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Category Archives: General

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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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Lead Like A Gardener: The Movie

This is the video of my short plenary presentation at the 10th Annual Global Peter Drucker Forum held in Vienna on November 28 and 19 in Vienna. For all the video from the conference see: Global Peter Drucker Forum 2018 … Continue reading

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BREXIT: A Study in Complexity

British politics is in a real mess. Mired in the Brexit debate, its current predicament is best captured in the poetry of the Victorian writer Matthew Arnold; “Wandering between two worlds, the one dead, the other powerless to be born.” … Continue reading

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The Engineer and The Gardener: the Central Tension in 21st Century Management

“Warm hearts allied with cool heads seek a middle way between the extremes of abstract theory and personal impulse”                                         Stephen Toulmin, … Continue reading

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The Ecology of a Social Movement: The Quakers and Social Reform – Public Talk RSA London December 7 2018

On Friday December 7 2018 I will be at the RSA’s Rawthmell’s Café 8 John Adam Street, London, speaking on the Ecology of a Social Movement, using the Quakers of the First Industrial Revolution as my example. They were an astonishing … Continue reading

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Lead Like a Gardener! – Agile and Design Thinking Will Become Management Fads Unless We Expand Our Concept of Management

This blog is a shortened version of a full-length article Lead Like a Gardener that appeared in Medium earlier this week. Management is notoriously faddish. Managers can reflect on a long line of management innovations that attracted huge attention, were widely … Continue reading

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Management Needs to Return to Reason

‘The arts of life…turn out to possess their own special methods and techniques…Bad judgement here consists not in failing to apply the methods of natural science, but, on the contrary, in over-applying them’. Isaiah Berlin, Political Judgement Ever since the … Continue reading

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Cattle, Slaves and Automobiles: Driving Dangerously With Management Clichés

Language is rooted in metaphor. In their popular book, Metaphors We Live By (1982) George Lakoff and Mark Johnson showed the pervasive role that our embodied experience plays in our understanding of how the world works, or might work. We … Continue reading

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Management: a Noble Practice

The theme of the 2017 Global Drucker Forum to be held in Vienna later this year is “Growth & Inclusive Prosperity – The Secular Management Challenge”. Dictionary definitions of prosperity mention a condition of being successful or thriving, especially economic … Continue reading

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Wells Fargo: Culture Eats Strategy (again) and (this time) the CEO

Over the decades organizational culture has devoured hundreds, if not thousands of strategies. One of the most recent examples is the case of Wells Fargo, where culture not only ate a long-standing, apparently successful strategy but last week also consumed … Continue reading

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