Writing a book is an evolutionary and collaborative process. It’s also critical that the ideas be presented in a stickyway so the general concepts can be easily recalled when they’re needed. In my case, I’ve used a variety of descriptors for how we must mix technology tools, organizational practices, and people into blended systems where each dimension supports, or at least doesn’t work against, the other. In chronological order (with links back to key blog posts), I’ve used the following descriptors and metaphors to highlight the ideas:

All this to avoid using the academic term that’s been around since the 1950s -- but clearly wasn’t sticky: sociotechnical systems. I’ve been reaching out to my friends for ideas and evaluation. Here’s the latest, care of Ted Cocheu, founder of Altus Learning Systems and a system savvy manager in his own right: Ingredients of the Organizational Stew: People, Technology, and Practices A Cooking Guide for 21st Century Managers

Every cook starts with the same ingredients--but great cooks somehow assemble them into sumptuous and wonderful dishes. Management is no different--we all have the same ingredients at our disposal--people, practices, and technology--the 'organizational stew.' The difference between great managers and the rest of us is they collaboratively combine those ingredients to cook up significantly more productive and profitable organizations--and have more fun doing it! It's no mystery--we have all learned to cook up wonderful dishes watching the great chefs on our favorite cooking shows or following their recipes. In this book you now have the opportunity to learn how the great organizational chefs do it--and you can do it too!

Ted took the cooking ideas I’d been playing with a pushed them to the extreme. What do you think? Shall I go whole hog with the cooking metaphor? What do you think about the title above? Would you pick this book up in an airport bookstore? Would you click through on Amazon? How about, “Recipes for 21 Century Management: Mixing Technology, Practices, & People”? What’s your best title?  Up soon -- The Three Personas of a Systems Savvy Manager...