This is my DeLonghi four slice toaster. It’s been doing sterling service in my kitchen for the past seven years. If you’re looking for a toaster, you could do a lot worse.

Only last week I (finally!) discovered the “bagel” button. Which turns off one element in each slot so as to toast only one side of a bagel, burger bun, etc.

What’s this anything to do with employees?

It strikes be we often treat employees like my toaster. We overlook some of the things they can do, really useful things, through familiarity and/or lack of attention. Their talents in some areas go begging because we’re habituated to seeing them in only one light. We succumb to the functional fixedness bias (not limited to objects, methinks).

Aside: FWIW I’ve never used the “defrost” or “reheat” buttons either. I guess my toaster is currently quietly looking for a new, more appreciative boss.

I’m back on Twitter. Kinda.

Yes I said years ago I wouldn’t be returning. And I have not exactly returned. Judge me as you will.

I’m now one of the folks tweeting on behalf of The Quintessential Group. Twitter handle: @AlienTechGroup

Tweeting about The Group and all things Alien Tech and Quintessential.

BTW Also on LinkedIn – in person and as The Quintessential Group.

Maybe we’ll see you out there?


Hardware design / development has had Muntzing since the 1940’s. How about importing the idea into software design / development?

Could this facilitate the spread of #NoSoftware?

Or are programmers too self-indulgent to cut out much of their crap?



After all these years, I still love coding (as in writing software).

It’s just that it’s tainted by the certainty that there’s so many other more effective ways of adding value and meeting folks’ needs.

Spending time coding feels so… self-indulgent.

Particular structures for communities and groups are pretty much irrelevant. For example, teams.

It’s the relationships within communities or groups that matter.

Although, certain kinds of structure are more friendly towards enabling relationships to emerge and grow.

Almost everybody complains about the inanities and insanities of organisational life. The inanities and insanities of their organisation. And yet, nobody seems to want to do anything about it.

Where do these inanities and insanities come from? What are the causes? If we can understand the causes, perhaps we CAN do something about them?

This is an underlying premise of Organisational Psychotherapy. OP posits the cause to be the collective assumptions and beliefs of the organisation. And the cure: surfacing those assumptions and beliefs and providing opportunites to reflect on them.

Are you piqued by your organisation’s inanities and insanities? How do they detract from your aims, ambitions and success? Would you be interesting in looking into a cure?


Flexibile working means choosing the places and times of your working as meets folks’ needs – each and every single day. Needs change, sometimes daily. And it’s not just about you and your needs.

And while we’re at it, how about we swap out the idea of “working” for “playing”? #DoNothingThatIsNotPlay #SeriousPlay #Schrage

There seems to be a vast ignorance amongst developers, other technical staff, and managers about the effect of “the system” (i.e. how the work works) on productivity. And on other dimensions of work, too (such as fun, employee engagement, quality, customer satisfaction,…).

I make this observation given the paltry attention given to how the work works in most organisations. Oh yes, many pay obsessive attention to processes – how the work should work. But never to how the work actually works, on the front line, at the gemba. It’s a bit like Argyris’ distinction between espoused theory (processes) and theory-in-action (the way the work is done).

There are folks (those in HR, Sales, Marketing, etc. stand out) that seem to never have realised that the way the work works is a thing.

Talking about the ins and out of the way the works works, let alone reifying it, marks one out as at least as wacko as those freaky systems thinkers.


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