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.