Category: Uncategorized (Page 2 of 10)

Good examples of the “funnel” pattern

Marketing people are familiar with funnels – though there is also a funnel backlash – but this is a good example of the principle applied to obtaining investment:

Free Henry Mintzberg!

Henry Mintzberg just mentioned on LinkedIn that “Power In and Around Organizations” is available for free here:

Always a good read.

Is Velocity Killing Agile?

Is Velocity Killing Agile?

This is a perfect example of the MWT principle of the need to “separate measurement from management”. On an unrelated note it also reflects my belief that the “agile” movement is its own worst enemy – because it think it’s managing a broader scope of organisational decison-making than it actually is.

Getting closer to the future of the IT function

My views on business capability-based governance extend to the idea that an “IT function” doesn’t really make any sense at the highest governance levels.  However, the implications of this are significant.  So, in the meantime….

McKinsey on Digital

The McKinsey Podcast has a great summary of “digital”. It’s basically a summary of good stuff that’s been around for a long time:

  • Optimise assets
  • Use data
  • Optimise decisions-making (both bold, and common)
  • Improve intimacy with customers
  • Agility as responsive but with a stable core
  • Radical cost reduction – including elimination of processes * Two speed IT architecture
  • Bringing in talent from other industries… Works to a point
  • beyond org charts and focusing on coherence

I’ve been reluctant to call what I do “digital” but if might be time to admit I’ve been “doing digital” for some time.

There are of course some universal truths here that have just been rebadged as “digital”.  The idea that you should allocate resources to things that you believe will be required in the future and reduce your allocation of resources to things you don’t believe will be required in the future is important but has very little to do with digital.

I also noticed that the two interviewees seemed to disagree slightly on some points and were holding back from a debate. Maybe that was just me.

Podcast episode here:


Capitalism Epochs and Pendulum Arguments

I have long been interested in pendulum arguments. These are the sort of arguments where the position swings drastically from one position to another. For example, capitalism versus of socialism, centralised versus decentralised, or technology-driven change versus business-driven change.

I think these pendulum arguments ultimately turn out to be false dichotomies or otherwise the result of incomplete models. Like real pendulums, they can be stopped by adding a “third thing”. Imagine the image of a pencil being stabbed into the middle of the pendulum which dramatically stops it swinging.

This “third thing” is usually something that is not typically considered part of the domain of the argument. It changes the model.

I’m finding this talk interesting, with the key slides reproduced below:

The idea of “financial capitalism” versus “production capitalism” is a likely controversial tweak to our idea of capitalism.  The model appears to fit:


I have a bit of an ideological issue with the other that the switch to the “deployment” / “production capitalism” phase “doesn’t happen automatically – i.e. that it requires governance help.  I suspect that this is a causation versus correlation debate.  Possibly Carlota is playing to her audience.

Nine of world’s biggest banks join to form blockchain partnership

LONDON Nine of the world’s biggest banks including Goldman Sachs and Barclays have joined forces with New York-based financial tech firm R3 to create a framework for using blockchain technology in the markets, the firm said on Tuesday.

Commonwealth Bank of course joined earlier.


Best Google / Alphabet coverage I’ve read

Includes this and many other insights:

Alphabet’s plan to report Google’s results on a standalone basis will likely reveal that the search-and-advertising company investors have bought stock in is, absent the financial blackhole of Google’s moonshots, doing even better than most suspected. Unfortunately for said investors the additional clarity will only serve to illuminate just how much money is not being returned to shareholders and is instead being spent by Page and Brin on what they think matters. Will investors trust Page to spend it wisely?


Now that’s what I call a pivot!

Now, I think the word “pivot” is way overused – but what better example of a pivot is there than this!?  How do your so-called pivots compare…?

The sensational aspect of the current Mockingbird/Watchman kerfuffle centers on Harper Lee’s radically different characterizations of Atticus Finch in the two books, specifically the less-than-knightly portrait in Go Set A Watchman. How could America’s avatar of decency turn into a racist? Why would Ms. Lee do that? Has the hero of To Kill A Mockingbird been tarnished forever?


To me, that’s not the story at all.


Since Watchman was written before Mockingbird (even though the time period in the book is later), Harper Lee did not “change” Atticus. The characterization in Watchman was the original. It was her first shot. It was Atticus 1.0.


The real story, if you ask me, is that Harper Lee rethought, reconceived, and reconfigured the Atticus of Watchman into the icon of honorableness that he became in To Kill A Mockingbird.


Think of that for a minute from a writer’s point of view. How hard is that to do? I can think of few things that are harder, not just from a practical point of view (the work, the recasting, the reimagining) but from a psychological perspective. How do you manage your emotions? How do you submerge your ego? How do you let go of expectations?

Source: Writing Wednesdays: Atticus Finch 2.0

I’ve read The Lean Startup, and I’m also familiar the reasons a mechanisms of true changes to strategic direction.  But most times I hear somebody say “pivot” I can’t help but think they are really just re-tracing their footsteps.  So what if you pivot, then pivot again, then pivot again and end up back where you started?

It’s all about what you learnt along the way if you follow the mythos.  But you’d better be congratulating yourself on what you’ve learnt if you’ve ended up back where you started – because it cost you a lot of time and money to get there (again).  Let’s not forget that sometimes you can apply what you’ve learnt before you start, and sometimes it’s better to call a mistake a mistake before you re-charactorise it as a “pivot” to try and sound hip.

Real pivots burn bridges – in fact, is it still a pivot if you can go back to it?  Don’t forget if you’re not going through the whole lean startup cycle (build, measure, learn, etc) you’re not making an informed pivot, you’re just arbitrarily changing your mind.

Simple rules to direct your mobility spend

From my old notes. It should be a simple process to identify the opportunity space for innovation – in mobility for example – whereby a quick view of the total potential set of benefits can be identified.  It’s then just a matter of investment priorities and execution. Simple, right?


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