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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.
Where did the year go? It seems just last week that I was outlining my plans for 2022, and here we are at the beginning of 2023. It has been a year of ups and downs. I have had a number of successes that I’m proud of. I’ve also had some hope-for outcomes fail to materialize, and some unexpected distractions along the way. Overall, however, it has been as good a year as was possible under the circumstances. And I’m very much looking forward to this next one.
I’ve written a lot about process. I’ve spent a lot of time sharing what good and bad process looks like, and advocating for better process over best process. What I’ve not focused on—which is an interesting oversight—is the mindset and personality of the people who actually build process for a living. This is important, because it goes a long way to explaining why we get the kinds of processes that we do. And what needs to change if we want to get processes that truly work.
Many of us are watching the unfolding drama that is the real-time disintegration of Twitter, as both platform and organization. It is a spectacular example of culture being destroyed after a change in leadership. While Twitter is cultural destruction on a very large scale, the same challenges play out in organizations all the time, particularly as leadership changes. Culture is hard to build and easy to destroy. How do you recover from a cultural stumble?
The work that I specialize in is figuring out viable solutions to complex, messy and challenging projects. It is intense and it is consuming. There are also numerous pitfalls to doing it well. You try to create clarity around something that is inherently unclear. You also need to avoid making it too simple, where simple answers become tempting and potentially create further challenges. Doing this work is as much art as it is science.
Most of us want to be good at what we do. We want to be exceptional. Figuring out what it takes to get there is tough. We need to know what excellence looks like, we need a realistic assessment of where we are and we need insight into how to keep moving forward in a way that supports continued growth. The challenge is that most of our formative learning periods have specific stages and outcomes that signal when we have arrived. The journey to excellence is a little bit more circuitous.
Webinars, resources and events that challenge you to think and encourage you to grow.
24 January 2023 “Design Thinking” is a term that is well on its way to being ensconced as buzzword. The challenge with that is both that it is taken for granted as a term, and it runs the risk of not really being understood. A natural consequence is that while the term gets applied broadly…
9 January 2023 In 2012, we started a bit of a tradition here on the webinar. We closed off that year with a review of our favourite books that we read in the previous 12 months. Both Peter and I picked our top three books, and shared why we picked them and what we valued…
21 November 2022 Peter’s career started back in the dark ages before personal computers. For a decade, he worked in the confines of the corporate cubicle. In 1993, he turned down a CIO position and decided to strike out on his own as a professional speaker, writer and consultant. He’s currently winding down his career.…
All too often what you care about gets displaced by urgent demands, changing circumstances and the expectations of others.
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