How we see the problem

A father and son were travelling home from a rugby game late one night in the 1970s when the dad pulled the car onto the shoulder of the rural, desolate highway and asked his son to take over the driving. As hard as it was for him to admit, the father said his eyesight was failing him and he didn't think it safe for him to stay behind the wheel. So the son took over, and it didn't take him [...]

Accountability struggles

During a really interesting meeting this morning, it was said: You never hear about "accountability struggles".  Power is highly desired, accountability not so. This line articulated a pattern we see often in culture audits.  Manager's hesitance to accept responsibility and accountability for decisions often lead to inertia and a "pass the buck" mentality that is detrimental to the productivity and morale of employees.  I wonder how much of this is caused by a general intolerance to failure in an organisation.  [...]

Analogies of the world today

Dave is having some trouble with editors of the HBR who want him to "dumb" down the content of his next article for their more"astute" business readers. This is how he likens the process: "In both cases it's rather like a conclave of dinosaurs sitting down in the wreckage of their world post impact, demanding more simple articles on dental hygiene to cope with the fur of these strange new things, the early mammals. Or if you want another illustration, playing that old familiar fiddle while [...]

Trying to take over the world

The fatal error Brain made (from Pinky and the Brain fame) was to attempt to take over the world with grand efforts, that failed in every episode. We, on the other hand, prefer to take small strides in the same ambition. Having said that, Sonja and I would like to welcome Chrislia van Tonder to the TNL ranks as one of those monumental strides. Chrislia will be our go-to 'gal who will keep the business end of this business, well, business-like. Chrislia [...]

By |September 5th, 2008|Categories: Business|Tags: |0 Comments

We’re 1

As of this month, we are a whopping 1 year old! It was about this time last year that myself, Sonja and Raymond sat down together, read an email from a potential client, looked at each other and asked, "So, should we put a proposal together for him?" Now, a year later, how have things developed or changed? Well, for starters, I'm pretty glad we didn't go with our original name for this company. Don't ask me why, but we [...]

Definitions to challenge the business science monster

Shawn, at Anecdote, recently wrote about the definition of a story, which he took from Annette Simmons latest book, Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins: "Story is a reimagined experience narrated with enough detail and feeling to cause your listeners' imaginations to experience it as real." Christopher Booker, in his seminal book on why we tell stories, wrote of stories as "structured sequences of imagery". These are some helpful definitions to use in business space when confronting the lethargic effects of the business science [...]

By |March 24th, 2008|Categories: Business|0 Comments

Our logo and design elements

In a recent blog entry, Dave Snowden commented positively about the design elements that make up our corporate identity. Coming from him this is a great complement, as the interpretation of abstract ideas such as "probe, sense, respond" into visually compelling graphic elements was a challenge! I'd like to express appreciation to our designer, Angela Lang for a job well done! Maybe I should elaborate a bit on why we selected probe: sense: respond as a tagline. We see our core focus area as [...]

The Brrr Effect

My wife and I were sitting at he cricket the other day when we heard a resounding "Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!" ring out across the crowd. It was then that I knew the most recent Coke advertising campaign had permeated social culture as the cold drink vendor advertised his product (Coke) to the crowd and the crowd responded with appreciative Brrrrrrr's in return.

What does Nationwide and Eskom have in common?

While reading recent newspaper reports regarding the crises these two companies find themselves in, one subject keeps coming up - shortage of skills.  Nationwide's airplanes are losing their engines, and Eskom has to implement load shedding due to (among other reasons) inadequate maintenance on their aircraft and power stations, which in turn is due to a lack of skilled technicians. Shortage of skills is a common problem across the globe.  What compounds the issue in many South African companies is a short-sighted implementation of Affirmative Action, which led to [...]