Posts in category: Business Practice

Why ego-driven businesses fail

Why ego-driven businesses fail

When the owner’s ego is the primary driver for a business, it can fail because the ego’s need for attention gets in the way. The dominance of the ego can be quite apparent when we start looking out for it. It is often stated upfront in the business/marketing plans,...
The pros and cons of being nice

The pros and cons of being nice

Because humans are social animals, being nice is a basic requirement to stay in business. If we want our businesses to last, we must learn to work with people’s emotions effectively. We must build relationship equity with our emotional intelligence (EQ.) Just...
$500 census server

$500 census server

QUT students design a $500 cloud-based census server four times better than IBM’s $9 million system. This article about two university students creating a system over a weekend that “could handle nearly 40 times as many census submissions per second” made a...

If you truly feared failure…

This is an interesting reframe: “People who think they fear failure have got it wrong. They really fear success. If you truly feared failure, you’d be very successful.” — Barbara Sher in I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What it Was. The fear...
Recruitment approach limits fresh thinking?

Recruitment approach limits fresh thinking?

Employers continue to play it safe; while still saying they want fresh thinking and innovation. …employers explicitly look for certainty about productivity and fit in their new hires. The data is divided by level of uncertainty. Narrow experience in a firm’s...
Making THEM change

Making THEM change

I have sometimes joked that this is the ultimate change management tool. People I have said it to have generally found it funny. Because we recognise the underlying truth about change – no one likes to be made to change from the outside! Can you remember a time...
Pragmatism an undervalued strength

Pragmatism an undervalued strength

Pragmatism seems to be somewhat undervalued these days. And yet it is a powerful antidote to the plethora of fads and trends promising easy fixes and quick answers to every aspect of our existence: how we eat, work, think, feel and play. At the end of the day, surely...
Making money in software

Making money in software

Here are four broad approaches to make money in software development today. Let me know if you find them useful. 1. Create and maintain bespoke software for vertical markets. Conservative industries like banking, manufacturing and mining. Rely on on specialised...
Working on vs working in

Working on vs working in

Working In: habits and operationalised processes; dealing with the day-to-day. Working On: is invocation, new habits, new processes. Dealing with strategic decisions and putting in place...
What does your brand sound like?

What does your brand sound like?

I spotted this question on LinkedIn recently. I want my brand to be quiet. Because I want it to be about listening to what my clients have to say. I want it to be a quiet contemplative creative space they can grow new possibilities in. Much of branding can be pushy...
Empathy in customer service

Empathy in customer service

Expressing genuine concern and empathy for the customer’s predicament helps. It does not take much to say “That sounds really unpleasant. I’m sorry you had to experience that.” When we express empathy, most people’s gut reaction (at least...
“What an ugly baby”

“What an ugly baby”

Would you ever tell someone their baby’s ugly? No? Then why would you tell a client their business or project is ugly, broken, etc?! Yes some projects start on the wrong track, address the wrong issues, become blind-sighted and lose their way. Yes some babies are not...
If we were our own client

If we were our own client

Do you treat others better than you treat yourself? Do you forgive others more easily, even as you demand more from yourself? Do you put off doing something that needed doing because you didn’t feel like it?But if your clients were to request the same thing...
Un-extraordinary Vertu

Un-extraordinary Vertu

Vertu may be for extraordinary people but this ad of theirs at Berlin Tegel airport was definitely sub-ordinary. Actually rather poor. The composition is amateurish. The layout looks like it had been assembled last-minute with elements spread mechanically, evenly and...
Selling game alphas is the ultimate lean

Selling game alphas is the ultimate lean

Game companies selling alpha-release (essentially unfinished, work-in-progress) games has to represent the ultimate in lean. More game companies seem to do this. Instead of taking the more conventional, longer process of building the complete product,  testing,...
Idea banks and the need for curation

Idea banks and the need for curation

This is Bjercke og Eliassen’s idea bank in the National Museum of Architecture in Oslo. Bjercke og Eliassen are Norwegian architects who build many of Oslo’s landmark buildings between 1914 and 1960. Their idea bank contains 1600 postcard, prints and...
Curating methodologies

Curating methodologies

I love models and methodologies. They codify real experience and hard-earned learning, and make them accessible to others. One challenge with models and methodologies is the sheer quantity of them, across different industries. Many of these can be really similar, and...
Let me tell you how it should be

Let me tell you how it should be

Recently in Amsterdam, I saw a young American woman telling a Starbucks staff that there was a lot more choice back home and she was not happy she couldn’t get her green berry yeast tea with unicorn dust hold the cats milk here in Amsterdam. They’re are...
Lesson from Van Gogh 3

Lesson from Van Gogh 3

I found myself profoundly moved by Van Gogh’s story while visiting the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. In his isolation, Van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo. From the few letters I saw at the museum, the act of writing was clearly very cathartic for Van Gogh, as well as...
Lesson from Van Gogh 2

Lesson from Van Gogh 2

I found myself profoundly moved by Van Gogh’s story while visiting the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. No one creates in isolation (on an island or otherwise.) Van Gogh actively reached out to other artists, and had thoughts to set up a utopian art colony. Lesson 2 of...
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