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I really enjoyed Douglas Board’s interview with Bob Garlick on the recent Business Book Talk. It’s extraordinarily demoralising, when we are all struggling to create a new future in an uncertain business world, to see those selected and paid to lead us so often seem to have feet of clay. Douglas’ insights into executive selection offer some pragmatic ways of changing by understanding and embracing the uncertainty and complexity it involves. If we adopt the kind of approaches he is advocating in the place of the old, self-perpetuating ones, I wonder to what extent this would change both the quality of our leaders and the culture of leadership which they enable? Douglas Board is author of Choosing Leaders and Choosing to Lead: Science, Politics and Intuition in Executive Selection.
In Nick Obolensky’s interview he highlights Exhibition Road in London as an example when asked about the practice of distributed management. Imagine taking a busy road and making it a shared space for pedestrians, bicycles, cars and busses. What if that road had few markings, no traffic lights, no curbs, and instead was sprinkled with benches, trees and lamps? Too chaotic? Would it work? Would each person, driving or walking, be conscious and take responsibility for what he or she is doing without an authority enforcing rules? So far, it looks like Exhibition Road works fine. But can a business successfully run in a similar model of distributed leadership rather than in a hierarchy?
Do watch the video to hear Nick’s thoughts on this and read the comments thread afterwards.
Nick is the author of Complex Adaptive Leadership.
This month Dr Lynda Bourne author of Advising Upwards: A Framework for Understanding and Engaging Senior Management Stakeholders talks to Elizabeth Harrin about helping project managers communicate more effectively with executive stakeholders.
Professor Chris Mowles, author of Rethinking Management: Radical insights from the Complexity Sciences has written an opinion piece for Economia on Complexity and Crisis in the Eurozone
In Chris Mowles’ blog piece about the way we turn great words and expressions into clichés – the word passionate, strikes a chord with me. In a complex business enviroment, there is a premium on clear, simple language and, one aspect of that is expressing emotion effectively so that the people you are working with have a clear sense of your values. I thoroughly endorse Chris’ advice that we should return the word passionate to those people and situations where it is appropriate! Chris Mowles is author of Gower Publishing’s Rethinking Management: Radical Insights from the Complexity Sciences which is out this month.
In Project Manager Today magazine (p14), Gower author Dr Kaye Remington gives an overview of a six year old multi-national and multi-departmental programme of projects by the Australian Tax Office which has become the centre of a successful global attack on tax fraud using international co-operation to detect, deter and disrupt the abuse of tax havens.
Gower Publishing will exhibit our wide range of project management books at this years IRNOP Research Conference June 19-22, 2011. Montréal, Canada. The University of Quebec at Montreal Project Management Research Chair will host the conference on the theme “The Expanding Domain of Project Research”. The conference will gather scholars from all over the world having a common interest in projects, project organisations, and temporary systems.
The International Research Network on Organising by Projects (IRNOP) was founded in 1993 as a loosely coupled community of researchers. Since then, it has developed into a vibrant worldwide research network (www.irnop.org). IRNOP 2011 is the 10th biannual conference.
The academic literature in the field of project management has expanded significantly over the two decades since IRNOP was founded. Noteworthy signs include the addition of new international academic journals (e.g., International Journal of Managing Projects in Business and International Journal of Project Organisation and Management) and the integration of the field of project management within the European Academy of Management. The domain of project research has expanded to embrace a wider spectrum of theoretical perspectives. The conference theme is broad enough to welcome papers, round-table or workshop themes and student posters presenting and discussing, including but not restricted to, the following topics:
- Project governance
- Strategy and project management
- Project portfolios and programmes
- People and working in projects
- The interplay between projects and (semi-) permanent organisations
- Project marketing
- Innovation through projects
- Managing complexity and risk in projects
- Global projects and cultural issues
- Sustainability and projects
- Projects in non-traditional settings
- Future research – where do we go from here?
For further information, contact the conference committee at IRNOP2011@uqam.ca.
This is the second in the promised series of posts highlighting Gower’s publishing programme in a given topic area for the next 12 months. I won’t attempt to document all our new books but rather a give you a flavour of some highlights.
Project and Programme Management
Is the largest single list within our current publishing, on the basis of number of books published and commissioned. There are several continuing themes to our new books in 2011:
Project Performance and Resilience
Many of our new titles are designed to help you address a particular aspect of your organization’s project or programme management or develop your capability or resilience for project delivery. Some books, such as Emanuel Camilleri’s Project Success or Michael Cavanagh’s Second Order Project Management, go to the heart of those strategies and techniques that don’t just secure project or programme delivery but ensure value and commercial success too. Others, such as David Cleden’s Bid Writing for Project Managers or Integrated Cost-Schedule Risk Analysis, the follow up to David Hulett’s wonderful Practical Schedule Risk Analysis, provide expert help on one or more specific element within project management.
The Context of Projects and Programmes
We have a clutch of titles in preparation for 2011 or early 2012 that offer perspectives on the context within which projects and programmes are managed. There are a couple of titles from Professor Darren Dalcher’s highly regarded series, Advances in Project Management, that do this particularly well, for example: Haukur Ingi Jonasson and Helgi Thor Ingason’s Project Ethics, Ron Basu’s Managing Project Supply Chains and Spirituality and Project Management by Judith Neal and Alan Harpham.
Programme or Program Management
We have some strong titles to follow on from Michel Thiry’s 2010 Program Management. Roger and Adam Davies’ Value Management does a good job of connecting programmes with strategy and their intended outcomes and the first of two books from the author of The Lazy Project Manager, Peter Taylor, provides those people responsible for their project or programme management office with a very pragmatic guide to leadership: Leading Successful PMOs.
People in Projects and Programmes
The final clutch of three titles I want to highlight are those that cover human factors or, if you prefer, people in projects. There are two follow up titles in this group: Kaye Remington’s Leading Complex Projects (which follows her 2008 book Tools for Complex Projects) and Lynda Bourne’s Advising Upwards (which is a follow up to her 2009 book, Stakeholder Relationship Management) . There is also Sharon Di Mascia’s Using Psychology in Project Management, which is another book that very successfully draws in models and pragmatic advice from outside the usual project methodologies.
And, if I am allowed a last minute, wild card entry, let me sneak in a mention for Penny Pullan and Ruth Murray-Webster’s A Short Guide to Facilitating Risk Management from the Short Guides to Business Risk Series; very definitely appropriate for anyone involved in project risk management.
Please do offer any feedback on this programme of publishing or, if you wish, you can contact me with your own subject suggestions, requests or even book proposals.
Jonathan Norman, Publisher
I love Nick Obolensky’s writing. He is erudite, enthusiastic and fascinating in equal measure … witness his article on page six of the latest PMIUK Newsletter, which offers some perspectives on leading in a complex environment that I suspect may be a ‘eureka’ moment for a number of readers. Nick Obolensky is author of Complex Adaptive Leadership.
For anyone unfamiliar with the process of business wargaming, Daniel Oriesek’s series of slides provides a very helpful definition as well as a number of pointers to help you reflect on whether this is something of value for your organization. With an increasing focus on the using scenarios for future planning, helping with risk management and the development of new product and service offerings, I anticipate that the use of these techniques will spread significantly over the next five years. Daniel Oriesek is Principal with A.T. Kearney in Switzerland and co-author of Business Wargaming: Securing Corporate Value.