Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Mix of toilets

In tweets today toilets and women were discussed. And that women in general need more toilets. Taking more time due to more complicated procedure? Spending more time washing hands? Adjusting make-up?

I do not know - but here is one clever thing to improve the situation.

In the picture below you can see a configuration with toilets and washing-hands/mirrors equipment. At the top the small red "circles" are where you spend time adjusting make-up, wash hands etc. And at the bottom you see cubicles with toilets. Each with door and lock.
Gentlemen will enter this facility from left and ladies from right. In the gentlemen area there is also a red box - representing a urinal.
The clever thing is that there is a wall separating women from men. Creating the illusion of two facilities. The wall can be moved if the population contains more women. Or just to let women have more toilets and mirrors.
In the set-up above men have six toilets and the urinal while women have six toilets.

If the event is a ladies-only event you could slide the wall and create:
Now men only have one toilet and the women have eleven! And if it is a football game you could consider to place the wall elsewhere.

To be able to adjust the mix of toilets seems like a simple way of making the situation better. And still there is illusion of totally separated women and men toilets. Which seems to be desired in many cultures/communities. Note also that number of mirrors also changes...

Not sure how common this solution is, but I have seen it in at least one hockey/event arena.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Demonstrations against global warming.

[Got this picture from a colleague. Rather cute demonstration. And I assume that any kind of warming is a threat to these guys!]

Thursday, 17 December 2009

"reply all"

In mail-systems where there are distribution lists there is always a risk (or chance?) that someone uses one of the larger lists by mistake. And sometimes that leads to persons on list responding to that mail - using "reply to all" function.

If more people do the same it will trigger mails with the message "do not use reply to all" - possibly also sent to all. Of course.

Here are some real data from such "incident" today. Already after 17 minutes the apology was out "Sorry. Did not mean to send to all. Please ignore".

In the diagram you can see what kind of mails was sent using "reply to all" in the next few hours:
On the x-axis you have 30-minutes periods from first email sent. And y-axis is frequence.

As you can see there are lots of email just saying "You probably got the wrong guy."

On second place comes the "Do not reply to all" messages (sent using "reply to all").

And then there are some people that would like to be removed from the list, some trying to explain how to send emails correctly - and also someone that was just a bit upset about.

Remember. The chart shows only the mails I could see and that was sent using "reply to all". I assume that the person sending the mail to distribution list in the first place also received some direct mail.

Anyone else having more data and patterns describing this?

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Make-up or Photoshop?

Richard Veryard said "Aren't cosmetics and airbrushing basically the same thing, or have I missed something? #Twiggy #Olay" in a tweet. (tweet)

I tend to agree. Both make up and digital work on photos will change the face. And I assume that you can do lots of magic with make-up. Almost the same thing as with post-production digital editing. At least in order to show a pretty face with perfect attributes.


Starting with the face at the top you can either take the left path - with make-up to "edit" face and then just camera to make it digital and be able to show it. Or if you take the right path where you create the digital image first - then edit the image of the face - in order to display. The viewer will not see "real" face in any case.

Editing before or after camera. That is the question.


Sunday, 6 December 2009

Different rainbow

When you think of a rainbow you most likely think of something like:
Something curved and with seven bright colours. Pretty!

But it is also a very common picture of a rainbow. Maybe too common?

What happens if we tried to come up with a more unique rainbow. A more creative rainbow. Just playing a bit with the setup of the standard rainbow.

We might end up with something like:

Not seven colours, not even seven shades of grey. Just one shade of grey. And just straight lines.

This is a more unique rainbow than the standard rainbow. And as you can imagine there are many more unique rainbows just waiting to be created.

Some people would argue that this it not a rainbow anymore. It does not follow the rules for being a rainbow. But should we not challenge rules? Should not even rainbows challenge their rules? Would this grey rainbow get acceptance in rainbow community?

When you think of a unique rainbow - what do you see? How much can be challenged and changed?

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Make differences visible!

Last week I read a report from analyst firm. It analyzed a lot of companies and illustrated its findings in 2x2 systems. But all diagrams looked the same. All companies were put int the top right box.
All diagrams looked like:
All companies very successful? Well, nice - but boring. The 2x2 system is more interesting when it used to illustrate differences, tensions and how the companies really differ. "All companies doing well" is nice. But not very useful.

I suggest that if you want to use 2x2 system in you should work with the scale so that differentiators are clearly seen. Then you could see how they differ and what they could do to change.

Here I just rescaled the first picture. And in my opinion much more interesting. I now see that two companies are in the top left quadrant. Wonder what they can do about that? And how about those two companies in bottom left? What should they do?
2x2 boxes can be useful to illustrate differences. And it is the differentiators and differences that can create a movement between the boxes. It is the visible and categorized differences that will trigger most thinking.

Make sure you use a scale so that differences gets visible. And exciting!

Having nothing makes you agile

I like quadrant systems (2x2 boxes) to describe things. I like how they can be used to see differentiators and how paths can be chosen.

Not only can they trigger action. They can also bring you problem! And make it harder to move.

If you are in the top right box you have it all. But having it all might make it harder to improve. If you already have a good car - why get a great car?

If you are in low right corner you have one of two. That will make the game tough to play. You need to get the second - and still keep the first. Same with top left box.

In the low left box you are free. You have nothing and can move in any direction. No need to protect anything. Nothing to watch. Moving in any direction will improve your situation.

Since I like to think in metaphores - here we go:

Here you can have a mouse and a bird. The real winner - in the absolute top right of the system - would have a large bird and a huge mouse (or rat even!?). Having any bird and any mouse will of course also place you in the top right box.

Imagine holding a bird and a mouse in your hands. Both alive of course. How easy is it now to upgrade to a larger mouse. Let go of the mouse in hand - and try to grab a new and larger one running by? Same with bird. Let go of the bird and try to catch that swoooshing-by bird. That is hard! And risky. You might loose what you have when you try to improve.

It's a bit easier to have a mouse in hand and try to catch a bird. At least slightly. You can even try to grab a larger mouse while holding a smaller. Tough work - but possible.

It is easiest to hunt down a mouse or bird if you have nothing in your hands. And you are also free to choose strategy. If you aim for the bird first you will look up and hunt in the air. And if you go for the mouse you can start to crawl on ground tracking the beasts.
So, being in top right box can paralyze you. You have your hands full being there so you have a hard time improving since you like to avoid risks of loosing. In two other boxes you have a least one hand free to hunt. A bit awkward since you need to protect what you have - when hunting in the other dimension.

Having nothing gives you freedom to select strategy and nothing to loose. And keeps you very agile since you have all hands free...

Having nothing can make it easier to catch the largest bird. Or the most impressive mouse.

Friday, 4 December 2009

About silver bullet

Noticed: Only people not having the silver bullet says "There is no silver bullet".

Expectation on ideas

Do you expect ideas to be ready to be implemented? Do you expect a "business case" together with the idea? A project plan perhaps?

Well, that might not be a clever strategy.

If you expect ideas to be ready, well defined, proper ROI calculated etc you will get a behaviour following this expectation. People will spend more time working with their ideas. Polishing, preparing, powerpointing, details added, risks handled, marketing explored.
All to make a brilliant, shiny and excellent presentation so that you can understand the idea and buy into it.

But, what now also happens is that the person with idea will spend a lot of time and effort with his idea. When you spend time and effort you will hate to see it ruined. And you will also most likely fall in love with your idea, especially since you have covered all angles and perspectives. "It's a brilliant idea. I have it all covered." (Sure you do. But only from your perspective....)

So, now you have a person that spent lots of time on his idea. And really loves it. How will he react to suggestions? Criticism? Alternatives? Questions? "My idea is perfect. Look here...and here... and here...And I also have spent a lot of time on this!"

There is also a risk that when you see the idea you take this into account. "Oh, he spent lots of time on this - Let's be careful when dealing with this." And thus accepting to move forward with a bad idea - only to be kind.

So, if you expect ideas to be ready when you hear them you will foster an organisation that delivers shiny ideas - carved in stone - hard to adjust - and possibly worthless.
Expect high quality - and you might end up with no quality at all.

Better to encourage people showing their ideas early - and raw. Help them build upon the ideas. Support them. Do not expect a finalized business case - help them build the business case.
Adjust the direction of the ideas. Get expertise and right knowledge involved.

Expect any and every idea to be raw. Support the development of the idea instead of analyzing and judging it (too early). Let the judgement grow - while you together explore the idea.

Expecting ideas to be "raw" works amazingly well for ideas that actually are shiny and ready too.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Relevant message

We all want messages to be relevant. But what is a relevant message?

Like this:

Should we consider content and quality? Channel? Format? Probably. But what is more important is what happens afterwards.
From a senders perspective, say company ACME, it could be like this:

A relevant message will trigger the receiver into an action that will create value for ACME. Maybe buying its product? Hiring their consultant? Letting a brother play in the team?

An unrelevant message do not trigger an action that leads to value for ACME.

From the reciever perspective we have this instead:

Here the relevant message is the message that triggers the action that gives the receiver most (or more) value.
@lawlesz suggests that time necessary to process message also influence higher relevance. Less time means higher relevance.

A relevant message is not really about content or channel. It is more about what actions it triggers and what values follow. What is a relevant message for the sender does not have to relevant for the receiver.

Think of "relevant message" as a verb - creating value. And faster is better.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

No cow on the ice

"There is no cow on the ice"

This is a very well known Swedish proverb. Well, in Sweden at least.

It means "There's nothing to worry about ... yet." No need to panic yet, we still have (some) time.

The proverb above is actually just a short version of:
"There is no cow on the ice as long as its behind is still ashore"
which maybe makes more sense. No need to panic, yet, the whole cow is not on the ice yet. We still have time.

Having a cow on ice can be a rather interesting adventure I guess. So, as long as the cow is only halfway on the ice there is no need to panic. But as soon as all of the cow is on ice you need to worry... Cows are not well designed to walk on ice.

Why should there be cows on the ice anyway? Well, Sweden have lots of lakes and large archipelagos. And there is also ice on these lakes and water in the winter of course. So, relocating cows using iced lakes and waters was not uncommon. Might be a lot easier as well than using small ferries to transport cows in summer.

"There is no cow on the ice."

One of the best Swedish proverb around. And when using it you should never ever use the long version.

(In Swedish: "Det är ingen ko på isen" - and a long version: "Det är ingen ko på isen så länge rompan är på land.")

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

A thought about Monty Hall

There is a classic problem called the Monty Hall problem. (Here you can read about it

Lets explore an interesting twist on this. Lets use three cards instead of three doors. One of the cards is a King. The other two something else. The three cards are on the table showing the back side.

Carol now picks one of the card - but she does not turn it. The Game Host Eric now turns on of the other two. He shows Carol (and the audience!) that it is not the King. Eric then puts the card in his pocket.

Let us assume we have the version of the Monty Hall-problem where the game host always shows a non-winning card (i.e. he knows where the King is and select a non-King to show and put in pocket).
He then asks Carol if she wants to swap cards, i.e. picking the other card on the table. Should she?

Yes, she should swap. When Carol picked the first card probability for her was 1/3 to pick the King. And 2/3 that the King was among the other two. When Eric reveals a non-King nothing changes really. And by swapping Carol will increase her odds to win. (Read more in the wikipedia article!)

Let us also assume that John now enters the room from a short bathroom visit. What he see is a table with one card close to Carol. And another card closer to Eric. John asks the person sitting next to him what the game is about - and neighbor responds: "One of those cards is a King. And Carol can keep her card or switch to the other. If she gets the King she wins."
John do not know that there was a third card. (Now in Eric's pocket)

Carol is now convinced she should swap cards and that the odds for her to win would then be 2/3. (Again: Check the wikipedia article to see why the odds are like that. Remember that the game hosts knows where the King is.)

John on the other hand is convinced that the odds for winning if she swap cards is 1/2. Two cards on the table - one if King. Simple as that.

So, now we have two persons in the same room. Seeing the same table and cards. But they are convinced that probability for win if swapping are different.

Who is right? Are they both right?

If Eric now would tell John about the third card and how Eric put it in his pocket. Should Eric rethink the probability? Will past event influence probability from Johns perspective? Would a hidden card from the past in Eric's pocket change John's calculations?

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Questions & words - revisited

Thinking about questions and "what" and "who". And looking up a classic piece on how to put forward questions and how to answer these correctly. And yet, in this scene the answers create more confusions than knowledge. Or?

Here is one of many versions:


Thursday, 19 November 2009

Question words

We have questions words to explore and get answers. They work in different ways and are many times also received differently.
Do not just jump in and fire away all your 5W1H questions. They are different tools. Just like hammer and saw are different tools for a carpenter.

what? is used to establish. Fact oriented. "What is that?" "What happened?" "What are going to do?" Often a rather neutral word. Will rarely create any upset feelings.

where? do not establish - but used to clarify. Cannot stand on its own. No danger in using this question. Just clarifying something.

when? is also a clarifying question. Often related to something we learned from the "what?"

who? is getting tougher. Now we want to know who did something or who should do something. We are touching on responsibilities and blame (or reward!). Not a good question to start with. And who-questions can also create feelings and emotions.

why? is the hardest. Now we search for justification or reason. "Why did you do that?", "Why does it work that way?" We are asking for opinions and justifications. We are not creating actions with "why". Watch out with this one. It is nice to know why something happens or why we should do it. But it is a risky question.

how? is an action trigger. With how you either trigger problem solving or story-telling. "How did it happen?" "How can we do this?" No blame - just a request to tell a story. This is also the question that best engages the other person. We are talking to the other persons knowledge and intelligence and asks for a story or solution.
This is not always fact-based so the answer can be more "free".

This is of course over-simplified. But consider that question words are different. What do you want to achieve? Are you running a trial? Solving a problem? Looking for a way forward? The different tools will shape the discussion, responses and relation differently.

Select your tools wisely!

I like the "how"-tool best. But I also use all the other questions too.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

About your love

This is what your love does to me:

Yes, that's right. Your love keeps lifting me higher, higher, higher and higher.

And I would not be surprised if there are songs using this theme..

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Four types of "dialogues"

There are many types of discussions and dialogues. Recently I have found that I sometime think I am in one of the types - while the other part is acting as if he is doing another type. Very confusing!

Here are four different types of dialogues.

Think of the dialogue as a dog-fighting arena. You and some other person meet at the arena and you bring your "systems" there - to the "battlegroud". You let the systems into the arena and then the dialogue starts.

In the first example (top left) person A (pA) brought system A (sA) and person B brought system b. Both will now argue to make their system win this fight. To find out which system is the best. There will be arguments and pro and cons and similar. And the focus will be the tension between the two systems. Pretty much like two dogs fighting.

In the second (top right) we have Exploring. Here the persons bring their systems. But also possibly let other systems in. Here they look at each other systems and try to figure out how they work. No system is right. Focus is on understanding the systems and how they relate. And also consider other alternatives, like System C and D (sC & sD).

Third example is Building. Here the persons bring their systems. But focus is to build something new. Create something together. The existing systems might be used in whole or as parts. But the focus is on creating something together. Build a new fighting dog (sF).

In the last (bottom right) the persons do not bring anything to the arena. They are more interested in the person and relation. The dialogue is socializing to learn more about the person. Possibly to be able to enter one of the other boxes later. You are often here when you meet someone for the first time.

Imagine what happens if person A think that the dialogue is Arguing - and person B think they are in Exploring or Building. Being in different "boxes" will make it harder for them. And they will not understand what the other person is up to.

If both persons are in same box - the dialogue and understanding will be improved! And the outcome could be understood by both. It is like establishing rules for the "dog fight" and how the arena will be used.

Make sure you are in same box...

Friday, 6 November 2009


This is me. Back in 2001. Well, it was my avatar in the online game Anarchy Online. This is a Sci-Fi based game with people from all over the playing, eh, interacting. Not as popular now as back then. (Game developed by Norwegian company Funcom)

To better understand gaming and game industry I back then volounteered as game reviewer for a couple of web-sites. I received a few games every week, played and wrote. And for some game - like Anarchy Online - I received a free game account. And being part of an online game was a very interesting experience. Not so much for the technical details or gameplay - but for the social interactions with all sorts of people. Some playing in-game roles - some just reflecting themselves into the game.

I was a role player. My solder was brave and loyal. And not focusing on being the strongest - but the kindest. Playing a female role was a great advantage back then. Even though I suspect that all people knew I was "man" - they still acted as if I was a girl. Well, I was a girl -ingame - but the boundaries netween real and in-game are very fast blurred.

I married a brute enforcer that took care of me. And I even had a sweet little sister. It was all a huge experiment. Fun, rewarding and great for learning how to meet different people. Most people were kind - and some were the opposite. Since I decided to be the kindest I never had any enemies. I befriended even the most awkward and rude.

Well, it was all fun and play.

Until September 11 , 2001. It was amazing how that event not only changed the world. But also the interaction in-game. The discussions were intense. Lots of people afraid and looking for support and comfort ingame.

Every chat-channel in-game were filled with the lively discussions about "why, what, how, whats next why, WHY?"

Having the ingame chat we were all brought together. People from New York reported ingame, sharing with people from Russia, Norway and anywhere. We spent a lot of time trying to support each other. But also working together in the game. The tool - the game - brought us together, made the world smaller and less scary.

What we saw in-game back then was probably pretty much what we today would see in Facebook, Twitter and similar if happened today.

Hopefully these tools are bringing us closer together today. Day by day. Tweet by tweet. Bringing common understanding. And understanding and acknowledging each other perspectives.

The tools should not support us after the disaster. The tools should help us prevent it.

I am hopeful.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

About a good laugh

"Nobody likes a good laugh more than I do… except, perhaps my wife… and some of her friends. Oh, yes, and Captain Johnson. Come to think of it, most people like a good laugh more than I do, but that’s beside the point!"

(Graham Chapman line from Monthy Python)

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

X and Xing - revisited

Since I included no graphic in last post about X and Xing I am now revisiting this topic with some illustration.

Sometime we see it like: (Green is useful - and solid green is "goal")

We have a neutral process producing some result X. And we think of X as the goal and our focus area. But even if X is our goal we could focus on the process. Focusing on the process can improve the quality and make it a lot more rewarding. Like this: (The yellow border indicates focus area)

And often X is not the goal. It is just something that will be used in another process. When we are cooking to create dinner - dinner is not the end-goal. It will be used in another process - eating. Like this:

And here us the beautiful part when we focus on the process instead of the result. The process will actually help us take the next step - run the next process.

When we are cooking we will prepare for our eating as well. We will get more hungry perhaps. And we will touch and feel all the ingredients. We also learn how the meal is preparaed so that we better can eat and enjoy it. And while cooking dinner we can socialize with our dinner guests and make the dinner conversation even more interesting.

Like this:

Here the "Knowledge", "Preparation" and "Socializing" contributes to the next process ("Ying"). And there are more elements that could be outcome of Xing that will contribute to Ying.

The same goes for planning. The plan is nothing. But the plan will be used in some other process. Running a project, fighting a war, celebrating an uncle etc.

And even when Xing do not directly contribute to Ying we still have more knowledge, socialized a bit, prepared something and had some fun. We have only won things!

So - do not focus too much on "end-result" - but use the processes as a learning and preparation stage to make next steps even more rewarding. And while at it - Have fun!

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

X is nothing - Xing is everything

Many times the process is more important than the result. The verb is more important than the noun.

The planning process can be more important than the actual plan. The running can be more important than the run. The cooking process more important than the dinner.

When a child learn to do the math the method and process is often more important than the actual result. We want the child to learn how to calculate - not the answer "53". Or "78".

You often learn and build knowledge in the process. Maybe you do something with someone else having a great time together, and the end result is of less importance.

X is nothing - Xing is everything

Friday, 23 October 2009

Ebberods Bank = "Financial success"

There is an old movie and play called Ebberöds Bank with an interesting business concept.

In the small town of Ebberod a bank is started. This is the first bank in town. With some clever PR and marketing the first customers are attracted. And the business is excellent - they lend out money at 4 percent interest rate but gives 8 percent on the savings accounts.

How is this possible? "It is all about volume", says management.

The bank gets very popular and everyone wants to loan money and immediately put them back into a saving account. And since the bank is attracting so many new deposits and everyone continues to put money into saving accounts the bank has plenty of money...(Like a pyramid game, of course, a bubble that will burst one day....)

Everyone is happy! Business is excellent!

Everyone is happy except for a larger bank in the big city nearby. All their customers are leaving to put their money into Ebberods bank. Eventually the big bank is forecd to buy Ebberods Bank. Which means that the owner of Ebberdos Bank gets money for the bank and gets rid of the problem of a faulty business model. And a lot of soon-to-be unhappy customers...

Stupid? Well, the larger bank got into panic mode. Seeing all customers run away. And seeing a new bank with a business model they could not understand. Maybe thinking "They cannot be giving away money - so they have someting that work".

Ethical? Sustainable? No. But it is interesting that a business concept that do not work still can be a financial success for the "creative" person.

And I bet there are real Ebberod Banks out there. Business models and operations that seems to work in the short run. But are doomed to collapse. We need to figure those out, instead of getting into panic mode. Think twice when you see something very "succesful" that you do not understand. Questions to ask: "Is that sustainable? Sound? Ethical?".

I like that movie!

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Step back and move forward

The ability to step back and outside of the system can be very valuable.

Lets say you are engaged with something. Maybe solving a problem, or discussing or arguing with someone. Lets illustrate that with "You" and an "object". The object is whatever you are engaged with. Like this:
If you now step back and try to see the situation from the outside you will learn new things. And see the situation with fresh eyes. If you are in a discussion you can see the other persons perspective. And you can see how you behave and act in the sitation. Are you stubborn? Unpolite? Not listening to the other person? What are you doing? How do the "object" respond? What progress are you making?
What do you see now - from the outside - that would resolve, speed up, assist, improve the situation?
Here you can see yourself on the outside:

The three arrows show that you can study yourself, the "object" and how you interact. And you can now "coach" yourself in the situation.
You can also step back further. And actually see yourself studying the system with you and the object. In this perspective you can learn more about yourself and how you learn and what you learn when stepping back. In this mode you become yourself your own coach for your coaching skills.
Like this:

So, step back. Get new perspective of the system, yourself and how you act. Step back further and become better at stepping back and how you learn.
When you step back the perspectives you get and what you learn will make it possible to move forward faster. And this is a skill that you can improve and get better at. All the time.
Good luck!

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Lenses, Lenses,...

Different lenses can be used to study systems and solve problems. Read more about lenses and lenscraft at the Lenscraft WIKI.

Different people have different preferences. First example is where you just apply a lense to study something. You get a result and use the result to get into action. Maybe you use a SWOT analysis to figure out your strengths, and then step into action to use those strengths.

But you can also use two lenses in parallel. For example, do a SWOT analysis and a TRIZ Ideal Final Result. When you have results from both you can use it and move on into action.

Third example would be to use the lenses in sequence. First you use a TRIZ Ideal Final Result (for example) to see where you would like to be. And then you apply a SWOT-analysis to learn more about the obstacles and ways to get there.

Last example is when you take (two or more) lenses and combine them. Use them together. Maybe doing a TRIZ 9-window and a SWOT within each ofthe nine boxes? The result would be something different from applying the lenses in sequence or individually in parallel.

Imagine what magic would happen when other lenses are combined and used. Using multiple lenses in different ways is a powerful "tool".
In the examples I have only used SWOT and simple TRIZ-mechanisms as illustrations. Learn more about other lenses and join the discussions! And good starting point is

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Illustrated quote, sort of.

Graham Horton said "Research means converting money into new knowledge. #Innovation means turning new knowledge into money."

I like that. Here is simple image illustrating the quote.

Thanks, Graham.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Crime as an example for shared creation.

Was just playing with modelling tool and trying to show to a young person how options can become clearer when drawing pictures (and models). It became a magical moment of shared creation.

In the picture you have the "honest" person box in right bottom. Working to get money for pleasure and expenses. And possibly also save some for later consumption. (Later consumption illustrated with a delay arrow.)

In the dashed box you have the criminal acting. Doing crimes to get money from the honest persons.

To stop the criminal we pay tax to get police officers. And the police have (at least) three things to do. Put criminals in jail (assuming they are guilty of course), stop crimes and possibly try to stop money "transfer" to criminal.

We could also spend time (work) to try to stop the criminal from stealing our money.

When we put the criminal in jail he becomes a prisoner. And after that he becomes an honest person. (We hope).

Of course the model is incomplete (In fact all models are...or should be?). But the most interesting thing was how easy it was to continue discussion about the model and how reality works. The youngster added a lot of questions and perspectives. And we could easily have built a more detailed model. And also find some "solutions" to the problem we could spot in the model.

Like "How do we make sure that the prisoner becomes an honest person?" and "How do we deal when criminals steals from other criiminals?"

I love to see how shared modelling and storytelling sparks thinking and discussions.

When you now see this model I do not think you get the same value from it as we did when doing it.

Key is "shared creation". The model and modelling is the playground for this "shared creation".

The shared creation process is often more important than the resulting model. But, the model is very valuable when we want to continue the shared creation or move on to problem solving, discussions, presentations,...

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Be the child and something green

When running workshops including some sort of creativity (which all should....) I sometimes bring up child perspectives. How curiosity, simplicity, creativity, play can be used to find solutions and approach problems.

When asked if we could use child perspectives and thinking during the workshop everyone nods. We agree to be naive, curious, play and approach things as children do.

So, I then make a small test. And I ask:

"What is huge and green, lives four meters under ground and eat rocks and stones?"

Noone has yet instantly answered that question in my workshops. Sometimes complete silence. Sometimes some giggling and laughter. Possibly some whispering in the other end of the room.

I then again remind them:

"Well, think again and bring forward that child in you. Any suggestions?"

And usually some good answers are now voiced. First a bit unsecure. Than louder and with more laughter added. And as I acknowledge all good suggestions we usually end up with the beast I had in mind:

The Big Green Stone-Eater.

Most of us acknowledge how useful it can be to think like a child. But still we find it very hard to do it. In groups even harder.

Challenge yourself - be the child you are! And be prepared that it is hard work and you need to practice!

And when someone asks a complicated question - the answer might be something as simple as The Big Green Stone-Eater.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Aj, så klumpigt.

Det händer att det ringer ideella föreningar - som jag är medlem i - och vill ändra hur jag betalar (exempelvis) medlemsavgiften. Så här kan det låta:

- Hej, jag ringer från föreningen X.
- Hej [hinner jag nästan säga]
- Jo, först vill vi tacka dig för att du är medlem. Och snart är det dags att förnya medlemsskapet.
[Här ville jag komma in i samtalet - men fick inte...]
- Och då undrar vi om du kunde tänka dig att ändra till autogiro. Så skulle vi spara pengar och administration.

Aj! Det gjorde ont. De vill att JAG ska ändra mig för att spara DERAS pengar. Oavsett hur behjärtansvärt ändamålet och föreningen är så måste det gå att säga på annat sätt. Och framför allt; sälja in det till mig.

Varför inte starta ett samtal? En riktig dialog? Lyssna på mig? Kanske vill jag berätta något för föreningen - eller göra något mer.
Och sedan kanske berätta hur livet blir lättare och bekvämare för mig. Samtidigt som de också kan göra sitt arbete i föreningen enklare och effektivare.

Att ringa upp någon - inte lyssna - och föreslå "Vi vill att DU ska ändra dig så att VI sparar pengar" - är INTE en vinnande strategi. Ännu sämre (och dyrare för föreningen!) är det de gånger det är en inhyrd telemarketingfirma som gör jobbet åt föreningen.

Nästa föreningen som försöker samma sak får en omedelbar uppsägning!

Use a map to find'em all - Revisited!

In earlier post "Use a map to find'em all!" two parties were described and how they could focus their efforts to "win".

Today on radio a debate indicated very clearly that there were parts missing in that model! The persons debating focused not on any of the things described in the earlier model. They skipped today and the future and instead they focused on the past. Trying to show how succesful they had been in the past. And how the other party failed in the past.

In this map these two new potential focus areas are indicated (yellow border boxes)

1. When listening to debate the earlier map was considered and it was clear something was missing. Having a map (or model) means you have a chance to better see what is missing or needed.

2. Maps should and could be re-visited! The landscape changes or more details becomes available. Or something was missing from the start.

Maps and models are useful. And fun.

Monday, 5 October 2009


I like to kinth.

Kinthing is useful for many reasons. Kinthing can solve a lot of problems for you, and it is often very fun and rewarding. When normal thinking don't work - kinthing might.

And it is easy! Anyone can do it. Just do it and soon you will be able to kinth fluidly. And in any situation.

Kinth; think backwards and/or re-arrange and/or re-group.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Doing the same thing creates change.,

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. (Albert Einstein)

I disagree. Or rather, there are situations where doing the same thing over and over again is the key to create different results.

So, if you do the same thing over and over again you should very often expect different results. Doing the same thing will trigger change.

If you every morning ignore your wife your marriage will change. If you take a hammer and hit the wall the wall will change, and one day there will be a hole. If you treat people in a fair and consistent way the respect for you will change - grow.
If you kick your dog over and over again it will die. And with the last kick the result will be different.

There are plenty of situations that are less drastic of course.

Every sound qoute makes sense only in specific contexts.

Thursday, 1 October 2009


We talk a lot about openness, sharing information, publishing. But what about if you want to do the opposite. Keep something secret.

To keep secrets we could learn some easy-to-use principles from the military.

This is an excerpt from an instruction book for how to classify information - used within Swedish military and others:

"Våra försvarsförberedelser är i vissa fall svåra, i andra lätta, att dölja för omvärlden. Det är svårt att dölja våra resursers existens, något lättare att dölja resursernas egenskaper och tillstånd och lättast att dölja våra avsikter beträffande resursernas utnyttjande."
(RISK 1990 - Riktlinjer för sekretessbedömning inom försvarsmakten, M7745-705003)

The text says that it is hard to hide the existence of something. A bit easier to hide performance and status and easiest to hide the purpose or objective.

Presence, Performance, Purpose = 3P as guide for how to keep secret.

Example 1. It is hard to hide that your country develop a new bomber - B8. You can hide the fact in the early phase perhaps. When the "enemy" has discovered your bomber - you can still hide performance and status. How many bombs can it carry? What sort? What range can it operate within? But even those things will be known soon. So, now you can still hide its purpose or objective. How are you going to use the bomber? And what country will you attack first...

Example 2. You have a secret lover. Your husband will find out eventually. Denying the existence would then be silly. But performance and status, such as hair-color, sexual performance, how often you meet the lover can still be hidden. After a while even thse things will be known. But your last secret - purpose/objective - will be the hardest to figure out for your husband. Will you leave husband for lover? What is your plan with the lover? Will you get another lover?

If you want to keep something secret - consider the 3P - Presence, Performance and Purpose. Be prepared that the secret will be known by others in that order.

Do not struggle to much hiding its Presence. Hide the Performance instead. But most important - never give away Purpose!

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Solving same problem multiple times...

When you decide to solve a problem the method, tool and approach you select will take you on a journey towards the solution.

In the picture below the upper path (marked with "1") is the first time you solve the problem. When solving the problem you will learn things and get insights (e.g. Insight A in picture).

If you decide to use another method or tool or approach you might get the middle path (marekd with "2"). Another journey that could possibly lead to the same solution. But in the process you made new insights (Insight B).

Yet another go would be the lower path ("3"). And in that path you will again make new insights. But also possibly solve some other problem. And you might end up with another solution to the original problem. An alternative solution. A solution that might be better than the first you found (using path 1).

Problem solving is a journey. And the methods and tools you select will form the path. Each path could give you unique solutions, new insights and solutions to other problems.

The first solution and problem solving process will of course influence the following attempts. But the new method and tool selected will make the path different anyway. The methods and tools will force you onto a new path. Just like different transportatoin methods will change your real life journey - although destination might be the same.

Another good thing with using mutiple methods is that you gain experience. You learn what methods works best and how to use them. And you can compare and build a toolbox for when to use what...

And you can describe the solutions achieved using different perspectives. Maybe the audience prefer to learn that solution was gained using path 2. Even though you first solved the problem using path 1.

Solving the same problem multiple times can be very rewarding.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

För eller mot?

För några år sedan samlades hela byn för att demonstrera mot rasism och främlingsfientlighet. Många föräldrar och barn stod uppställda i mörkret. Facklor delades ut och leden formade sig.

När jag stod där i mörkret blev frestelsen för stor. Jag knackade damen framför på axeln och frågade:

"Jo, ursäkta, men vet ni om det här är fackeltåget FÖR eller MOT rasism?"

Damen snäste - precis som de gjorde i gamla pilsnerfilmer och flyttade sig snabbt några platser framåt i kön. Hon tyckte inte det var ett dugg kul. Jag däremot fnittrade hela vägen där vi gick med våra facklor i mörkret.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

A short story and a few questions

[Not sure about the details but on the news on the radio this morning there were some news about drugs, resistant bacteria and how to keep drug companies happy. It made me think... Check out for more information about the modelling language used and symbols]

Once upon a time there was a company producing drugs. They were good. They had a great research department. And even some money to spend on research, since they knew they would sell the drugs.

The owners were happy since they got their profit. And they continued to invest in research, find new medicine, sell and become richer and richer. Like this:

In the same country there were doctors and hospitals of course. When they found a disease they treated it. And if drug A helped - they would use it.
The drug A would counteract the disease A. Like this: (the special arrow is "counteract")

But, now a problem was seen. When treating the sick with the A-medicin resistant bacteria developed. Or suddenly appeared. The doctors were not sure how, but it was a fact that they now had to deal with disease B. And it seemed that it was the wide-spread use of drug A that "created" or "allowed" the resistant bacteria to enter the scene.

The drug A did not cure people with disease B. So, they really needed the drug company to come up with a new medicine.

The situation looked something like:

The drug company developed drug that doctors used. While using the drugs resistant bacteria appeared and new disease was born. And that triggered the need for new research. All this created another loop with diseases, resistant bacterias, need for new drugs. And so on.

Can you see any problems?

The most clever people in the country met and discussed. Here are some of the questions they were discussing:

- How do we limit usage of drug A in order to avoid disease B - while still helping people with disease A? Should we help now - or consider the future? Or both? How do we balance this situation?

- If we limit usage of drug A - How do we ensure that the company can do research and have happy owners? If they cannot sell drug A they cannot research new drugs.

- Should we by ethical means do everything we can to stop every new disease? Thus risking to create new resistant bacteria that we need another drug for. All in a spiraling effect...

And I actually think they they still are discussing these matters...

[If nothing of this makes sense, or is completely unrealistic, remember: its just a story :-)]

Monday, 14 September 2009

Life is a verb

And Life is not only a verb. Life is full of verbs. Actually, it's just verbs all the way down.

Thanks, @pattidigh , for these insights.

(You can learn more about Life is a verb and meet Patti at 37DAYS)

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Project myths

Project management is not always easy.

But there are many things we complicate quite on our own. Based on project myths, methods, stereotypical thinking about projects etc.


Because there are principles and basic thinking that makes project work more successful. Very fast! But, we really need to get back to basic thinking. Re-think a lot. Not complicated thinking - quite the opposite really.
And it is not snake oil, or fairy dust solving it all - but very basic thinking and insight what a project is - and how it can be successfully executed...

How to share this "wisdom"? How to get it out in the open to be shared, discussed, used and ignored. Blog about it? Write a book?

Hmmmm.... thinking.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Use a map to find'em all!

Lets say we have two parties, X and Y, with two different solutions to a problem. The solutions also have negative side effects.

Here is a picture of the situation: (follow the link to left to a Southbeach Quickguide for more information about Southbeach modeller and how to interprete the model/images)

If we now consider how party Y might argue to gain followers or voters. They have lots of possibilities and can act on almost any of the items in the previous picture:

The blue boxes contains what the Party Y might say to win. And with Party Y perspective the various effects (arrows) now are of different "strengths".

It can be very beneficial to illustrate a situation with a map. And then consider what might happen to or how to act upon each item in the map. With the knowledge gained you can build a strategy and plan to execute. Or solve the problem you have.

And as you can see there are plenty of blue boxes that Party Y could use to form their strategy!

Use a map to find'em all!

Learn, Children, Learn.

I feel so lucky having two children that after many years in school still are motivated to learn and grow. And I am proud that they still let me part of that process. I am also proud that they challenge their own knowledge - and mine! As long as we learn we grow. And to learn we often need to challenge ourselves and our "teachers".

Get out there, kids. Learn, Challenge, Grow! And make sure that your children also learn.

Friday, 28 August 2009

I cannot say "Non, je ne regrette rien"

"No, I regret nothing".

I wish I could say that too. I regret almost nothing in my life. (So far). But there is one thing I regret. One chance I had that I did not take. And this has haunted me since.

In 1998 I was in Austin and visited a toy-store. And there I found a singing flower. Very silly. yet irresistible. It sang "You are my sunshine" and danced a simple dance (just tilting sideways). I hesitated. Checked the price tag, checked whether I could fit it into one of the bags.

And then it happened. Some stupid rational voice inside me said "You don't need that singing flower. And it is a very silly thing."

So, I turned around and walked away. The flower still singing.

And since that day I have regretted that I listened to that rational inner voice. I know that my life would have been better if that flower had been part of it. Singing to me every day, singing to my wife, dancing in front of my kids.

So, do not listen too much to rational inner voices telling you what is "silly" or "best for you". You know better! And you might miss good things in life, like "You are my sunshine"-singing flowers!

By the way. Here is the flower -->

(Not mine though. I still do not have a singing flower...And I think I never will have. )

Friday, 21 August 2009

Adult storytelling

In a workshop for leaders we told stories. I had prepared a couple of pages with simple drawings. There were circles and boxes and lines on A4 sheets. Or just a line. Or a dot. Not pictures of anything, just a few lines on a each paper.

We sat very close. Just like you would imagine a storyteller sitting close to the children.

I showed the first page and started "Once upon a time there was a ...." and then I pointed to the symbol and looked at one of the participants. Who immediately responded with "a snowman". And then I continued with "that one day" - and now looking at next person that quickly added "went shopping". And we continued. I connected the sentences - and the group added context.

We flipped page. I pointed to the symbol and said something that would connect to previous sentence. And by looking at a person she or he would add to the story. My part became smaller and smaller. I was just a 'page flipper' showing silly symbols on A4 sheets. And the group was co-creating the most wonderful small stories.

There were laughters and giggling. But also excitement. The group was exciting telling the stories. And all were curious what would happen next. What would the circle on the paper turn into? A moon? A cheese? A football kicked by a vampire?

We created magic! They created stories. And they all listened to each other. They build upon each others contributions. We played. Seriously.

And it was fun. With a couple of A4 sheets with simple symbols we managed to create stories, excitement and engaging stories. And for a moment we managed to bring forward our inner child.

I love storytelling.

And this small exercise showed that not only children can create stories and fairy tales. Adults can too!

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

"could be"-thinking

What is this? It is something of course. But lets instead consider what it could be.
Well, it could be the letter "B". As in:

or it could be the number "13" as in:
When we replace "is" with "could be" we get several options. And we get new perspectives. We might even consider different context. And we don't get any conflict. All alternatives are valid!
We also tend to become future oriented. The "could be" indicates a transformation, a journey, into the future.
Try it. Replace all "is" (and "am" and "are") with "could be" and you will most likely get more alternatives, see things from a new perspective, more easily accept new ideas since they could be developed into something. And you will almost automatically consider the future and how to reach it.
What "is" you company? What "could" your company "be"?
What are you? What could you be?
And even"this blog entry is crap" can be re-thought. Think "This blog entry could be deleted" or possibly "This blog entry could be inspiration for me".

Friday, 14 August 2009

"You man, be human"

Well said by Tage Danielsson.

Thursday, 6 August 2009 needed (?)

Would it not be nice of we could get rid of all packages? Imagine if we could get all what we need without all these boxes, plastic bags, and (many times) unneccesary packaging material.

"Packages" are used for many reasons - and there are many useful functions to consider. But there are also many harmful functions.

In this picturee you find some of the useful (green boxes) and some of the harmful (red boxes). (Not complete of course!). So, now we just need to find ways of removing the harmful functions and keep the useful.

Starting today to change how we use "packagin" would not be too soon...

Monday, 3 August 2009

No glorious victories for winners

"Winners never talk about glorious victories. That's because they are the ones who see what the battlefield looks like afterwards. It's only the losers who have glorious victories."

(said the god Om in Terry Pratchett's Small Gods)

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Part of my DNA - an inventor

The cool guy sitting is my mothers grandfather. He was born in Sweden, but suddenly had to leave the country. He moved to USA (1910) - leaving his pregnant girlfriend in Sweden. The child (Arvid) became my grandfather.

After a few years in US David Oscar got married to Matilda and they had two sons. The families in US have very many memories and stories kept of this "Swede". When he lived in Sweden his name was David Oscar Svensson - but changed Svensson to Seaburg in the US.

David Oscar invented things and came up with new ways of doing things. My grandfather Arvid (David Oscars son) was also a sort of inventor and new-thinker. Not like Edison or Nobel of course. Not very famous. But they did come up with new ways of doing their job. Always improving things. Simplifying. Always having another way of dealing with problems.

They were supported by their wifes of course! Getting and having support is important for inventors. As well as for all of us.

Anyway, I like the picture of David Oscar and his smile and cigar. Trying to impress the viewers of the photograph? Thinking about what?

And I like the idea that I have some of his DNA in me....

Monday, 13 July 2009

Really relaxing...

In order to really relax I need to get distracted. I need to get all my senses occupied. Let myself be immersed.
Then I can start to relax. See new patterns. See new people. Learn about myself.
Yesterday I spent watching car race. Noisy, smelly, exciting and lots of people. And as you can imagine, VERY relaxing.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

One error gets attention...


Many persons find it very easy to spot the "error" and wonder if it is intentional. Or just an error.

Focus is drawn to the single error.

But, in the list there are seven "rights" as well. And still we let our focus be the one error.

And yet we often think to "reward whats right" to foster and teach. Seems that this is harder than we think; to focus on the "rights" instead of the "wrongs".

Are we looking for perfection? There should be no error at all? Maybe, but then we have to remember we are always learning and growing. And making "errors" and mistakes should be allowed.

To be able to really focus on the "rights" we need to focus! Do not let the single error take away all the good things!

Test yourself: Imagine your child coming home with a test-score 9 right of 10. What is your first thought? Would you like to know what the error was? Or would you be happy for the 9 correct ones?

(Can't remember in what book I first saw this "trick".)

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Small thought.

Nano technology means very little to me.

Saturday, 4 July 2009


'Lack of fuel' is fuel for the innovation engine.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

1+1 is not 2

We often view "1+1=2" as a fact. But...

Many times 1 + 1 is not 2. On the light side you can add one rabbit to one rabbit and end up with a whole rabbit family.

You can also add a piece of string to another piece of string - and just get a longer piece of string. And adding one chaos to another chaos will most likely only get you bigger chaos. Not two chaoses. (Thanks, @seabird20)

If you read two newspapers you don't get twice as much news. Sometimes the information cancels out altogether (Thanks, @richardveryard)

And one hull plus one hull are not always two hulls. Sometimes it is a catamaran.

Back to the "serious math"...

1+1=10 if we do it in binary number system.

And if we have a clock-system with the "hours" 0 and 1 only the "1+1" will become "0". (Just like 08:00 plus 9 hours will become 5...)

And we also need to pay attention to what "+" means. How we use "+" to add number is a rule in the number system we have agreed upon.

And what number system are we using? Is the "1" belonging to the set of N or Z? Or real numbers? Are the first "1" the same as the second "1".
When using computers and Float numbers 1 + 1 do not always add upp to 2, due to representation of floating numbers.

So, very seldom is 1+1 = 2

And by the way. If you have one hungry lion and add three rabbits you will not get four live animals. You will get ONE less hungry lion.

To see that 1+1 is anything but 2 can be very advantageous. If you only find "2" as the right answer you miss a lot of opportunities....

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Forever thinking

Many times we are thinking "short term". And when we try to think "long term" we just expand time horizon a bit. If short term is six months - the long term can be five years. If short term was two years, long term could be 50 years. And so on. But...

We need to start considering what will happen when we extend beyond short and long term.

Here are some questions to consider when solving problems and creating solutions:

- Will this solution X work forever?
- What will happen to environment and the planet if X (what we start/create now) goes on forever?
- Would it be good if X continued forever?
- What side effects (good/bad) might there be if X continued forever?
- If X continues forever, would the overall situation improve?

We should only create and implement things that should and could go on forever.

Very few things continues forever, but we need to extend our thinking and see beyond. Whatever long term solutions we might come up with, can really be short term. And what we create now can "blow up" for the next generation.

Solutions might or might not evolve over time and take care of the problems we create today. But we cannot rely on that. We need to create truly sustainable solutions. That works in the "forever" perspective.

We have the tools and many different ways of thinking to deal with this. Lets do it!

Monday, 29 June 2009

Walls creates speed and innovation.

Long time ago in a galaxy far away I wrote a small piece of boundaries, speed and innovation. Cannot find it now....But some of thinking was like:

Imagine a pinball machine. Imagine what would happen if you removed all the walls, small obstacles, rubber things, springs, targets. Just a steel ball slowly rolling down...*donk*. An easy game to play.

It is the obstacles and boundaries that makes the machine interesting. It is those obstacles and boundaries that creates the speed and excitement. *pling* *katchong* *swosch* *plang-pling*. It is the walls that creates the speed. It is the walls that forces the steel ball to take another route.

Without the boundaries and obstacles the game would turn into a slow, non-exciting game. No need to be alert. No need to actually do anything.

Same with innovation. We need boundaries and problems to innovate and keep us moving forward. Give us unlimited resources and the game gets uninteresting. Give us problems, limited resources and problems - and we will get speed, excitement AND innovation. We need the *pling* and *katshong* and all the walls!

The most exciting and rewarding pinball machine is the one with most problems, eh, walls and springs!

(Thanks, @catuslee, for reminder about the importance of "limited resources")

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

MS-medicin och Systemtänkande

Today only in Swedish. Sorry...

Lyssnade idag på radio hur pengarna för effektiv - men dyr - MS medicin var slut på ett sjukhus. Säkerligen riktigt.

Det som var lite underligt var att det faktiskt borde finnas pengar. Men, i en "annan plånbok". Systemtänkande och intressent-analys skulle behövas.

En politiker berättade att det var tänkt att de besparingar som man fick genom att hålla MS borta skulle kunna flyttas så att medicin kunde bekostas. Om personen får sin medicin så blir det inga följdsjukdomar. Inget handikapp. Och därmed sparas det ju massor av pengar på någon annan klinik, sjukhus eller vårdcentral.

Pengarna för medicinen tas ur ena facket i en plånbok. Och besparingarna görs i ett annat fack. Hur kopplas dessa ihop?

Att en enskild läkare ska kunna få medel att flytta omkring är inte rimligt. Större grepp krävs!

Om personen får sin medicin så kanske han kan jobba och skapa nya skatteintäkter. Och dessutom inte behöva bidrag.

Jag vet inte vilka belopp eller hur följderna ser ut av MS, men jag är säker på att vår hälsovård och politiker skulle kunna klura ut det. Men, det krävs ett systemtänkande och se på "ekonomin" i vidare perspektiv.

Det är ju möjligt att det visar sig att medicinen är BILLIG jämfört med vad följderna blir av att inte medicinera!

Här en liten model i ämnet. Om vi ger medicin til MS-sjuka så motverkar vi sjukdomen och personen kan jobba. Och därmed ge skatteintäkter. Dessutom så blir det inga - eller färre - sjukbesök hos någon annan vårdgivare. Och inga framtida bestående handikapp. Och därmed sparar vi massor av offentliga medel.

Undrar hur "dyr" medicinen egentligen är....

En kanske viktigare sak är ju också att vi pratar om livskvalitet! Och att ge alla den vård de behöver. Har vi råd att inte använda den dyra medicinen? Och ska verkligen medicin kunna ta slut - av pengamässiga skäl?

Lyft blicken och se en större bit!

Friday, 5 June 2009

1, one, ett, uno....

If you focus too hard on one thing you might miss the others.

Yesterday I tried to listen to a debate. EU parliament election coming up.

They all used a singular focus when talking and discussing. "The problem is....", "...and the solution is....", "Your suggestion is....". And using that technique they walked through several different topics. But every time with a singular focus.

Mmmm. "several different topics" .... "singular focus".

I do not believe we have ONE problem to solve. And I do not belive that there always is ONE way to solve a problem. There will always be another problem. There are always other ways. What seems unconnected and unrelated always are.

Friday, 29 May 2009


I am proud to have received this flattering recommendation from @jsbelfiore

@j4ngis is the Matroska of mindstorms, #innovation and creativity (and wraps a bit of Shanghai in a bit more of Sweden). #followfriday

Getting a recommendation like that - from a guy like Mr Belfiore. Yummie!

(the tweet)

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

"Meeting in Gothenburg"

Long time ago me and a collegue defined a new organization. We also defined the governance structure and setup. We included all meetings, boards, decision & escalation paths, authorities & levels... All!

We presented the setup to the group of managers affected. They applauded. We asked if this covered everything they needed. "Yes". We asked again - Have we covered all and every meeting needed? And they all responded with "YES".

The managers decided that this was what they needed. Not more - not less. And we spent a few minutes discussing how to get "the show on the road", i.e. implement the governance structure.
It was in that discussion one of the managers suddenly suggested:

-"Well, I have made reservation for a group meeting in Gothenburg next week. Maybe we can detail this then? And actually I am thinking that we can have these group meetings, say, every second month."
-"Yes. Good suggestion", all responded.

This group meeting in Gothenburg was not in our governance structure. Neither was any bimonthly group meetings of that kind. And yet they all stated 15 minutes earlier that the governance setup was all they ever needed.

So where did this extra meeting come from? Seems we actually did a lousy job explaining the setup - since it only took a few minutes until the group had added new elements to the governance structure.

Since then my collegue and I use "meeting in Gothenburg" for situations where a group seems to understand and share knowledge. And yet do something in a complete different direction... Indicating that they did not understand. Or just ignored what they just acknowledged...

Wednesday, 13 May 2009


Twitter changed settings.

"...receiving one-sided fragments via replies sent to folks you don't follow in your timeline is undesirable. Today's update removes this undesirable and confusing option."

How do they know that this is undesirable? And how do they know this is unwanted confusion?

I disagree.

I love to see these fragments. And I love the partial and sometimes temporary confusion they create.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Star Wars day!

@darthvader twittered:

I hesitate to wish anyone a "happy" anything, but... Happy Star Wars Day.
May the 4th be with you. Huzzah.

Monday, 27 April 2009

April 29th = Giant Hairball Day

Today is Gordon MacKenzie's birthday. Gordon wrote the masterpiece Orbiting the Giant Hairball.


Well, today I have nothing to say. Or rather "That's all I have to say about that" (F Gump). Silence is a mighty tool.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

VPEC-T when preparing Feedback

I have a collegue and friend that I wanted to give some "constructive feedback" to. I remembered the good old saying that you need to respect the one you give feedback to. And then Twitter-friend Richard Veryard reminded me that receiver needs to trust me.

Trust... That is one of the letters in VPEC-T. Maybe think through them all, I thought. And here are some questions that came up:

V- Value: Why do I care? Will my friend care? What am I trying to achieve with this feedback. What I am hoping that my friend will do with the feedback? How do I value our friendship? What are our common values, what do we share? Will value increase, e.g. will our friendship grow? Will I grow? Will he grow?

P - Policies: Are there any rules? Like, forbidden words when giving feedback to this friend. Any taboos I can think of? And restrictions on what feedback I can give? What would be out-of-bound? What situations could be where feedback is not welcome, i.e. friend doing something specific or having a bad day. What signals should make me stop the feedback process? In short: the rules and playground!

E - Event: What should trigger the feedback? Should I wait for a specific time? Or action from the friend that triggers the feedback? Should I plan the feedback - set up formal meeting? How should the feedback session start? Planned or spontaneous? Wait for right moment?

C - Content: What should be included in the feedback? How to give the feedback? As a story? In a dialogue form? Provide evidence? Draw on napkins? Illustrate in other ways? How long? Will it sound meaningful? Make sense? Be constructive? Should it be delivered in multiple sessions? Body language to use?

- Paus: just relaxing a let the questions above form answers. Making notes on a pad...

T - Trust: Ok. Do I trust and respect my friend? Does he trust me? If I go along with this would we build trust? Or break? Will the setup given for this feedback be serious? Having answered all the questions above - do I trust myself doing this?

Having the VPEC-T letters I managed to create structure for myself and rethink lot of this feedback process. I really do care for this friend -and this thinking made me rethink - and rethink again (!) - and now I feel more comfortable about how to deliver the feedback.

VPEC-T is not magic or a cure for everything. But it sure helped this time. And I am sure that there are plenty other situations too where VPEC-T will make a difference. Suggestions?


"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”
Seneca quotes (Roman philosopher,mid-1st century AD)

Same = different

Interesting: People say they plan to do something different and recommend people to do the same. Do the same is doing different.

Waitressing with attitude

At restaurant:" Scuse us,this was not what we expected"
Waitress: "So? You are not the first one complaining" and walks away.


I am so grateful for this experience. The restaurant did not provide one surprise - but two. Since the food was not what we expected they instead managed to create a very memorable experience with 'waitressing with attitude'.

Great service? Well, is was different service. And service we will remember.

Some space left empty.



Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Businesscard from past

Business cards from,eh, 2003. I still like the creatures.
And "design thinking" seems useful today too.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Warnings for music listeners

Lots of people listen to musich while walking or running. And this creates a dangerous situation - since you cannot hear the cars approaching from behind. Not until it is very close.

Could not the music players warn the runner/walker that a car is coming?

Could possibly pick up the sound of something approaching fast (sound getting stronger). And then play a warning signal so that the runner knows that something is coming from behind - fast.

That could give the runner/walker a few extra seconds to verify what is coming. Step (more) out of the way. Or even stop and let the car pass.

Any music device inventor/innovators taking on this challenge?

Levelling shoes!

The above is the profile of a narrow Swedish road. The road is highest in the middle to make sure that rainwater don't stay.
(The blue thing with two black boxes is a car of course!)

When you walk on this road you walk to the left. (Right in UK?) And to make sure you dont get hit by a car you need to walk far out to left. And there the difference in height for left and right foot can turn out to be very uncomfortable. Consider walking on the hills of a mountain!

If my left leg could be extended when I walk on these roads the pain would become smaller.

So, why not create shoes that automatically adjust so that the difference in height is removed (or at least reduced). Such shoes could also be used to adjust walking style of people rehabilitating from accidents? Or to straighten people that walks leaning towards a side.

So, any shoe-inventor out there taking on this challenge?

The shoes could communicate with each other and adjust height and angles as the ground and levels changes...and....well, better that someone with shoe-skills and technical skills do the thinking I guess.

Brave small creature

Today, in a forrest far far away I stopped to study an ants nest. Lots of activity and movement. I was hypnotized.

Suddenly I felt pain on my arm. A small sting. When I looked down I found a lonely ant standing on my arm. I looked closer and the ant seemed to raise his body and was probably trying to tell me something.

I stepped back from the ants nest - still carrying the ant on my arm. I inspected myself but could not find any more ants on skin or clothings.

The ant on my arm was running around - as if he was searching for something. A brief moment I thought of killing the ant. Getting even. But then I re-considered.

I could not kill someone that brave. A lonely ant trying to handle me - the large beast. And I was also puzzled what his intentions really were.

Did he consider me to be food? So he was trying to kill me and drag me home to the nest? A real fiest coming up.

Did he consider me as a threat to the nest Trying to kill me or scare me off?

Was he trying to impress a female ant? "I can take that huge ugly beast. Blind-folded even."

Was he trying to teach the small padawan ants how to handle a beast like me. Maybe the small ants were hiding in the grass while my heroic ant tried to find out how to deal with me. "Stay back and watch!"

Whatever he did he did it alone. But most likely to serve the good of the whole nest. Risking his own life he took an initiative. He did not wait for an order.

I decided to return the ant safely to the nest. He ran off. Maybe trying to bring more ants. "I did my best. But he was *huge*. Come and help - and we have food for the whole year!"

I hope that he got a promotion for bravery and for taking initiative. And I am sure he will be a good role model for the younger ants.

Life and nature are magic!

Tuesday, 7 April 2009


Undrar varför jag envisas med att skriva så mycket på engelska. Om det verkligen är för min egen del jag skriver och för att utveckla mina tankar så borde jag väl använda mitt modersmål?

En tanke är ju att det kanske inte är någon som förstår min engelska ändå...så varför ens försöka?

Monday, 6 April 2009

Innovation and Iterations

Innovations often requires iterations. This picture shows an iteration taking the Wright brother forward to succesful flight in 1903. Picture taken October 1900 of a wrecked glider.

This iteration did not stop them. They did not give up. They continued to innovate, work and iterate. Of course this wreck could be seen as a failure at the time it crashed. But only three years later it was rather a necessary iteration to achieve heavier-than-air flights.

So, do not give up if you wreck your glider. Keep pushing and your innovation might take off. Learn from the iterations. If you succeed all "failures" along the way will be seen as iterations, but if you stop at first failure you will end the journey with, yes, a failure.

Another stubborn person was Edison that together with his team worked his way through lots of iterations to come up with a working light bulb.

Innovation requires stubborness and passion. And a will to separate iteration from failure.

(Note 1. The Wright brothers were possibly not the first ones with flying machines. But they were stubborn and - if not first - at least among the first.)

(Note 2. Been thinking about "iteration" instead of "failure" a while. Think it was that got me started thinking some week(s) ago)