Posts in Leadership

How to manage your complexity budget

There's an important concept that all leaders have an energetic budget with which they get things done. Every demand you face spends some of your complexity budget. My earlier post outlined that idea and credits its originators. As a leader, if you have more demands that you can satisfy, an overwhelming number of conflicting priorities, dissatisfied stakeholders or are spending

You have a complexity budget. Spend it wisely.

Every change you want to drive within a business costs you time and energy. You have a limited capacity of both. If you commit yourself to more change than your own capacity to fulfil it, you are most likely to execute the change poorly or have it fail. This sounds obvious, and therefore avoidable, but many times I have noticed

Inertia can ambush change

Over the last few years, I came to properly understand this warning from John Kotter about business change: Never underestimate the magnitude of the forces that reinforce complacency and that help maintain the status quo. That's from his book Leading Change, which my friend and colleague Wayne recommended to me when our change project was about to be funded. He

Seeing the world clearly

One of my core principles is to continuously increase the clarity with which I see the world. This is a top-level principle, and so I have a bunch of values and behaviours which flow from that. I have seen this value misused. A bitter person misused it to excuse counter-productive behaviour, and an idealist misappropriated it to disguise their unwillingness

Driven to achieve

I’m a fan of the Strengths model. On both of the times I have done the self-assessment, two of my top five strengths are: Achiever Focus This is very true of me. The ‘so what’ of the combination might not be immediately obvious unless you have those same two compulsions, or have a significant other with them, and have

Seeking root cause

Systems thinking I don’t know whether I became a systems thinker because I read about it in the Fifth Discpline fifteen years ago, or whether I was already a systems thinker but didn’t know the label. Either way, I remember how it gave me a visual method to expose a system, and the diagnostic power of its archetypes.

On introversion

I am so happy about the recent publicity on introversion. I’m an introvert, and am aware of how to get the best out of myself. I’m not shy – that’s a common misunderstanding – but I prefer the inner world and gain energy from it. Too much time in busy groups and workshops is draining for me. Thanks to