Tangential creativity

Quite a few people have pointed to John Naughton’s article: Lasers would never have shone if Mandelson had been in charge. Naughton challenges the government’s plans to restrict science funding to applicants that can show “demonstrable benefits to the economy society public policy, culture and quality of life” (the words of the Higher Education Funding […]

The Tyranny of the Explicit

Bob Sutton has an interesting post linking to this New York Times story: After Bankruptcy G.M. Struggles to Shed a Legendary Bureaucracy. A manager relates how the company’s legendary bureaucracy is being cut down to size: his massively extensive performance review has been cut down to a single page. I liked his explanation for this: […]

The tyranny of the explicit in marketing

I’m continuing to have thoughts in response to reading Herd probably because Mark Earls’ position so often reverberates with mine. There’s nothing like having one’s prejudices supported. Like me Mark enjoys taking potshots at market research. In particular, the effort to read the minds of individuals in search of the magic insight that will become […]


I enjoyed Nick Smith’s latest post Don’t just do Something Stand there! Here’s the nub of it but I recommend the whole thing. By valuing thinking over awareness we mistake knowledge for understanding, and therein lies our downfall. It is thinking that gets us so fixated on the world of form that we mistake it […]

Mirror, mirror….

A big hat-tip to Stefan Liute for his post The biological hardware for culture. He points to this article from the NY Times: Cells that read minds. Here are a few morsels of the Times piece: “We are exquisitely social creatures, ” Dr. Rizzolatti said. “Our survival depends on understanding the actions, intentions and emotions […]

The great return

I’m thoroughly enjoying Rob Paterson’s bold series of posts on the theme The Great Return. Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Well illustrated forthright, thought-provoking and wise. I was struck by this observation in Part 2 The book over experience is a particularly dangerous idea. Julian Jaynes has made […]

City branding

Katherine Stone is underwhelmed by Atlanta’s new tagline (Atlanta: Every day is opening day). Christina Maynard at Ricksticks feels the same about the new logos for Toronto and Atlanta. I’m yawning too. My two (maybe five) cents: when people talk about advertising and branding they often focus on a few examples of stuff that seems […]

Group unconscious

I’ve been reading this: The Group Unconscious: A Synthesis Paper (pdf), which its author Alok Singh shared with me. It’s real brain food and not a light read but it echoes strongly with me. Alok explores the idea that groups of people amount to a great deal more than the sum of the parts, for […]

No Flipcharts

I would like to propose an International No Flip Chart Week. During this period no one will leap up in the middle of meetings and attempt to capture what’s being discussed on a flip chart (or any high tech equivalent). This often feels like a form of premature conceptualisation. A way of focussing too much […]

Pitfalls of explicit learning

Reflections on the dangers of making knowledge explicit – how it may actually undermine our knowledge and ability.