Business Thinking

How do you get better at understanding — and therefore doing — business?

Feature image for Goodhart's Law Isn't as Useful as You Might Think

Goodhart's Law Isn't as Useful as You Might Think

Goodhart's Law is useless. It tells you about a phenomenon, but it doesn't tell you how to solve it. We look at how organisations actually prevent Goodhart's Law, and illustrate this with Amazon's Weekly Business Review as an example.

Feature image for The Shape of a Technological Window

The Shape of a Technological Window

Technological Windows is Steve Jobs's conception of the game of consumer technology. We look at how he used it over the course of his career. Note: this is a follow-up to and an update for the Commoncog Case Library Beta.

Feature image for Is This a Moat: Mailchimp and PayPal’s Algorithmic Advantage

Is This a Moat: Mailchimp and PayPal’s Algorithmic Advantage

Two case studies of real world competitive advantage, followed by a question: was this a moat or not?

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Feature image for The Disaffected PhD Skunkworks: A Story About Process Improvement

The Disaffected PhD Skunkworks: A Story About Process Improvement

A concrete story of positive process improvement, deep from the trenches of early customer service at Amazon.

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Process Improvement is Trickier Than You Think

Most companies skimp on process improvement. But the surprising thing is that they do so not because they're bad or lazy — but because there are system dynamics that prevent them from doing so. We take a look at what those are.

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Feature image for You Aren't Learning If You Don't Close the Loops

You Aren't Learning If You Don't Close the Loops

Every experimentation and iteration loop looks the same, but the vast majority of folk in business don't seem to have the discipline to execute till the end. Why this is, and why it's hard.

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Focus Doesn't Mean Doing One Thing at a Time

Focus may be about saying no to good ideas, but it certainly doesn't mean doing one thing at a time. This is what focus looks like at an organisational level, told through the story of a business turnaround and the Marine Corps approach to war.

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Focus Is Saying No To Good Ideas

Several stories about one of the hardest maxims to put to practice in business.

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Focus on the Cases

Professor Rand Spiro on why (and how!) business cases are more important to learn from than synthesised business concepts.

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Feature image for Dancing Landscapes in Business

Dancing Landscapes in Business

Cognitive Flexibility Theory creator Rand Spiro on what complexity theory has to say about the wickedness of business.