Monday, 26 October 2009

Where's David Dimbleby?

With the usual Question Time project manger, David Dimbleby otherwise engaged, Professor Darren Dachler had the job of keeping the five panelists in check during the Project Management Question Time at the Association of Project Managers annual conference in London last week. The conference was followed by the APM Awards ceremony featuring the new International Relief and Development prize sponsored by Project Management Today.

The eclectic panel of Nigel Smith CEO of OGC, Mike Nichols & Richard Pharro APM, Mike Rolls Royce and Professor Eddie Obeng who demonstrated the a key project management principle by turning up just-in-time for the first question. The questions ranged from the non-controversial to the controversial. Eddie Obeng did his best to stir-up the panelists and energise the audience with statements such as "I'm not sure it's just about being a profession - when I think of other professions, lawyers, accountants, they leave me cold and everyone hates them. It's all about delivery and building a reputation for taking people with us.  So fare we are content to let 75% of projectsmiss their goals. We should hit 100% then we can be real professionals and give the other professions a run for their money" He was also critical of the standard view and materials on sponsorship which allow most sponsors to see themselves as equivalents of the Queen launching a ship saying "I name this project, Daunting, God bless her and all who read Gantt charts upon her." and then disappearing for nine months only to return to kick the project leader. Perhaps that's why the usual project manager David Dimbleby was missing.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Taking root in the Netherlands

NOW WHAT? was the provocative question posed
last week by Robert Hewins to a select group of business leaders and opinion formers from across the Netherlands. Robert led an Inspiration Event at the world famous De Hortus botanical gardens in Amsterdam. The full title of the event, "Congratulations! You've survived the Meltdown. Now What?", was a theme which led to an interactive set of presentations, discussions and group work on key Pentacle concepts and principles.

David Lomas engaged the audience by demystifying innovation and explaining how to focus and make it happen using the R.A.B.B.I.T model and the participants' perceived challenges over the coming year.

Dave was followed by an energetic and inspiring contribution by Michael Anaman highlighting how to avoid and overcome resistance to change, and Toby Scott polished the session off by explaining how to think through business cases fast, using GapLeap.

The ideas planted have already taken root from the feedback and responses of the participants after the event...

The evening was capped by a guided tour through the botanical gardens, which were founded in 1638 -- the year after the collapse of the infamous Tulip bubble. Combined with 2009 being the year of Darwin and the recognition of Evolution, the Inspiration Event and its venue could not have been more timely in echoing the NewWorld strategic mantra of Evolve, Dominate or Die.


Monday, 19 October 2009

The Sparq of Design lights the UK Civil Service

David Kester, Richard Seymour, Susan Osbourne C.B.E. and Professor Eddie Obeng led a higly challenging and dynamic session for leading Civil Servants. The session sponsored and organised by Phil Rycroft of BIS (Department for Business Innovation and Skills) showcased Design-led Innovation using the "Design Bugs Out!" demonstration project which significantly impacted the infection rates of MRSA and C. Difficile in a target hospital. Eddie used the R.A.B.B.I.T. model to set the context and explained how the four types of innovation Sparq - (Push vs Pull, Human vs Technology - are best executed). David established the role of the Design Council in enabling the process and providing safe spaces for Open Innovation, Richard explained how design could help in process innovation and Susan provided a 20:20 vision from the user's perspective.
The country's top 200 civil servants participated actively making the session releveant, practical and useful. David Lomas made it memorable by creating a 'Book' of concepts as a follow-up memory jogger.

Ascending to the Start

Exactly a year ago Eddie Obeng had the chance to work with the participants of the innovative ASCEND programme On that occasion he was speaking of the NewWorld as the financial system shuddered and ground to a halt. Now one year on, the Programme aimed at Talented Women in Johnson and Johnson, and co-directed by Liz de Wet, moves on strongly. As always, the build up is a team effort. Christophe Gillet runs the first leg of the NewWorld aspects of the programme spending a module working with the participants in detail on how the new world creates opportunities and possibilities for their businesses. Eddie then rounds this of with the session involving the participants line managers...