Time to rethink ‘systems thinking’

This post explores the limitations of systems thinking when referring to groups of people or whole organisations. It argues that differentiation is needed between the complicated and the complex and that, in the absence of this, the universal application of a system metaphor is propping up outmoded and unhealthy approaches to management within organisations. The[…]

Culture Change – Time To Throw Away The Carrot And Stick

This post explores alternatives to the behaviourist-informed practices that currently hold sway as many organisations attempt to change their cultures. After writing about Gestalt as an approach to personal development, I’ve also been reflecting on how it offers solutions to the challenges facing many of our organisations. Flowing from what seems to be an endless trail of[…]

Passwords – symbols of disempowering organisation cultures

Congratulations must go to the humble password for adding unnecessary cost into our businesses, making our systems less secure and contributing to the disengagement of millions of employees. They are indeed symbols and actual contributors to disempowerment within our organisations. A bit harsh? I don’t think so. For me, passwords have become one of the[…]

Continuing Professional Development – promoting bad learning habits

In a previous post I wrote about weaknesses in formal Continuous Professional Development (CPD) programmes required of some professionally qualified sectors. I bemoaned the tick-box exercise that most had become as people attended events in order to achieve a target number of study hours. The so-called learning delivered through this CPD also came under my critical eye.[…]

Continuing Professional Development – a tick-box exercise?

This post covers some of my long-held concerns about formal Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programmes. It was prompted by discussions currently underway in the UK’s Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD) on their support for ongoing professional development in HR. It finishes with an ask of regulators and professional bodies to review their thinking[…]

Is risk-avoidance damaging HR’s credibility?

This post outlines my views on HR’s credibility in the board room and how attempts to earn it have backfired. The basic premise of my argument is that, in attempting to win credibility, HR has proposed and implemented copy-cat best practice as a low-risk route to delivering HR strategy. This low risk approach has back[…]

Desperately seeking OD – Shaking off the HR best-practice straight jacket

This post offers a brief summary of the similarities and differences between OD and HR as fields of practice. It also offers a view on the challenges HR is currently facing and how the field of OD could be the source of insight it badly needs. Let’s first look at the similarities. There is one[…]