The Heretic's Guide to Best Practices

The Reality of Managing Complex Problems in Organisations

by Paul Culmsee



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 5/23/2013

Recognition Programs

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 416
ISBN : 9781938908408
Format : E-Book
Dimensions : N/A
Page Count : 416
ISBN : 9781938908415

About the Book

When it comes to solving complex problems, we often perform elaborate rituals in the guise of best practices that promise a world of order, certainty, and control. But reality paints a far different picture, which practitioners are often reluctant to discuss.

A witty yet rigorous journey through the seedy underbelly of organisational problem solving, The Heretic’s Guide to Best Practices pinpoints the reasons why best practices don’t work as advertised and what can be done about it.

“Hugely enjoyable, deeply reflective, and intensely practical. This book is about weaving human artistry and improvisation, with appropriate methods and technologies, in order to pool collective intelligence and wisdom under pressure.”
—Simon Buckingham Shum, Knowledge Media Institute, The Open University, UK

“This is a terrific piece of work: important, insightful, and very entertaining. Culmsee and Awati have produced a refreshing take on the problems that plague organisations... If you’re trying to deal with wicked problems in your organisation, then drop everything and read this book.”
—Tim Van Gelder, Principal Consultant, Austhink Consulting

About the Author

Paul Culmsee (twitter: @paulculmsee) is a consultant, facilitator and sense-maker and has a bachelors degree in Information Science from Edith Cowan University. He co-founded Seven Sigma Business Solutions holds various nerdy certifications, so can mix it with the technical side of IT and Information management. He is one of a handful of Cognexus Certified Dialogue Mappers in the world. He and his wife have the best two children in the world and live in Perth, Australia.

Outside of CogNexus trainers, Paul is the only authorised trainer of Dialogue Mapping world-wide and conducts training around the world. Details of the class and training locations and dates can be found at

Paul also is the author and principal instructor of the two-day SharePoint Governance and Information Architecture Master Class run around the world. Much of the material in this class was inspired from this book. Details of the class and training locations and dates can be found at

Kailash Awati (twitter: @kailashawati) is Head of Service Development, Asia-Pacific at a pharmaceutical multinational. He holds Ph.D.s in physics and chemical engineering along with assorted certifications in project and data management. His professional interests include IT strategy, business intelligence, knowledge management, risk analysis and decision-making in organizations. He writes about these and related topics on his blog, “Eight to Late” (

Kailash has worked in various consulting, technology and research roles in Europe, U.S.A, India, Australia and Singapore (where he resides currently). He and his wife, Arati, have two wonderful children.