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Bruce Holland

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Snippets on Resilience

  1. The current business model is slowly killing the planet and humanity; but, it doesn’t have to be that way! - By looking back over about 30,000+ years of history, I’ve tried to explain in less than 10 minutes, why our current business model is so dangerous and what we can do about it!

  2. A New Role For Business- From Breaker of the world to Maker of the world. - Business is causing major damage to the world because it is based on unsustainable elements like never-ending growth, material wealth and accountant's profit; however, it is also the only hope we have for a better world. Governments, NGO's and individuals can help, but only business has the capacity to make a sufficient difference.

  3. Don't Be On The Beach Watching As The Tsunami Comes In - Many books say our current business, social, economic and political system is close to reaching a critical limit which has stressed the planet to such an extent that we could suffer catastrophic failure.

  4. Would Your Organisation Survive In A Crisis? - Would your organisation survive if there was a crisis? Ten Ways to Organisational Resilience.

  5. How to future-proof your organisation for the next 50 years - Recently I've been working on an 'I can't get it out of my mind' project called the Wellington Blue Star Future. The aim of the project is to make the Wellington Region the most livable region in the world, beyond sustainability. At the start I was attracted by the audacity of the aims, the people who were involved and some of the wonderful change management approaches our American mentor Bill Veltrop introduced; but soon I started to realise that these ideas would also be important to my clients who want to future-proof their organisation for the next 50 years.

  6. Eight Stories To Change The World – or at least your organisation - There are two routes to changing social systems: 1. Changing structures (this is difficult and usually leads to resistance); 2. Changing stories (this is totally painless and has no resistance; indeed when one has a new story in one’s head, it’s almost impossible to continue to do the things that seemed to make sense under the old story.

  7. Being Manoeuvrable And Creative - Flexibility and creativity are core skills today. To find out why, and how they are achieved.

  8. Strategies to increase flexibility - This Strategic Snippet addresses second level strategies to increase flexibility and break down silos. These strategies are required after the business system and senior managers have been addressed.

  9. Building a more flexible organisation - Systems thinking is based on the idea that complexity is so great there is no way we can know, with any certainty, what's going to happen. In these conditions, the trick is to build an organisation that's so flexible and responsive that we don't care what happens.

  10. How To Become Focused Fast And Flexible - History will show, the risk is in being rigid and slow, whether it?s the USSR or Andersons. To find out how to be focused, fast and flexible.

  11. How To Succeed In A Turbulent World - Over the last 9 years I've studied and experimented with how to make leaders more successful in a turbulent world. To find the 11 most important actions you can take in a turbulent world.

  12. Experimental proof that the way we do business sets us up to fail - This is about an experiment that shows that there is something wrong with our business system. Unless the system is changed it can not succeed. We need to change the system in at least three ways.

  13. What really works in business? - This reports a groundbreaking five-year study has separated the facts from the fads and found the four management practices that truly produced superior results.

  14. Research shows only 4 things really matter in business) - A groundbreaking five-year study has separated the facts from the fads and found the management practices that truly produced superior results. It found that most of the management tools and techniques studied had no direct impact on superior business performance, but 4 did!

  15. Virtual Organisations - In the USA virtual organisations are the big new wave in organisational development. Even big traditional organisations are trying to become less structured, less siloed and more virtual. Since 1994 I have been testing these ideas in Virtual Group Business Specialists, itself a model of what we want to achieve. To learn what we have found.

  16. Over-Controlling And Over Managing - Unnecessary change is probably the most disruptive and expensive practice in the last 20 years of New Zealand business. Without a unifying conceptual theory, organisations flip and flop in endless cycles of change - from centralisation to decentralisation and back again; from internal to external focus and back. Most of this activity is counter productive and wasteful. In the last 10 years scientists have found that life has a sweet spot ... a spot where living systems thrive, this spot is vital to understanding organisations and business. Organisations also have a sweet spot, to find out how to get to it.

  17. How Current Management Theory Is As Dead As The Dodo - Emergence is bowling over nearly everything we thought we knew about management. To learn more about emergence and why Management Theory Is As Dead As The Dodo.

  18. How some companies are run like Stalin ran the USSR - Some companies are run like Stalin ran the USSR. They are command structures, highly centralised, rigid and tall. When the environment changes rigid, tall structures are fundamentally unstable... apt to fall over. And, like Russia, when it happens they fall fast.

  19. Doing Business At The Speed Of Life - Organisations need to be faster because opportunities are here today and gone tomorrow; customers demand instant satisfaction and no one can afford to maintain inefficient processes. To learn how to speed up without killing the life in your organisation.

  20. Your Money Making Machine - Many managers see their organisation as money making machines. I have no problem with the money making part, but I get concerned about the machine part. It leads to reengineering, downsizing, tinkering and fitting people into boxes. For a better way to think about your business.

  21. Chaos And Complexity - Science is turning management on its head with its findings in the science of Complexity (how simple bodies self-organise to form much larger more complex organisations). To understand why complexity is important to management thinking.

  22. Putting Out Fires - Research shows that executives spend 75% of their time "putting out fires" such as excessive paperwork, solving other people's problems, correcting errors, and administration; they'd prefer to spend more time on leadership, strategy, envisioning, planning, development, communicating, thinking and learning. To find out the main causes of fire fighting and how to break free.

  23. Beanbag Management - Instead of thinking about your organisation as a tower or a structure it may be better to think of it as a beanbag. Beanbags have porous, flexible walls; they fit exactly to their environment no matter how much it changes; individuals inside are free to move far more easily to where they can add the most value to customers. They are based on the principles of living systems, they are organic, managers grow them, managers focus on the whole system, on relationships, on self-organisation, feedback and flow.

  24. The World Is A Great Deal Simpler Than We Think - It seems that almost all complex systems are actually made up of very simple parts repeated over and over again. Thinking like this makes business much easier to understand.

  25. The G.U.T.S of business According to the Grand Unified Theory of business the world is a great deal simpler than we thought. Find out the lessons for business including the risks of over-management, why feedback and memory are so important in organisations; how to move from reporting lines to supporting lines; from managing the work to managing the workplace; from being the head to being the immune system; from a book full of rules to three simple rules, from filling jobs to releasing talent.

  26. M Theory - In physics they call it the Theory of Everything. It promises to unite all the known fields of science including electromagnetic, nuclear forces, and gravity into one supermodel. Scientists call this supermodel the M-theory. I forget what the M stands for, perhaps it's the Mother of all theories.

  27. Tit-for-tat - Jesus taught us to: Do unto others as you wish them to do unto you, and if they do you wrong, turn the other cheek. Until the last few years it was not possible to test whether or not these were the best rule in the long term. Today computers using game theory can model hundreds of iterations of various rules and found tit-for-tat works best. To find out more

  28. A Revolution In Management - For the last 200 years the western world has followed a rationalist decision making model. It's only in the last 20 years that we're starting to seriously question this, and the result is a revolution in management thought and practice. For the details and the implications for your business

  29. Scarcity Or Plenty - Research is showing that we live in a world of plenty, but as business people, nearly all our training has been about how to succeed in a world of scarcity. We need a new working theory of Economics, the old one no longer explains what we see happening? This Snippet explores the work of Paul Zane Pilzer, author of Unlimited Wealth and his rationale. It is mind changing stuff!

  30. Ambush The Time Bandits - Time starvation is arguably the most insidious threat to managers in the 21st century. This Snippet give deep insights into how to break out and find time for the important things in business.

  31. Change Is Not A Straight-Line Process - Research is showing that change does not occur in the way that we thought it did. It's not like a billiard ball, rather, it's much more about managing, cultivating and spreading change by sneezers. Execution is difficult, but it doesn't have to be. Find out how, and some pitfalls to watch out for.

  32. Managers forget we are hard-wired and demotivate us - Great managers know that for 99.8% of our history we have been tribal hunters and gatherers. Under our veneer of sophistication we are primitive animals that are successful in surprising ways.

  33. Staff Intimacy (BUZZ) - In my job I go into lots of different organisations. Some are buzzing. Others are dead. Mostly the difference is due to the senior management and some remarkably simple things they do (or don't do).

  34. How to Revitalise Large Mature Organisations - I know from many conversations with Chief Executives and Directors that silos and slowness are two of their biggest frustrations. It's silos and slowness that obstruct their progress, reduce their achievements and keep them from success. Silos and slowness lead to anger and frustration, not only at the top, but also right through the organisation. Yet many organisations seem to be powerless to break out. Find out how to attack silos.

  35. Speed - The New Frontier Of Competition - In organisations, power is moving from the slow to the fast. This is a natural law of the universe whether in species, nations or organisations. The old categories of Capitalist and Communist, North and South are increasingly obsolete, today all that matters is fast and slow.

  36. How Toxic Is Your Culture? - Recently the newspaper has been full of the importance of culture in organisations like ACC. Some cultures are toxic and destroy whole organisations; this Snippet gives you a tool to measure your risk.

  37. Improve your team's effectiveness by 66.6% - Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It's teamwork that gives the ultimate competitive advantage, because it's so powerful and so rare. Here's how you can improve it by 66.6%.

  38. The untapped competitive advantage of large mature organisations - New research suggests that large mature organisations should have a natural advantage over smaller organisations due to power-law scaling; however, experience shows that this advantage is seldom realised and small organisations are leaving them for dead. It doesn't have to be this way. Things could be different. They need to eliminate their silos, increase their speed and substitute small-thinking for big-thinking; then they would become as innovative as small organisations, and far more efficient. Read on ...

  39. Cooperation Vs Competition - Read about the research that supports more cooperation in business.

  40. Networks And Networking - How to build better networks and a warning about how much emphasis business theory puts on the concept of competition.

  41. The curse of silos, slowness and small-thinking - Silos may be the most universal problem facing large mature organisations. And most people don't realise how much pain they are causing or the cost to the organisation. Silos cause slowness and small-thinking because people are focussed inward protecting budgets and power structures rather than focussing outward on customers and problem-solving.

  42. How To Get Them Out Of Silos And Stop Fighting Each Other - For years, Chief Executives have pulled their hair out in frustration at the lack of cooperation between Finance and Sales. Neither seem to listen to each other nor understand. At best they misunderstand each other, at worst they hate each other. It leads to separation and silos. Similar disagreements exist between Product Development and Production. This Snippet tells you why and what to do about it.

  43. Breaking down organisational silos - I think silos may be the most universal problem facing large organisations. And most people don't realise how much pain it is causing or the cost to the organisation. Silos cause people who are supposed to be on the same team to work against each other, paralysing performance.

  44. Why Silos Are So Dangerous - The main reason why silos are so dangerous is they cut a system into bits, and bits of a system can't possibly emerge like a whole system does. Try cutting a fly into bits and you'll see what I mean.

  45. Secrets to Achieving Collaboration - Even the best organisations have trouble harnessing their resources across internal boundaries in a way that customers truly value and are willing to pay for. Sometimes this is due to the organisation structure, technology or processes but mostly it is about wrong thinking. Change the thinking of your managers and silos miraculously disappear.

  46. A Sector-wide Case Study on Collaboration - A case study of collaboration between Police, Fire Service, Rural Fire, Ambulance, Department of Conservation, Defence and Civil Defence to create a seamless way of working together during n emergency. It has made New Zealand safer.

  47. A Definition of Collaboration - When I talk about collaboration I'm talking about something deeper than most people would think about.

  48. The Business Case for Collaboration - Lack of collaboration is the single most wasteful practice in New Zealand business today. While conditions were favourable we could tolerate this waste. Given the economic mess we are in now, this is waste we simply can't afford.

  49. Test How Collaborative Your Organisation Is - Take the following test to find out how collaborative your organisation is.

  50. Is Your Organisational Subconscious an Enemy or a Friend? - Your subconscious is a powerful friend but it can also be a powerful enemy. Many people don't realise that what they focus on is what the subconscious will deliver. Focus on problems and you'll get problems. Focus on opportunities and you'll get opportunities. None of this is very new. At an individual level we all know this stuff, however, at an organisational level it has been largely ignored. In my work I find that establishing the right images in the 'mental subconscious' of an organisation is vital to success.

  51. Management's Sweet Spot - In the last 10 years scientists have found that life has a sweet spot... a spot where living systems thrive, where all growth and creativity occurs. Since organisations are living systems, understanding this sweet spot is vital to understanding organisations and business.

  52. Succeeding In Today's Business Environment - In today's environment some organisations are really struggling because they lurch from one state to another: for example, from centralisation to decentralisation and back again, from control to empowerment and back again. It does not have to be this way.

  53. How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference - This Snippet is based on: "The Tipping Point - How little things can make a big difference" by Malcolm Gladwell. In my experience, of changing organisations it's always the little things that matter. Indeed they are so little that often managers think they can't possibly matter.

  54. The Most Important Things Never Change - We've all heard that everything is changing. Well, some things are, but the really important things never change ... and they never will. This has important implications for business.

  55. Would The 20-225 Rule Make You More Effective? - Typically 20% of customers account for 225% of the profits, which of course means that the other 80% "lose" 125 percent of the profits.
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