Thursday, 11 December 2008
Wednesday, 10 December 2008
Southbeach contains a Grid tool. Grids are used to 'separate' elements of a model in various 'dimensions' of separation. In this example, a 3x3 grid is used to represent the past, present and future (time epoch) resources associated with the sponsorship of a project, the customer and the team delivering the project (system structure).
The template comes from page 530, Systematic Innovation for Business and Management, Darrell Mann, 2004.
Elements inherit attributes off the grid - from the cell in which they are placed. The modeling software allows grids of rows only (pools), columns only (swimlanes) or window pane diagrams as in this example.
Each dimension is called a 'separation'. Separations can be typed: for example in space, time, by structure, by perspective, around system aspects, by role, on probability and on conditions.
Southbeach can be used to model trends. Here, two well known examples of observed trends in commerce are illustrated. A potential hybrid trend, I refer to as 'amenity' is shown as the convergence of maturity on two existing trend lines.
Tuesday, 25 November 2008
This model celebrates the launch of Earth 3.0, a new high quality publication from Scientific American. (www.sciamearth3.com). The model describes what is said in the editor's letter.
Note the use of a separation by Time to describe the three epochs described in the SciAm article. Focus (yellow), Goal (block green) and Risk (block red) have also been used to good effect. Note the use of an 'insufficient counteraction' (dotted crossed line) to denote that early argiculture produced only local impacts, not global harm. Note the use of the 'overloaded' (doubled line) effect to show the industrial consumption. Note the use of 'oppose' (double headed jagged effect) between the concerns about the environment, and the necessary third world development. Note also the use of 'required' (solid circle at source end of effect lines) to signify the necessary actions to bring about the potential (dotted line box) for economic and environmental progress.
This Southbeach model shows the potential harmful consequences of an unstructured approach combined with a lack of discipline and planning. It's a common picture. Let's break it down: Many people feel forced into this situation by the amount of work they receive and the amount of support from others they don't receive. This increasing work leads to increasing urgency which leads ultimately to dropping the ball (or less and less sleep, stress, less collaborative; more insular behaviour)... It has the further consequences that there is no time for planning, and no time for prioritising activities, leading to a reactive behaviour that becomes more random with time.
The Southbeach approach can be used to re-establish the discipline necessary to deal with complex situations and high workloads. It is a structured approach that enables you to break your problems down into manageable chunks that can be shared with others. Structuring thought, planning, design, work, and collaboration in this way can create more reuse in everything you do and can reduce the workload for others, giving them more time to help reduce the workload for you.
Another benefit of this collaborative approach is the wealth of experience and different ideas and approaches that can be brought to bear. More information, with more techniques for combining it enables better decision making to enable you and others to focus on what is important to get results and achieve your goals.
Sunday, 23 November 2008
Friday, 21 November 2008
A further elaboration of this model might observe that Car's only produce polution when they are travelling - and it is actually the act of consuming fuel that is the primary cause of that pollution. This model below shows the pollution being created by the act of fuel consumption, and breaks that pollution down into different types using the 'is-a' construct. This elaborated model also includes blue boxes indicating the actions that could be considered to improve the situation.
Thursday, 20 November 2008
Wednesday, 12 November 2008
Saturday, 8 November 2008
This Southbeach model shows a perspective of Peter F. Drucker; "the man who invented management". The column on the left represents qualities of the people in an organisation, and on the right, we have the activities of the organisation itself. These two systems are inextricably interlocked and require each other in order to succeed.
In Drucker's book, The Practice of Management, at the beginning of Chapter 13: The Spirit of an Organisation, he says:
"Two sayings sum up the 'spirit of an organisation'. One is the inscription on Andrew Carnegie's tombstone:Drucker believed that the key to excellence is focussing on people's strengths, and that recognising excellence, encouraging excellence, rewarding excellence, and providing full scope for individual excellence is what creates good spirit in individuals. Furthermore, it is this good spirit that provides the motivation that leads people to excel and do the best they can do rather than just enough to get by.
Here lies a man
who knew how to enlist in his service
better men than himself
The other is the slogan of the drive to find jobs for the physically handicapped:
It's the abilities,
not the disabilities,
Management by objectives tells a manager what they ought to do. The proper organisation of their job enables them to do it. But it is the spirit of an organisation that determines whether they will do it. It is the spirit that motivates, that calls upon a person's reserves of dedication and effort, that decides whether they will give their best or do just enough to get by."
The excellence of the organisation then, is the result of making this excellence productive for others so that the overall strength of the organisation is amplified by the strengths of all the individuals within it, each of their weaknesses being counteracted by the strengths of those around them.In the 1950s, Drucker was the first to say that people should be treated as assets, and not as liabilities to be eliminated, the first to argue that substance was more important than style and that good practice would always win out in the end over charismatic or cult leaders. Drucker originated the view of the corporation as a human community built on trust and respect for the worker and not just a profit-making machine.
Sustainable success for an organisation is a result of individual success at every level, and individual success is enabled and amplified by the organisation that focuses on its people and on building on their successes.
How can we create successful individuals?
How can an organisation make the most of its people assets?
Management must invest the effort in understanding what people have to offer in order that they can focus on their strengths to enable them to build on their abilities and create success. Building on people's abilities builds their spirit, as does individual success. This creates a company spirit that leads to the success of the organisation as a whole. Focusing on people's weaknesses on the other hand, and building on their disabilities, often results in failure and destroys the spirit of the individual. An organisation's spirit is a result of the spirit of its individuals. So take Peter Drucker's advice, and spend the time and effort to understand what people have to offer and build on their strengths.
Wednesday, 5 November 2008
Friday, 31 October 2008
Tuesday, 28 October 2008
Saturday, 25 October 2008
Tuesday, 21 October 2008
Sunday, 19 October 2008
Whilst there is a law against Dowries in India, the social convention and pressure on the Indian People to pay dowries for families wanting to find a good home for their daughters has led to families with sons becoming richer and families with daughters becoming poorer.
This, in turn, has led to technology such as ultrasound scanners for checking on the health of unborn children, to be abused. There is now a whole industry in India providing selective abortion by gender.
The population in India is being skewed towards males with only 37.1% of births being female in one district, Daman, as a result of an estimated 10 million female abortions overall since 1985.
This Southbeach model illustrates the situation described in the Washington Post in this article of 2006:
and further in the Guardian in 2008, reporting on the situation being so critical now that the Indian Government are offering to pay poor families to give birth to and bring up female children:
Pregnancy leads to a son or daughter. Sons provide for the family and look after their parents when they grow old, compensating for the lack of a social security program in India. Sons also receive a dowry when they marry, whereas families with daughters have to pay a dowry. This often results in poor families taking out loans which then take up to a year to repay. Some families with multiple daughters are effectively bankrupt by the marriage of their daughters.
The Indian Government passed a law against dowries some time ago. However, this is widely ignored due to the social convention and pressure to pay dowries by families wanting a good home for their daughters.
This situation has led to a low risk, high profile business for doctors, who make a lot of money out of combined ultrasound and abortion packages, with advertisements such as "Spend 600 Rupees now, save 50,000 Rupees later" creating a trend of Mass female foeticide.
The Indian Government is now attempting to correct this harmful trend by offering to pay families to give birth to and bring up female children. They are expecting to save 100,000 girls in the first year.
Whilst this reaction to the problem may result in fewer female abortions, it is creating a new market based on paying for life where poor families can now receive additional benefit from the government if they bring a female child into the world which they cannot support.
This is a problem that is spiralling out of control with increasingly impactful false solutions that threaten to destabilise the whole society.
Tuesday, 14 October 2008
In this model, I show how a company can develop a sustainable green agenda, with a high degree of integrity for the long term. Leadership is required for any green corporate program. It creates focal points for what matters to the company, such as energy, consumables, etc. Only by identifying these focal points can measures and targets be set for reducing the company's environmental footprint. By doing so, the real costs are revealed. Revealing these costs is necessary is the company is to identify the opportunities and challenges they can act on. It is these that will generate ideas for green action.
Each idea has both benefits and costs, and must be realized in a business case. The raw ideas must be developed into a case for action under the guidance of sponsors in the business. They must work according to sound principles such as end-to-end process design, cradle-to-cradle thinking (cycle of inputs and outputs via the environment). It is these developed ideas, based on sound business case, that can create the change projects that can demonstrate results. Only this will create learning in the organization about the value of green thinking and sustainable development.
As part of this process, the leadership team must challenge the staff themselves to take ownership and create ideas. But unless that loop is closed with the sponsors - the business owners who areable to take action to create change projects, staff ideas and desire for green action will go nowhere. The model therefore shows the complex structures required for a successful program. Now that money is tight again, due to the financial downturn, looking recession and pressures on costs, making the business case for green will be more, not less, important.
Here, Southbeach is used to visualise a solution, well known to TRIZ practitioners. The tension in a system, between the length and weight of a moving part, can be overcome using just four solutions. Here, we show them counteracting the oppose relationship between the two system attributes. (Also see, TRIZ Contradiction Matrix and TRIZ 40 Principles)
Soundbeach can be used for mind maps, but it is not a mind mapping tool. The default box sizes for agents can be adjusted to work for different styles of diagram. In this case, a simple map.
At BPM 2008, the European annual conference on Business Process Trends, editor Paul Harmon gave an excellent keynote speech in which he explained some of the reasons why companies were increasingly focussed on process improvement projects, many including workflow and process automation. While he was talking, I penned a series of models. In this one, I captured his speech as it related to a report by Gartner.
Friday, 10 October 2008
The world's seven richest developed nations meet to discuss a global solution to a potential Minsky Moment. Model based on commentary by Robert Peston of the BBC.
According to Robert Peston, BBC, The underlying illness remains in the financial system, as manifested in the record amounts banks were charging each other yesterday for lending to each other for three months.
Saturday, 4 October 2008
Whatover happens in Congress, the crisis is now global; that means governments must work together. The Economist, 4th Oct, 2008, World on the Edge, Leaders
Wednesday, 1 October 2008
This model was developed by Howard Smith. It shows media reporting of the situation surrounding the rejection of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. Key aspects of the model include:
Votes by both houses are required pass the bill. However, these votes depend on changes to the bill, proposed by both sides. These proposals however are in conflict. The proposals by Democrats, which they view as necessary to allow them to vote for the bill, unfortunately are disliked by Republicans, thus reducing the Republican vote. And vice versa. Thus, there is a tension between the proposals. This arises from politics - Main street back lash on the measures generated by the combination of the required draw down on tax revenues coupled to the real or perceived excesses of Wall Street, lead to calls to punish the greedy bankers.
Note how these factors conspire to degrade the vote, and this, delay the passing of the bill ... leading to political and financial uncertainty. This causes destruction of savings, pensions and investments.
Model by Howard Smith. There are many theories about what caused the financial crisis of 2008. Here is one. Globalization and the connected world has led to intense competition and transparent markets, making it hard to make money via conventional means. Thus, esoteric business models and financial instruments are created. A focus on these, as well as service models and knowledge work far from the source of real value/work, lead to inflated virtual value bubbles. That's fine while confidence is high, but it hides systemic weaknesses in liquidity. But when the chips are down and a segment of the market collapses, the weakness of liquidity is clearly revealed, leading to a loss of confidence and a credit crunch.
The consequences could be a shift of economic power to those developing economies to whom real work has been "outsourced" by those companies in the developed economies that considered this step necessary in order to compete.
Southbeach includes tools to draw grids, swimlanes and pools, so that it can be used for many common diagramming types. Here is an example of a grid used to illustrate the factors at play in the subprime financial crisis.
Wednesday, 10 September 2008
In this model, Anders Jangbrand of CSC, explains the conditions required for the successful elicitation of raw ideas, and their development into developed valuable ideas.
Friday, 30 May 2008
Southbeach notation is effective at capturing the conflicts and dilemmas within global or national issues in a clear and unambiguous way.
In this case, the coupled effects of a growing demand for oil, particularly in emerging economies, at a time when future supply is uncertain, is leading to rising fuel prices. This is leading to protests by citizens who depend on burning fuel oil for their liveihoods. As a result, strikes across Europe are occuring and subsidies are being asked for.
Governments could implement subsidies, and/or reduce high tax levies on fuel, but they don't want to. It would limit their tax incomes, and, would counteract the green agenda. Rising fuel prices are good in the eyes of green activists. Less fuel burnt means less global warming. Less travel means less globalization and less damage to the environment. By contrast, putting in place subsidies or lower taxes for fuel would not only send out a bad signal, it would further increase travel and degrade the planet further. Governments like taxes to be high, so they can spend more money pleasing other interest groups and voters. So they like high fuel prices and can claim they are green at the same time. BBC news
Thursday, 29 May 2008
This model explores the causes of the change in culture, typified by today's news in UK of more teenage stabbings. "The shooting of 17-year-old Sharmaake Hassan in Camden, north London, brings the number of teenagers killed in the capital this year to 15" Source: BBC news
Similar things are happening in other parts of the UK and in other European cities.
Note how Southbeach can be used to posit questions about effects crossing perspectives, in this case, our view of the 1950s and today.
Friday, 16 May 2008
The situation illustrated shows the effects of increased shipping in the Antarctic.
The model shows how the combined effects of fishing, the exploitation and hunt for resources, tourism and research exploration are contributing to an increase in shipping in the area. Overcrowding is leading to accidents. The ships traveling these distances have supply needs, and this brings more ships (feedback loop).
The ships store heavy fuel oils and this poses a risk. The oil and other cargo can be released during accidents – the frequency of which is increasing as the number of ships rises. Ships also consume the fuel, a process which releases both sulphur dioxide and carbon dioxide. This, coupled to the potential accidents, is releasing increased pollutants in the Antarctic.
The ships have other polluting effects. Notably, they create sewage and grey water waste, and also carry alien species into the region from their points of origin.
Over fishing of the region is another major negative factor. It arises from multiple causes – whaling, the pet industry and the pharmaceutical industry etc. This is driving a new form of fishing, an aggressive vacuuming of krill from the sea. This consumption of krill and shrimp is itself a danger because other fish depend on krill in the food chain. Birds and other wildlife in turn depend on the fish.
As a result of this situation, it has therefore been proposed that the following goals are pursued. The goals are indicated in the model:
- To give to the Antarctic a “world park status”. This would counteract both the number of ships visiting the area and limit fishing by humans.
- To create a register of Antarctic vessels. This record would be required in order to enforce any treaty, such as the potential introduction of requirement and regulation governing the strengthening of ship’s hulls. These measures would counteract the impact of accidents when they occur, since there would be less chance of the release of oils and other pollutants carried onboard the ships.
The model shows that there is a useful side effect of accidents, which is to raise public awareness, leading to a strengthening of lobby groups which could bring the necessary regulations into being. Additionally, tourism brings more ships to the region, but also helps to educate and raise awareness.
Wednesday, 14 May 2008
This odd looking model was developed based on an example in New Scientist magazine, 5th Jan 2008 "While Others Lock Carbon Away for Years". What the model says is that new strains of wheat and other crops can create a strong amplifying effect on the ability of the plant to create plantstones. They are therefore a potentially important solution to countering CO2 omissions.
Plantstones are created by the plant growing and consuming minerals. Plantstones remain in the soil even after the plant decays. Thus, carbon can be stored in the plant (when it is alive) and afterwards (when it is dead) by virtue of the plantstones it leaves behind. Get this right, and the counteracting effect on greenhouse gases is strong.
Plantstones form as microscopic grains of silican in plant leaves, particularly in grass-based pastures and crops such as sugar cane and wheat. This is refered to as phytolith occluded carbon
A model drawn from an article: NASA: Danger Point Closer Than Thought From Warming