Ask the people they worked with

Why do reference requests go to line managers? They should go to peers.

Shifting what product managers do

From managing production to managing risk.

UK tech for good

There are quite a few websites:

More on ratchets

“A ratchet is any mechanism that allows progressive movement in one direction and prevents slippage backwards.”


“…tend to self-perpetuate. This occurs because the process involved also changes the underlying conditions that drive the process itself. In turn, this creates or reinforces the incentives and expectations of the decision-makers involved in such a way that sustain or further escalate the process.”


Ratchets explain why organisational design can’t be treated like product or service design. Products and services have in-built ratchets, changes only happen if they are consciously made, including changing back to a previous state. Organisational change needs to incorporate ratchet mechanisms into the changes, there needs to be more reinforcement of the change than there is drag back to a previous or undesigned state.

Stigmergic priorities

Behaviour communicates actual priorities, regardless of ‘strategic priorities’.

What’s holding us back? Why not-for-profits are struggling to be fit for purpose in the digital age.

Still no real need though…


As above, so below

Wherever you draw the line of symmetry in an org structure, the same patterns reflect.

Effectiveness over efficiency

I remembered that someone on Twitter once told me that it’s much easier to become efficient if you’re effective, much harder to become effective if you’ve focused on efficiency.

Volunteering vs Assigning

When a person assigns a task to another person, the assigner becomes responsible for ensuring the task is completed by the assignee. By removing agency and ownership from the assignee, we strip them of responsibility – “I didn’t really have the time, knowledge, interest, skill, etc. to do this. The ‘boss’ made me.”

We also rob them of the subtle learning about what they’re capable of, what gives them confidence to take things on, and the joy that comes with commitment and success.

When team members volunteer for tasks themselves, they do so with a greater sense of clarity around what they’re taking on, increased ownership of the decision to do it and how to do it and ultimately more pleasure in the work itself.

This shift leads to better outcomes, greater learning about skills and capacity, and even greater desire to do more.



We shape our tools and then our tools shape us

Marshall McLuhan

You know when you’ve crossed the line to being shaped by your tools when you have to hire into a role that is specifically for administering a tool.


Strategising is more interesting than strategy.