Archive for February, 2010

The fun theory

The Henley Knowledge Management Forum has just celebrated its 10th Anniversary and I ran a workshop looking at the past, present and future of Knowledge Management using a technique called ‘future backwards’. Much more from the people and presentations in the coming weeks but a highlight for me relating to innovation was this video shown by Jo Donaldson (no relation) of the inspiring Govt DWP Solution Centre based in Glasgow. Just sit back and enjoy.


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Russell Ackoff was one of the people who started systems thinking, and viewing organisations as systems rather than machines.  He died recently, and there is a rush of good resources about him.  Peter Day interviews Russell Ackoff  on iplayer as one of his excellent In Business programmes, assembling material from about three years ago.

David Ing has a very good collection of links, and interactive diagrams with a timeline and a summary of Ackoff’s thinking.

Towards the end of his life, Ackoff finally started to publish books that were intended to be popular, rather than serious.

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The revival of the Argenta blog prompted discussions about writing.  Hugh MacLeod ‘s very timely post reminded us that good writing is difficult, regardless of the medium.

For me, far and away the best book on writing is Weinberg on Writing: The Fieldstone Method . Jerry Weinberg is “Dedicated to Helping Smart People be Happy”. He has incurable cancer, and this post is an opportunity to thank him for the inspiration he continues to provide.
His blog on writing is http://weinbergonwriting.blogspot.com/
His blog on consulting is http://secretsofconsulting.blogspot.com/

I haven’t read his fiction yet, but his technical books are life-changing.

On a lighter note, Chris Clarke has written a priceless guide to writing an incendiary blog post, and Nicholas Carr has belatedly discovered that blogging is no longer cool, and makes a great pastime for the elderly.

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I love my work, but it makes me tired. Being tired makes me grumpy, catch colds and lie on the sofa watching entire TV series in one go. I’m tired of being tired, so I am always looking for ingenious ways to reduce my workload, be more organised, recover more quickly, stop acting like a zombie at home.

I recently came across a useful article, “Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time”  published by the Harvard Business Review. The premise is that the basis of a healthy, productive, satisfying life is not being more organised, but paying attention to your energy levels, of which there are four types: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. The article contains a short questionnaire to help you work out which areas you are most abusing, and suggests several practical quick fixes to improve the situation.

The authors of the article run programmes in companies to help employees manage their energy levels with apparently spectacular results for overall productivity.

Stop living your life after work like the living dead: download MANAGE YOUR ENERGY NOT YOUR TIME (2) here.

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