Tag Archives: design

CAPS the way forward, when dealing with strategic complexity, through critical thinking…

22 Oct

Have you ever wondered why some people are better than others at solving certain (complex) problems and making good decisions? Thereby leading the pack?

The answer seems obvious: they know more than us, or they have the experience required, they have the better education, the gift of the gab, and my favourite – they are the appointed authority etc.

We seem to find a reason for every situation in life with smart people to stand back, we become inventive with excuses as to why they outperform us, and why we have to be submissive or why we have to adhere to them. It’s called conformity. Society has taught us to conform to the rules; of culture, religion, social beliefs, and structure. All good and well, don’t get me wrong, but they never taught us that our thoughts, our thinking and reason do not belong to the same rules.

Our minds are free agents, or should be. So how smart are you anyway? Some people are smarter than others for sure! But being smart isn’t enough, when we want to find truth, and seek clarity, rationality. The truth is this; we are all “smart” at one thing, but not all things.

People have been conditioned to think with one paradigm only, all their lives, they just stay true to one way of thinking, and they never stop to think about their own thoughts, or way of thinking, when they do this thing called thinking so well.

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Business formation is changing the way we see Strategy, Management, and Leadership roles and function…

31 Jul

“It is all changing so fast” – just look at the way we communicate with all the tools and gadgets we have available. Laptops have just started becoming cost effective, and now they are already making way for “IPad’s”, “Smart phones”, and “tablets”.

The Information Age is here; also commonly known as the Computer Age or Digital Age, characterized by the ability of individuals to transfer information freely, and to have instant access to any type of information that would have been difficult or even impossible to find previously. It has become a fast paced, radical, and challenging world, where information is power, and the lack thereof, will cause your down fall some believe, just about everything out there is information driven, and it informs every aspect of life and living as we know it today, in one way or the other.

Information shapes the business landscape; so too our own managing styles and management philosophy, thereby business practice are adapting, with new entrants that are also becoming fashionable; the likes of BI, MIS and BA. What do we know about all these changes taking place, have we kept up? What do they hope to achieve and how do they work?

Today several new entrants are with us, they have come a long way in the making, and it is only now that they are finally coming to life, and extremely useful. With that said, they also come with some integration problems and challenges of their own, they are; Business Intelligence and Business Analysts as well as Management Information Systems Analysts still seen as new kids on the block – however we hear a lot of BI and BA talk, things are changing likewise with MIS also becoming a buzz word. Continue reading

Building better organizations…

13 Mar

Building better organizations with healthier productive people requires insight, and experience.

The sociological perspective is crucial for working in todays multiethnic and multinational business environments. Strategic planning and decision processes should end with objectives and a roadmap of ways to achieve them. The goal of strategic planning; is to increase operational effectiveness overall – holistically -, to eliminate waist, especially when long-term and high-stake activities are involved. When these two elements don’t meet – organisational / industrial psychology and strategy -, we get to see all the good, the bad, and the ugly in human nature….erupt.

Taking some time, and evaluating the usefulness, and application of both, by unpacking them, could bring us to some new insights.

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Business Modelling

12 Jan

Strategic Planning; the Business of applying and finding Best Practices and Business Models.

First off, we are not talking about a business plan here, that’s something totally different. We are talking about a business model.

Strategic planning has to become a systematic and procedural affair to become an effective management tool.

We have to model the very process of strategic management for our organisations, and our selves first.  So that it becomes one “game plan” for all to use and identify with, with one set of rules, played and followed by all.

This brings about perfection, and unity of effort. Anything else is just scattered mumbo-jumbo. Where we have diverged strategic models of design in one habitat, we end up with diverging effort, and over utilisation of resources, conflicting efforts – very little else delivers like unity of effort.

What are these best practices, or business models we speak of?

A business model or business practice or best practice is this;

  1. best practice is a method or technique that has consistently shown results
  2. best practice is a technique or methodology that, through experience and research, has been proven to reliably lead to a desired result
  3. best practice is the recognized methods of correctly running businesses or providing services
  4. A Business model is The plan implemented by a company to generate revenue and make a profit from operations
  5. A business model isn’t something you build from the ground up
  6. A business model is a document describing the operations of a business including the components of the business, the functions, and design.

Best practices could be seen as the tactics and Models as the strategy of the business…

  • Tactics; are how we do things we planned, with what we have, in the time we have been given
  • Strategy; is with what, where, when, and how we want things done, as well as who get to do it and how much will it cost.
  • This requires structure, and systems, to merge both tactics and strategy with.

Models requires systems design

Creating systems; is a business process – that of systems design. Here we look at best practices to base our design on. A best practice is a method or technique that has consistently shown results superior to those achieved via other means, and becomes a benchmark or standard to which a task must comply with.

In addition, a “best” practice can also evolve to become better – with the use of technology -as improvements are discovered. The process of developing and following a standard way of doing things that multiple people can use – saves time and money in training – and error finding. It creates steps, a recipe to follow, with measures of time and ingredients, that translates into a process that becomes part of a system, working to deliver a result.

Systems follow logical steps, translating into logical action that then becomes action plans or items.  Action plans are subordinate to strategic plans, they give action to the planning, with the use of systems, resources, logistics, financial value (cost), time frames, to deliver a pre-set outcome – that delivers a required specific result or output over time…

PROCCESSES ARE PROCDURAL; their aim is to create order, and structured work flow and packages. Only where work is broken up and distributed as packaged to create a chain of events that delivers a result, can we talk about systems design then.  

Strategic planning has to become a best practice, and have a business model, in our management sphere today, for us to have any cardinal use for it.

This can be done when we have a system for design that everyone follows when designing a strategic plan. This is for establish organisations only. New and emerging will follow a totally different paradigm.

The steps are;

  1. Asses your history; so that you may not repeat the same mistakes made in the past…
  2. Determine your customer; are they still our customer and why, if not, who is and why, focus, on fulfilling wants, needs, and requirements. Review your market share and start prospecting with new markets. Get a grasp on new entrants, technology and product.
  3. Asses your current situation; with an environmental scan and project where you will be, and then want to be. Then predict your cost effectiveness and survivability.
  4. Perform a GAP analysis; devise four scenarios; worst case, better, ideal, and ultimate.  
  5. Question your business assumptions; what are we doing right, good, wrong and not at all? What should we be doing more off and then also less of? To eliminate waste.
  6. Evaluate your current structure; is it still in line with the current strategy? (or even the original structure). Perform a CAPS analysis; Concept Attributes, Perception, Systems – Analysis to find the deficits and strengths. Attributes that will typically emerge are;
    1.     Alienation of core function and focus; change in directions have alienated the core function, we need to redesign or
    2.     Structure is not efficient and effective anymore
    3.     Technology has changed and
    4.     Under resourced
    5.     Red tape, administrative chock points
    6.     Lack of focus and drive
    7.     Lack of experience and expertise
    8.     Lack of capacity and or ability
    9.     Lack of training, or sub standard training
    10.     Lack of direction and effective managing
    11.     Total collapse of support functions
    12.     Lack of command and control
    13.     Maintenance and repair has lapsed or fallen behind
    14.     Too much diversification
    15.     Calibration; of the vision and mission statement, is this still what we want, need, and do?
    16.     Calibration of the culture, the values and principles we hold onto as organisation
    17.     Perform a needs assessment, what do we need to become…

10. Determine the main future thrust and focus, the core business, from today on and forward..

  1.     Projects that need to get special attention to realign the organisation;

                                          i.    Identify; KPA – Key Performance Areas, and KPC Key performance Criteria

                                        ii.    Quantify: Who, What, Where, When, How, and How much

                                       iii.    Qualify: That this is the best course of action, research, test assumptions, mediate, consult, train, teach, staff, equip and implement…in phases…evaluate and fine tune.

                                       iv.    Budget; work out the budget

  1.     Operations cost
  2.     Insurance
  3.     Training needs and requirements
  4.     Infrastructure and logistics
  5.     Transport and telecoms etc…

11. Define responsibility and accountability, enter into contracts, and draw up new job descriptions, structures, positions, and posts. Interview and assign/ place.

12. Educate and communicate, network and teach, mentoring and counselling, enforce discipline.

13. Manage and measure, day to day action plans –track  progress, rollout, and KPA’s

14. Revise, and repair

15. Develop a medium, long and extra long range consecutive plan

16. Monitor the progress

17. Have strategic reviews at least quarterly

18. Have tactical reviews weekly

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Is Management Clutching at Straws with Performance Management?

10 Oct

Effective paradigms are required from managers today when looking at resolving these issues of performance management. Especially when looking at the strength and weakness in manager’s, and their beliefs, or paradigms when attempting to get their people to perform, or to get better performance – from individuals and groups – by exposing them to performance management systems.


First off what exactly is performance?


 Performance is synonymous, and equates to; an act, routine, or a show. So how crucial is it to have actors, performers and showmen in your organisation to get people to produce results?


 Performance is also defined as; The accomplishment of a given task measured against preset known standards of accuracy, completeness, cost, and speed.

Okay, so it is a key element of competition and survival of the fittest – performance.

When we start talking about performance, then we start talking about statistics, comparisons, and therefor benchmarking.

Benchmarking is the process of determining who sets the standard and what that standard is, and how it will be measured. It is done to motivate people to improve performance toward reaching a goal. If this is the case? Then benchmarking becomes a focal point (a standard against which something can be measured or assessed) towards realizing somekind of performance. this practice is also supposedly supposed to inform us of what is expected from us, and how much of it, what is the criteria, that will justify performance?

Without benchmarked performance, we cannot speak of performance. We have to have a measure to measure performance with, before we can say we are performing. Performance statistics speak extremely well and inform us on; who is the better, who is best, and who gets to say they are the overall best?

Now we have entered the viper pit again, it’s back to school school for us all, where people were forced to compete, and only very few ever did – successfully. Because, in order for someone to win, and this lesson we all learned very early on, someone ells, or several of us will have to lose. So we will create a lot of losers every day, and only have one winner again. How  does this aspect want to motivate people again? Contrary to belief, very few of us like this, competition, or want competition at all. Therefore,  does performance really matter (if it does not matter to all involved) if we end up with many losers, especially as an objective way to measure several humans (groups) production with?

Is this healthy competition in the making, or even a good and sound management principle…we are looking into following, and is it a fair / legal way to get better performance?

The key to getting better performance is to build a bridge between; the now, and the future, that will never go down or slump, that will consistently grow in an ever upward direction, this is the ideal situation. The whole idea, however, in reality the thing with ideas is this, it’s never buried in just that one sold solution, in this instance called “performance management”, or ever a substitute consistent in maintaining an improved effective focus on consistent production increase, and it never will be, as it impacts directly on dwindling resources, a none sustainable growth path. Let me explain…

Let’s start by just looking at the facts; about this one issue/ or aspect called performance. When people hear performance they quiver, it equates to stress for sure, longer hours, less pay/ play /sleep.  Even potential confrontation and people are generally exploited when they are performance managed. So it’s stigmatised as well.

However, competition is still healthy and endorsed by all things living, (whether we ourselves choose to join in or not) to compete against others for resources, domination, survival, a partner, and just plain self gratification – is common and entrenched practice.

It also filters into aspects like “enhancement”; how we enhance our probability to get what we want with what we have consistently. Enhancing our probability in terms of our capacity and capability is key to success; as humans, groups, families, and even organisations. What do we have or need to get what we want and what we need? Speaks to the issues of capacity and capability enhancement, these two aspects are always limited, in one way or the other.  Now here is n path we can pursue, that of enhancement of capabilities, and capacity. This can constitute, any means or advantage well utilised to become leverage for us; on the physical side we could look at attributes like; height, speed, strength, agility, and beauty – and ways to enhance them, or utilise them as leverage. On the mental side, mental endurance, insight, stamina, will-power, knowledge, capability, wisdom, etc. Then in the nature of things; economical, military, situation, means, financial, etc, we look at finding a supply and demand aspect. Anything that creates leverage to be used…

Strength and weakness are the two portals that open up to many possibilities; therefore can and will encompass many attributes; one can start by mentioning both the physical and abstracts. Strength can also be a weakness, or become one, and so to weakness, the same can become strength.

The Ancients explained it as mixtures of Yin and Yang, of one like the other but different. The seen and unseen, both good and bad, opposites of one thing, that unite to form one thing at one time, either strength or weakness.

In life, as in business we all compete daily. In many fashions, anything ranging for space to walk on the side walk, or to be first in the queue… No matter how subtle or ferocious, we are designed to compete, where the rules and factors of contest remain shifting, we then start to strategise –to plot and plan the way to get ahead. Absolutely nothing remains stagnant in this process, especially in business, where the strong becomes the weaker in an instant, and the weak becomes stronger in changing cycles of day and month. Then the gravity of strategy becomes tremendous and evident. Then Strategic change becomes science, and performance enhancement the tool to steer it with, so that we don’t succumb to the gravity of strategy. Where we rely on both our strength and a perceived weakness, to reach the objective; through the use of experience, and with calculations, then our thinking and planning is brought about by situational aspects in flux; being of any and many origins, from the physical, mental, economic, and other factors and influences that we factor in to our thinking and planning, that we deem appropriate and prevalent, it all unites to create strategic mystery, a perceptive situation. We think what we see/ think is real, only when we test it do we get the results…

Then it stands to reason that we can influence things and people, to force them to become either; weak, or weaker, or strong, and even stronger. Just by changing their perception/paradigms, and thereby start influencing relationships, so that they create the situations we desire to exist. That we can manipulate, with the leverage we have, to our benefit and even liking.

Competition dictates that if we can gauge and predict certain key situational /aspects in flux/ change/ movement correctly, and influence them, then we can change the outcome. In a game of Soccer for instance, if we can figure out and then know that the ball has to go away from us and into the net on the opposing side, and that equal a win, then we control one aspect of the game. If we can predict with a great certainty the flow of the side (river), and then build a defence (dam wall) and divert the flow as we please, strong to weak, too even none. Then we control yet anther aspect. The more aspects we control the better we stay in control. This is the principle – control as many aspects of your environment possible. When we start this process of enhancement, it starts with control, by merely linking certain common attributes of, (for instance) business design to concepts like structure and job descriptions, if we do this for instance, then we create organisation – an enhancement in business design for instance. Now we also control who needs to do what, where, when, how, and how much of it, we have created a performance benchmark. We can do this and everything else we wish or desire to change, and create the reality we desire, by taking control. If we can create models of any contemplated aspect of a company design and relate it back to a physical form, then we control it, why not elements in flux, to see where the opposition or our own strategy is strong and weak.

Then on to the next step, start by identifying and studying the relationship between these concepts and controls you have, because concepts have their objectives, sharing between resources, training, organisation, skills, and planning etc. Then we will be able to get a better idea of what is creating – strength and weakness –because of our controls and strategy, by merely segmenting and identifying these links as aspects relating to concepts to people we want to enhance, rather than performance manage. People are not at all good at following rules either, especially when feeling compelled… they are much better at, and open to development and enhancement…initiatives

Their abstracts of reasoning get informed of a better reality, if they too have some measure of control over aspects of their own work, it becomes a win-win situation. Only by asking the right questions relating to performance; do we find the key to enhancements. Then people will join, with where are they hoping to go with it, and us, opposed to this is it, let’s go, and them getting insight on what are they doing both right and wrong to get to their objectives, and targets. This becomes the germination point of performance enhancement, when people get to buy-in. Performance enhancement speaks to human traits and beliefs, this type of belief and hope sprouts excitement, the mutual and exclusive benefits to co-operative work, team work, and performance…becomes transparent, and people thrive on knowledge and information…

The picture becomes clear, only when we can better understand the abstracts of performance deficits in our own strategy, and mind set, that’s when strategy becomes concrete and factual to us / useful, when it serves a purpose shared by all. It is widely believed that shared vision, creates supreme mental energy/ imagery UN-stoppable, and unites extreme efforts to achieve collectively the main aims together with. Opposed to the other reality of performance management where only one person wins, (gets the fat bonus, and credit) the rest suffer. Performance enhancement becomes a FOCUSED INTENT. It focuses collectives, resources, management and all aspects into one intent. We deal better as people with the factual basis of argument, than with hypothesis, as opposed to hypotheses and assumptions with finding solutions with.

We have now successfully identified the two crucial aspects of disseminating a design for enhanced performance criteria, and defined the physical and abstracts strengths and weakness of the adversary – our own mind, our perceptions and paradigms on motivating people.

Also Read

The Gravity of Strategy

5 Oct

“The Seven Pillars of Gravity” define the physical and abstract nature of our adversaries.

Strength and weakness, both physical and abstract, are mixtures of Yin and Yang. Where nothing remains stagnant, where strong becomes weaker, and weak becomes stronger in changing cycles. Where strength and weakness is brought about by influences. Then it stands to reason that we can influence things, to either make them stronger or weaker. By linking certain common attributes of business design to concepts, we can create models of any contemplated aspect of company design and relate it back to a physical form, to see where it is strong and weak. Then, by identifying and studying their objectives, we will be able to get a better idea of what is their strategy is all about, identifying their abstracts of reasoning, where are they hoping to go with it and what are they doing both right and wrong to get there. The picture becomes clear, then the abstracts of their strategy becomes concrete and factual to us. We deal better on factual basis as opposed to hypotheses and assumptions with finding solutions. We have now successfully identified the two crucial aspects of disseminating a design, and defined the physical and abstracts strengths and weakness of the adversary. Remember, every strategic aim consists of commonalities; the vision, mission and objectives. However, these attributes of strategy conceal the tactics used, it does not define the actual flow and direction for us, where one objective can become several objectives with smaller goals, that requires “things” in order to work. We can influence thought and the abstract of it, but we can create or destroy physical means. With strategy, something’s are physical, clearly observable and tangible, and other things are of abstract nature – mainly referring to reasoning, culture, paradigms etc… Combined they form the organisation and its purpose. However, what they all require is a vehicle to bring them into effect, and that vehicle is systems. Systems need things and people to operate, so that makes them the perfect target, for it is the weakest, as it is the most reliant and vulnerable to change, influence and its dependencies. Where abstracts – their “objectives”- are seen as essential forces of strategy that cause “gravity” – weakness – because they need things to survive too, and they could exhaust resources and place burdens on systems.  Objectives, with sub-ordinates, causes a polarity, that impacts on other parallel objectives, that impact on the total system at some point or stage. If un-checked it could cause failure, bottlenecks, or total systems collapse.  Therefore, if we target certain main objectives and systems, we can cause the strategy and the organisation to fail. In order to achieve success in business one must achieve objectives and goals consistently and well. If we want to succeed whilst gaining momentum, we have to find ways to minimise risk and weakness, thus eliminate gravity, by closing the door on our competition, and as we do, we will gain some better competitive advantages. Our focus as organisation must shift to our ability to sustain systems, the ability to change objectives, and create situations that causes friction for the opposition, and not us, where the competitions system becomes stuck, or weak, because of the pressure we are exerting on them because of our strategy. By making them adhere to our tactics, then we can create and dictate the trend, either by destroying, or depriving them of their ability to stop us. This is also known as manoeuvring. In order to obtain this objective, we focus on physical means first, to understand what they are, and how are they structured to form the organisation. We can employ the7 pillars of gravity model, to serve as the focus point of efforts in planning our EBO. This gives us an ideal three-dimensional model of our radical strategy and that of the opposition, we are not designing strategy in a silo. By having analysed the physical attributes of the adversary, we take that data and deposit it into our model. Anything that can function on its own and is free and able to make decisions, as to where it will go and what it will do, has a determinable character, with attributes, like an organism, that leaves an influence and signature in its habitat. Depriving an organisation of its physical means, or distorting its gravity – making it weaker where it is weak already – won’t always stop it, but a mix of both will, combined. Having defined the opponents systems attributes – then pillars emerge, it then gets broken down into the seven pillars.

The first Pillar is the core or leadership. – Here we build up a profile of who the leaders are, how they makes decisions, and how they get influenced. Their individual character traits, are they emotional, conservative, echo centric, or bureaucratic decision makers. If we ask the right questions we get the right answers. By finding opposing forces, like we saw in the yin yang model, we can draw many conclusions and assumptions. Chief executive officers leave trails and we can interview people to ascertain more information about them, providing us with a clear view of the brain behind the strategic direction, the guidance and control over the entire system.  Breaking one finger, will render a hand useless. We don’t want to take on the whole organisation just their weakest links. If we identify that their command and control element is it, then that is where we will focus on. “It and it alone is absolutely essential in the sense that there can be no substitute for command and control, and without the brain the body becomes useless, even though technically alive, it is no longer operating at the strategic level.”  The organising portion of the entities possesses will stall, the ability to decides the who, what, where, when and how, will become severed and useless. Direction and movement will depend greatly on the influence of the “head”. 

The Second Pillar is called organic essentials or physical means. – liken to food and oxygen for humans. Things that we cannot live without. Logistics; Service Providers, Manufactures, Transport grids, Warehousing, Transportation and Suppliers. The organisations life blood, where the heart and lungs pump blood and air as organic essentials without which, “the brain cannot perform its strategic function.”  Organic essentials are not of equal importance to the brain because, “a heart without a brain, is a very expensive, complex pump without meaning or ability to act or effect.” We could start buying stock from the same supplier and be willing to pay more should he agree to only supply to us for the next year, exclusivity contracts, sole supplier mandates, this could include buying out the transportation contractor of our opposition and using them for other contracts that we have negotiated. Offering better services to his suppliers, buy buying bulk materials and selling the over flow to other suppliers. In short, everything that the businesses requires or are reliant on to function, as its support systems and life lines, is viewed here.

The third Pillar is the infrastructure or bones. – Blood vessels and muscles, they are important but we can adopt work-around capabilities to enable us to function without them.  Infrastructure can move the organic essentials and support the brain but the body can exist without them. By spreading your vulnerability across a wide front by decentralising and flattening your organisational structure as a first step, you will in essence be out designing your competition. Here we focus on structural design and how to change the nature of the skeleton, of the beast. By streamlining structure, we will be speeding up and will produce faster turnaround times…The other aspect is a foot can compete with a foot and a hand with a hand, so do not try to break a market by introducing a structure that will not fit. Partnerships are not off the cards here as well, many big monopolies do this, they merely trade under different brand names but in essence all the working parts are the exact same thing, it is just the designs and interfaces that have changed. The customers are happy and high quality goods are under mass production, bring down prices so the same two seemingly competitors are flooding a market with high quality goods that their competitors just cannot match.

The fourth Pillar is population, cells. – The human capital and corporate culture they have -a human body can lose a substantial amount of cells (people) and continue to function effectively, we need to find out if this will hold true here as well. Is this organisation held together by, ethics and feelings of job security, loyalty and or financial gains for hard work, performance orientated…. If not what is the glue? What holds it together during hard and difficult times? Do a SWAT analysis, of the competitor. 

The fifth pillar is the defensive mechanism.  – That forms the protective ability of the organism to defend itself – its immune system.  The interconnectivity of the human element with the systems and the set of subsystems, what type of interfaces and communication systems, protocols and policy within each pillar is seen to be fundamentally strong or weak, viewed as parts of the system, a microcosm of the larger entity.  To relate this aspect of the human body model, how would a weak heart effect the system, how would an injury to the structure affect that organ, (if the chief designer were to resign) or the total loss of one part of the system, would it have a significant impact on the remaining parts. 

The Sixth Pillar is understanding their strategy and design. – By taking these two ideas of interconnectivity and its effects, and interlocking them – how well are they aligned with their strategy – perfect, or asymmetrical. We create a model, which provides planners and strategist with the ability to examine the adversary as a system within a strategy, because it (the model) “tells us what detailed questions to ask and it suggests a priority for the questions that should follow”.   It is believed that the commander is at the heart of the strategy centre; the next pillar includes the organic essentials, or logistics.  Lines of communications; the command and control structure, its interlocking networks that form the infrastructure or third pillar.  Support staffs form the fourth pillar and the influences form the fifth pillar, is an applicable tool for campaign design and operational planning focus. Having identified all their centres of gravity – is it designed to be technically superior and expensive, or simple and multiple.

The Seventh Pillars of tactical and strategic advantage.  Developing your own forms of attack and counter attack gives rise to the formation of “parallel attack.”  Parallel attack is the ability to strike at a vast array of  “targets” across a strategic front. By having a decentralised structure, your system can function in silos, should the main system come under attack, the rest will still function uninhibited. Thus when “attacking” a centralised controlled structure, it is very easy to predict how it will respond with tactics and strategy, even when it is routed, so its history holds its future because of the pillars that support it. However, when decentralised, you have many autonomous “smaller heads” and “ smaller pillars” that are strategically and tactically empowered to act compellingly different. How will you attack that? Hereby rendering them less susceptible to a single attack that will dislodge and defeat them. Thus attacking in parallel would cause significant damage and not enable the competition to rebuild his losses.  Serial attacks are the opposite of parallel attack in which only a small number of targets are struck and in doing so, enable the enemy to quickly repair any damage.  Instead of just focusing on only 1 or 2 targets, forces in parallel attack would disperse and simultaneously strike a wide array of targets, at the operational and strategic level.  When targets are diversified, the perception and paradigm, the abstracts are better attacked, that the physical. In striking these simultaneous with parallel blows, the competition loses hope and balance, striving to achieve the effect of “reducing the effectiveness of the overall system.” Just by changing perception. In this theory the centre of gravity is unpacked into the “Seven pillars of gravity”, or the seven joints of balance, it also supports the linkage of this concept to executing effects based operations. This model views centres of gravity, as composed of both vulnerabilities and strengths, always changing, depending on how they are designed and approached. The Seventh Pillar is all about understanding and finding external influences to counter internal influences beforehand. The seventh pillar is an internal look at what we have, opposed to what they have, and how to best utilise it against the opposition if it comes to that, both in attacking him, or defending us from him, or a counter attack. How to hide our own vulnerabilities and exploit that of the competitions, what can we learn, apply, and share if need be, it is all about developing models of expertise, running simulations, and scenarios, to know the enemy is to know oneself it is said. This knowledge is formulated as doctrines to counter competitor’s strategies and to be ready to attack them if they attack you. Battle is not the place where you want to face reality for the first time, and wish you had a few tanks as well. People who say, that no one will use tactics like this in business, it’s too farfetched, and absolutely ludicrous, are naive.    

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A Standard Operating Procedure for Strategic, Security, Emergency, Disaster & Event Management Planning.

22 Apr


Emergency & Disaster, Event Management Planning.


No portion of this document may be used, sold or otherwise reproduced or disseminated for any other purpose as what it was initially intended for, no person has any rights to this document, and it is not considered a public document, no one else will be considered a rightful user. All rights to this document in terms of the Protection of Information Act, 1982 83



This article is aimed at those who want to arrange a huge event, and need some more than just the basic info on how to and what to do… This article will serve as a practical guide, for those who will concern themselves more with the security, emergency and disaster management aspects of any event.

I have found that by only following a textbook formula one can’t ensure continued safety, and readiness, at any type of event and for a simple reason: in any dynamic situation, performance is fundamentally relative, and becomes absolute at the point where we have no competition. Then, we dance to our own tune, and at our own pace. What am I getting at? With events you have one of every discipline, and each stick to its own. No two entities compete directly, and therefore they don’t have to perform at their peak. In fact, lasting performance of exceptional quality is largely a mental picture, a perception; a statistical anomaly. The simple fact is that no formula can guarantee continued sustainable performance, at least not in a competitive business environment where everything has a life cycle.

So, when you hire a security company, by referral, and they come highly recommended, don’t rest on your laurels either, and just assume they will perform same or better that what was expected. Things change fast; key people resign, owners sell companies, or they just get cheaper labour, or less qualified, especially when their popularity grow, and they become over stretched by the demand. This applies to all your potential service providers, especially in the events industry, those that you will be dealing with during any event need some credit. Credentials are a must then, and referrals say something more, specifically the latest, they say in this industry you are only as good as your very last performance…and it stays true.

The belief that strategic choices only made in the boardroom will directly affect the quality of a business concept, especially at grassroots level, and then the world if it is properly implemented. Where its success equates directly to the results of great planning, especially project or either strategic, is totally flawed.  Any plan is only as good as the first few minutes it was written in, and then immediately implemented.

As more and more time lapse,  between the conception and implementation time frames, then naturally, the more time you put between planning and execution, the more the variables change, and keep changing. Thus, planning never the less remains an indispensible part of  any great endeavor, and an ongoing effort, either way it remains indispensable. The results of planning will only be reflecting the degree of precision and good decision making, and then only how effective it was executed under conditions of ambiguity that tends to change the shape of things in the heat of battle, at the instance where we go over to action, and execution, it is only then that we really see the true factors that impact on our plan, those things just outside our control, only when we hit the ground running, do we feel what we are running on, the grass, or stones for the first time. Change and influences ( both internal as well as external) will always, certainly, be the factors we cannot gauge with perfect certainty, if one thing changes, then everything normally follows on, and then it tends to change the overall plans perspective.

Strategic event management; is described as organised chaos in motion; choice is inevitably an exercise in decision making under conditions of uncertainty, of which the objective is not to find workable solutions only, and to guaranteed success, but rather to improve the odds of making it all the way without serious incidents, accidents, emergencies, and disasters,  through a thoughtful consideration of factors and influences that could mitigate them, or render then nun and void. Strategic event management and planning,  should never just be focused on gain, and rewards, the big compensation. Where event management companies focus only on reward, and rewarding executives for being lucky, and getting an event done, and pulling it off, without having had a fraction of what the law, requires, and otherwise stipulated, then as we all know somehow luck tends to run out at the most crucial point. The people die… Then only do we see the true value and necessity for security, emergency and disaster management and mitigation strategies.  We need something different added to our strategic focus, especially where people in large numbers are concerned.  Then we need a structure, some STANDARD OPPERATING PROCEDURES, for all to see, and follow during EVENTS.

Many countries have legislation in place, however more still doesn’t, that cover events from cradle to grave. Still, even with legislative compliance in place, you can never be sure that every event will comply 100%, and the first place they cut corners is on safety, security, and disaster mitigation. It is still just a bare minimum standard of security.  The very uniqueness and nature of events makes it very unpredictable, even at the best of times. The problem with this is, we deal with people, and aspects like liquor use, drugs, guns, crime, political issues, could be the catalyst for something better and bigger to follow. The other aspects are unseen; adverse weather, exposed electricity, structural failures, fire, arson, gas explosions, lightning, flood water, sinkholes, etc…

Therefore, we need to opt for self organisation and true professionalism…when planning and designing major events…

Firstly we need to familiarise ourselves with the industry and their acronyms. Continue reading

Strategy in Peril

4 Apr

In short what is STRATEGY really?

Ask around, hay friend! What is STRATEGY exactly?

Nine out of ten times someone will have some sort of an idea…very few will peg the mark…and be able to give you the detail of it, this brings strategy into peril. People need to know and understand that everything they do, eat, hear, smell, taste and say daily is because of some form of STRATEGY.

The history of strategy is the history of our world, and the future of man.

We are and were born hunters and gatherers first – afterwards we just become; all self-centred, and aim to exploit our habitat and those in it, with the use of strategy and scheming, to our advantage. It’s all programmed and hot wired into our psyche, to manipulate and use emotional blackmail, we tend to get what we want from a very young age by using these approaches; it’s all forms of strategy we practice.

Strategy exists in order for us, to get what we want, so why don’t we know what it means to be strategic?

We are at risk of losing all the benefits and application of real life strategy, if we do not clarify and quantify how it’s to be seen, used, understood, referred to and handled.

What is Strategy in the true sense of the word or by nature?

We need to make sure that everyone understands not its implicit meaning ;( implying what we think we understand it to be, all in general terms, with only limited insight).

NO! It’s part of life skills…We want and need people to understand and relate to strategy from its explicit meaning; (what it really implies as a matter of fact, and practices, to be representative of this, this is what strategy truly is, and can do.)

Moving from the Implicit; where our answer would be, it means something like planning…

To Explicit; by being able to give a simple definition; 1*Strategy is the 2*art of 3*planning and 4*directing large 5*scale 6*movements and 7*operations of 8*business nature.  Furthermore we should also be able to explain the words that describe the complexity, to create connections for ourselves and others; then we will be able to describe elements that make up strategy. By starting with the basic description of strategy and what it implies.

  1. Strategy; is best described as an approach; a way of doing something’s, by utilising tactics and initiative.


Tactics imply;

  1. The ability to use something/ anything to your advantage, from very simple to very complex, it can also take on any form, like; policy, procedures, devices, mashines, skill, knowhow – anything that you can use to give you a power, or leverage. Then we get more complex form of tactics; with manoeuvre, technology…anything that will give you an advantage, or make you faster, or keep you in power, or give you the ability to take and lead by initiative, coercion, enslavement, mediation, the list is open ended. Then lastly War; from infantry to nuclear bombs; it all sorts under this aspect of tactics.
  2. Initiative on the other hand is; the thinking behind all of this, how we structure and organise our selves is called initiative, also entrepreneurship is included. This includes the design of something, also the planning, organising, orchestrating, politicising, and campaigning for an event to take place. It is the cognitive; the thinking part, the thinking about thinking, the critical thing and communication of these ideas. As well as the rallying of agents and means, and the selling of these concepts. How we connect resources, Knowledge and effort to deliver on a goal, this is using our initiative, being labelled as being very resourceful, and cunning, stems from being able to use all of these mentioned elements to add value and then deliver a result.
  3. 2. Art; implies; having certain skills, talents and or ability to do things with people, or perform actions with resources and create something… if you can do it consistently then you have mastered the Art of something, you then become proficient at what you do, then you are labelled an artist.
  4. 3. Planning relates to; the amount of preparation that was set aside beforehand, to think about ways and means of aching goals. This action can be done alone or as groups, or even segmented, where sections are planned and the eventually joined to become the master plan, or blue print. Project management functions mainly on planning. It also looks at forecasting, and scheduling so that we could say with some amount of certainty how much it will cost, what is needed, and how long it will take etc. Other terms used here are; prioritizing, systems, design, risk, budget, influence, techniques, goals, vision, mission, objective, review, action plan, strategic review, closing the gap, swot analysis, analyzing data, etc…
  5. 4. Directing; much like a conductor directs and orchestra, in the same fashion we need to direct all forms of planning into one act. This is leadership, management network, and supervision functions, as well as structure, systems, policy and procedure, all of it has one aim. To deliver the results contemplated in the time, and with the exact specifications in mind.
  6. 5. Scale; refers to the size of the project and the amount of effort required.
  7. 6. Movement; is simple enough; this implies that we need actions, and acts to make them happen, some will be specific, other vague… yet all co-ordinated and calculated. Things won’t happen if we don’t act.
  8. 7. Operations; this is where it all happens on the ground, where we plant the seed, where we do what we had contemplated with effort and time is spent doing  it, performing the acts contemplated…
  9. 8. Business; is supply and demand; in exchange for money…

I hope to some extent; that we can now have 9 out of ten people that can tell me what strategy is- If not, then strategy is still in peril.

Read more in my new book Strategic Management, The Radical Revolutionary Strategic Management Matrix for Predators by Reinier Geel, now available at Trafford;


New Strategic Management Book by Reinier Geel

25 Mar

The ultimate strategic text book

Get it here http://www.trafford.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?Book=339320

The Radical Revolutionary Strategic Management Matrix For Predators

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