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No Plan Survives Contact with Reality: How to Implement Successful Strategies of Imperfection

  “All the business of war, and indeed all the business of life, is to endeavour to find out what you don’t know by what you do; that’s what I called ‘guessing what was at the other side of the hill.” Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington. In warfare, business, and life in general we [...]


Why Learning Organisations Fail

The literature on contemporary leadership and management is brimming with exhortations to learn and adapt. Laudable as this approach is, however, it is often flawed. First, in both business and public service, it is often based on an oversimplified understanding of learning, which confuses learning with training, ignoring the distinct value of education. Second, education [...]


What can you learn from Airbnb, Uber and eBay?

Platform business models like Airbnb, Uber, and eBay are upending our conceptions of business, challenging the traditional linear business model as the only the only way of creating value. Today, how a business, public service or charity connects matters just as much as what it produces or provides. It’s imperative to remember that a platform is [...]


Leadership When Hierarchy Fails

Two seemingly unrelated stories have struck me over the past month: the continuing saga of the Harvey Weinstein sex abuse scandal and the publication of the report into the Grenfell Fire commissioned by Muslim Aid. For me, the thread connecting them is the threat and the opportunity posed to hierarchies in an increasingly complex and [...]