Jan 1, 2023Liked by Michael Woudenberg

Some links that might be interesting:




“We were successful in spite of ourselves.”

This is the key quote. Most large, successful organisations are stable (which is different to being optimal). This means that it’s hard to fatally break them and also that it’s hard to materially improve them.

What do you think of the Cynefin framework?

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Oct 18, 2023Liked by Michael Woudenberg

There are two types of people who work for others. Type one is the person who genuinely wants to do some things, to be productive and innovative, and to legitimately solve problems.

The other type of person gets promoted. That type of person focuses not on doing the right things, but instead on jumping through the right hoops. It's a code you can crack if you really want to, the way to get away with being a lazy pile of dookie.

That being said, the very best performers in the corporate world are those who are able to navigate between both areas. I do think you will find some successful folks who only pretend (the 2nd type of person), but I don't think the majority of the VERY successful folks (let's just say VP level or above at an average big company) aren't faking anything, they just have that 2nd skill set as well.

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I've never understood how successfully unsuccessful people get any job satisfaction. Imagine failing to achieve anything every single day

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May 18, 2023Liked by Michael Woudenberg

I see this all the time. One of the things that seems to be connected to the behavior is the concept of what I would call "The Potemkin Organization". This is where the operating model is based on a fake aspirational architecture that can only be measured from one perspective that is carefully controlled. It is rigging the system so that compliance is the only measure and unaccountability IS the design goal.

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Show me the incentive structures and I will have a reasonable explanation for human behavior and foibles.

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