Archive for the 'Behaviours' Category

Culture Change – The Simple Lesson from Ted Lasso

This is definitely one that’s better to watch on videoClick here, 5 mins, with captions.

Have you seen the show Ted Lasso?  You should.  Warms the coldest heart, and it’s funny.  And…we can find lessons in there about how we can make our own workplaces better.

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Manager Poker – the quick way to destroy ownership and accountability.

Prefer to watch on video than read?  Click here, 4 mins with captions.

When playing poker, or more importantly in my life with my three kids, when playing Uno, it’s important to hold your cards close to your chest.

We see the same in organisations – managers holding their cards close.  I call it playing Manager Poker.

It’s no good.

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Truth Serum? Could we handle work reality?

Prefer to watch rather than read?  Click here for the video, 5 mins with captions.

Indulge me in a little work fantasy, which combines two very unlikely sources – authors Jan De Visch and Otto Laske…and Jim Carrey!.

Jan De Visch and Otto Laske are researchers and consultants, and one of their brilliant books is Dynamic Collaboration

In this book they refer to Job 1 and Job 2:

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Are you having the Real Conversation – nothing changes without it

Prefer to watch on video rather than read?  Click here for the video, 4 minutes, with captions.

You’re in a work conversation, and you’re just not getting through.  And it matters.  It needs to get through. 

So you regroup and go again.  Because you’re not someone who gives up easily.  And you get the same result, they either

  • Agree, but you know they’re not going to do anything about it
  • Explain in detail the situation which makes it so it’s not really a problem
  • Suggest that it definitely be brought up at the future ‘strategy day’

And the numerous other approaches, none of which give you any movement forward.  You’re frustrated.  Maybe doubting yourself.

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No Discord at Work – Lessons from Jerry

The show Seinfeld was known to be a reasonably harmonious set, a ‘lack of discord’.  When Jerry Seinfeld was asked a few weeks ago why he thought that was the case by life-maximiser Tim Ferriss on his podcast , he gave an answer that was startling in its simplicity:

Tim: To what would you attribute that lack of discord?

Jerry: I don’t like discord.

You probably don’t like it either, right?  But what do you actually do?

Jerry continued:

Jerry: I don’t like it, and I am fearless in rooting it out and solving it.  And if anyone’s having a problem, I’m going to walk right up to them and go “Is there a problem?  Let’s talk about this”.  Because I cannot stand that kind of turmoil.

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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.

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Some Radical Common Sense

School holidays means the chance for me to hang out with my kids, so the next video will be out next week. (I’ll be covering innovation – what it is, what you need to keep an eye on to make it work.)

So this week, it’s just some radical common sense to ponder…

Work is all about relationships. This is because everyone is producing something for someone. There’s no choice in this. So get better at getting along with people.

Work is all about delivering something. This is because everyone is producing something for someone. There’s no choice in this. So get better at producing whatever you are producing.

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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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The Middle System – Why Cross-Functional Collaboration Doesn’t Happen And What To Do

This article also exists as a 5-minute videoClick here to watch if you’d prefer that to reading.

We all want more cross-functional collaboration, whether you’re an executive wanting the areas to sort it amongst themselves, in the middle yourself trying to get work done with other areas, or on the frontline just wanting some consistent messages.

There’s a reason this is often so hard, and one I can give you right upfront – it’s because we can’t see it!  Let me explain….

The social system relationships in most workplaces

As I did in my article and video on the Disgruntled Masses, this piece relies on the Organic Systems Framework of Barry Oshry.  It’s simply great stuff…look into it.  You can watch him talk on YouTube too.

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The Disgruntled Masses – How to Change the Unchangeable

Prefer to watch than read?  You can click here to watch me go through this on video

The disgruntled masses – the groups in your organisation that are locked into staying the same, staying disappointed, and no lever is long enough to jemmy them free.  This article is about what’s going on and the strategy to get things moving.

Barry Oshry’s Organic Systems Framework

The Organic Systems Framework of Barry Oshry helps us see what’s going on.  He shows how we can see organisations as social systems, and through running week-long live-in simulations with groups for over 40 years, has seen the same consistent patterns emerge again and again. 

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