Start at the Beginning

“I always get the shakes before a drop.” That’s the first line of Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers, which I’ve probably read 20-30 times over the years. In science fiction circles, that line is the equivalent of “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” I was probably about twelve or thirteen […]

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Who’s in Charge Here?

We all carry around a fairly standard mental model of a classroom; podium and black/whiteboard in front, neat rows of desks facing the teacher. Progressive schools break the rows up into pods; college lecture halls put the seats on a slope. Drop us in a classroom and we know what to do.  The main classrooms […]

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A Place for Thinking

It’s a Saturday morning. I’m in an anonymous meeting room at the Intercontinental Hotel in Chicago, hosting a morning workshop as part of our monthly All Hands Meeting of Diamond Technology Partners. It was 1994 and we could still fit in a single medium-sized conference room. A few years later we would fill the main […]

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Managing in a knowledge economy

There’s a rich field of corporate irony in the collision of mindsets between engineers and executives. It’s paid Scott Adams’s bills for decades. This humor wears thin, however, as more and more of the people creating value in organizations think like engineers.  Regardless of their academic training or background, knowledge workers in organizations think like […]

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