The Work Experience

The Heretics Guide to Management book review

Skip the hype cycle, recognise your biases and default position as well as other’s biases and default positions to look at problems in context of their changing conditions. This is the overriding message of The Heretics Guide to Management by Paul Culmsee and Kailash Awati. This book was recommended to me by a sage and savvy colleague and friend. It opened my eyes to just how attached I was to certain tools, processes, and practices — namely Design Thinking. This book challenged me to think about just how unproductive we can be when we don’t acknowledge our professional culture wars. If you hold on to traditional strategy methodologies, if you think the latest innovation model is the best way, if you think design thinking is the only way, read this book.

Here’s my review on Amazon:

A refreshing, humorous, and well researched take on the hype cycle of management and innovation frameworks and why no model is a substitute for understanding context and conditions when working through ambiguity. This book’s critique on management trends is underpinned by thoughtful discussion on how we think and how we react to ambiguity; the limits this brings to problem framing, management, and effective work. I came away from this with better critical skills to assess not only my work environment but also myself.

The Work Experience

“40% of your effectiveness of leadership is driven by the ability to listen.”

“… The ability to listen to new ideas, the ability to listen to new voices, gives you the ability to adapt … it’s the number one quality besides competence.” — Nilofer Merchant on the Boss Level podcast.

Highly recommend the rest of the podcast episode too for conversation on the gap between strategy and delivery and how a rethinking of the division of labour between the thinkers and the doers makes for better business.

The Work Experience


SBS TV’s Insight delivered a great panel on leadership. My takeaways captured in favourite tweets here.

Brilliant "RT insightSBS: What does it take to be successful? #auspol #leadership #insightsbs"

On purpose and direction and style

On knowing it all

Titles, signs of respect and cultural context

It’s lonely at the top

It’s not about rank or role … reminds me of the leadership ladder concept

And a since deleted tweet by @DavidReid1 (thank you Wayback machine) commented “If you are part of a team and you are making that team work better then you are a leader. It is not about rank or role.”

Hear hear to that.

To watch the episode in full head to SBS:

The Work Experience

“I will only hire someone to work directly for me if I would work for that person.”

“… It’s a pretty good test and I think this rule has served me well.” — Mark Zuckerberg

From a Q & A session at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, read more at:

The Work Experience

10 Essential Pillars of Employee Engagement

10 Essential Pillars of Employee Engagement from Dan Benoni
The Work Experience

Top 10 traits of the perfect boss

Sylvia Pennington reports on the characteristics of the perfect boss. How does your boss stack up? Or if you’re the boss how do you stack up? The cheat sheet list is:

  1. Provides purpose
  2. Demonstrates vision
  3. Collaborates
  4. Sets clear expectations
  5. Provides a positive work environment
  6. Is even tempered and resilient
  7. Treats everyone fairly
  8. Provides recognition
  9. Are always learning
  10. Helps and mentors others

Read the full detail of the top 10 traits of the perfect boss here: