You care about delivering value. You recognize that what works changes by context and circumstance. You are looking for the perspective, insight and guidance to know what matters most in any given instance.
You’ve found your home on the internet.
- Engaging and interesting
- Thoughtful and considered
- Grounded in research
- Informed by practice
- Focused on what works
Subscribe now to get weekly perspectives, valuable insights, relevant guidance, irreverent commentary and resources you won’t find anywhere else.
You value making a difference in your world. Perspectives, insight and ideas for those brave enough to challenge the world’s messy and complex problems.
If best practices aren’t actually best, then why do they exist? What is the point of process, of practices, of standards even, if they don’t reliably produce good results? While some standards have value, and there are simple situations where there might be a best way of doing things, when it comes to the strategic work that we take on, we are far removed from those statements being true. Even when we want there to be a way of working, one that is consistent and repeatable, the reality we find ourselves in is usually very different. It helps to know what to draw on instead if we are going to be successful.
“Best practices” is s term that we love to bandy about. Even I will find myself relying on it at times, although I try very hard to avoid uttering its syllables. Best practices are frequently espoused as the essential and optimal means of attaining results. Generally, they are absolutely nothing of the sort. Nonetheless, many use the term as a proactive defense to justify their preferred way of working, or an after-the-fact rationalization the actions they have taken. This is my attempt to explain as clearly as I can why this is a dangerous and inappropriate idea.
Last week I made the argument that we cannot do our best work in periods of stress. The value of having physical and mental space is that it allows us the ability to explore and experiment. It would be easy to conclude that all stress is bad, and that stress is to be avoided. That would be a mistake. While it is true that stressful experiences can keep us from doing our best work, sometimes the opposite of that is also true.
We don’t do our best work under pressure. Stress and productive creativity are poor companions at the best of times, and particularly now. While our current circumstances may not be optimal, that doesn’t mean that we can’t find the physical, mental and metaphorical space to function. It just needs a little work to define, and a little more effort to negotiate and make happen.
I started my career with what might have been misplaced confidence. The more my expertise caught up with my self-perception, the more I came to terms with what I know. The greater I can acknowledge the limitations on my knowledge and understanding, the more clearly and confidently I can speak to what I do know. Finding your voice is essential and influences how you show up in the world. It is a long process of reflection that starts with some important first steps.
Webinars, resources and events that challenge you to think and encourage you to grow.
25 February 2021 Story matters. On some level, we know the importance of story. At the same time, we often minimize or deride storytelling as frivolous, a waste of time, a distraction from the serious business of doing work. The reality is that story is everything. It is how we think. It is how we…
28 January 2021 Where do you want to go? What is your dream for the future? What changes are you passionate about making—for yourself, for your organization, for the world? And what is your strategy to get there? Building concrete plans is challenging. The future is a big, fuzzy, uncertain place. We don’t know what…
Ideas. Words. Sentences. Paragraphs. Whole chapters. Such is the stuff of books. Every book is made up of those structures. The really great ones also have an extra little bit of magic woven through. It’s not possible to read every book that is published. It’s not even possible to buy every book published (Mark has…
All too often what you care about gets displaced by urgent demands, changing circumstances and the expectations of others.
You shouldn’t have to compromise on your ambitions and dreams. You can define your own journey, and set a path that focuses on what matters most to you.
Strategy Making is a personal strategy workshop designed to help you to get clear on your intentions. It guides you in clarifying where you are, taking ownership of your future and defining the path to get there.
Go beyond the short-term focus of time management and just getting things done. Expand your thinking, clarify your priorities and learn the tools you need to make them a reality.