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To team, or not to team, that is the question…

We are social animals. We have hunted and gathered in teams for most of our history. Beside the benefits of sharing the burden of survival and gaining insight, learning and knowledge, we also seek out teams for affection, affiliation, acknowledgement and personal self-worth. Even today, banishment or shunning is an important form of punishment in [...]


Lessons from the Valley of Death

Half a league, half a league, Half a league onward, All in the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. ‘Forward, the Light Brigade! Charge for the guns!’ he said; Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. The 25th of October will be the 164th anniversary of one of the most famous (infamous?) [...]


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 [...]