Archive for November, 2020

Leading in Dissent – more lessons from Captain Hanks

Prefer to watch rather than read? Click here to watch the video, 5 mins, with captions. 
(Previous videos here BTW)

Like I did in my article and video on Radical Competence, this week I again break down a scene from a movie starring Tom Hanks.  This time it’s Saving Private Ryan, with our mate Tom playing Captain John Miller.  To get the full effect, it’s really best to watch the video, the article doesn’t really do it justice.

What you’ll see is an example of handling what we might call justified dissent – Captain John Miller and his soldiers have stormed the beach at Normandy in World War II, and he is given their next mission – select a small group of your people and find a Private Ryan.  The mission exists as Private Ryan’s three brothers had all been killed in action, and the US had passed the ‘sole-survivor’ policy which required that in situations such as these, the surviving sibling be brought home.  As you might expect, this is not exactly the mission the soldiers signed up for, and not all are happy.

Read more…

51 – The magic number for ownership, accountability and engagement

Prefer to watch on video than read?  Just click here – 5 mins with captions.

Engagement, ownership, accountability…whatever you want to call it, we all want to see (and feel) more of it.

Like all things, half of the game is internal, and there’s a magic number that can help get us there.

Pretty Pictures

Let’s start with our standard managerial hierarchy…

…even the way it looks give us a certain sort of vibe.

Here’s a more modern way to draw it:

Looks a bit kumbaya with being in a circle and all, but taking out the cynicism, it looks a bit more like everyone’s involved. 

Read more…

How to Lift Your People’s Capability – The Ultimate Force Multiplier

If you’d prefer to watch on video than read, just click here – 5 mins with captions.

“I need lift the capability in my team so I can do more future-focussed work”.  It’s in the Top 3 things I’m going to hear whenever I have a chat to a manager at any level, and it’s a good idea. 

What’s rarely covered is how to actually do it.  That’s what we’re going to sort now.

Coming to Grips

Ever thought of yourself as a production line?  It’s easy to do in manufacturing, might look like this:

Read more…

The Beach Ball – The brilliantly simple metaphor for getting reality on the table

Prefer to watch on video?  Just click here (3 mins with captions)

Philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein questioned whether there is such a thing as private language.  Can something that can only be understood by one person be considered to be real?

Beach Balls

Well…good news…we don’t need to figure that out. Instead, we can use the brilliant metaphor of the beach ball from Susan Scott, author of Fierce Conversations.

It goes like this – if I hold up this ball – what colour is it?  Blue and white.

Read more…

The Specialist Problem – one of the biggest causes of cross-functional pain

Prefer to watch this on video than read?  Just click here…5 mins with captions.

The Specialist Problem.  You might not call it that…but you know about it.  Let’s go through it.

The first mention of this problem I came across was in a book from 50 years ago by Wilfred Brown with the wonderful title of ‘Organization’.  I love it because it couldn’t be less fashionable…check out the cover…

Don’t be fooled into thinking something from this era isn’t relevant – the genius of the Beatles finished in 1970, Led Zeppelin was getting going, and besides, Newtown copped the apple way back in the 1680s and his gravity idea still seems useful… so old does not mean irrelevant.

Read more…