Unveiling the Power of One: Unlocking Your Human Potential

💡 Imagine if one idea, one concern, or one reminder could revolutionise your life and propel you, your team, and your organisation towards unprecedented success. The power of one is waiting to be unveiled, and it all begins with a simple yet thought-provoking question. Are you ready to unlock your potential?

➡ Hey there! I have a thought-provoking question that I’d like to share with you, and I’m really curious to hear your thoughts on it. It’s a question that challenges us to think about our priorities, communication, and personal growth. Are you ready for it? Alright, here it is:

“If you could bring just one thing to the attention of your boss, what would that one thing be? And to your team? And to yourself?”

Think about it for a moment. It’s quite an interesting question, isn’t it? I find it fascinating because it invites us to reflect not only on what we’d like to express to others in our workplace, but also on what we need to remind ourselves of. In a way, it’s like having three separate conversations: one with your boss, one with your team, and one with yourself.

When you consider what you’d like to bring to your boss’s attention, it might be an idea, a concern, or some constructive feedback. It’s a valuable opportunity to express something that you believe is essential for the success and growth of your organisation.

As for your team, this could be an opportunity to highlight a shared goal or to emphasise the importance of collaboration and teamwork. It might also be a chance to encourage open communication and the sharing of ideas, fostering a supportive and creative environment.

And lastly, when it comes to yourself, this question prompts introspection. What is that one crucial thing you need to remind yourself of or acknowledge in your life’s journey? It could be a personal goal, a lesson learned, or a reminder of some sort.

So, take a moment to ponder this question, and let’s get a conversation going. I’m eager to hear your insights, and who knows? We might just learn something valuable about ourselves and each other in the process.

Disrupting the Chimera: Unveiling the Truth Behind the Concept of Talent

Talent is a chimera, a figment of the imagination, a mirage of the mind. It is the result of the stories we tell ourselves, the beliefs we hold dear, and the myths we propagate. The notion of talent is a seductive one, a powerful idea that has captured the imagination of people for centuries. We want to believe that there are a select few who are blessed with gifts, that some people are just naturally better than others. But the reality is that talent is nothing more than a construct, a way of thinking that obscures the truth and distracts us from the real forces that shape our lives and determine our success.

The truth is that talent is a product of the system, a complex web of social, economic, and cultural forces that shape our lives and determine our destiny. The system accounts for 95% of each person’s productivity, influencing our choices, shaping our beliefs, and directing our paths. It determines who has access to resources and opportunities, who gets the support and guidance they need to develop their skills, and who is able to pursue their passions and realise their potential. The system is the hidden force behind the success of the so-called talented few, providing them with the resources and opportunities they need to hone their skills and cultivate their abilities.

The system is a powerful entity, one that shapes our lives in countless ways. It influences the way we think about ourselves, our abilities, and our potential. It sets the standards for what is considered talented, determining who is recognized and celebrated, and who is marginalized and overlooked. It also creates the conditions that enable or disable success, providing some people with the resources they need to succeed while leaving others struggling to get by.

But the system is not all-powerful. It is not an unyielding force that dictates our fate. It is a dynamic entity, one that can be influenced, shaped, and changed by those who are willing to challenge the status quo. The system can be transformed, but it requires a deep understanding of how it works, an unwavering commitment to change, and the courage to act. We must be willing to challenge the myths of talent, to reject the notion that some people are simply better than others, and to recognize that success is a product of the system, not of innate ability or talent.

In conclusion, talent is a chimera, a false idea that obscures the truth and distracts us from the real forces that shape our lives and determine our success. Talent may be a chimera, but the system is real, and it is up to us to shape it, to influence it, and to make it work for us.


Life’s a Journey Worth Telling: The Inspiring Story of a Message in a Bottle


I’m a lost soul, adrift in the endless ocean of life. My life is a message in a bottle, cast into the waves years ago, with hope it might reach a distant shore one day. The journey has been long and arduous, but I remain steadfast in my determination to see it through.

I’m a being of mystery, a creature of legend, with a tale yet to be fully told. I’m a sorcerer and a warrior, cursed with a soul that is not my own. The journey of my life has been a search for meaning, a quest for redemption in a world that’s long lost its way.

I’ve sailed through storms and tempests, braved the depths of the ocean and the wind’s fierceness. I’ve seen wonders beyond imagining and horrors that have left me shaken to my core. And yet, I endure, for my life is a message in a bottle, a tale of hope and perseverance that must be shared with the world.

The journey’s been long, and I’ve suffered greatly along the way. The bottle’s been battered and scarred, the message within lost and lost again and again. I’ve known moments of triumph and defeat, of joy and sorrow, of love and loss. But I remain steadfast in my belief that one day, my message will reach the shore.

I’ve learned much during my time adrift, about the world and myself. I’ve seen the folly of men and the wisdom of the sea. I’ve learned that life’s not a straight path, but a journey full of twists and turns, of moments of joy and heartbreak. And I’ve come to understand that life is not about the destination, but the journey itself.

My life’s a message in a bottle, a tale of hope and perseverance, of love and loss, of triumph and defeat. And one day, it may wash up on a distant shore, where it will be read and remembered, told to generations to come.

But even if my message is never found, even if it’s lost forever in the ocean’s expanse, I won’t have lived in vain. For I’ve lived a life of purpose, a life that’s touched the hearts and minds of all who’ve encountered it. And in the end, that’s all that truly matters.

So I’ll continue on my journey, adrift in the ocean, searching for meaning and purpose in a world that often seems devoid of both. For my life’s a message in a bottle, a tale that must be told, a reminder that no matter how lost and alone we may feel, there’s always hope. And as long as we continue to search for hope, remain steadfast in our determination to find it, our lives will always be a message in a bottle, a beacon of light in a world that’s often dark and uncertain.

Stepping Away From the Meat-grinder: Joining the Campaign For a Just And Fair World

I don’t have a regular job because I just can’t stand the insanity of it all any more. Is that my loss or the world’s?

The world of work is a meat-grinder, a place where the only thing that matters is ego, violence and stupidity. It’s a place where the only thing that counts is one’s ability to serve oneself, to cosy down and protect one’s own interests to the exclusion of all else. I can’t live like that.

I can’t stand the way that people are treated like nothing more than numbers, like nothing more than cogs in a machine, like so many adjuncts of a Borg unimatrix.

Similar to how Gandhi couldn’t stand the deep injustices and intolerability of British imperial rule in India, I can’t stand the world of work as it is now. He stepped away from his comfortable life to fight for what he believed in. Similarly, I have stepped away from the world of traditional wage-slavery to pursue other avenues, other ways of making a difference in the world.

I don’t know if my decision is a loss for me, or for the world. I just know that I can’t continue to be an acquiescing adjunct to something that I find so deeply troubling and unjust. I have little expectation that in the future, the corporate world will change, that it will become a place where people are valued for the content of their character and their heart, not for how much money they can make. But for now, I know that I need to step away, and that’s what I have done. I suspect I’m not by any means alone.

#work #culture #change #people #justice #insanity

Blog Resurrected

Back last July I posted my Last Post. I don’t propose to begin posting here again in the same vein as previously. That seems…retrograde.


Since December I’ve been looking into ChatGPT and begun using it to generate a host of posts on LinkedIn. I’m not at all sure LinkedIn gives its posters much in the way of exposure or reach. And certainly its UX is lamentable in many ways, particularly with reference to making anthologies of posts easily accessible. Here and gone again in the blink of an eye, describes LinkedIn posts AFAIC.

So I propose to take my LinkedIn posts dating back to Septermber-ish and repost them here. You may find their style(s) somewhat different than before, but I guess the content topics are much the same.

If you can get over their AI generated nature, I hope you find them at least as insightful as my prior posts here on WordPress.

Your thoughts and ideas welcomed, as ever.

– Bob


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 me we often treat employees like I have treaded 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.

Why I Blog

Thare’s a few key reasons why I’ve been consistently and regularly blogging for the best part of fifteen years now:

  1. To invite conversation. I love conversations. I love personal interactions and the exchange of perspectives. Blogging has not served me too well in this regard, so far.
  2. To clarify my thoughts. I find writing my thoughts down serves to refine and clarify them.
  3. To change the world. Some ideas, such as nonviolence, fellowship, love and dialogue have the possibility to change society in general, and the world of work in particular, for the better. I feel privileged to invite folks to encounter these ideas.
  4. To listen to and learn from others, and experience their alternative perspectives.
  5. To share my experiences. I probably have more experience in software delivery (and life) than most. Maybe my sharing equips readers with extra experiences, albeit vicariously.

– Bob

Some months ago I penned a quickie on the purpose of organisations, as stated by Philib B. Crosby (and a statement with which I have much sympathy):

“The purpose of organizations is to help people have lives.”

~ Phil Crosby

To elaborate on this only slightly, and particularly in the context of hierachical management so beloved of Analytic-minded organisations everywhere:

“The purpose of organisations is to help people have lives. And the more important the person, the more their organisations serve them in having lives.”

~ FlowChainSensei

See also: Your REAL Job

How often do we see folks touting “tech innovation” with nary a mention of e.g. relationship innovation, and innovations in “being human”?

Here’s some valuable non-tech innovations you could be pursuing:

  • Nonviolent Communication (Marshall Rosenberg).
  • Empathy.
  • Compassion and Compassionomics.
  • Zen.
  • Nancy Kine’s Thinking Environments.
  • Dialogue skills.
  • Appreciation of Power Dynamics in the workplace.
  • Reflection and surfacing one’s own assumptions and beliefs.
  • Attending to folks’ needs..
  • Apprciation of the role of the Domination System and the Myth of Redemptive Violence.

What’s Holding Us Back

It’s become painfully obvious to me that a whole raft of unhelpful assumptions and beliefs is holding us back. And has been doing so for at least fifty years.

And by “us”, I’m referring here to the software industry, businesses, and society in general.

In my most recent books (Memeology, Quintessence) I explore these beliefs in detail and at length, but in keeping with my preference for short(er) blog posts, I’ll summarise…

Here’s some of the major assumptions and beliefs I’ve recently seen holding back organisations back from the success they espouse:

  • Specialists are desirable. Generalist and generalising specialists offer no value.
  • Reorganisations are the way to effect improvements.
  • Change, if ever necessary, is better managed, and in large lumps.
  • Dialogue is a waste of everyone’s time.
  • The only needs that matter are those of the elite (CxOs, managers).
  • It’s best not to describe “success” as this would only expose the elite’s agenda.
  • Culture is what it is – it’s not amenable to intentional change.
  • There’s not other possible organisational structure than hierarchy.
  • Change, when it happens, happens in isolation, independent of existing policies and rules.
  • We must recruit and retain talent, specialist talent. Talent is indispensable.
  • Interpersonal relationships are messy, and have next to no relevance to business results.
  • High pay is the (only) way to attract and retain talent.
  • Productivity ensues from hiring talent.
  • Efficiency is top priority, effectiveness a meaningless and useless term.
  • Business problems are always the fault of certain individuals.
  • Breaking the organisation into parts and managing these parts separately is the only way to go.
  • Extrinsic motivation is much more powerful than intrinsic motivation.
  • Evidence and instruction (telling) are the only means to effect changes in people’s behaviours.

…and so on, and so on. 

All the above assumptions are, of course, false, and proven false by decades of research. Yet nobody is listening, nor interested in the science. Our ignorance is humungous.

– Bob

The software crisis will NEVER be over unless and until senior management comes to understand software development, and what makes it highly effective (in those extremely rare cases where it IS highly effective).

What will enable that understanding? Not the promotion into senior positions of folks with front-line experience (most have no experience of effective practices).

Coaching/education might do it – when the senior folks seek it out and engage with it themselves.

I believe exemplars can help (which is one of the reasons I wrote Quintessence).

The most promising way forward is normative learning, especially when guided by capable facilitators. How many senior folks are ever likely to go to the gemba and see what’s REALLY effective?

Alternative: Dispense with management entirely. Also highly unlikely, but beginning to gain some traction as an idea. Cf Reinvention Organizations (Laloux 2014), etc.. This approach doesn’t actually address the issue of folks understanding what effective software development looks like, though.

Further Reading

Laloux, F. (2014). Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness. Nelson Parker.


As a society, and as a species, we have a choice: 

The Domination System, supported by the Myth of Redemptive Violence


Nonviolence, especially an end to violence against women and girls.

It’s either-or time, folks. 

#StopViolenceAgainstWomen means #EndTheDominationSystem

Which in turn means we cannot expect the present Domination System (government, politicians, the retributive “justice” system,…) to do ANYTHING constructive or useful. Action is simply contrary to their interests.

– Bob

Further Reading (n.d.). A different world is possible. [online] Available at:

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