Archive for May, 2020

How to beat the New System Blues

(If you’d prefer to watch this on video rather than read, just click here)

You put it in a new system, you’ve got it through the initial getting it up and running. It’s still not quite causing the joy that you thought it would cause, particularly for the people who are using it. What you and your people have got is a case of the New System Blues.

Here’s what to do about this.


The first thing we do is… acknowledge it. This means say out loud that the new system, in many circumstances does not work as well for the people who are using it as the old system did.  Why?  Because it’s true!  If people are experiencing something, then that is their experience!  You can’t win that battle.

Read more…

3 Common Sense Org Design Principles to Bring Back from COVID Working

(If you’d like to check this out on video rather than read it – click here)

COVID working has seen some easily forgotten org design fundamentals come right to the surface. Here they are – don’t let heading back into the physical workplace see you lose the benefits of common sense ways of organising work.

Focus Until Done

The first one is focus until done.  We’ve seen this with remote working.  Before Covid, if your organisation is normal, you’ve had some sort of ‘flexible working’ thing happening for the last two years.  And it’s consisted mainly of reports and a small group with laptops somewhere, not much else.  This is not a competence issue.

What’s happened now?  Look at all the IT teams that were able to get most of their indoor workforce remote within a day or two!  They didn’t suddenly get 10 times more productive.  Instead, the organisation actually let them focus on this one thing until it was done before they went onto the next thing.

Read more…

An extra month of capacity for free: Three Cs – Capacity

(Click here to watch on video rather than read!)

In the first two articles in this series, I went through the first two of the Three Cs that need to be in place so you can get out of the detail and start doing your real job. The three Cs are:

(Click the links above to go the articles or click here to watch them all on video).

This article is about Capacity, which answers “How can I create more time for myself and my people which means I can do the important work that I’m actually paid for”.

Read more…

Create the Capability in your team so the work gets done…without you!

(If you would prefer to watch me go through this on video rather than read, click here)

In my previous article, I introduced the Three Cs so your people can do their jobs, which allows you to do your job.  They are:

The previous article was on Clarity, this one’s about Capability – what each individual needs to bring to the party so they can do the work.  

There’s no genius to the idea that for someone to be able to do their job (so you don’t have to do their job), they need the capability to actually do their job.   What we need is a way to understand what this means.   This is useful in hiring when you’re bringing people into a role, but also more commonly when you’re thinking about why isn’t the job happening the way you thought it would happen.


The pyramid shows five aspects that make up a person’s capability to do the job.  And like all pyramids, the foundation is at the bottom.  However, we’ll start from the top, and we’ll use the analogy of a professional cyclist to help understand.

The Capability Pyramid
Read more…