Archive | Agile Strategy Design

Going and Doing: how do we decide to stop or keep on travelling? If you can tie your horse to a thistle the land is fertile, if not move on.

Transit hub or destination; Going and Doing

Going and Doing I notice that I have two distinct modes of operation. Going and Doing. Going to a destination where I need to do something and Doing something at the place I arrive at. These are the two basic sub-routines that manage my existence. Sometimes, when I am busy, I will arrive somewhere in […]

Artisan bread - a strong attraction for a Digital Nomad

Attracting the Digital Nomad

What is a Digital Nomad? I thought I was a Digital Nomad; empowered by mobile communications, mobile computing and app-based platforms. I thought that doing my emails, writing a blog and studying a document I had been asked to review – at the beach – was the height of digital freedom. Until I met a […]

Lava Land - where people had to become Lava men and women

Economic Attraction – is there chemistry in Brighton & Hove?

Defining Economic Attraction one ‘segment’ at a time In last week’s Weekly Blog I questioned the relative importance of a place having economic attraction (being attractive) as well as having specific attractions. I think that Brighton & Hove City needs more of both. But what is attractive to one person may not be so attractive […]

The splits in the tree trunk illustrate decay with avenues closing and new ones opening up.

How important is the tourist economy to Brighton & Hove?

Generating income locally I have found local management consultancy work to be in short supply. My resolve, not to go back to a daily commute to London, is still holding out. So, I have had to do some agile strategy design® of my own, focussed initially on the local tourist economy. We have newly built […]

Maybe a Master-Plan would ensure that the public toilets were as clean and new as this one.

Leadership? Who owns the Master-Plan?

The Event I went to a Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce event yesterday: “The Construction Voice”. It was well attended (~70 participants) and the Panel of three speakers certainly provided some interesting insights and raised some challenging issues. I heard lots of calls for a Master-Plan but I did not hear anyone offering to […]

This slime is from a childrens science kit but nicely illustrates the two modes of behaviour; flow and resistance

What is your organisation made of? Slime?

Sometimes I have done Organisational Design (OD) work. OD is often part of the bridge between Strategy and Implementation. But we don’t usually talk about slime! What is an organisation made of? If we are building a new, or renovating an existing, organisation – what building materials do we need? Typically we may think about […]

This bird's long legs enable it to take an aerial view, useful in independent assurance work.

Independent Assurance; an Artistic Inquiry?

Independent assurance – who needs it? We are agile. Low on formal process, high on creativity. We are the guns. Exceeding client expectations. We don’t need ‘assurance’. Right? We are a long-standing branded supplier. High on process so that we tick the boxes for large clients across global markets. We are the nuts. Always meet […]

Common plantain holds grasses at bay with its innate land and expand strategy

Land and expand. How agile is that strategy?

Land and expand  is a common strategy in situations where success is directly linked to the number of personnel deployed. Land and expand is everywhere In nature plants such as plantains (see this week’s cover picture) use this effectively, spreading out horizontally to block light from the surrounding grass as it competes for air, water […]

Tree Root Fungus - symbiotic collaboration or competition?

Collaboration or Competition? Which strategy for prosperity?

How do I see the backdrop? I think that collaboration was once a dirty word. Proposing collaboration suggested that your organisation was weak and not competent to succeed on its own. It became more acceptable as the European Union research programmes actively promoted pre-competitive research through collaborative projects. I think this was about improving the […]

Ruthless wild flowers are met with careful treatment by walkers.

Ruthless and Careful – can they co-exist in our business decision framework?

How careful and how ruthless are we in our day-to-day business decision-making? Careful Do we take ‘reasonable care’ when we make decisions? If not, we might be threatening our organisation’s insurance premiums. After all, the shareholders and compliance authorities will want us to have acted competently, considering the options and assessing relative risks. They will […]

Backlit puff-ball clouds fill the twilight sky on Solstice night

Solstice already?

The Solstice marks the longest day, The summer solstice means the longest day has passed and we start the journey into winter. Already? It always catches me out. Just as we are starting to celebrate the warmth of the cusp between Spring and Summer – that’s it – daylight reductions from here on in. As […]

Intense sport in cold conditions - the team makes it easy

Team makes it easy

The team makes it easy: It was a beautiful weekend – in Hove anyway. Sunshine and warm. At least on the land. We took the ski-boat out for an inaugural session to get the ski-season rolling – it was 11°C in the water. Brrrr Whether your sport is football or rugby, sailing or skiing, karate […]

The end product of 20 minutes of creative glee

Creative Glee

When was the last time you experienced creative glee? Today? Yesterday? Last week? Can’t remember? Or – Creative Glee! What? I’m referring to the experience we have when a creative endeavour just comes together and the words flow or the paints glide or the form emerges from the sculptor’s block. It may have taken lots of patience […]

Elegant Design - a pedestrian area outside St Paul's in London

Elegant Design

I do like an elegant design. For me, examples of elegant design include: My kitchen table crafted from solid French Oak. My Apple devices (iPad and iPhone) just amaze and inspire me. Flint walls. A flower arrangement. Certain aspects of car design. My Philippe Stark citrus fruit juicer. My company logo (Thanks to Puree Design). […]

Rot at the Top - decay sets in from the moment a new organisation is launched

Rot at the Top

Looked at from underneath this piece of established trellis looks weathered but sound. Step out to the side or look down from above and it is immediately apparent that this structure has advanced Rot at the Top and is on its way to failure. Let’s hope no-one is underneath when the structure fails. Although it […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]


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 […]


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 […]