Lessons from Mars

A few years ago I interviewed John Bannister, who spent over 27 years with Mars confectionery. He was general manager of the Slough factory in the 1980s, responsible for over 3000 staff.   I had heard some interesting remarks about the company, which is one the largest privately owned companies in the world.   What lessons might Read more about Lessons from Mars[…]

Notes from gathering – 10 November

Here’s the notes from the latest Human Organising Project gathering. Note the recurrent reference to “Teal”. This is borrowed from Frederic Laloux’s book Reinventing Organisations. In our conversation, we used it as a shorthand for “next stage” organisations, ones that are more values-driven than profits-driven. In the first part of the conversation, we explored various Read more about Notes from gathering – 10 November[…]

How John Lewis governs itself

Over the last decade I have built up a wide variety of resources relating to the organisation and governance of business. In the coming months I will be sharing the best of these on this site. In this post, I share the notes from a conversation I had in 2012 with Stephen May. He was Read more about How John Lewis governs itself[…]

Our organisations are failing us. But there is hope…

Our organisations are failing us. Just consider some of the news stories in the last year or two. The world’s largest car manufacturer, Volkswagen has been, in the words of its CEO, “dishonest”. VW pursues profit and the Earth’s atmosphere bears the cost. Other car companies are now being investigated. The banks, meanwhile, have been Read more about Our organisations are failing us. But there is hope…[…]

Notes of gathering – 8 September 2015

What does success look like and how do you measure it? Is it about numbers alone? If so, the gathering of the Human Organising Project at St Ethelburgas earlier this month was a failure, Two of us turned up, compared to 11 previously. But numbers don’t serve to measure anything interesting or complex. A kilo Read more about Notes of gathering – 8 September 2015[…]

Enlivening Edge

There is currently a surge in interest in ‘next-stage organizations’, meaning those organizations that move beyond power and control paradigms, embrace complexity and seek to draw on the talents and passion of all those within the organisation. There have been renegades and prophets in this field for many years (Dee Hock, Ricardo Semler, E.F Schumacher Read more about Enlivening Edge[…]

Organising the Human Organising Project

I always advocate that you should organize a group or organisation in a way that is congruent with the message you’re trying to impart to the world. Organising the Human Organising Project thus presents two simultaneous challenges – how to organise the project and how to carry it out. A good starting point is to Read more about Organising the Human Organising Project[…]

Responsive? Agile?

There is a lot of interest in business in the concept of “agile” or “responsive” businesses. Some people have got interested enough to set up a website and write a manifesto. See here www.responsive.org Here are some extracts from their manifesto: “The tension between organizations optimized for predictability and the unpredictable world they inhabit has reached Read more about Responsive? Agile?[…]