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Author, Speaker and Digital Business Alchemist

Org/Personnel Development

Or “How to be a totally ineffective leader in 4 easy steps!”

Hmmmmm, that doesn’t sound as attractive as the main title, right?! No, it doesn’t, but it doesn’t make it any less relevant.

It’s not often that I am wanting to talk about “secrets,” but in this case I’m going to make an exception.

I recently saw a tweet by a “renowned leadership expert” talking about “the secret of leadership.”

And that is when I lost it. Here’s why…

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I have this recurring nightmare that just won’t go away.

So, there I am… I’ve just woken up from a nap on my favorite recliner in my living room. I’m still a bit groggy, but I look down and see my young daughter looking up at me intently through her hazel eyes. Really, she’s staring at me.

I sit there for a few moments, looking back at her and then I ask “what is it, Virginia?”

She looks away for a moment, looks back into my eyes and then asks the question parents don’t expect their children to ask until after they’ve had “the talk.”

Then she asks me:

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It was inevitable, wasn’t it?

I tried so hard, for so long to avoid using the word “transformation.” Yet, I knew it was merely a matter of time…

Until what, you ask?! The word transformation started creeping into our vocabulary (again). This time it was in the context of “Next Generation IT.”

I wish we could say “OK, let’s transform into the organization that we’re intending to become,” we press a button and then watch it happen for us.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t work. What does work?

C’mon over here and let’s chat about that for a bit, OK?

Because we can’t really talk about that, until we get straight about what transformation is (and isn’t)!

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While it may not be evident to those who don’t know me well, I’ve had an interest in performance management and metrics for almost as long as I have been a working professional. Indeed, I have been actively researching this since around the time of the Y2K “crisis” — which roughly translates to about 17 years. Some times I’ve been more active in my research than others, but it’s always been core to how I think and work with customers and approach any project.

Well, even though the past months may have looked like I’ve been sitting on my hands, I can assure you that I’ve not. I’ve been busy on a number of fronts, including performance management and metrics. It’s a “good news, bad news” proposition really — I haven’t had a lot of time for “fun,” but I have gotten a lot done. There is a lot of work left to do (I think it’ll be the rest of my life, really…), but I think that it’s finally time to bring it to the forefront.

It’s time to launch! What does that mean? Well, the first thing is that I am kicking this all off with a BrightTALK webinar “Built To Perform: A Pragmatic Look At Performance Management.” During this session I am going to address the items in the abstract that I wrote for it, as a way of providing a general introduction to the area and a way to frame all of the work done and those things that will be unleashed over the next few months. In addition to this webinar, you can expect that there will be other blogs, articles and webinars associated with it.

Needless to say, I think this is the start of something big! I hope that you’ll find this interesting and will join me.

kengon

 

In my last blog, where I wrote about the levels of learning, I talked about how different training tools and methods would be targeted at or useful for a given level of learning. In this post, I offered a way to better understand the nature of insight as:

Insight involves the grouping of perceptions into meaningful wholes.

This is a generally accepted view, but there is more to say about insight and learning. It’s perhaps an insight into insights…

Let’s have a look, OK? Good! 😉

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My next couple of blog posts may seem as if I am just rambling, but I can assure you that there is a larger design intention at play here. In this one, I am going to follow up on my last post (The Power of Cultural Forces which used the ITIL tender announcement to illustrate the underlying principles) and talk a little bit about the limits of learning. Why the limits of learning? Well, frankly, we need to talk about it — we’ve not been doing well as an industry and it’s about time we fixed it!

For the purposes of this post, I will use USMBOK and an aviation example to make my points, wrapping it up with a few comments on ITIL and certificate programs. An aviation example? Why? Well, for those of you who do not know it, among other things, I am an Instructor and (Stan-Eval) Check Pilot. What does that mean? I provide flight instruction and  evaluate their knowledge and skills to ensure that pilots are fit to execute their responsibilities as Pilot-in-Command (PIC). I will say more about this in future posts, but let’s just say that this has an important shaping effect upon how I think and approach my work.

In fact, I think that a significant part of why I am good at what I do is precisely because I have this experience and background. Needless to say, I have an appreciation for “learning” that transcends what most people mean when the term is used. Would you like to know more? Good. Let’s have a look…

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Since the ITIL tender was issued in late 2012, there has been much discussion about the future of the framework and what this means to those that have come to rely on it. Indeed, as time has passed, especially over the past few weeks, many have anxiously awaited the Cabinet Office to publish the results of their evaluation and announce a “winner. In a certain sense, I can’t blame anyone for that. After all, many have jobs and/or are engaged in businesses which are directly related to this framework, so any reduction of uncertainty regarding its future should be a good thing for them.

As far as I am concerned, I’d like to go on record as saying:

I am not (and haven’t been) attached to the outcome. The fact that Capita has won is fine with me! It’ll all work out, in the end.

It’s not that I don’t “care,” because I do. I just think that the work I am doing transcends any one of the numerous frameworks or standards that I might be paying attention to at any given point in time.

Despite this, I think that this single event provides us with an opportunity to talk about a number of things that are very important to those with an interest in service management. So, for the purposes of this series of posts, I shall use ITIL as the foundation for a discussion about the power of cultural forces.

Let’s dive in, shall we? Good! 🙂
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One of the reasons I enjoy social media is because it allows me access to some of the best minds in our industry. Because of a recent tweet exchange with Paul Wilkinson (of GamingWorks) and Stuart Rance (of Hewlett-Packard) on the topic of ITSM and organizational culture, I proposed that we schedule a Google Hangout to discuss this topic, record the session and make it generally available to the ITSM community.

hangout graphic

Would you like to know more? Good! 😉

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