The social technology of (performance) measurement

The other day I was in a relatively informal meeting with 4 others when I found myself in a rant about ‘measuring’ – outcome indicators; performance measures; targets – whatever you want to call them, in essence they are all attempting to describing something in numerical terms.

The trigger for my rant was someone saying the recent corporate line – that we needed to agree on a small number of measures that would be used as Outcome Indicators (means of quantifying the achievement of an outcome) for our ‘priority’ outcomes – in fact we are to agree on precisely 3 measures for each priority outcome.

My rant started with the words “But why” and my argument fell into two broad areas. Continue reading

Understanding leadership

The other day I was doing a trawl through Springer’s upcoming publication lists – with hindsight I have no idea why I was and what I was hoping I would find, but a really interesting sentence caught my eye.  I want to make sure I put that sentence somewhere and do not lose track of it.  Continue reading

Talk by Ralph Stacey

hooray – assignment in – now I can start blogging again.

Last week, University of Northumbria had Ralph Stacey up to do a talk.  He’s a Professor of Management at University of Hertfordshire.  I’d heard of him because of the books he has written about complexity and management.

His latest book is Complexity and Organizational Reality: the need to rethink management after the collapse of investment capitalism (Routledge, 2010).  The topic of the talk was very similiar – Uncertainty and the need to rethink management after the collapse of investment capitalism.

So rather than have my scribbled notes hanging around on a bit of paper, I thought I would blog about his talk and my reflections.

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Getting to know the M-ball: Managing

(Activity 2.31 based on Ison (2010, Chapter 8))

The M-ball is for Managing.  Ison says it is:

about how the practitioner is Managing their involvement with the situation (page 58)

I have to say that I found Chapter 8 quite difficult to work with.  It was not the individual paragraphs or the concepts being introduced or used.  I just found it really difficult to get the overall thread, thrust and argument of the chapter.  There are sections that do not flow from their own headings (or at least how I understand/understood those headings).  And I lost track of how the juggler and the balls ‘worked’ for Managing.  But, this is after all an inquiry – it was up to me to take responsibility for understanding the discord I was (am!) experiencing.  So before I look at the particular concepts highlighted in activity 2.31, I want to summarise where that inquiry has brought me so far.

Continue reading