Showing posts from September, 2008

Ants and the Theory Of Constraints

Richard Graylin posted a link to the cmsig group at Yahoo about ants that use global optimization techniques reminiscent of the Theory Of Constraints . Now, if ants can figure this stuff out, why do so many humans have problems with it?

(In)competence Inventory

Recently I heard a talk by the founder of a company specializing in making competence inventories. The talk was quite impressive. The speaker showed several colorful slides, and talked about the very advanced software the company uses to collect information about employees, and present it in a manner that is easy for managers to understand and use. Still, there was something that wasn't quite right. I grew suspicious at the beginning, when the speaker talked about the purpose of making a competence inventory. Knowing the skills, and the level of skill, of each employee is very important, he said, because it makes it easier to decide whom to fire when cutting costs. Not only was that the most important purpose of having a competence inventory, he gave no other reason. (But see below for an analysis of the reasons given at the competence inventory company's web site.) Let's think about that, not from a human point of view, but from a business point of view. (The audience con

On the Wrong End of the Camera

I was sitting quietly, in my favorite book café, working on my Strategic Navigation book (, only a few chapters left,) when a TV team from the Swedish Television burst in. It was a small team, but it jostled me out of describing how to create a Future Reality Tree. Oh, gosh, I thought, they've heard of me! Finally, someone with the power of TV has decided to talk to me about management, TOC, John Boyd, Strategic Navigation, Systems Thinking, and How To Improve Life For Everyone. What a chance! Turned out they were more interested in filming books than in filming an author. The camera remained firmly pointed in the opposite direction from me throughout their visit. On the other hand, I think they did get some nice footage of the book café, and of the very nice people who work here. If you live in Sweden, you can see it all (except me of course) on Carin 21:30 at 21:30 on September 17th. I did take a couple of photos with my iPhone. It's true what they say. The iPhone isn't

The Primus Vicus Project Part Three: The Intermediate Objective Map

This is the third part in the Primus Vicus series. It shows how we designed an Intermediate Objective Map using information gathered during the Crawford Slip session the day before.