31. The 10 Commandments Of Leadership

Leadership is quite different from management. Read about the 10 key differences and how to develop them.

30. What really works in business?

This reports a groundbreaking five-year study has separated the facts from the fads and found the four management practices that truly produced superior results.

29. A Revolution In Management

For the last 200 years the western world has followed a rationalist decision making model. It's only in the last 20 years that we're starting to seriously question this, and the result is a revolution in management thought and practice. For the details and the implications for your business

28. Was Jesus Wrong?

Jesus taught us to: Do unto others as you wish them to do unto you, and if they do you wrong, turn the other cheek. Until the last few years it was not possible to test whether or not these were the best rule in the long term. Today computers using game theory can model hundreds of iterations of various rules to see which is the best. To find out more

27. M Theory.

In physics they call it the Theory of Everything. It promises to unite all the known fields of science including electromagnetic, nuclear forces, and gravity into one supermodel. Scientists call this supermodel the M-theory. I forget what the M stands for, perhaps it's the Mother of all theories.

26. The Manager is Dead!.

Systems thinking requires a totally different way of thinking about leadership. There's no doubt that the old way is dead.

25. The World Is A Great Deal Simpler Than We Think.

It seems that almost all complex systems are actually made up of very simple parts repeated over and over again. Thinking like this makes business much easier to understand.

23 The G.U.T.S of business - part 1

According to the Grand Unified Theory of business the world is a great deal simpler than we thought. Find out the lessons for business including the risks of over-management, why feedback and memory are so important in organisations; how to move from reporting lines to supporting lines; from managing the work to managing the workplace; from being the head to being the immune system; from a book full of rules to three simple rules, from filling jobs to releasing talent.

22. To make it work you have to operationalise the plan.

Implementation fails because managers fail to get the strategy off paper and into heads. Research shows they spend only 1 hour a month on strategic issues

21. The reason why Strategic Plans fail.

We assume that strategic plans will be implemented without allowing sufficient time to change deeply held habits and behaviours It's no wonder that most strategies fail!

20. How To Improve The Implementation Of Your Strategic Plan - Part 1, | Part 2 and | Part 3

Most (76%) strategies fail during implementation because of lack of resources, lack of alignment and lack of operationalisation. Read all three.

19. Firing Up Your Strategic Plan by Burning It

In strategy it's the process that's important, not the document which should be short (one page), simple and elegant; then go out and burn it.

18. New Zeal in Business

This is about a new company I've set up named New Zeal n Business Limited to research ZEAL by which I mean energy, passion and meaning.

17. Putting Out Fires

Research shows that executives spend 75% of their time "putting out fires" such as excessive paperwork, solving other people's problems, correcting errors, and administration; they'd prefer to spend more time on leadership, strategy, envisioning, planning, development, communicating, thinking and learning. To find out the main causes of fire fighting and how to break free

16. Being Manoeuvrable And Creative

Flexibility and creativity are core skills today. To find out why, and how they are achieved.

15. Beanbag Management

Instead of thinking about your organisation as a tower or a structure it may be better to think of it as a beanbag. Beanbags have porous, flexible walls; they fit exactly to their environment no matter how much it changes; individuals inside are free to move far more easily to where they can add the most value to customers. They are based on the principles of living systems, they are organic, managers grow them, managers focus on the whole system, on relationships, on self-organisation, feedback and flow.

14. The Paradox Of Leadership

The true leader does not seek a lot of praise or reward but gets plenty. The greatest generals do not rush into every battle. They offer the enemy many opportunities to make self-defeating errors. Good leadership consists of motivating people to their highest level by offering them opportunities not obligations. To become powerful you must give away power. The leader?s new work is as a designer, as a steward, as a teacher, as a creator of creative tension.

13. The Three Critical Roles Of Leadership

These are to provide meaning, build the organisational energy and free people.

12. How Current Management Theory Is As Dead As The Dodo

Emergence is bowling over nearly everything we thought we knew about management. To learn more about emergence and why Management Theory Is As Dead As The Dodo

11. How Some Companies Are Run Like Stalin Ran The USSR

Some companies are run like Stalin ran the USSR. They are command structures, highly centralised, rigid and tall. When the environment changes rigid, tall structures are fundamentally unstable... apt to fall over. And, like Russia, when it happens they fall fast.

10. Doing Business At The Speed Of Life

Organisations need to be faster because opportunities are here today and gone tomorrow; customers demand instant satisfaction and no one can afford to maintain inefficient processes. To learn how to speed up without killing the life in your organisation

9. How To Become Focused Fast And Flexible

History will show, the risk is in being rigid and slow, whether it?s the USSR or Andersons. To find out how to be focused, fast and flexible

8. Your Money Making Machine

Many managers see their organisation as money making machines. I have no problem with the money making part, but I get concerned about the machine part. It leads to reengineering, downsizing, tinkering and fitting people into boxes. For a better way to think about your business

7. Chaos And Complexity

Science is turning management on its head with its findings in the science of Complexity (how simple bodies self-organise to form much larger more complex organisations). To understand why complexity is important to management thinking

6. How To Succeed In A Turbulent World

Over the last 9 years I've studied and experimented with how to make leaders more successful in a turbulent world. To find the 11 most important actions you can take in a turbulent world

5. Virtual Organisations

In the USA virtual organisations are the big new wave in organisational development. Even big traditional organisations are trying to become less structured, less siloed and more virtual. Since 1994 I have been testing these ideas in Virtual Group Business Specialists, itself a model of what we want to achieve. To learn what we have found

4. Over-Controlling And Over Managing

Unnecessary change is probably the most disruptive and expensive practice in the last 20 years of New Zealand business. Without a unifying conceptual theory, organisations flip and flop in endless cycles of change - from centralisation to decentralisation and back again; from internal to external focus and back. Most of this activity is counter productive and wasteful. In the last 10 years scientists have found that life has a sweet spot ... a spot where living systems thrive, this spot is vital to understanding organisations and business. Organisations also have a sweet spot, to find out how to get to it

3. Innovation

Improving innovation is not a quick fix but the rewards are enormous, the government has been leading a drive for more innovation within New Zealand's small entrepreneurs.... but seems to have given up on big business. To find out how to make your large organisation as creative as the smaller successes

2. The Importance Of Brainpower

In business to day, brainpower is what matters, often that's all there is! Many of our larger organisations seem unable to be innovative. Amongst many of my clients I am known as Mr Brainpower - probably because I keep harping on about how important it is. In my experience most large organisations are utilising only a tiny fraction (less than 5%) of their potential brainpower. There are three reasons for this.

1. Human Energy.

Some companies are like the Sun, with so much energy, it crackles out in flares around the edges. You can feel the buzz the minute you enter. It's exciting, it's palpable. It's the difference between world famous and ordinary. To find out how they do it

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