Posts in category: Business Practice

False certainties

False certainties

It is a part of our makeup to avoid discomfort. A lot of us, if not most of us, prefer to cling to the made-up certainty of a belief or an aspirational goal, than to embrace the scary uncertainties of reality. False certainties can seem harmless when taken at face...
Fortress Learning: Learn and Lend

Fortress Learning: Learn and Lend

Like many businesses, Fortress Learning has a referral fee mechanism to reward referrals. The difference is that they provide the option to donate this referral fee to Kiva as part of their corporate giving programme. Owners Chris Gribble and Bryan West made this...
The mastery-boredom cycle

The mastery-boredom cycle

Do you get bored after you have mastered something? Walking away from something you have just mastered may not be the wisest move. In his Forbes article, Neil Kane discusses How To Overcome The Boredom That Follows Mastery. I have summarised his recommendation in the...
Safety and positive affect in problem solving

Safety and positive affect in problem solving

Neuroscience has shown that effective learning and problem solving (aka innovation) requires two prerequisite conditions. The participants must feel safe within the group. And there needs to be a mutual liking of each other. Safety means feeling physically and...
Designing for motivation

Designing for motivation

We can imbue greater intrinsic motivation into work by activating the three aspects of Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose in the work design. (Definitions below are from LifeHacker. I have added questions to expand upon each.) Autonomy: Our desire to direct our own lives....
Designing for happiness

Designing for happiness

The following four factors for happiness may be useful as the basis for designing user experiences (processes, services, and user interfaces.) Material in quotes were from SlideShare. Questions are my value-add. “Autonomy – feeling that your activities are...
Client-centred consulting

Client-centred consulting

Client-centred consulting is very much like counselling. Unlike the traditional consultant-is-the-expert model, the client-centred approach acknowledges the client as the expert of their business, their unique circumstance, and their industry. The consultant brings...
Listening to transform crises and conflict

Listening to transform crises and conflict

I was once asked to meet with a “difficult” bank executive on behalf of a client. The rising frustration between the parties was holding up the project. The meeting started off as described by my colleagues. Anger, frustration, defensiveness; expressed as strong...

Project management models: Agile, PRINCE2 and PMBOK

The five broad stages of the PMBOK stake out the common baseline course along which every project inevitably runs As with all models and methodologies, these are ultimately guidelines only. To follow a methodology strictly is unwise; as is not following any at all. On...

Agile, change-embracing, accelerated projects

The Agile Methodology is typically associated with accelerated software development. The core principles of Agile can be effectively applied to general project work. Its iterative nature, marked with incremental milestones, and flat, open collaboration between...
Hidden true value

Hidden true value

The value we can offer our clients can be divided into two parts. The part above the ground is the visible part – this is our marketing – what we tell the world we do. This part is tailored to the context of our target audience. It is also our...
Industry habits and expectations

Industry habits and expectations

Have you ever waited for a tradesperson who didn’t turn up when they said they would? Or bought a piece of technology that did not work until updates were applied at your own expense/effort? Were batteries included the last time you bought a toy? (Remember Nigel...
Leading by example not

Leading by example not

There’s a media frenzy going on the last few days over the public Bondi billionaires brawl between high profile business figures David Gyngell and James Packer. Given leadership personality traits can and do infuse organisations from the top down, I wonder what...
Change toolkit

Change toolkit

1. Accept uncertainty. Embracing change means being OK with uncertainty. Hard though it may be to contend with, we need to accept the fact that there is actually very little that we can control in the world. So we should stop trying so hard! 2. Build resilience....
The dark side of expertise

The dark side of expertise

Sometimes, the more we know, the more uncertain and doubtful we become (at least for those of us who have some level of self awareness.) Experience gives us the wisdom to correctly anticipate pitfalls. This predictive insight also makes us more reticent and...
Personality vs process businesses

Personality vs process businesses

Every so often, I hear this wisdom being passed around entrepreneurial circles: Don’t build a business around you. You must create a business that is process-driven, not personality driven. You need a clear exit strategy for yourself to make your business truly...
The Lucifer Effect

The Lucifer Effect

When evil happens, we tend to take an egocentric approach to analysis. We look for the bad apples. In his TED talk “The psychology of evil” Philip Zimbardo explains how otherwise good apples can turn bad, when placed in a bad barrel, created and sustained...
The changing nature of my work

The changing nature of my work

I made an interesting discovery while responding to one of the provocations on somewhere.com: I have been taking mostly text-based notes on the go in the past few years. I would have thought I do a last some visual notes, as I used to when I was using paper notebooks....
McDonalds: our food, your questions

McDonalds: our food, your questions

McDonalds is running a “we’ll answer your questions” campaign in Australia at the moment. Some of the questions and answers are interesting, from a human interaction/social media perspective. Here are a couple of expected passive-aggressive...
My kanban

My kanban

I added a kanban view to my jobs database recently. It made at-a-glance status updates way easier. The Doing and Waiting lists are limited to 6 cards each. I have no idea why it took me so long to get to this… You can read about kanban here:...
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