Author Archives: David

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Milton Friedman’s Philosophy: Invaluable at First but Deadly Afterward

2020 marks the 50th  anniversary of Chicago economist Milton Friedman’s famous (or infamous, depending on your point-of-view) claim that the only social purpose of business is to increase profits. This doctrine proved immensely popular among corporate managers but has been … Continue reading

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Austrian Economics and the Ecological Perspective

A few months ago I had the pleasure of meeting Hunter Hastings online. Hunter is an economist by training, a member of the Mises Institute and a follower of the Austrian School of economics. We got to chatting and he … Continue reading

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A Fierce Old Story: Fighting a Plague with Common Decency

The rats gave the first clue: they staggered onto the streets, emitted a drop of blood from their noses and died in droves. As their bodies piled up, newspapers agitated, and citizens complained – why was the sanitation department not … Continue reading

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When the Science is Uncertain, Turn to the Humanities

On June 17, 2020 from 1pm to 2pm. Eastern Time I will be giving a TED-style talk and hosting a discussion with i4j. The password is i4jcommunity. i4j Innovation for Jobs is a global leadership forum organized by the IIIJ Foundation, … Continue reading

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Forces of Nature: Understanding How Ecosystems Grow, Thrive and Regenerate

My latest article, Forces of Nature, has just been published in Strategy+Business. In it I discuss Canadian ecologist, “Buzz” Holling’s adaptive cycle and how, transformed into the ecocycle, it can help us understand the dynamics of complex adaptive systems.

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The Hammer and The Dance: The Case for Crushing the Coronavirus with Coercive Bureaucracy

Metaphors matter, especially in uncertain times, when the only way to frame a complex predicament is to use models from a familiar past.   The title of this blog borrows from Tomas Pueyo’s excellent article and the picture that accompanies it is … Continue reading

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Peter F. Drucker and the Society of the Future

This is a report on a Round Table discussion at the 2019 Global Peter Drucker Forum. Click here for the LinkedIn version which has hyperlinks Panelists: Chair: Richard Brem, Senior Advisor, Peter Drucker Society of Europe, Peter Paschek, Management Consultant, Timo … Continue reading

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True But Useless: Why So Much Management Advice Sucks (and what to do about it).

Why does so much management advice sound reasonable but turn out to be of little value? Most readers will know what I mean. Take the following guidance on how companies can ‘accelerate their agile transformation’: Create a C-suite with an … Continue reading

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The Engineer and The Gardener: Management Science Versus Complexity Science

    Management Science The concept of management as a science has its origins in the aftermath of World War II. During that conflict the use of analytical disciplines drawn from operations research proved enormously useful in decision-making. After the … Continue reading

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Wading Through the Swamp – the Radical Power of Ecosystems-as-Processes

The respected management scholar, Donald Schön, began his 1987 book, The Education of the Reflective Practitioneras follows: “In the varied topography of professional practice, there is a high, hard ground overlooking a swamp. On the high ground, management problems lend … Continue reading

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