Posts tagged “Constraints

Pattern or Prison

Posted on January 2, 2016


I often see patterns in my clients’ (and my own) actions. While mental shortcuts may be helpful to speed decision-making and reinforce comfort zones, they can lock you into unnecessarily tight boundaries. At worst, extremely patterned behavior imprisons thinking, actions and results. Let’s consider three patterns – deferring to planning, precedent or power – that often entrap decision-makers. “What you do as an editor is search for patterns, at both the superficial and ever deeper levels – as deep as you can go…Putting a film together is, in an ideal sense, the orchestration of all those patterns.” –Walter Murch Prisoner of the Plan This prisoner spends an inordinate amount of time setting an overly complex plan, and once it’s set, he never changes it. So much…

Larry Page’s Rules for Management

Posted on November 1, 2015


Larry Page’s rules for management are interesting in isolation, and in the context of Google’s evolution: Don’t delegate: Do everything you can yourself to make things go faster. Don’t get in the way if you’re not adding value. Let the people actually doing the work talk to each other while you go do something else. Don’t be a bureaucrat. Ideas are more important than age. Just because someone is junior doesn’t mean they don’t deserve respect and cooperation. The worst thing you can do is stop someone from doing something by saying, “No. Period.” If you say no, you have to help them find a better way to get it done. Asked about his approach to running the company, Page once told a Googler his…

On Time

Posted on April 18, 2014


Homer Simpson described alcohol as the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems. In many organizations, you hear similar statements about time. The timeline is too aggressive. We have plenty of time. We need more time. We’ll have more time next quarter. We have to start now. Time is often perceived as uncontrollable, must like the movements of the sun came to be viewed as being ‘controlled’ by Maya sacred kings. It’s generally not the case. In most environments, a better understanding of time and relevant time pressures can help you better pace activities and control the quality of outcomes. Time Pressure Time pressure is frequently associated with poor decisions and stress. IT projects procured in the last week of the fiscal year are between two and six times more likely…