Our Management is Often an Illusion


When we look at how a project is doing, we compare it against our intentions and our plans. We ask ourselves questions like, “I’ve noticed that over the last several weeks we’ve been way off schedule. What might make this project run better? “ Then we say, “Oh, I know, we can move some human resources from this part of the … Read More

modusOur Management is Often an Illusion

Fearful Features: Making Risk Explicit

Tell me Clarice, are the features still screaming? Sometimes work is terrifying. We’re asked to do something that we know, or at least strongly suspect, won’t work. Maybe we’re asked to do several things –  many are simple, but one or two make us uncomfortable. We might even place a hard estimate on a task (“It’ll take six hours!) and … Read More

modusFearful Features: Making Risk Explicit

Listening More Attentively

When I was in university, my housemate Dave had an old King Crimson bootleg in which there’s this guy screaming LOUDER LOUDERRRRR LOUUUUUUDDDDERRRRRR! Finally, wanting to spare the rest of the audience from listening to this yahoo any more, Robert Fripp says, “I am hearing requests to play louder, but perhaps this gentleman could listen more attentively.” (Exact quote is … Read More

modusListening More Attentively

Selective Business Hearing


We only see what we want to see; we only hear what we want to hear. Our belief system is just like a mirror that only shows us what we believe. ~ Miguel Angel Ruiz   We hear only those questions for which we are in a position to find answers. ~Friedrich Nietzsche   You think your job is hard? I … Read More

modusSelective Business Hearing

Positional Power and Unintended Influence

Your Words Incite Action

It’s tough to handle this fortune and fame Everybody’s so different, I haven’t changed ~ Joe Walsh It was spring. That winter, like this last one, had been harsh. Internally, my client was trying to lead his company to change…to a better tomorrow. He had been working to give his people more autonomy, more agency, and more internal influence. He … Read More

modusPositional Power and Unintended Influence

Modus Cooperandi’s Speaking and Workshop Schedule

Modus Cooperandi has a great deal of events penciled in on the calendar over the next few months.  Listed in detail below is where you’ll be able to find Jim Benson and Tonianne DeMaria Barry presenting talks and workshops all across the globe. This month Jim will deliver the closing keynote at the 9th Annual Emerging Technologies for the Enterprise Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. … Read More

PattyModus Cooperandi’s Speaking and Workshop Schedule

Finding Hidden WIP

Limiting Work in Process (WIP) is not easy. Our work is largely invisible, which means it’s hard to notice. It creeps up on us. Well, heck, it’s invisible, it just walks right up – bold and unabashed. It doesn’t have to sneak – we’re simply blind to it. Then, one day, we notice it is there. Over the last three … Read More

PattyFinding Hidden WIP

The Ambiguity Business


As I sit here, rapidly nearing my 50th birthday, I look back at the companies and government agencies I’ve worked for and the companies I’ve managed or owned and operated. I find that work is heaven and work is hell. It’s uplifting and it’s stressful. It’s rewarding and it can certainly be defeating. Companies are made up of people. We … Read More

modusThe Ambiguity Business

Is Retrospective Coherence a Cognitive Bias?

Why is the past so much easier to predict than the future? Because it’s already happened. In 2013, I personally made two very bad decisions that ended up causing a lot of problems. I had no way of knowing that they would be bad decisions because all of my analysis said they would be good ones. (In my defense, I … Read More

modusIs Retrospective Coherence a Cognitive Bias?

Lunch&Learns Solve Team Training Problems

Do you have limited training budget? Do you have a distributed team? Do you have an immediate training need and can’t spare an entire day or two or three? Welcome to the real world. Last year we noticed that most of our clients had at least two, if not all three of these issues, so we started a program we … Read More

modusLunch&Learns Solve Team Training Problems