Blog posts for May 2022

May was a great month, because we returned to Vietnam after two years away. Time to reunite with old friends, and meet online ones in the flesh for the first time.
Cherry has been very busy with three clients, with more clamoring for our services. Add to that alumni parties, social events, two TV appearances, an interview, a surprise appearance on stage at a huge pop concert, and quiet nights together, and it has been hectic but wonderful.

And I am producing a new game for a client in Vietnam.It is all about customer focus in product development. It is called the Doily Studio.

I still managed to get quite a few blog posts done. (Don’t forget that Cherry also posts in the Vietnamese version of this blog. Google Translate is pretty good these days.)


I was happy to be invited on the ITSM Crowd webinar for their 100th episode, whee we talked about models, theory, culture, failure, management, and values.

Here is a fabulous example that led on from that ITSMCrowd  webinar, of how thinking about work is rising above models and frameworks, seeing a wider perspective where they have a place but only a place:

Rise above the treeline


And while we are being philosophical…

Work to live, dont live to work.

All my life I’ve taken breaks from work. A month here, 8 months there.

The transformational leader

The five aspects of a transformational executive leader are defined by the relationship with every individual employee, not the aggregate “staff”.

Hold space

One of the great skills you can develop, a recent one for me, is to create and hold space for others.

Maori better ways of working

The signposts to better ways of working can be found in every culture

Make better decisions

Perhaps if managers didn’t make decisions at all but rather facilitated the process amongst the organisation, they’d source the maximum diversity of ideas from those who know the work best.

Management is a specific skill

Cavalry don’t ride horses any more. Managers stuck in the old ways of doing things are the primary obstacle to better ways of working.


Another topic the Emperor of Mars has been mouthing off about is…

Optimising the remote/office mix

In coming years, we will see what patterns emerge in the remote/office mix of hybrid working.

The needs of the team

Let the people doing the work design the work. Let them decide the best hybrid combination of remote and on-premise.
With one proviso.

Netflix pay what people are worth

It’s great that a unicorn like Netflix pay people what they’re worth. I wish everyone did.

Value comes from our interactions

So much valuable knowledge work is invisible:

Camera off

Cameras off or on in meetings is a flash point for some deep issues.


I recommend the book Flux by April Rinne as essential reading for everyone, to develop personal resilience I the VUCA world of today and tomorrow.

The successful got lucky

I saw this picture:

And what is all that hard work floating in? Luck. It lifts all that hard work up to success.
That’s not to deny the necessity of hard work (“the harder I work the luckier I get”) but let’s have some humility from the ones who happened to make it.

Work never ends

If you are overloaded with work, the quieter period you can see coming in the future is a mirage. It never gets any closer. The only reason it looks like there is less work in the future is because you can’t see it yet.



Also I learned this phrase from my son the other day: “better work stories”. it’s a wonderfully philosophical way to deal with adversity.