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Archive for the ‘Management’ Category

We are judged by what we finish,
not what we start.
Anonymous

Hectic days infect us with an amnesia of our actions. Despite our certain knowledge of constant and diligent effort, we sense we’ve fallen further behind.

The determination to achieve is fueled by the knowledge that we can do what we set out to do.

Without believing we can make a difference, even the strongest amongst us get run down. Both sprints and marathons require bright ribbons to mark and entice us towards the end of the race.

In a perfect world, the heavens would announce every achievement with a herald of trumpets. In the world we’ve been dealt, we must blow our own horns, even if we’re both trumpeter and audience.

Every achievement, from finishing a tiny scrap of writing, to placing the call we’ve been avoiding, to the completion of that six month project, is worthy of noting and celebrating. Whether it is with a sly smile of satisfaction, a mark made on a list or a dance of joy performed in solitude; every celebration honours past efforts and prepares us for the next activity.

We measure distances with a ruler, time by the ticks of a clock and small steps of progress by tasks scratched off our list.

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Now on Twitter

Where else but @pdejager

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We never have the time to do it right
but always have time to do it over.
Anon

We work as if permanently stuck in high gear. We approach every task, regardless of complexity, with equal obsession for speedy completion. We’ve yet to learn that tasks aren’t all vanilla, some have hard shelled nuts in them.

Ticks of a clock are poor measures of a task. Other measures are: quality or customer satisfaction; cost or savings; teamwork or the simple joy of doing it well; and of course, the cost of doing it over.

The speed at which we can complete a project is defined by the task, not by our need to get it done now, or worse, yesterday. Attempt to push it faster and, like last night’s under cooked chili, it’ll return with a vengeance and holding a grudge.

Cutting corners, increases risk. To afford a task less respect than it deserves, is to invite the attention of Murphy. Time saved when we can’t afford it, extracts too high an interest rate.

Tasks take the time they need, either now… or later, when we really can’t afford it.

A task done carefully, is done faster than the task done over

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Tricks, Traps and Tips for better Problem Solving

Cost: Nada!
Although you’re more than welcome to send me a note of appreciation and/or order some books as a way to support the costs of providing this service.

Where? Head here for all the details.

Summary:
If you work for a living, then you solve problems of all types.This session will explore some simple PS concepts and explain how we can use formal, and informal, PS techniques in every day Life.

Prerequisites:
Peter believes very much in the idea that we learn by doing, more precisely? That we learn by failing at doing.

So??? This presentation WILL be interactive.
1) Make sure you have a deck of playing cards handy.
2) Peter will take ‘questions’ via e-mail as he presents.

Feedback from a similar live session:
Peter … We reviewed the feedback forms this week – of the 90 collected for the Problem Solving sessions, overwhelmingly the ratings were 5s (highest) We summarized the feedback as follows, included member quotes:

‘Over the top’ successful. Very dynamic, excellent speaker.
Members wanted more from Peter; many felt his sessions were too short.
“..energizing & interesting. Very helpful.”
“..too short – was enjoyable & thought provoking!”
“Fabulous, awesome presentation. Great interaction & exercises.
Could have spent the whole afternoon in his session.”
“Excellent session, extremely dynamic presenter! Useful for any level of team member.”
“Peter was the “BEST” part of the day.”
“Please bring Peter back to talk to us.”

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Don’t fight forces;
Use them.
Buckminster Fuller

Ships sail against the wind, waters behind the dam give it strength, the weight of an arch bestows suspended flight to waves of stone and steel. In all of these, the forces that work against success, are what make it possible.

Physical force has direction and energy, but no motivation or intention. Manipulate what works against you, into working for you.

Our first reaction to any opposing force is to push back, it’s an instinctive, simple, uncomplicated strategy, and this sometimes brings success. We have other options.

In unrelenting heat, ice cold water is scarce, unless you place it in a porous terra-cotta pot. The evaporating droplets create a chill, just as sweat will cool the body. Don’t fight the heat, use it.

The forces we encounter as obstacles to our goals aren’t always physical, sometimes they’re political, spawned of human nature and desire. The advice doesn’t change, don’t fight the forces, use them.

If someone is an expert at finding fault with a project, place them on the project with the task of avoiding fault.

If someone’s ego is in the way of a change, then frame the success to feed the ego.

Make the force be with you…

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There is nothing permanent
except change.
Heraclitus

That’s a well worked, worn and weary cliché… nevertheless, it’s also the truth. It means that no matter what we’re doing today… we’ll be doing something different tomorrow. Forget the notion of catching up. Drop the idea that things will slow down. Let go of that Status Quo posing as a security blanket. Change is now and forever more, our constant, chaotic companion.

That’s scary. It means that our skills, those abilities that put food on the table… will become useless. It means that how we earn our living today… will not earn us a living tomorrow.

When we lose our ability to earn a living, we lose our competence, our sense of self worth… and our self esteem. Is it any wonder that change hurts?

But our most important skill isn’t something we learnt… it’s our innate ability to learn. Learning how to do something takes care of today… The ability to learn, takes care of our tomorrow’s.

In a world where nothing remains the same… learning to do new things, is our most crucial talent. Reading a magazine, attending a conference, going to night school… these are all investments in our future.

The ability to learn, rides the tides of change.
_______________________________

If you’d like to hear a slightly different version of this as a 90 second ‘Keynote’ presentation? Click Here

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We are changing the world faster
than we can change ourselves,
and we are applying to the present
the habits of the past
Winston Churchill

The grand irony is that in learning something new, we have both accepted, and beaten, the challenge of the future. To learn something new, we have likely invested in an old, possibly outmoded, strategy. Each success under our belt, becomes a weight anchoring us to a particular way of doing things, even learning things. Each past achievement, a burden against future progress.

Play a game of chess against an opponent, and with each win based upon a favourite strategy, we become more vulnerable to a change in tactics. Winning in a proven way, is an obstacle to progress.

Our strength lies, not in past success, but in our ability to unshackle ourselves from both losing -and- winning strategies. The first is easy, the second rare. It requires flexibility, a keen sense of judgment and courage.

Flexibility – because a willingness to change, is a prerequisite of change.

Judgment – because knowing when to change, is an art, not a science.

Courage – because we could be wrong, and must accept risk in order to achieve success.

Nothing remains the same, not even the steps towards success.

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