Entries by John Findlay

Carnegie 2.0: Re-inventing Communities

Just when some pundits were announcing the demise of the public library, and politicians are trying to defund them, libraries are undergoing a major revival as centers of community re-invention. You can call it Carnegie 2.0. It is 88 years since the last library was built with funds from Andrew Carnegie, Scottish-American businessman and philanthropist, […]

“Join in” instead of “buy in”

In our work in economic development and complex project management, we often encounter failed projects and programs, that came to grief due to community opposition to the proposals, and which we are sometimes asked to  resuscitate. One of the causes of failure is the long standing engineering practice of first designing a project and then […]

Missing: A Good Model of the System

Two hugely influential leaders in economic affairs, on opposite sides of the planet seem to be lacking a good model of the system to help us navigate more successfully to a brighter fiscal future. Nobel prize-winning economist, Paul Krugman, writing in the New York Times, was honest enough to say he did not have a good […]

Good governance and democracy: diverging

Democracy of the people, by the people, for the people seems to be failing us. Politicians elected to make decisions on our behalf seem to listen more to their political supporters than the experts. Climate change is a perfect example of the failure of the current democratic systems to deliver up good governance. Around the […]

Turning Risks into Products and Services

Anyone looking for ideas for new products and services need look no further than the World Economic Forum, Global Risks Report. Each year a group of experts get together and work out which risks are the most threatening to our existence. Once upon a time it was pestilence, plague, the weather and other natural disasters such […]

Fair and Reasonable

As a visitor to the USA, I have often been puzzled at how US businesses both large and small are unable to see the folly of paying wages that are insufficient for people to support themselves and their families. Some Americans have to work two or three jobs just to get by, or supplement their […]

Beyond Lean: Optimal ways to Eliminate Waste

What was originally known as the Toyota Production System (TPS) has evolved into a management philosophy and set of production practices that focuses on the use of resources to create value that a customer is willing to pay for. As Toyota became more successful around the world, interest in their processes spread. Their set of tools, […]

Interaction and Intervention Innovation

Meet Interaction & Intervention Innovation (i2), a new type of process improvement, which has joined the ranks of proven innovation methods like product, service, business process and business model innovation. This one helps people experience new ways of interacting in order to create new knowledge and innovate successfully in the midst of emergence, complexity and uncertainty, […]

Deliberate Team Formation Sets Projects Up for Success

Organizations around the world will spend $US3,300 per hire (Forbes, 2013) on recruiting yet spend just a few hundred dollars, a small fraction, on the equally important task of setting up their teams for success. Mostly the on-boarding process focuses on socializing people into an organization’s, culture, learning “how we do things around here”. But […]

Democracy in Unusual Spaces

As the facilitators of community meetings that require the use of technology many of the rooms are too big, too small, too constrained or just plain weird. The venues are often a challenge. Maverick & Boutique use the Zing collaborative meeting environment in our work. It requires a video projector, a giant shared screen (for […]