Showing posts from 2012

Facebook vs. Google+ Communities - Is it talkers vs. doers?

If you have a special interest, you may see a lot more action in a Google+ Community than on Facebook. After two days in Google's The Photo Community, my photos had garnered more interest than I have been able to build after years on Facebook. Google may have hit it off big with its newest product: Google+ Communities. Two days ago I joined The Photo Community at Google+. The community was created by Trey Ratcliff, a very well known HDR photographer. After two days in The Photo Community, I have gotten into contact with more photographers than I have during the past two years on Facebook. The reason for the different results: The design of the new Google+ Communities. I am an amateur photographer, and I have spent a couple of years building a photo library at Facebook. some time ago, I started doing the same thing at Google+, but initially it was a bit disappointing. I found other photographers, added them to my own photography circle, and posted photos, but there was little

The Reality Dysfunction

I was asked to submit a presentation proposal to Stop Starting, Start Finishing, the Lean Kanban Nordic conference, 12-13 Mars, 2013, so I did: Tempo!: The Reality Dysfunction Putting the fun back in DysFUNctional If the proposal gets enough votes, I'll get to hold the presentation. Here is the proposal: Tempo!: The reality Dysfunction puts the fun back in dysFUNctional.  How did we end up with so many dysfunctional companies? To fix the problems we face today, we must understand the causes.  Tempo!: The Reality Dysfunction is a romp through the wild side of management history: It starts with a bang, a train crash the 5th of October 1841, with consequences that cause companies to fail in 2013.  You will meet the unbeatable fighter pilot, who also figured out how to build an unbeatable organization. You will see what managers must know to lead an Agile development team.  You will see how most companies are applying fundamental principles of strategy, psycholo

LESS! is available on Amazon

LESS!: Essays on Business Transformation is now available on Amazon Kindle . The  hardcover version of LESS!  is available from Lulu and quite expensive ($46.53). The  Kindle  and  ePub  versions are just $6.89. We do not use DRM protection, so when you buy the book, it is yours. You can put it on any device you want, and on as many devices you want. Please keep the copies in your family though. I am very proud of LESS!. I am particularly proud of the fact that I did not write most of it. LESS! is a collaborative work, and working with the other authors has been a privilege I cannot adequately describe. One of my best adventures ever. LESS! is about building better places to work: Have you ever had a great idea crushed by the words, " we can't do that, because it's not in the budget "? Then you really need to read up on Beyond Budgeting. Bjarte Bogsnes, VP of Performance Management at Statoil and Dr. Peter Bunce, Director of the Beyond Budgeting Round Ta

Why Cities Live and Companies Die

When cities grow larger, productivity per person increases. When companies grow larger, productivity per person decreases. Cities can last thousands of years and survive plagues and nuclear blasts. Large companies have an average lifespan of fifteen years, and the lifespan is dropping. It is blindingly obvious, except almost nobody noticed until a couple of years ago: Companies have short lifespans. Cities live thousands of years; Cities can survive plagues and nuclear bombs. Companies croak when there is a slight downturn in the economy.; People want to live in large cities, but they want to work in small companies. Why? What is the difference, and does it matter? If we understand why cities are so resilient, can we use that knowledge to build better companies? Companies that are more resilient and better places to work? It turns out we can. Physicist Geoffrey West has studied cities and found a very simple mathematical relationship between city size and productivity: Wh

Sustainable Leadership seminar by The Hunger Project

 Julia Norinder, CEO of Preera, and the main speaker talked very passionately on the need for sustainable leadership. I've just been to a seminar on sustainable leadership. The seminar was arranged by  The Hunger Project  (The Swedish web site is  here ) and hosted by Ernst & Young. I am glad I went: Two good speakers, a great workshop, and an interesting panel discussion. The Hunger Project is a global organization fighting poverty by investing in human potential. In practice, The Hunger Project helps people in developing companies by means such as micro-loans and education. Sara Wettergren, CEO of the Hunger Project Sara Wettergren, CEO of the Hunger Project was the first speaker. She talked about the Hunger Project and how the organization works to eradicate poverty in the world. When Sara talked about how the organization has to change the mindsets of the people they want to help from "I am alone, there is nothing I can do" to "I am

Is Facebook corrupting us?

When we discuss corruption, and we do, at least in the media, the focus is nearly always on some spectacularly greedy, dishonest, and stupid act. I believe it is a good thing that this kind of corruption is exposed, but there is another, more subtle kind that worries me. First, let's define the word "corruption": In philosophical, theological, or moral discussions, corruption is spiritual or moral impurity or deviation from an ideal. – Corruption, Wikipedia article  For example, in a contest, we are expected to abide by the rules of that contest. If the judge in a football match judges in favor of the team he likes the most, because he likes it, then the judge is corrupt. On the other hand, in a popularity contest, voting for the person you like the most is not corrupt. It is the expected behavior. We have always had a problem with very complex contests, like political elections. Most people do not like to grapple with complex issues, so they substitute somethi

Perspectives - To buy or not to buy a book?

I am working on a new book, the working title is  Perspectives . The purpose of the book is to show how the lofty ideas about management and leadership applies to everyday management decisions. I want to show how having more than one  perspective can have a great impact on every day decision making. The following essay is an early sketch that may become a chapter in the book. I will publish more preview chapters in the newsletter supporting LESS! , the book I co-wrote with eleven other management experts not too long ago. By the way, the ePub version of LESS! is free, if you promise to write and publish an honest review. Here is the preview chapter for Perspectives : To buy or not to buy a book? Imagine you are running an IT department employing fifteen people. Anna, a young software developer asks you if the company will pay for a book she wants to read. The book is about XML Forms. You have no idea what XML Forms are. The book costs $17. Should you let her buy it?

Dave Snowden's Keynote at XP 2012, Part 2 of 2

This is part two of Dave Snowden's keynote. Great stuff.   Part 1 is here .

Dave Snowden's Keynote at XP2012, Part 1 of 2

Dave Snowden talks about complexity thinking and contrasts it with design thinking and systems thinking in his XP 2012 keynote. This is one keynote worth listening to. I was very fortunate to get it all on video. Part 2 is here .

LESS! is released!

Whew! After six months of hard work, LESS!: Essays on Business Transformation is released. I should write something brilliant about this, but I just feel tired and happy. I'll go play with my son instead. I have deserved it, and so has he. Just one thing: You may recall an earlier cover picture: You may notice that the cover has changed slightly compared to the earlier version: John Hagel III  has written an excellent Foreword. Check him out. I am immensely proud that he wanted to do that for us. John is a great management writer. He is also Co-chairman of the Deloitte Center for the Edge, and Director Deloitte Consulting LLP. I am currently reading his latest book, The Power of Pull . Chances are you already do know about some of the LESS! authors, but I'll give you a list with links so you can have a look: Dan Bergh Johnsson  - Technology evangelist and blogger Bjarte Bogsnes  - Chairman of the Beyond Budgeting Roundtable Europe Peter Bunce  - Co-Founder

Agile Company Presentation at XP 2012

It nearly did no happen because of my workload, but I will go to XP 2012. Here is a brief description of my presentation: Agile Company - Win by doing LESS! Over the past 50 years there have been many attempts to change how business organizations work: BPR, Deming's System of Profound Knowledge, McGregor's Human Enterprise, de Geus Living Company, Semler's Three Ring Model, Theory of Constraints... Despite great initial success, all these initiatives have failed. Now Lean and Agile show signs of failing, for the same reason their predecessors failed. The problem is that when a small system, like an Agile team, tries to change a large system, like a company and its customers, through long and continuous contact, the small system will change much more than the large system. This is also known as  Prescott's Pickle Principle : Cucumbers get more pickled than brine gets cucumbered Can Agile and Lean avoid getting pickled the same way they pr

Writing LESS!

The LESS! book cover and the first four chapters. The LESS! book is close to completion. All chapters are in, I have edited more than two thirds of the book. This has been my most enjoyable writing project in a very long time. Writing a book always requires a lot of hard work, but it is also incredibly fun. If you work with great people, which I do, the fun factor goes up...way, way, up! I have wanted to write a collaborative management book for a couple of years now, but when I got the opportunity, I was not the first to recognize it. Katherine Kirk did! Katherine and I were both speakers at the LESS 2011 management conference. The conference was a blast. Lots of great speakers: smart, experienced, deep thinkers, and very good at presenting their ideas. I decided to take the opportunity to interview a few of them for a book project that had been on the back burner for a year. I hadn't written much for awhile, and I was really itching to write and publish a new book. Kat

iBook Author – Apple Changes the Game Again!

The latest game changer from Apple is a bit sneaky. Apple recently launched iBooks Author, an eBook authoring tool. There were ads in the App Store of course, but overall, not much fanfare. Nevertheless, iBook Author is an important move. Amazon needs to watch out, or Apple will grab a sizable chunk of the eBook market. Why is iBooks author important? iBooks Author puts Apple in direct contact with authors, bypassing a traditional obstacle to publishing, publishing companies. A traditional publishing flow looks like this: Apple cuts out the people in the middle, like this: Publishing becomes easier, faster and cheaper than before. By itself, this would not be a decisive advantage. Amazon has 90% of the eBook market, and they aim to keep it. However, Apple has another little innovation up its sleeve: the iBooks Author workflow. It looks like this: An author can work directly in iBooks Author, write an eBook, integrating text, video, audio, presentations, even 3D objec