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The World belongs to Unreasonable People

Kurt_Lewin‘There is nothing so practical as
a good theory’

So said psychologist Kurt Lewin, whose model of change is one of the most valuable resources that managers have [mental note – great blog topic].

But it is foolish to ‘swallow a model whole’, as Peter Honey points out in his foreword to the Management Models Pocketbook.

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Instead, Dr Honey gives the following prescription:

Take a model

Distil it into techniques you can use

Test the techniques in practice

Review and refine

Keep practicing until you become skilled

That’s a pretty good model (a free extra in a book with an advertised ten models!).  Peter, by the way, has a new website and blog, and his thoughts are always worth reading.

The CECA Loop

The third and fourth steps of what I will now call the The Honey Model-users Model are about validating a model.  This is the purpose of a rather fine tool, developed by defence scientist, David Bryant: the CECA Loop.

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The CECA Loop starts with two models:

  • A conceptual model of how you want the world to be
  • A situational model of how the world really is

Critique

First, evaluate the extent to which the two models are consistent with one another.  They do not have to be the same – one is clearly the world as you would like it to be.

Explore

Seek out information that will allow you to evaluate your models.

Compare

Now assess the extent to which the two models are the same or different.  When you understand the gaps, you can …

Adapt

Finally you can change your world or change your behaviours or change the way you perceive your world, to move one of your models towards the other.

‘The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.‘
George Bernard Shaw
Irish dramatist & socialist (1856 – 1950)

So here’s the deal

Changing the world: how much more practical can a good theory get?

Some Management Pocketbooks you might Enjoy

The CECA Loop is Bryant’s modernisation of the OODA, which he believes is out-dated.  I believe that the two models can work well together, but let’s remember that both Bryant, and John Boyd, the developer of the OODA Loop, were both interested in the military context.

Their work has wider applications and, like Peter Honey, I believe that, as long as we properly attribute their ideas, we are free to adapt them to our own needs.

The Management Models Pocketbook has a chapter on Boyd’s OODA Loop.

You might also enjoy:

The Managing Change Pocketbook

The Creative Manager’s Pocketbook

The Learner’s Pocketbook

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The Secret to Success

Before moving to Hampshire, I lived on the edge of Surrey and Kent, and became a Governor at a fantastic and forward thinking school, Warlingham.  Warlingham School is a Business and Enterprise Specialist School, which is very active in promoting its specialism through the whole curriculum, and through many special events for the pupils.

On one of these events, I was asked to speak to a large group of younger pupils.  As a professional speaker, this was, perhaps, my toughest gig.  I decided to tell them what every young teenager needs to know in life – the secret to success.

No Snake Oil Merchant

Before you start wondering if I was peddling snake oil, or “the secret”, or some mystical approach, stop now.  The formula I promoted requires application and effort.  It follows common sense, and it is taught in military colleges around the world.

Because of its military roots, it is not well known – yet it deserves to be.  It is brilliant for managers in managing your team and your function, for leaders in reviewing progress, for anyone who wants personal success and, of course, for young people setting out to succeed. It went down a storm.

So what are you contributing to Schools?

I learned a lot by getting involved with Warlingham School, and later, as Chair of Governors at a primary school.  And I hope they got something from my contribution.

We hear a lot about “Big Society” but the truth is that volunteering has always been a big part of British society.  And the biggest single group of volunteers is school governors.  According to School Governors’ One-Stop Shop, there are 300,000 governor places in England, with around 40,000 vacancies – that’s over a quarter of a million active governors!

… and a load of opportunities to get involved.

Make a Business Contribution

18-22Oct

Visit our Schools and Colleges week runs from 18-22 October and offers a collaboration between schools and colleges, and business leaders and senior staff.  Whether you work in the private, public or third sector, here is a chance to spend a couple of hours helping your local school or college and I promise you will love it.

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From the Visit our Schools and Colleges website:

During the week of the 18-22 October leading CEOs and other senior staff from the private and public sectors, at the invitation of head teachers, will visit state schools throughout the country. It will be chance for them to hear from headteachers and young people about their schools, to witness that work at first hand and to discuss how they could work together to help young people reach their potential.

  • It’s free to register and be involved
  • Visits only take 2 hours in October

The National Campaign, the first of its type, will harness the huge appetite across schools, colleges and employers to work together by making it easy and simple.

Hundreds of thousands of employers are already working with schools and colleges and helping young people and at the same time seeing the benefits to themselves of doing so – motivation and retention of their employees who volunteer as well as building their reputation in the community.

Learn about the OODA Loop

9781906610036You can see my original presentation to the children (with an extra page) on Slideshare.net. and read all about it in chapter 10 of the Management Models Pocketbook.

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Other Management Pocketbooks you might Enjoy


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