Gartner ITxpo Gold Coast

nexus of forcesDuring the past 4 days I attended the annual biggest Gartner conference ITxpo.

I haven’t been here for a number of years and was really looking forward to it. My program was not aligned to any of the pre-defined streams and had a good selection of mobile, big data, business intelligence, cloud and enterprise architecture with a sprinkle of leadership and management aspects.

Gartner always has multiple sessions in parallel and I find it difficult to choose at times. Nonetheless I was happy with my schedule that looked ram-packed with exciting stuff.

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The one thing we really do well

At work we had some visitors last week. They did a workshop in parallel to guiding a project team through a week of change. I was fortunate to be part of the “peripheral” and observe.

The project content and deliverable at weeks end was not the main thing as you may expect from a project. At least not for me. No, the result of the week was actually summed up during a presentation in the middle. Joe Justice of Wikispeed said:

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Doing the right things

When I was still at High School my Dad explained to me the difference between efficient and effective. Or in plain English, doing things right compared to doing the right things. I could see value in both and debated about what is better. It took me some time and a fairly extreme example to understand the importance of the distinction.

These days lean manufacturing, lean thinking, and lean approaches are the holy grail. Since Toyota became the standard in efficiency there are few organisations that don’t follow that herd. And boy, there are some amazing savings to be made. Having the right structure in place and everybody knows what they should be doing it is like cogs and gears churning along at full steam.

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Good Management Practice is the death for Innovation!

InnovationThis will be a short but provocative post.

 

(1)

Good Management practice as I have learned and practiced over many years is symbolised in 2 simple statements

 

  • risk management
  • following the rules

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Master the Difficult

There are many things I’m not good at. Playing the guitar for example. My wife tells me I have the perfect hands to learn playing. My desire to do so is not there.

My son Niklas on the other hand decided some years ago to learn just that. He loved listening to music and he loved my wife Susani playing the guitar. I didn’t notice first he started learning to play. He’d asked Susani if he could try on the old guitar. Sure, she said.

She saw him trying and watched a while. “Stop that”, she said. She gave him her “good” guitar, which was well tuned. “Now you can hear what you are doing!”

He asked questions: how is this? why is that? listen, does that sound alright?

He listened to Youtube clips and learned with his iPod touch for hours. He got his own guitar for his next birthday. He takes more care of that then the car he’s driving.

Now, 3 years later he plays bloody well. Really.

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