Sustainable design is at the heart of our aspirations.

When is a new design sustainable?

‘ sustainable ’? What does that mean? Does it mean the same as ‘green’… and if so what is green? Perhaps it means something like; Being capable of being created and maintained through its life without damaging the ‘environment’ around it? I wonder about the various dimensions of sustainability and whether they are really relevant to […]

I know the planets orbit around the sun

Let’s play ‘ I know …’

I was relaxing with my ‘insights’ coach… Let’s play ‘ I know ’ he said…. ‘ I know ’ is a game where one of you picks a topic and offers for the other person to start (if they don’t want to go first then the nominator starts). You then take it in turns to […]

What is our orientation? Sunrise or sunset? East or West?

Orientation in time – it’s a spatial thing.

It is a new year (relatively) and I have noticed that I’m confused. Less orientation than usual. 🙂 Wednesday’s seem to be earlier in the week than I expect them to be. And Thursday seems to be a long time coming around. It’s all a bit odd. This is not a single instance phenomenon. It’s […]

With floor boards this bad it is time to set aside indecision

In decision? Indecision?

I have to change the mortgage on our flat from ‘Residential’ to ‘Buy-to-let’ before the end of May. I find mortgage applications painful. Endless forms giving the bank you are already with, the same information that they already hold about you. If only they could find it in one of their creaky underwriting systems. So, […]

A Business Update is a chance to examine the fine grain detail of our work

Business Update – Agile Strategy Design Ltd

I thought it would be interesting to share a Business update on the Weekly Blog, partly as an exercise in transparency and partly as a learning exercise from the reflection and analysis involved. Beginnings… June 2015 saw the incorporation of the company, underpinned by a really ambitious piece of agile strategy design work. It was […]

When is the timing right to photograph an ancient wall?

The secret of good business decisions is….. Timing

I’m nearly finished on this week’s blog. It’s a mentally challenging and conceptual taster for a technique we use in Business Decision Design® work. It brings fresh perspectives into strategy design or significant business decision making. I take a break to check the website stats for the last few weeks as I do occasionally. I’m staring at a […]

Marble fountain illustrates alignment of purpose from divergent viewpoints.

Alignment of different perspectives in decision making

I regularly travel up to London from Brighton, usually on the delightful train service that is called the Gatwick Express. It does go to Gatwick Airport but I think the term “express’’ might be construed as a ‘misleading action’ under ‘The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008’. The trip up to town is fascinating. […]

Repetition in patterns adorn the Alhambra palaces

Repetition, repetition: indoctrination or inquiry?

We went to Granada – beautiful city – and we ‘did’ the Alhambra palaces and gardens on a clear, bright, sunny afternoon. Lots of impacts for me from the architecture and the décor. Great use of light and shade. Finely detailed carvings in wood and stone even in the dark nooks and crannies where the […]

Cow with umbrella in high street shop. That's different to our normal expectations

Setting expectations – Viva la difference!

So that is meant to be in Spanish but looks like French – can you tell that I am not a linguist? Essentially I have some observations to share about how we perceive the world around us based on the expectations that we have of it. As a family we are just back from Granada […]

Blue sky meets blue sea. No pink in sight. Is this a gender issue?

The role of gender in decision-making

My experience is that gender is a heavy-weight discussion topic. I once took an excellent MSc course on ‘Change Agents’ Skills and Strategies’. I recall that it was only after two years of learning to be more open, more authentic, more empathetic people that we were allowed to divide the room into men opposite women […]

Wild flowers opening in October - who would take responsibility for that?

Uninvited Responsibility – what do we do with it?

A person dies. In this case a man in his early fifties. It means that a younger brother becomes ‘head’ of the family – he switches roles from the number two to the number one responsibility slot that he always dreamt of but never thought would happen…. A person is sacked. In this case a Head Teacher in their […]

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Latest Terms and Conditions of Business

We have updated our Terms and Conditions of Business. I have added them here as a download so that when we work together they will be easy for us both to find. 🙂 T&Cs – Agile Strategy Design Ltd – Oct2015 Nigel Stock

Decision made! Applying principles helped.

Difficult decision? – it’s a matter of principles

Sometimes the decision is easy. Logic applies. The decision and the outcome can be parameterised. Data is available. The data is complete and accurate, a tried and tested method for evaluation based on the data is available. Nothing weird or disruptive is happening in the environment, stakeholders are of one mind… I did say ‘sometimes’! […]

A model of Snowdog in front of beach huts.

Serendipity or “A funny thing happened on the way to …”

‘Serendipity means a “fortunate happenstance” or “pleasant surprise”’ [Wikipedia]. It describes the experience of those who are ‘always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of’. Several serendipitous experiences have recently added to the catalogue of knowledge that informs my approach to business decision design®. Two of these […]

Use feedback to explore goal conflicts in the team

Agile Strategy Design – feedback and lessons learnt

We successfully completed the latest Agile Strategy Review assignment, on time and about 10% under budget. This allowed the client the flexibility to choose between expanding the scope and adding a further design increment or stopping with the previously agreed deliverable and keeping the cash. They chose to add in an additional short design cycle […]

Even a simple building decoration project can test the responsibility framework!

Responsibility – blessing or curse?

How do you feel about personal responsibility? If you are leading or managing a business then you are no stranger to responsibility but some people wear it better than others. I have observed people who shy away from it, often hiding behind a smoke-screen of activity and in the relatively safety of team working and […]

Decision Network Components

What makes us decide to change our behaviour?

I’m curious about a news story that I recently caught on Radio 4. Some economists from Cambridge and Oxford were publicising the research they have done on human travel patterns before, during and after the February 2014 Tube strikes in London. Link to research and License The researchers had access to millions of anonymised Oyster […]

Agile strategy review schematic

How agile is my strategy review assignment?

I’m currently engaged to produce a strategic review for an information services business. I have 13 working days to deliver a Board-level briefing paper with supporting rationale. You can see that I enjoy a challenge. This review is necessarily a study of studies which involves reading ~ 30 documents about strategic intent and having sheep-dip […]

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Where does creativity come from?

I believe that creativity is innate to all of us but that often we don’t get the chance to exercise that capability at work. If you get the environment right, bring some diverse minds into the conversation and explore ideas and issues in an open way (e.g. with trust and respect) – then I believe […]

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Fresh beginnings…

After nearly 14 years as a management consultant with a UK-based FTSE 250 design, engineering and technology company I have made a fresh start. I am still offering business consultancy services but as a micro-business which gives me more flexibility to meet client’s needs. However, this is a well-trodden path so is there really anything […]