CategoryArticles

Cobras and butterflies: dealing with complexity

Complex adaptive systems can be particularly challenging when making important decisions. To help navigate these challenges, we have developed some guidance and a simple canvas that will help in understanding the complexity of the systems you work with, and to make better decisions within them.

The importance of values

As we’ve discussed in similar articles on both mission and vision statements, organisational values are an often used concept, but rarely well executed. Many organisations have developed a set of values, but very few have applied them in a way that truly and uniquely defines the way they work in practice. If you look up the values of any organisation, you will usually see a list of concepts...

Book summary: The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni

The strongest organisations are those that are healthy, not just smart. Organisational health depends on four disciplines: developing a cohesive leadership team, creating strategic clarity, over-communicating that clarity throughout the organisation, and reinforcing strategy through systems and ways of working. Clarity doesn't need to be complex and abstract, instead it can be achieved by...

The power of clarity

Consider the following set of seemingly unrelated questions: When a company is recruiting: Should we employ this person?For an infrastructure owner/manager: Should we keep maintaining our old assets, or replace them with something new?When you sit down to start work: What should I work on today?For a nation or community: What must we do to respond to our changing climate?During a meeting: What is...

Define your organisation’s value proposition in five easy steps

During a recent workshop with a client’s board and leadership team, a great question was asked which had everyone in the room stumped. We were discussing the organisation’s purpose (see our article on the importance of purpose here), which we felt was quite well-defined at this point; the purpose related to ‘creating value’ for a particular industry. Then came the question: “so what types of...

Book summary: Measure What Matters by John Doerr

Objectives and key results (OKRs) provide a simple and collaborative goal-setting methodology that can be used by any organisation, team or individual. OKRs comprise of an objective - WHAT we're seeking to achieve, and one or more key results - HOW we're going to achieve the objective. OKRs have successfully helped many organisations, including - most famously - Google, prioritise what's most...

Our favourite podcasts about work and business

We love podcasts. They’re super convenient, cover every genre imaginable and usually free – what’s not to love? Beyond pure entertainment, we find podcasts to be a powerful tool for learning. There are many great podcasts covering the world of work and business that we listen to regularly that provide insights and ideas for creating and running great organisations. We’ve listed some of our...

Our 10 favourite tips for creating clarity

Clarity is a fundamental element of great strategy, organisations and relationships. At its core, clarity is simply the state or quality of being clear, coherent, intelligible and free from ambiguity. It exists in multiple forms – as a quality of something (e.g. clarity in the way we communicate), and/or an outcome (e.g. achieving clarity on an important issue). In our article on the power of...

Be crystal clear on your organisation’s purpose

I have recently been reading about the history of outdoor clothing and gear company, Patagonia. There are a number of stories about Patagonia that perfectly illustrate the power of purpose in business. Examples include: Suing the US President over the reduction of protected national parkland.Abandoning their most profitable product line due to environmental concerns.Telling their customers: don’t...

The six questions that every high performing organisation needs to answer

I hear and read about a lot of organisations and teams that wish to be ‘high performing’.  This is a great goal, but identifying this ambition is the easy bit.  The hard bit is working out how to translate the relatively abstract concept of high performance into concrete strategies for achieving it.  There may be lots of organisations talking about it, but there are relatively few...