Systems, planning and punches to the face

Tyson: Plans change… TL;DR: “dynamic, self-adjusting system cannot be governed by a static, unbending policy” is academic for “everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face”. Mike Tyson said, “Everybody has plans until they get hit.” In the odd process that popular quotations go through, it is often misquoted as “Everybody has a plan…… Continue reading Systems, planning and punches to the face

Cabbies at the gate – Uber’s CEO at DLD18

Arriving at the DLD conference shortly before Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi took to the stage there was a real buzz in the streets. Not delirious VC fanboys or ride-hailing fans, but a group of Munich’s taxi drivers none too pleased to welcome Travis Kalanick’s successor to the city. Protest was a theme that connected Khosrowshahi…… Continue reading Cabbies at the gate – Uber’s CEO at DLD18

Authentic leadership and digital transformation: Herminia Ibarra at DLD18

People struggle when they move up a leadership level – they find all sorts of reasons to do their old job and avoid the new one. It’s a subject that London Business School professor Herminia Ibarra has been studying for some time – and one she expands on usefully in her brilliant book Act Like…… Continue reading Authentic leadership and digital transformation: Herminia Ibarra at DLD18

Progressive policies are worthless without real culture change

Andrew Hill at the FT challenges companies offering amazing-sounding benefits that are unlikely to ever really be used by employees without the backing of leaders and some serious culture change: The need to have enough people available for vital work puts a natural limit on the ability of everyone to bunk off at once. But,…… Continue reading Progressive policies are worthless without real culture change

Meeting-less leadership

Creative leaders can struggle with the limiting effects of seniority. They are expected at more meetings. Less of their time is their own. Everything is scheduled and less  spontaneous – it seems frivolous to have diary time that is not spoken for by one plan or priority. I was inspired to read about IDEO’s chief…… Continue reading Meeting-less leadership

Threshold concepts

“Threshold concepts” is a term from higher education theory, meaning an idea or a piece of knowledge which, once understood, is transformative – it changes how you look at a subject, what you think is possible. My friend Jim Byford introduced me to the idea of threshold concepts and I’ve been using it ever since…… Continue reading Threshold concepts

One of Microsoft’s new CEO’s strengths? He doesn’t finish business books…

When Microsoft’s new CEO was announced last week, there was a great deal of commentary about his  – doubtless very carefully crafted – introductory email to the company. Part of Satya Nadella’s description of himself made me immediately empathetic: Many who know me say I am also defined by my curiosity and thirst for learning.…… Continue reading One of Microsoft’s new CEO’s strengths? He doesn’t finish business books…