Scaling with Agile Thinking


We sometimes think that Lean & Agile is all about scaling back, in a context of removing “stuff” or unecessary processes. However using Lean and Agile can help us grow. The leaner we are, the faster we can react to the market place, not just in terms of change, but in terms of growth. Industries such as digital tech, online food retail, takeaways, insurance, banking have increased significantly during the recent crisis.

This period of reflection has Continue reading “Scaling with Agile Thinking”

Applying Agile to Recruitment

I have been observing a lot of the dynamics around recruitment in the current circumstances. My reflections are not  around on how to recruit , or the overall process, as I will leave that to the experts. However I do wonder if there is an opportunity for some agile and risk based thinking. The current crisis is re-shaping Continue reading “Applying Agile to Recruitment”

Not Following the Herd.


There has been considerable discussion around the need for mental resilience as a consequence of the crisis as individuals  and businesses  have to deal with new challenges. Political Leaders are now talking about the “New Normal”. I have even heard some people talk about the “New Abnormal”. Either way it implies a different way of working. Businesses have been talking about potentially working  in different ways, particularly with respect to more localised supply chains and using Continue reading “Not Following the Herd.”

Critical (& Rapid) Thinking

This current crisis is not just challenging  humans, resources and well-being, but seems to be challenging our ability to think critically. The expression “more haste, less speed” comes to mind. As a large advocate of the 80/20 rule, I have been following this mantra for years. Regularly, I have been challenged around when using the 80/20  rule is truly applicable. I have always stated that its OK to be used  for a management process as a means for avoiding “postponed perfection” , but not necessarily for potentially  high consequence processes. In certain Continue reading “Critical (& Rapid) Thinking”

Unnecessary Complexity & Waste – Bin It

As we move into a difficult time are first thoughts are for our families and our livelihoods. We are correctly looking at the way we work and taking advantage of all the digital tools available. Others are rightly sharing their  knowledge and experience around the mental health aspects of remote working which is critical for performance. I have blogged about this before Continue reading “Unnecessary Complexity & Waste – Bin It”

Productivity Everywhere – Know when you need to ask for help


I am normally used to  rapid change in the context of manufacturing processes and in certain cases, other elements of business culture, all with the backdrop of productivity. However, I have more recently thinking about social media platforms.  I was a late comer to social media driven by a lack of knowledge and being of a generation that evolved from letters to memos to email.  As I drive my own business, I am  becoming more aware of the power Continue reading “Productivity Everywhere – Know when you need to ask for help”

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast”

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast”

To be successful, a revised business strategy requires vision, transformation and employee engagement. Transformation, or cultural change, is the hardest to achieve and engagement depends on it entirely.

Have you ever found yourself sitting up at 1 am watching that shark documentary again, despite a 5 am alarm call for an important morning meeting?

If so, you are not alone. It’s human nature to continue doing what we are currently doing, despite knowing perfectly well it may be to our cost. It’s called human stasis.

For example, it’s widely accepted that most families could save thousands per year if they changed their behaviour, eliminated waste and shopped around more for their utilities and other essential requirements. Despite the ease of doing so on comparison websites, many don’t, and the providers’ profits are dependent on this irrational aversion to change.

“Watermelons frequently go from shop to fridge to bin.”

In business, collective resistance to change amplifies the problem and it’s the biggest barrier to the successful implementation of a new, exciting and often essential strategy.

You may have a clear business objective, a perfect corporate vision and an insight-driven strategy to achieve that, but if your people aren’t engaged and willing to accept change, it will likely fail to achieve the desired results.

So, what can be done to effect organisational cultural transformation?

It is the synthesis of three elements:

  1. Systems
  2. Passion
  3. Behaviour
  • Your organisation must have the essential tools, systems, and processes in place to underpin and enable the desired change.
  • Those leading the organisation must be visibly passionate about the need for change and its importance for the future of the business.
  • As that passion propagates through your organisation, behavioural change can then be encouraged through training, capability development, coaching, and mentoring.

One final thought … in 1998, Blockbuster could have acquired Netflix for $50m. Today, Neflix has a market cap of $137bn and Blockbuster is nowhere to be seen. Resistance to change can be deadly.

John Cockburn-Evans is professional “business declutterer” and “lean” machine. He is an expert international consultant and coach with over 25 years’ experience in a range of industries.

Why I Coach for Change & Productivity?

As well as being a productivity specialist, I am a professional coach. So why am I blogging about this ? It may sound obvious, as working through a change process can be one of the most demanding activities that staff and leaders get involved with. Coaching is a widely used term, and sometimes misunderstood. It is often confused with consulting and mentoring. Coaching is a clearly defined process of high-end Continue reading “Why I Coach for Change & Productivity?”

Internal Personal Efficiency – The importance of an “Interdependent Culture”

I have been reflecting quite a bit recently about this topic, and the potential for further improvements in personal efficiency. Overall company efficiency is the sum of the component parts i.e. the aggregate efficiencies. This is why it is important to stay focused on our personal efficiency. I have blogged about productive people before, but quite often we think we are better than we actually are. One factor is that in the corporate or large company world, we can get sucked into “Other People’s Waste”. What do I mean by that? Inevitably we have  to work in teams , whether that be large or small. Each team member will carry with them their own waste. Continue reading “Internal Personal Efficiency – The importance of an “Interdependent Culture””

Getting Clearer on Productivity

operator bending metal sheet by sheet bending machine, cnc control metal sheet bending machine, high precision and high accuracy metal sheet bending machine


The Brexit position has become more uncertain and business confidence dropped further, even though the UK is still outperforming other EU nations such as Italy and Germany in terms of growth. This vindicates more than ever the need for a “Lean” approach with businesses more agility in the market place. Continue reading “Getting Clearer on Productivity”