Category: Smithery 3.0

  • A blacksmith makes their own tools

    This week, I gave a talk (with a little bit of workshopping) as part of the third module of IPA Excellence Diploma. This was a course I did back in 2007/8, and without doing it, I probably wouldn’t be doing what I do now, and definitely wouldn’t be thinking about things in the way I…

  • Metastrategy In Malmo: Adventures at The Conference

    I was honoured to be invited to give a keynote talk at The Conference in Malmo last week, to an audience of 1000 people. Which is a big room… Here’s the ‘before’ picture… …and here is the ‘after’… although technically ‘during’, now I think of it… The talk itself was on Metastrategy, the need for ‘a…

  • 3.31 – Smithery at Scale

    “I always said I’d decide what to do with Smithery after three years. It seemed like a simultaneously short and long period of time in which to make decisions. Long enough to not worry about it on a day-to-day basis. Short enough to realise I had to do something about it at some point…” That’s…

  • 3.30 – Map Making

    Over the last month, I’ve been exploring the roots of a new idea, a thesis about organisations as a complex (yet playfully navigable) interaction between people who do the work, and the spaces they do it in. Now, in the first of two summary posts, I’m going to recap the most useful elements that this…

  • 3.29 – How it ends?

    We’re in the final straight now. It occurred to me as I sat down tonight that I just didn’t have time this month (not nearly enough) to chase down all the things I was going to cover, the people to speak to, the things to read and reflect upon. With every little thing I discovered,…

  • 3.28 – Question Engine

    Ok, so I was quite taken with the whole Flow Engine thing. Engines are useful things, after all. So I’ve made a Question Engine. Why? Well, good question… Yesterday morning in the post I received my paper copy of Dan Hill’s “Dark Matter and Trojan Horses: A Strategic Design Vocabulary“. It’s something that I have as…

  • 3.27 – Simple Starters

    A brief tangent; I’ve been making bread today. Sourdough bread, to be precise. Oooo, how very hipster. Yes, well, possibly. But the thing is; it isn’t as hard as you’d think. You need a starter, which is basically just mixing some flour and water together, over a few days, until it starts to ferment. Then…

  • 3.26 – Designing Flow Engines

    Over the next few days, I’ll be looking at four things; a first exercise to start the process of the Culture Matrix; a list of questions that help frame Indicator Events; a go-to technique for introducing the Customer into the centre; and finally a series of advanced exercises based on the Matrix. I’ve been running…

  • 3.25 – Flow Engines

    “You know that what you need to do is possible to do, even though difficult, and sense of time disappears. You forget yourself. You feel part of something larger.” – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi on Flow At Laptops & Looms, quite a few folks alluded to the sensation of flow that we can get when working. It’s…

  • 3.24 – Reflect & React

    Prologue: Sunday evening; time to reflect and react. I’ve just finished reading back through every post and comment so far of the twenty-three posts preceding this one. I’ve a good feeling now for what I think I’m doing, which to be honest is a surprise given where I was two hours ago (tired, lost, etc).…

  • 3.23 – Wrong Instrument

    I’ve returned from Laptops & Looms. I’ll write more about it when this project is done, but various talks and conversations here have infused my thinking on this, none more so that something Tom Armitage said earlier today. Tom was talking about making music stompboxes (from various open source designs), and how he was beginning…

  • 3.22 – Indicator Events

    One benefit I’ve noticed of writing this thesis every day for a month is that as events, moments, links and the like float past, you can grab the best bits and weave them in as you go. It helps test the proposition at the centre, and makes for more visceral evolution of it. To that…