Are we tabby cats trying to emulate cheetahs?

Credit: Dennis Church

Credit for the title of this post goes to Sam Murphy, Section Editor at Runners World UK. Those of you who have seen me recently we will probably know that as well as being an advocate of Lean and Agile, I also have a passion for running, and I subscribe to Runners World. Sam used this title for an article of hers in the September issue, which struck me as having lots of overlaps with how I go about coaching and consulting in businesses. The gist of it was that when training, rather than trying to copy what elite athletes do, we should find out what works for ourselves. Sound familiar?

Here’s some quotes:

Dr Andy Franklyn Miller … concluded that ‘a very unique and customised strategy is used by each swimmer to excel’. And if that’s the case, is looking at what the elites are doing and aiming to replicate it the best way to maximise our own sporting success? Or are we tabby cats trying to emulate cheetahs?

Is a very unique and customised strategy used by each successful organisation to excel? Is looking at what these organisations are doing and aiming to replicate it the best way to achieve success? Or are we tabby cats trying to emulate cheetahs?

Dr George Sheehan, runner and philosopher, said “We are all an experiment of one.’

and

Ultra runner Dean Karnazes … writes “I always encourage people to try new things and experiment to find what works best for them.’

It seems athletic training is not so dissimilar to building a successful organisation! Rather than just copying what we may have seen or read about working elsewhere, we should encourage organisations to try new things and be experiments of one. That’s what Strategy Deployment is all about!

Or (to close with the same quote Sam closed her article with) as Karnazes also said:

‘Listen to everyone, follow no-one.’

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Looking back on 2014

This is a little later than I would have liked, but 2015 seems to have had a busy start! As I look back on last year, the main thing that stands out for me was my decision to go solo. As a result, the second half of the year was an interesting learning curve for me, and as I look forward to 2015, I’m please with the way events have unfolded, and excited by future possibilities. In particular, I’ve been able to focus more time on Kanban Thinking, including put together the downloadable Kanban Canvas, and writing more about how I use it.

On the topic of writing, you can read the blog’s 2014 annual report for the full statistics. The highlights for me were the fact that I had my busiest day, and I managed 23 posts – a significant increase from 2013. I hope I can maintain, and even continue to improve that number. Also interesting is that the top 3 posts remain the same; Kanban, Flow and Cadence“,What is Cadence? and Fidelity – The Lost Dimension of the Iron Triangle. Its nice to see Running the Ball Flow Game come in at number 4 – I love playing that game in workshops and it always seems to generate good discussion and learning. Finally, Making an Impact with Kanban Thinking is at number 5, and given that this is a recent post, I hope this bodes well for the future of Kanban Thinking in general.

The other big passion of mine in 2014 was taking up running, which I mentioned a when I posted on Estimates as Sensors. According to MapMyRun, I did a total of 177 runs, with an average run of 5.11 miles (giving a total of 904.5 miles), and a longest run of 17 miles. My average pace was 9:06 min/mile and my fastest pace was 4:31 min/mile.

For posterity, here’s my PB’s for the 2014

I’m currently training for the Brighton Marathon (watch this space for a call for sponsorship) so I’m also expecting those number to go up (or down for pace!). As part of my running addiction, I’ve become involve in my local parkrun community – something I gave a lightning talk about at LKUK14.

Thanks you for reading this blog, and for the continued support. I look forward to more of the same in 2015, and hope I get to meet many of you in person. Please let me know if you’d like me to work with you, or just say “Hi” if you see me at a conference or event.

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