Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

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Stories are a form of taskonomy

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —August 11, 2006
Filed in Culture

I’ve just discovered a new word which I love: taskonomy. Donald Norman uses it to describe how we arrange things around us to get our work done. Rather than organise our materials alphabetically or thematically (that’s the taxonomy approach) we assemble things we might use together. Don’s example comes from some anthropological work investigating blacksmiths. […]

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Are organisations losing their humanity?

Posted by  Andrew Rixon —August 4, 2006
Filed in Communication, Culture

For some time now we have wondered whether organisations may be starting to lose their humanity. Maybe its a good question whether they ever had it, but the “Time is money” metaphor predominant in business today seems to have a lot to answer for. Tick Tock. To busy to spend time in dialogue. To busy […]

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Getting into a sensemaking mindset

Posted by  Andrew Rixon —July 31, 2006
Filed in Culture

Brenda Dervin recently made a few points in her masterclass that have stuck in my mind. Like: when it comes to sensemaking, what matters is the moment of action. There is no reality, only reality-making. It seems that taking a sensemaking approach requires getting into a sensemaking mindset. How about this zen koan to help you get into […]

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The Top 10 Things They Never Taught Me in Design School

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —July 13, 2006
Filed in Communication, Culture

Design Observer has republished an article by Michael McDonough listing the top 10 things they never taught Michael in design school. Design is a fundamental capability in a complex world and I think you’ll find Michael’s list useful. Here are the bullet points. For the explanations I recommend you pop on over to Design Observer. Talent […]

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Bring the bulletin board back – find out who knows what, who and how

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —July 2, 2006
Filed in Culture

It’s hard to know what your colleagues know unless you ask them. A simple method is to erect a pin board in your department, section or team where people can post questions. Include your name on your question and wait for an answer. You’ll be amazed of who knows what. Sounds simple so why don’t we […]

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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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More reasons to develop a whole new mind

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —May 24, 2006
Filed in Culture

In March this year I introduced you to A Whole New Mind. Daniel Pink’s argument goes something like this: jobs which can be done anywhere at the end of an ethernet cable (software development, call centres, accounting etc) are moving to wherever it can be done cheapest; if it can be automated it will; and we […]

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Open letter to CXO’s

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —May 14, 2006
Filed in Culture

Pam Slim writes a refreshing and forthright post slamming common management practice. I particularly like her take on culture: Corporate culture is a natural thing that cannot be manufactured.  No amount of posters, incentive programs, PowerPoint presentations or slogans on websites will affect the hearts and minds of your employees.  If you want to see things […]

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The meme of control

Posted by  Andrew Rixon —May 12, 2006
Filed in Communication, Culture

Thinking over how pervasive (and problematic?) the notion of control appears to be in organisations I was inspired to write a little piece around it. Here’s how it begins: A change of mindset is needed for organizations to reach towards the next stage of their development. With this change of mindset comes along the needed change […]

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Mindfulness, categories and Jorge Borges

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —May 8, 2006
Filed in Culture

Merlin Mann at 43 Folders points us to an interesting book called Mindfulness and makes reference to Jorge Borges’ (one of my favourite writers) famous list of 14 animal types (includes embalmed ones, stray dogs and those drawn with a very fine camelhair brush). Merlin points out that our ability to categorise and re-categorise is a […]

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