Monthly Archives: March 2022

You can’t change a behavior by trying to change a behavior.

~ Sharon Drew Morgen

(Neither one’s own behaviours nor those of others).


Every decision is a change management problem.

~ Sharon Drew Morgen


People don’t buy because they have a need. They buy because they can’t solve a problem with familiar resources. And the cost of the solution must be equal to or less than the cost of the status quo.

~ Sharon Drew Morgen


People don’t change because they have an unmet need. They change because they can’t get their need met with familiar strategies. And the cost of the change must be equal to or less than the cost of the status quo.

Furrther Reading

Morgen, S.D. (2021). Morgenisms. [online] Available at: [Accessed 31 Mar. 2022].

Rightshifting Revisited

I was on a call earlier today, and the concept of Rightshifting came up, by the by.

My work with Rightshifting goes way back to 2008, and even earlier. It’s become such a part of my world-view that I rarely reflect on it explicitlty nowadays. Even to the point of not mentioning it much any more.

The call reminded that there are many people, including senior people and decision-makers, that have but a nodding acquaintance with software development, and especially:

  • How poor (ineffective) many organisations remain in their approach to software development.
  • How much productivity (and thus money) is being left on the table because of said ineffectiveness.

Here’s the Righshifting chart, illustrating the spread of effectiveness across different organisations. The spread has not changed much in nearly twenty years AFAICT.

Where does your organisation sit on the horizontal axis of this chart?

– Bob

Culture and Strategy

I’ve long paid attention to the things Roger L Martin writes and speaks about. I find his insights and perspectives both valuable and useful. So I’m always happy when he speaks or writes on a given topic and finds himself in agreement with what I’ve been writing (or is it vice versa?).

Recently, he’s spoken about the paradoxical relationship between organisational strategy and organisational culture.

For me any culture change is a retail, not wholesale, exercise.

Wholesale is when organizations make sweeping grand proclamations about doing things differently.

Retail is when they pay very specific attention to each, and every, interaction and use those individual interactions as a catalyst to do things differently.

~ Roger L. Martin

I’d love to hear what you find interesting or contentious in his interview.

Further Reading

Martin, R.L. (2022) A New Way to Think: Your Guide to Superior Management Effectiveness Harvard Business Review Press

A Key to Culture Change

A long time ago (2012) I wrote

‘Whorfianism of the third kind’ proposes that language is ‘a key to culture’

(You might also like to read the full post wherein this appeared).

Which is to propose that the language we use, and the vocabulary we possess, influences and constrains the way we think. That if we lack words for certain concepts, then these concepts are inaccessible to and inexpressible by us.

Which in turn suggests that culture change, involving as it does discovering and adopting new terms, concepts, and the words to describe and label them, necessitates we acquire new language and new vocabulary.

I suspect Clean Language also has some relevance and utility here.

How does the phenomenon of Linguistic Relativity relate to your own experiences?

– Bob



“The best reason to put people first is not to create a ‘great organization.’ The best reason to put people first is so you can be proud of how you spent your life—namely, helping others grow as persons as well as professionals.”

~ Tom Peters


Source: tompeters! email.

Who’s Delusional?

When it comes to organising the development of software, someone’s delusional.

Maybe it’s me. Despite proving my philosopy and practical apprioach (Quintessence), honed over nearly 30 years of real-world experience.

Maybe it’s you. Clinging to your outdated and unproducive approaches, be they waterfall (batch and queue), or Agile.

Maybe it’s the managers and executives. Doing the same thing year in and year out, expecting different results.

Maybe it’s all of us.

How do you see it?

– Bob

Chief Capitalization Officer / Head of Capitalization. Posts, roles or job titles that exist in no organisation.

What do I mean by capitalization? See this talk by Malcolm Gladwell for an explanation of his (and in this post, my) use of the term.



Risk And Rewards

The Risk Reward Curve

The risk/reward ratio (often illustrated as a curve) marks the prospective reward an investor can earn for every dollar, pound or yen they risk on an investment. Many investors use risk/reward ratios to compare the anticipated returns from an investment with the amount of risk they must undertake to earn these returns.


Investing in Agile Software Development

Adopting an Agile development approach is a kind of investment decision, much like any other investment decision. NB. Not all the investment is financial/monetary in nature, and neither are all the anticipated returns.

Your Winning Rate

Investors have long understood the necessity of combining the risk-reward ratio with the “winning rate” to know whether a given investment decision or strategy will prove a winner.

Agile Adoptions Are Highly Risky And Offer Limited Rewards

Agile adoptions have a remarkably low “winning rate”. Something like 75-90% of all attempted Agile adoptions fail.

It sure beats me why so many decision-makers fail to investigate (and thereby, understand) the risks and winning rates of Agile adoptions. Especially as the rewards accruing from adopting an Agile software development approach are so limited (read: minimal, or negative).

Is your organisation contemplating adopting Agile? Has it done its homework?

– Bob

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