The business of speaking freely

What an age we live in. I don’t have to go to the library to avail myself of the world’s best thinkers—I need only tune in to YouTube. I still love to read, but how very convenient to be able to watch or listen to some of the world’s greatest thinkers on my way to


Time and tide…

A colleague once turned up late for a meeting and after the usual cursory apology noticed I was not happy: ‘What are you so concerned about?’ he asked with a supercilious grin. ‘It took 14 billion years for both of us to get here, what’s a few minutes between friends?’ Against the scale of time


The Magnificent Seven: Books of 2018

When I looked back on the books I reviewed this year as a springboard to a conversation I found I’d covered unconsciously (or was it?) some core themes that represent a sort of mini-syllabus for how to transform your organisation. Or even your life. Although I’ve found myself increasingly turning to online videos and podcasts


mediumFinding flow is hard, but possible

Why does our productivity rarely meet our own expectations? When planning our work, most of us make a reasonable effort to estimate how long we’ll need. While any given task seems perfectly doable on its own, when we string together a sequence of them we rarely achieve our target. If we were as productive as


The U Journey: Deliver

The ultimate prize promised by Theory U is the kind of transformational improvement that self-perpetuates. While even the most dynamic systems will eventually succumb to entropy, the Theory U approach is one possibility of creating an organisational shift that embeds a deep culture of learning and continuous improvement. Change demands a step into the unknown.


The U Journey: Crystallise Intent

Not long before I did my solo retreat in nature, I took part in a visioning exercise. The facilitator invited us to sit in our chairs, close our eyes and forget the rest of the group. He asked us to transport ourselves—alone in our chair—to a beautiful meadow, surrounded by mountains and forests, with a


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