Professional staffing challenges

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Working with a “magic circle” law-firm shows interesting twists on the standard challenges of developing staff and experience (see HR gets dynamics with examples and models). Professional firms need ‘leverage’ – many juniors per partner – so would prefer a wide, flat pyramid. But that is only possible for easily replicated services, and smart clients know they can buy those cheaply … so top firms try to offer high-value services, but those depend critically on small numbers of specialist staff.

The trick these and others professional ...

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Supply/demand everywhere

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Working  with public officials in Tyumen region of Russia highlighted the still-wider generic nature of the systems that strategy and policy try to design and operate well. Every commercial business serves customers with products or services and do so using capacity of various kinds operated by staff. Customers drive demand (sales and revenue), there may be a cost-of-goods, and capacity + staff drive the supply the business can deliver at some cost.

The surprise in venturing out of the corporate world into other sectors is how universal these relationships are. ...

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Generic architecture = rock-solid theory

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Strategy Dynamics gives confidence because its standard architectures (systems of resources and performance) are utterly reliable. It is no surprise that we find the same factors linked in the same way in any sector … every retailer serves consumers with products through stores operated by staff. But rename or replace these items and you have an airline, a school or hospital. Same applies across service companies of many types, manufacturing firms, banking …

Of course important details must be got right and adapted ...

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Preparing for one-off shocks

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Following my Weather hits utilities post, I just reviewed the EU-funded CRISADMIN project assessing one-off impacts on city infrastructure. This goes beyond a single utility to look at inter-sector effects, including the consequences of citizens’ behavioural responses … a flood or bomb takes out some metro lines, so people flood the cell-phone network and take to the roads, for example.

This is a really neat example of just how valuable simple, aggregated models can be. Most other such efforts ...

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Business process and dynamics

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BP deals with processes for doing activities, which are done *to* things [people, equipment, orders, products, cash]. SD deals with the things themselves, which flow into, out of, and between states [the stocks]. Almost all of BP therefore describes the processes that are undertaken to influence those flows – hiring people, developing products,processing orders, collecting cash – and efficient processes make that happen fast [or slow if it’s a rate we want to limit]. Some simple examples of resource structures to which BP ...

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