Author - kmchugh

Complex adaptive systems

Want to create highly adaptive resilient systems? Understand Value generation.

I’ve talked quite a bit over the years about Value and Value focus, and I’ve spent a load of energy and many, many hours embedding it into various teams and businesses to help to align thinking across the business. It is high time I put some of that talking into writing to make it easier to share. What is Value? Any system, process or action can be distilled down into a single primary purpose. In fact, just about anything can have a Value attributed to it. From here on, we will refer to that ‘anything’ as the System, regardless of whether it is an action, platform, system, or just a decision that you are making. As you’ve seen, I’m talking about Value with a capital ‘V’.  The Value of a System isn’t how much it costs or how much you can sell it for. Instead, Value is about impact. How does it make life easier, better, more enjoyable? That impact can be positive or negative, meaning that a System could make things worse in some contexts, while making things better in another context...

Its OK to be not ok

It’s okay not to be okay.

Just a few thoughts as we all go through this time together.     It is a big shift for all of us, a shift that has been forced upon us. Change in general causes stress and disruption.  The changes occurring now will be with us for the rest of time.  A new normal is forming. It is a time that is also very revealing about what we have become.  From governments arguing and unable to decide how to take action while people are dying.  To organisations and agencies using the virus as cover to start collecting more and more personal and private information.  Even individuals fighting in the aisles for toilet paper of all things. It is easy to see the negative, particularly when we all know that it is those negative stories that “make for good reading” in the news.  It currently doesn’t take much work to have that negativity reinforced and spiral down into a very dark place. We would do very well to recognise that and remember it.  During this time some people will end up in very dark...

Optimism is the gateway to possible.

It has been a busy few months which is why the silence.  A lot of work that has required just getting down and getting it done, and in most cases treating everything else as a distraction. Last weekend saw the completion of most of the hard work, which means time to see what is going on around me again.  Also a bit of a realisation about mind set. I’ve noticed that with that complete focus and lack of time to think, the ideas which usually flow through my head have quieted down.  The connections that normally spark when I see something new just were not happening as my entire mind was closed to new ideas for the entire three months. Thinking on that left me with a slight feeling of sadness as I know during the months, I’ve missed out on a million opportunities and ideas that would be interesting to explore.  On the positive side, the shift from long and intense days back to a normal workflow with some time to think has left me completely energised and ready to explore again. I’ve...

I don’t always optimise, but when I do, I optimise the bottleneck

Everybody loves to optimise.  Everyone loves hearing that we shaved 14 hours off process x.  The problem is if process x isn't the bottleneck it doesn't matter.  It looks great in reports when you talk to how time was saved in this part of the process, or reduced the number of people required at this stage of the process.  It doesn't always mean that the process itself has been optimised.

Data doesn’t lie, Analysts do. (Or how to tell a lie while telling the truth)

Data just is, it has no biases, no political affiliations, no feelings, and no story to tell.  It is pure and clean and just is.

Making data consumable means wrapping it in a narrative.  Squeezed through the lens of a colourful story designed to make the data interesting.  This is where bias enters, data is disconnected, and meanings manipulated to best present the story that is needed.