Some big ideas have become commonplace, and everyone understands them. Others have become commonplace terms, which we often misuse. Lateral Thinking is one example of the latter. Yet it’s had a big impact over the last fifty years and will, I suspect, continue to do so over the next fifty.
Lateral Thinking is the brainchild of Maltese thinker and educator, Edward de Bono. It first appeared in his short 1967 book, ‘The Use of Lateral Thinking’. And it’s currently still in print, as ‘Lateral Thinking: An Introduction’(US|UK). But since then, he’s written a whole library on this and related topics.
Waste is a bad thing. So, any wise manager will do well to eliminate it. You just need to know where to look. One of the many contributions of Taiichi Ohno and his Toyota Production System (TPS) was to catalogue 7 Wastes that we need to eliminate.
The 7 Wastes are now a fundamental part of the concept of lean thinking; whether applied to manufacturing, services, or public administration. By understanding them, you can make just about any process more efficient.
When you want to create something big, new, and complex, how do you keep all your tasks, time, and resources under control? The answer is Project Management.
We’ll never have the documentary evidence to prove it, but my assertion is that the discipline of Project Management goes back thousands of years. But even today, practice is evolving. In a world that is changing faster than ever, Project Management is a profession and a toolset that is becoming ever more valuable.
When two people cannot resolve a disagreement for themselves, they need a third person to get involved. And in the escalation from a friendly nudge up to the judicial system, mediation is the first formal step.
And, since conflict is common in organisations, it’s as well to understand what mediation can and cannot offer, when to use it, and how to make it effective.
Why do you get up every morning? Is it out of a sense of obligation, duty, or even compulsion? Or is it ikigai?
In Japanese culture, ikigai is a reason for getting up in the morning. it is the meaning to your life and your reason for being. It is your ‘raison d’être’, but in a more profound sense than English speakers commonly use that French phrase.
Ikigai is a big idea for English speakers, because we don’t have our own word, but the concept is important.
Who am I to be writing this article? I’m not a psychologist. I don’t know about this stuff. I’m just a hack who reads , reflects, and re-writes. I feel like a fraud… Yup, you guessed it: that’s imposter syndrome.
If you have ever felt inadequate for the task you’ve been given… Or, if you have felt like a fraud among other, better qualified people… chances are you weren’t. What you are feeling is the near-universal effects of what is commonly known as imposter syndrome.
The idea of Multiple Intelligences is the brainchild of Harvard Professor, Howard Gardner. As big ideas go, they don’t get bigger and simpler than this one.
Big, because the idea of Multiple Intelligences addresses something fundamental in all of us. It’s about our different capacities to excel in the full variety of human endeavours. It has a lot to say about how we should value the people around us, and the best way to educate our children.
Yet it is also disarmingly simple. There’s no single measure of intelligence. And neither should we reserve the label ‘intelligent’ for a narrow band of people who are simply intelligent in one of a small number of ways. Human potential expresses itself in a vast variety of forms. And so does our intelligence.
Customer Relationship Management, or CRM for short. The idea is simple: learn about your customers, and use your knowledge to strengthen your relationship with them. Use your stronger relationship to sell them more products or services. Repeat.
Not surprisingly, helping businesses to do this is… big business. A myriad of software solutions are available, with a plethora of consultancies and training businesses available to help you implement them. CRM has a lot in common with ERP. Indeed, some of the big players in the ERP space, also seek to sell CRM services alongside.
As a result, businesses focus on the software tools. This is a mistake. A fool with a tool… is still a fool. The secret to good CRM – as with good customer service – is to focus on the culture you build.
There are more models of leadership than you can shake a stick at. So how should you know which is the best? That’s the question that is answered by Situational Leadership.
The principle of Situational Leadership is simple. There is no one best approach to leadership. To lead well, you must adapt your approach to the situation.
Situational Leadership has deep roots. And let’s start by setting aside our certainty that people have been managing and leading by adapting their approach to the people in front of them, for centuries. The academic study of this approach goes back to the 1950s.