Cats, Bohemia and Networks

In July I wrote a longish piece,“It’s hard to predict”. In it I wrote, “…the strongest advice I could give to any individual or business is to become sensitive to where you fit in your networks, learn to think in terms of nodes and connections and the complex interactions and feedback between them, and be conscious of the dynamics of your patterns of connection. Whether you are aware of it or not, your success or failure is going to bound up in how well or not you identify, create and navigate your networks.”
One of the people I know who does this best is Karen Mahony. I wrote a bit about her in the intro to “Managing Creativity”, which I wrote as a think piece for her company Mahony Associates. Karen moved to Prague about two years ago. Since then she has set up a studio, baba, a publishing operation, The Magic Realist Press, and published “The Tarot of Prague”, which looks as if it is becoming a Tarot classic.
Karen has now started a blog, “On the Wild Coast of Bohemia”, which should be worth keeping an eye on. At the moment it’s mostly about cats and Christmas in Prague – she and her partner Alex are currently working on a Tarot pack based on cats and of course like in many places Christmas is looming in Prague – but watch out there is likely to be some important stuff on it. Karen is a master at identifying, creating and navigating networks. If you are hoping to create a space to do good work and make a comfortable living in the new economy – and yes there is a new economy, despite the bubble and bust – this may be the place to learn how to do it.

Failure Demand

I haven’t been posting for a while. I’ve had plenty of stuff to say, but felt I didn’t have the time to write it. Now this is not because my life has been filled with exciting projects, foreign travel or a demanding social life. No, my sense of being time poor has largely been because of “failure demand”.
I came across this concept in an article in the Guardian discussing the fashion of outsourcing to India. It focused on the criticisms of this practise by John Seddon, a management consultant and occupational psychologist. Seddon is quoted as making an interesting distinction between what he calls, “value demand, which is demands for service from customers” and “failure demand or the demand caused by a failure to do something right for the customer.”

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