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Archive for the ‘Managing’ Category

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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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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My greatest strength as a consultant
is to be ignorant
and ask a few questions.
Peter Drucker

If there’s one thing there’s no shortage of, it’s ignorance. We’re surrounded by it. Saturated with it. Ignorance by its nature crowds out reason, commonsense and understanding.

Yet we seem to accept it as normal. We’re apparently willing to live with it. We fail to seize the opportunity to ask these questions which could dispel it:

Why do we do it this way?
Why do we believe this to be true?
Why can’t we change the rules?
Why must we do this at all?

These are the world wrecking questions. These are the queries that challenge, and can shatter, the Status Quo.

They’re also the simple questions available to anyone (with enough courage) in every situation. They raise the specter that things need not be as we’ve accepted them.

Nor is the question ‘Why?’ beyond our scope. It’s perhaps the only strength we share regardless of upbringing or social standing. From our first days of speech we ask ‘Why?’ … and at some point we stop. Why?

We’re born with the urge to ask ‘Why?’, when we lose it, we begin to die.

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What is moral
is what you feel good after.
Ernest Hemingway

Acting ethically isn’t always easy, but the ethical choice is nearly always obvious. We know without doubt what behaviour we’re proud of, and what we’d rather veil from public view.

Like photographs on film, the black or white of ethical issues are exposed when brought from darkness into light. That which we hide from plain sight will weigh us down and shatter us.

Ethics isn’t determined by written rules or standards. It isn’t external to us. Our ethics are determined by our internal gut response to the simple self posed question.

“Would we care if everyone knew what we chose to do?”

We’re our own inescapable judge and jury. With every act we hide from public view – we hand ourselves both judgment and sentence.

Forget corporate policy and stated rules of behaviour, an ethical person or company operates on a single principle… they’re proud to say, this is what we chose to do.

Our moral compass is really a sundial, it works best when placed in the full light of day.

Ethics are paraded by our chosen actions, not by signs hung up on corporate walls.

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No snowflake in an avalanche
ever feels responsible.
Stanislaw Lec

It is difficult to justify righteous dismay at the loss of panoramic views, when standing behind windows of a mountain home. When we’re part of the scenery, we’re part of the problem.

It is the lifeboat problem writ large. We’re all both cause, and potential solution, to the problems we encounter. When we act as if we’re alone, we’re in conflict with those who act as us.

This is true in the smallest of encounters. When we both argue as if we each have the monopoly on truth, then nothing is achieved save strife. Two rocks never merge, they grind each other down.

Do nothing more than recognize that not only ‘you’, but ‘we’ exist, and solutions present themselves. It’s more than ‘give and take’, it’s an acceptance that your needs are rightfully the same as mine. To be in conflict with you, is to be in conflict with myself.

We’re all part of a global association with many local chapters. We penned no constitution, we have no written rules, we signed no binding contract… but as surely as an honest judge, our deeds decide our consequences

In the frustration of a traffic jam, it’s hypocrisy to ignore the car we’re seated in.

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