Shepherd and Sheep by Anton Mauve, c1880, Cincinnati Art Museum †

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me…


The crossing of the River Jordan, painting by Karel van Mander, 1605

“And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan.” — Joshua 3:17

The Exodus begins with Moses parting the sea of reeds and the Israelites freeing themselves from slavery. It takes forty years of wandering in the wilderness before they finally enter the promised land, again crossing water, this time the Jordan river, parted for them by Joshua. The pattern is complete. From birth (leaving Egypt) to manhood…


Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination // If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. — Leviticus 18:22, 20:13

These two short verses have been the cause of great persecution and suffering for centuries. Many apologists have strived to reframe this law, to reduce its impact as a weapon of hate. K. Renato Lings and others in the LGBTQIA community claim the law, following (as it does in both…


I’ll start by saying that the term “psychological safety” is consultant-speak. It’s yet another way for consultants and Agile coaches (sic) to convince companies that they are broken and need fixing—by those, of course, who coined the phrase in the first place. Yes, our IT environments are often toxic, but it is only the people within those environments that can change that. Relying on managers, coaches or other external professionals to do that for us actually perpetuates the problem. This is why.

We have a whole generation of software developers, testers, designers, etc. who are afraid. A whole generation of…


“A person whose head is bowed and whose eyes are heavy cannot look at the light.” ― Christine de Pizan

I’m not much of a consultant these days, at least not to organisations. For the past two years I’ve rarely crossed the thresholds of corporate UK, being very selective in my choice of client. I’ve stopped believing that I can change organisations, certainly any organisation that I am not an integral part of, which today being self-employed, is every single one.

I am still committed to organisational change though—or to avoid such trite phrasing and be truer to self: I…


Religion is a private thing, and should be kept out of the workplace. I received this response, in one form or another, when I offered “Old Testament Prophet” as a metaphor for a particular change agent role in organisational transformation. Needless to say, the metaphor was misunderstood. My critics assumed I meant that people in this role are messengers of God! I didn’t, of course. I was likening the change agent’s work to the work carried out by prophets — the work of speaking truth to power. The full post can be read here, if you’re interested.

But this post…


The act of reinventing organisations requires much more than coaches, consultants, change managers, strategies, plans, road maps and goals. In fact, it might be said that all these things perpetuate the status quo. Deep, resonant change in corporations requires a change of heart from the inside, from the grass roots of an organisation. It requires each one of us to rise from our position of business-as-usual comfort, curled up at the foot of the hierarchy, and step forth as responsible citizens.

Many of us these days are talking about organisational transformation, especially in the realm of knowledge work. We seek…


January 1st 2016, 00:01. Our year began at a Decemberists’ show in San Francisco.

This post, a blend of words and pictures, was inspired by my friend Dragan Jojic. It is dedicated with love and gratitude to my wife, Rayna.

January
Listened to a lot of David Bowie and reflected on my life, once, twice. Got new teeth in Buenos Aires. Witnessed a sunset in Colonia Del Sacramento, Uruguay.


image from ibtimes.co.uk

The recent trend towards leaders and leadership is a curious thing. In the (even recent) past it was never given much thought. This is not to say that people didn’t “lead”, but it wasn’t called out with such grandiosity and pomp until recently. It was just part of what some, perhaps even many people did for a job, e.g. film directors, sports coaches, teachers, community workers, choreographers, town councillors, even MPs. Fill in the blanks. As a matter of fact in these and most other industries it is still just that: an aspect of one’s job. …


image from neurodiversity-university.com

Here’s a story: My family and I relocated from London to Silicon Valley, California in 1999. A couple of years later, when my older son, Ty, was about 7 years old, he made friends with two boys at his school who both exhibited strange behaviour. One boy would not know when to stop playing, and if the play involved any kind of fighting, would take this to the point of actually inflicting pain on other children. The other boy was very averse to being touched at all, not even letting his mother hug him — so difficult for her, she…

Tobias Mayer

Difficultator, community-maker, dwelling in the corporate badlands. http://tobiasmayer.uk/

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