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A Simple Definition of Complexity

By Jim Johnson…The other day, two of my master students at the Antwerp Management School asked me for a simple definition of complexity.  My first answer was, “Complexity is like porn—you just know it when you see it.  And I think it depends on the individual’s perspective.  For me, brain surgery is complex, but chewing gum and walking at the same time is easy. For some brain surgeons I know, chewing gum and walking at… Read more

Probing the Enigma of Project Sponsor-Saboteur Dualism

By Professor Jim Johnson We were recently having a discussion with a colleague about some recent research. Our colleague raised the notion that a project sponsor might also be a project saboteur.  Our first reaction was: How can that be possible?  A project sponsor is a person who supports the successful resolution of a project; a project saboteur would be someone who tries to kill the project.  These two personas are opposites! However, the conversation got… Read more

The Original Valentine Love Story

By Prof Jim JohnsonIn 266 AD, Ben Messala was selected from the Imperial Roman Army to join the elite Praetorian Guard. Ben was assigned to the senate team for general protection. One night he was sent to protect Emperor Claudius.  That night an assassin broke into Claudius’ bedchamber and attempted to attack him.  Ben, who was highly trained and skilled in sword fighting, soon fought off the attacker and killed him. Claudius was so impressed… Read more

Big, Bang, Boom Revisited: Excerpt

It was 7:30 AM on Tuesday, July 17, 2018, Sally Brown, was having a cup of coffee and watching “Morning Joe.” Suddenly she felt severe pain in her shoulders, neck, and jaw and a deep tightness in her chest. She picked up the phone to call Massachusetts General Hospital but the call couldn’t get through.Later after Sally gasped for her last breath, “Morning Joe’s” Mika Brzezinski announced some breaking news: a key element of the… Read more

Open Blog Post to Barbara L’Italien

In a recent meeting at the Boston CTO (chief technology officers) the members in attendance overwhelmingly expressed concern about the negative effects of the FCC (Federal Communication Commission) ruling to end Net Neutrality (Open Internet) and replace it with the Restoring Internet Freedom order.  The Boston CTO Club members are highly educated, experienced, and knowledgeable about a wide range of technical issues.  Most of the members have their PhD from MIT.  They are also a… Read more

“Influence” of a Good Project Sponsor

Early in my career I was appointed IT Project Manager at a large retail chain responsible for implementing a new storewide computer aided ordering system (CAOS).  The project sponsor was the executive vice-president who chaired a kick-off meeting where individuals were introduced and their expected participation and commitment defined.  At this meeting the EVP stressed the importance of this project to the organization and reaffirmed my role to lead all IT services within the project.Shortly… Read more

Book Review: PreparedU

PreparedU: How Innovative Colleges Drive Student Success by Gloria Cordes Larson. As president of Bentley University, Gloria Cordes Larson is in a good place to study how best to prepare millennial college students to join the workforce. Larson had observed that employers were giving the typical millennial a “C” grade in their preparations for a working career. For their part, the students were beginning to feel that the cost of a college degree did not… Read more

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