Tag: Chris Bolton

Why Small Teams Win

In the early days of Amazon, Jeff Bezos came up with a rule: every team should be small enough that it can be fed with two pizzas. The ‘Two Pizza Rule’ signalled that Bezos didn’t want more talking, more line reports and more communication. He wanted a decentralised, even disorganised company where creativity and independence prevailed ...

Failure: We Need To Move From Slow And Stupid To Fast And Intelligent

In the history of pointless technology, it takes a lot to beat the Twitter Peek. Aimed at those interested in Twitter, but who didn’t own a smartphone,  it asked customers to spend $100 plus a monthly subscription. With the benefit of hindsight, it was clearly designed to solve a problem that didn’t really exist.  If you were ...

Avoiding The Yo-Yo Effect of ‘Corporate Change Convulsions’

Speeches you never hear at a corporate conference: “….. Our Transformation Programme is going to be small and imperfect. We are going to do many small things that probably won’t work straight away.’ – Chris Bolton In the early 1960s, a New York housewife named Jean Nidetch began a weekly meeting with friends at her home to ...

Why Transformation Fails – And How To Avoid It

The concept that 70% of change and transformation programmes fail emerged in the mid 1990’s. There’s actually little evidence that this is true. The 70% figure seems to have emerged because of a lack of clarity about what success looks like – and that most people have a bad experience of them. My contention is ...

Don’t Let Busyness Kill Your Creativity

Last week I was getting a drink when a colleague asked me “So, you busy as usual?” I took a second to avoid my kneejerk affirmative response and went for it: “No – we’ve decided to slow down. Give ourselves some time to really think about things”. They looked at me like I’d lost my ...

Complex Problems Require Rapid Experiments

“Multiple iterations almost always beat a single-minded commitment to building your first idea” – Peter Skillman Most of you will have taken part in the Marshmallow Challenge or a variant of it. It’s the team exercise where you get a load of spaghetti, some tape, a marshmallow, a piece of string, and 18 minutes to ...

Three Simple Ideas To Stop Change Failing

“The essence of transformation isn’t incremental. Transformation means ‘radical change’. And few companies truly countenance that because it’s, well…too radical.” – Anne McCrossan Maybe we are being too ambitious. Perhaps the hype of business change is becoming all consuming, leading us to aim for things our leadership can’t possibly deliver. In my last couple of posts ...

Embracing Challenge to Build a Stronger Innovation Culture

  Just as your body is designed to fight a common cold, most of our cultures protect the organisational DNA from any antibodies. Add something new and it can get rejected. As Chris Bolton has written organisations can have immune systems and idea antibodies. As Chris says – It’s not personal. It’s just an automatic survival mechanism. ...

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Best Practice, Benchmarking and the Race to Mediocrity

We must be different. We must be lopsided. No more herdlike regression toward the mean – we must find the things at which we’re great, and build on those – Tim Kastelle A few years ago my organisation adopted a new way of working. We implemented it , with the help of consultants, as it had achieved glowing ...

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How To Get Better At Failing

“Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before.” Neil Gaiman Just before Christmas – in my final catch up of the year with my manager  – a pretty significant thing happened. I was told that Bromford Lab seriously needs to up its failure rate in 2015. Welcome to the parallel ...