Archive for the ‘Anecdotes’ Category

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Stories to convey values

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —July 15, 2006
Filed in Anecdotes

I’m re-reading Steve Denning’s The Leader’s Guide to Storytelling and having fun chasing down the footnotes and references. I thought I’d share with you some of the resources and examples I find by reading the book in detail. For example Tyco, a global business employing 250,000 people, include in their guide to ethical conduct illustrative […]

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Finding the right expertise using your networks

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —July 10, 2006
Filed in Anecdotes

Dorothy Leonard and Walter Swap tell the story of how Jack Hanley, the CEO of Monsanto, hired Howard Schneiderman, the Dean of Biological Sciences at the University of California, to head up Monsanto’s new life sciences business. As part of the job interview Hanley asked a question which was deliberately outside Schneiderman’s area of expertise: […]

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The value of ethnography in business

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —July 4, 2006
Filed in Anecdotes

Andy Crabtree has written a short article on how to use ethnography to design IT systems. It reminded me of the time, in 2004, when I’d first used ethnography to supplement our narrative techniques. I spent 3 days in a call centre. Our project was focussed on how graduate recruits view careers in the organisation. On day one I […]

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Cognitive Edge training with Dave Snowden

Posted by  Andrew Rixon —June 29, 2006
Filed in Anecdotes, Collaboration

Mark and I just returned from spending the last two days at the Cognitive Edge accreditation program run by Dave Snowden. Dave was in great form, and all fluffy bunny jokes aside, I found that Dave helped to bring theoretical focus and insight back into our ways of practice. One strong point I felt coming through […]

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How Bill Gates evaluates expertise

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —June 18, 2006
Filed in Anecdotes

Joel Spolsky is a software developer who used to work for Microsoft as the Excel Program Manager in the early 90’s. One of his big tasks was to enhance Excel’s programming language. Here Joel relates the story of presenting his Visual Basic for Excel specification for review by Bill Gates. It would seem that Bill is […]

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‘Publish and perish’ is creating long distant collaborations

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —June 13, 2006
Filed in Anecdotes

In 1996 I helped the Australian Antarctic Division discover and document its spatial (map-related) data. I remember walking down long corridors in their Hobart offices and being regaled by stories of brave (crazy?) scientists enduring successive winters. Each scientist had their own office and I notice most doors were kept shut. I popped in to […]

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Expertise location

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —June 8, 2006
Filed in Anecdotes

Practically on the day I joined IBM in 1999 I was whisked off to Cambridge, MA, to be part of a global team to launch a new system that would help people discover hidden expertise in an organisation. On the way home I wrote a paper on the people issues I thought would hamper the […]

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It’s about what we say no to

Posted by  Andrew Rixon —June 7, 2006
Filed in Anecdotes

My first blog post ever was around the improv principle of “Say Yes”. I suggested that: “…it is often when we “Say Yes” that we find ourselves in the most interesting, unexplored and uncharted territory”. There seems to be real tension between “saying no” and saying “yes and…”. Take for instance: Jane, a young consultant had […]

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Designing interventions requires new perspectives

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —May 28, 2006
Filed in Anecdotes, Culture

Designing interventions for complex environments requires the designers to see new patterns. Before I elaborate on this idea here is a story Steve Denning told today on the workingstories email list. John Seely Brown sometimes tells a story (which he says is true) of a board meeting of a Fortune 100 corporation that took place […]

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Intervention design – an example

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —May 16, 2006
Filed in Anecdotes

I’m always on the lookout for intervention design examples and I found one last week I think you’ll like. But before I describe it, remember what we mean by an intervention: a discrete action designed to improve the system but you can’t predict exactly how things are going to turn out. It’s not a project […]

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