Archive for September, 2020

Work Models You Need To Know: Ep.3 – POSITIVE POLITICS

If you’d like to watch this as a video instead of reading, just click here.

Politics in the workplace.  Not generally considered a good thing.  But it’s as real as the wind is reality if you’re in a sailing boat.  We need an angle if we’re going to get things done so we can earn our keep.

We can get that angle from the work of Peter Block and his model which I call his ‘Positive Politics’ model.  Not only will it help you make sense of the political relationships going on in your workplace, it gives us some strategies to make things better.

You can find this model in his brilliant book The Empowered Manager.  It’s one of the classics, now in a second edition.


First, some origins.  The word ‘politics’ comes from the Greek word ‘politikos’ which includes the words for ‘citizen’ and ‘city’.   Change ‘city’ to ‘organisation’ and you can see that any time you try to start, stop or keep something going in an organisation…it’s a political act.

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Overload – It’s Time To Save Your Sanity

You can also watch this article as a videoclick here.  5 mins, with captions.

There’s a disease afflicting everyone in organisational life and it’s hurting people.  It’s overload.  It needs to be stopped.  Unfortunately…that’s now up to you!

The Fundamental Change

Where did this come from?  My hypothesis is…the mid-90s (note: ‘hypothesis’, which means a proposition to be investigated.  I’m sure there’s research).  It was about then that email got going, and from that moment on, assigning work got extremely easy.  Just email!

Here’s what I’d suggest the graph would look like if we could do stress and number of emails together:

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Business Partnering – It’s So Hot Right Now!

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On the agenda of every corporate services area, be it IT, HR, Finance or the more modern incarnations of business improvement and innovation….is business partnering.

But there’s a lot more to this than good intentions and writing it down in a plan.  Here’s what’s required to get to this to work.

‘Business Partnering’

First – what are we on about?  I like to use the ideas we can find in Patrick Hoverstadt and Lucy Loh’s book Patterns of Strategy, where they describe in detail the strategy of ‘Strategic Partner’.  One of the supplier family of strategies, this is where we look to cause change in the other partner for the benefit of both of us.

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Utilisation Obsession – why your organisation is in permanently clogged chaos

If you’d prefer to watch on video than read, click here!

A state of overload and chaos has become sadly normal in organisations.  Here’s the thing – it comes from a very natural condition – an obsession with utilisation.   I’ll explain…

These ideas originated from one of the all-time gurus – Eli Goldratt.

Way Basic Work System

To demonstrate, I’ll draw my favourite diagram that my long-time clients will recognise (with one change):

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