Colchester Army Day

Today was mostly spent in Colchester at the Army Day organised by none other than the British Army (with a little help from our friend Howard Giles in Eventplan).

from a late start here (because Alexander was a bit restless during the
night and didn’t properly get to sleep until after 01:00 and then we
all slept a bit longer) and the hour spent going through the middle of
Colchester to get into the event it wasn’t a bad day.

What was
very good was catching up with a number of people and just hanging
about in the shade under the trees. We didn’t make it for the battle at
noon because of the traffic, so all we had was the drill display in the
mid afternoon and the finale where the massed bands (Army Air Corps,
Parachute Regt, Essex Yeomanry and the Essex Caledonian Pipe Band) all
played the 1812 Overture accompanied by mass gunfire at the appropriate

One thing that I did do when talking to Charles Kightly was to promise to advertise the C17 Civvies
discussion list a bit more so that anyone can join it and not just the
closed group we have now (although the intent was always that it was
for anyone with an interest in civilian living history of the mid
seventeenth century to join. Anyway I’ve done a web page as a start
point and will do some more promotion when I get an opportunity.

Did McKinsey Invent Matrix Games?

The Thinking Man sculpture at Musée Rodin in Paris
The Thinking Man sculpture at Musée Rodin in Paris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Most of today I spent on a training course called “Top Down Thinking” being run by a nice chap from PA Consulting who is the project’s workstream leader for technology.

What was most interesting for me was the way it boiled the presentation of just about anything down to a ‘Governing Thought‘ and some key lines that summarised your arguments (no more than five of those). The general style of it was very similar to the Matrix Games format where you say I think x will happen because … and give three arguments to support your case.

Apparently the basis for this approach was a book called Pyramid Thinking written in the 1970s by a woman called Barbara Minto who was the first female partner than McKinsey had. So on that basis I think it could be fair to say that McKinsey invented the matrix games format (actually I wouldn’t be surprised to find that there is in fact a direct link between the two). What is perhaps a little scarier is that this might be how major decisions are made throughout the corporate world…