Author: alan

Strategy, Architecture & Problem-Solving

Rethink the Carrot and Stick

I remember one of my clients being confused when I mentioned the carrot and stick as we discussed motivation for change. Since then I’ve found it an interesting test to see how people think motivation works in their immediate team. There are two versions of the carrot and stick story. Both versions include a donkey.…
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The Wrong Quick Wins

A few thoughts from me on quick wins and why we go for the wrong type. Hands up if you’ve ever had a project sponsor say they needed quick wins? Usually, it’s about showing that you’re doing something to the company board so your project isn’t cancelled or it’s about showing you can make savings. Both…
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Innovation is not a Space

I’m increasingly seeing clients with innovation spaces and I’m seeing more of them on social media/news channels where companies are outfitting office spaces with fun decorations and repurposed objects (e.g. tuk-tuks as meeting spaces). This concept of an innovation space has been introduced to change the way that employees generate solutions. What’s the problem? The problem…
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Rodents Don’t Scuba Dive – Innovation In The Real World

I’ve always liked the concept about innovation being the introduction of something that’s already done in one industry sector into another sector where it’s not (yet) done. Incomplete Definition Unfortunately, it doesn’t stand-up as a complete definition of innovation. For instance, it falls short by not recognising innovation from within. By that, I’m not referring…
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The Change Stand-off in Innovation

For a long time now, I’ve had the view that we only have so much time to change an organisation before the organisation changes us. I’ve seen it happen with dynamic people that become subdued over time as they encounter obstacle after obstacle, resistance, red-tape and other forms of organisational resistance to change. Maintaining innovation, or rather the…
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The Rockstar Approach to Visual Management

Visual Management Done the Rockstar Way Visual management can take the most unlikely of forms. Done well, it should show you enough details at a glance so you can decide whether to look further into the situation. Background Major bands get riders, often part of the contract stipulating what the venue will provide the band…
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When is the Right Time to Change Your Mind?

When is the Right Time to Change Your Mind? You have many opportunities in life and business to change your mind. Each of us has many opportunities, but we don’t always take those opportunities. We may be conforming to social constraints and expectations or don’t want to risk appearing inconsistent by changing too often. Let’s look…
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Lean Service Improvement Book

Service Improvement Book – In Progress

After a year or so working with a large, complex client and some time before that working on a startup, I’m back to writing the book I started a couple of years ago. Three good things have come from this break: Both of the experiences have confirmed that the book needs to be written. What…
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What value do you place on your support networks?

Introduction I gave a short presentation at GreatPreneurs’ conference (#GPConf2014) in Manchester this weekend on the subject of “What does your support network do for you?” I wasn’t talking about friends or family, but rather the startup events and meetings that occur in your city. Value I’m pretty convinced you could eat for a month without having…
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Besteno logo

The first three months of a startup at Besteno

Time has been passing quickly at Besteno, so I thought I’d take stock and describe what can happen in the first three months of a startup, specifically my startup, Besteno. What have I done, where am I headed? Background October 26th 2013 was the first day of LeanConf 2013 (the link now relates to the 2014 conference) and…
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