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I have done many things in my life, but I never thought that my skateboarding would provide value to my business consulting. Skateboarding is an innovative, amazingly complex and accurate activity. Considered an extreme sport, what is the connection between this sport and the future of organisations?

It is the embrace and inclusion of failure into its culture. If you watch any skateboard competition, failure does not seem to play a big part when those athletes perform amazing stunts with ease. The same is true when you use a Google or Uber service feature. …


In our last two articles, we had a look at the time and team dynamics around work. One of the questions we got is, who should be initiating these activities and make decisions. It is an excellent question because the answer depends on the maturity of your business and its mindset.

For many classic organisations, the gut feeling is to control and measure people more, now that they are remote. Micromanaging has never scaled well, and it is highly inefficient. Furthermore, here is what our survey found when looking at how people can manage their work by themselves:

61% or more manage to stay motivated through an existing or new type of routine.

29% of surveyed people enjoy control over their work hours.

42% think they are as productive at the office or home. 33.3% say they are more productive at home and only 24.2% …


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This article is the second in a series of spin-off stories based on our ‘Working from Home’ survey, its insights and to inspire possible actions for organisations and individuals.

We are all Rubber Ducking to de-risk and move safer into the future. In the age of COVID, it might be worth to do a lot of Rubber Ducking, more consciously.

Like a lot of great ideas that help us deal with complex issues, Rubber Ducking comes from software development. Noted initially as a story in a programming book it is the process of explaining your code to an inanimate object or a cat or a dog, in this case, a rubber duck; it helps find better solutions. …


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In our ‘Working from Home’ survey one of the themes that people stated both positively and negatively is the newfound time dynamic that has been developing when working from home more or for the first time.

Here are our insights, angles and a practical exercise you can take, to maximise the positive aspects and minimise the negative aspects of this Working from Home context.

People state on the positive side that they

  • save time from the absence of a commute
  • benefit from audio-only meetings without the need to suit-up or put on make-up
  • and are generally more flexible with the times they can do the work, but which can spill into the…


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I CANNOT SEE THE FUTURE!
Over the last two years, I wrote and published, towards the end of last year, my first book. This is how it started:

— -

Chapter 1 (intro): The frog in the boiling water

The most exciting breakthroughs of the twenty-first century will not occur because of technology, but because of an expanding concept of what it means to be human. — John Naisbitt

Paradigm shifts don’t just happen overnight. They evolve and grow gradually, often unseen by many. When they have the right maturity, they will come out in the open, having developed the correct narrative to spread across the world.

There is a fable of a frog sitting in a pot of water slowly increasing in temperature. The frog does not realize this until it is too late and he is killed in the boiling water. This is where some industries are today. The next paradigm shift has been sneaking upon them.

— -

Well, and here we are.

What I was referring to above was the reality of a world full of wicked problems, highly interconnected and ever-evolving problems that are making our world today. The challenge many have been observing but failed to put the right words to it is that we are still building industrial revolution era organizations and are stuck with their philosophy of how work and life should look like. …


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A lot of things have changed in the last 50–100 years, and some things haven’t. The hardest thing for any organisation today is to figure out what is hype and what is tripe. There are 1,000s of books out there, and most of them agree on the same handful of proven insights and ways forward. We read a reasonable amount, but not one a day as Warren Buffett allegedly does. So who has time to read them and compare them to reality to get some idea on what to do? Two gentlemen called Marcus Kirsch, and Troy Norcross will attempt just that. We want to prove that most business veterans, consultants and academics agree on the central truths by detangling what most overweight consultancies have been entangling.
Not only that. One of the most significant drawbacks of reading a book is that they are too theoretical, and what might work at Google will likely not work for your organisation. Therefore we will have a go at using our combine d40 years of project experience and compare the guidelines of the books and its case studies with the reality we found in organisations, first hand. We hope that this will translate into more clarity, a bigger body of evidence and some more specific actions that everyone can try within their context. …


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screenshots courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Businesses are still struggling to understand the new world we are living in. The sad statistic is that 70% of $2,28 Trillion investments by 2025 have and will likely fail to produce business benefits. Technology as a silver bullet and focussing on efficiency have been unable to show the benefit promised, because they are not the characteristics needed to be relevant. COVID-19 has not surprisingly ripped through every business that didn’t have the flexibility and characteristics needed in today’s world of wicked problems. Mindsets need to shift and the narrative that will finally click with the old mindset to leap-frog into the new might come from anywhere. It hasn’t come from big consultancies selling Agile and Customer-Centricity. …


“No one ever got fired for hiring IBM.”

It has been an open secret for decades, that consultancies are too expensive for too little benefit for your business. Yet the big consultancies have remained unchallenged and undisrupted. Given our current situation, this might change quickly. If it was ever important for companies to create real benefits and do change that genuinely changes things, now is the times. In the months to come, companies will ask their consultancies for clearer and progressive answers, maybe even to bring honesty to the table that might challenge many comfortable relationships. In my experience, most consultancies won’t have answers, because they were running their businesses in the same way as their clients. …


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Starting in 2018, BT IT began several programs to become organisationally more flexible. It was leadership that picked Design Thinking and Service Design as the methodologies to solve BT’s wicked problems better and become more future-proof. The programme has trained 200 design thinkers, built 14 teams, put 24 services live and reached over 5,500 people who can work in BT’s service design teams. Transformation programmes like this need different types of Service Designers, who are more like hackers, spies or entrepreneurs.

Through leading programmes like this, I found that the challenge for an average practitioner can be quite big. Running a single service design project in an environment that has no design capabilities is a challenge by itself. Creating 50 services with 14 teams who have other daily work as well requires different considerations and skills. It requires a different type of service designer to navigate this environment, considering the organisation has 14,000 people affected by the programme. …


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I usually do not write about politics, but in this case, it involves technology and its impact on people and their data, so here we go. It also hits close to home; I am from Germany.

Over the last few days, The Washington Post released a story about the FBI and ICE using facial recognition software to track immigrants in the U.S. The story arrived via records of searches that were obtained by Georgetown Law researchers. The surveillance effort happened without the knowledge of the people that were targeted. …

About

Marcus Kirsch

Innovation, Service Design & Transformation specialist. Keynote speaker and author. Opinions are my own.

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