#QualityImprovement can be dangerous.

Document attached in LinkedIn post:


Very popular in the NHS, and beyond. Very good, in context. Our clients are doing our systems-flavoured #LeadingTransformation programme, and asked me how it fits with #QI.

This isn’t new, and I constantly say: ‘but *really good* QI people look outside the box at this stuff’.

But QI should be considered dangerous.

It’s a powerful weapon if you aim it right; if you know the problem, and it’s a process problem.


Drucker: ‘There is nothing quite so useless, as doing with great efficiency, something that should not be done…

I’m hiring! Be at the heart of RedQuadrant

RedQuadrant is looking for a ‘hub’ person, to lead our bid support and admin coordination, working directly to Managing Partner, Benjamin Taylor.

It’s an initial one-year contract, £28–32k with room to grow, remote for the foreseeable future, really at the heart of growing a business — ideally it would be someone with

(1) bid management

(2) admin/operations management, and

(3) consultancy/public sector experience

…but what’s important is hard work and passion to be part of what we do and help us to grow. Please share to anyone who might be interested!


More details:

Full time, remote working for the foreseeable future, initial twelve-month contract with three month probation period, potential to become permanent.

Threshold concepts, or gateway ideas, are ideas that, once you get them, change your way of thinking permanently. There’s no going back. And you’re stuck with it.

Realising that ‘you’re not the child your parent had in mind’ (as Peter Block says) is a big one.

Deep systems insights like power+systems dynamics or the Viable Systems Model are very much in this category.

Understanding that aggression often comes from being wounded and attempting to protect that wound.

I think that my RedQuadrant tool shed is full of these kinds of concepts, the things which shaped my thinking and which I…

What would you like to add to your consulting repertoire?

When you help your kid work out how to motivate themselves for homework, or how to make more friends at school.

When you help a friend work out a career move

When you act as strategic adviser to a large technology-driven transformation programme ;-)

You’re a consultant, of some kind. Are you learning and building those skills?

If you’ve enjoyed my posts and sharing of insights here, from the truly deep to the practical and engaging, you might like to consider joining me in my tool shed.

This is an…

“Our business is a smoothly oiled machine.”

“Life is a box of chocolates.”

“We call the boss Darth Vader”

“Kai has the heart of a lion.”

We think by comparing one thing to another (analogy) or mapping one thing onto another (metaphor).

They’re stages — platforms that boost our ideas — because they create:

- deep understanding and illumination — suddenly you can see a whole pattern!

- emotional engagement and power

Metaphor powers our language.

And they’re cages — once you ‘lock in’ to a metaphor, it limits and directs your thinking. If your business is a smoothly oiled…

I got two bits of nice news that made me stop and think.

As a privileged person, able to get a lot of ‘pats’ of positive feedback, I’m not /short/ of recognition.

But… actually… life’s never all that easy, is it?

We bid for work. We do well, but the losses outweigh the wins. A lot of work for nothing!

Our work is organisational change in public services. It doesn’t always go perfectly, and even when it does, the next thing is overdue!

I run a #business, and that can be thankless work.

Plus I put so much effort…

My dad used to be a teacher, then a headteacher, then a ‘super head’ and adviser. It was a great career, and he was quite passionate about it. These days he keeps himself to himself but is still doing well.

We just discovered a personal website he was working on, with articles for the Times Ed, amusing ‘endpieces’ for the head teachers’ union journal and a video of one of his typical TV appearances. I have to say, it provoked a lot of emotions for me. It must be from the early 90s, but it has a feel of the…

and business escape velocity

the seven per cent rule

and business escape velocity

It’s f*cking difficult to start a company and succeed — the stats prove it.

And most new business people are artisan’s who’ve fired the boss, *not* entrepreneurs.


If you are

- decently presented, someone people can do business with

- basically competent and capable

- and you knuckle down to deliver

…then, once you get going and work *incredibly* hard

…it’s actually relatively ‘easy’ to get a business off the ground!

The problem, though, is the 7% rule — the 7–12% gravity zone.

Most successful activity…

Watch the video — and pay attention to the sigils!

  • It’s about #sensemaking hard until you know what is really going on, to get to the root cause of wicked problems and solve them
  • Everything is connected, so everything is a #livingsystem — it’s quite mystical, really
  • You start from designing an idealised future state
  • #Hierarchy is bad — we need leaders to run #systems instead
  • Agile is all about systems thinking, and so is Team of Teams, and other cool things
  • We’re educated to not use our critical thinking facilities — and anyway we only use 10% of…

I thought it was essential — actually, the most important part of my work. But I gave it up and haven’t looked back.

I used to work in policy — and we’d produce some brilliant policies. The problem is, nobody really followed them.

Then, as a consultant, I produced enormous, beautiful slide-decks.

Full of findings, analysis, recommendations, with graphics professionally tweaked overnight, they were nodded through at Boards and Steering Groups. But not, to be honest, noticeably implemented.

Then I did business cases and action plans. Felt like people made real decisions. But not much changed.

So we did Rapid Improvement Events. It was exciting! Stuff got done. Until just when the action plan at the end was completed.

These days, we do…

Benjamin P. Taylor

business evolutionary www.bentaylor.com all pieces duplicated at www.chosen-path.org

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