Posts tagged “Environment

The Nature of Glass

Posted on March 18, 2016


“It is the fate of glass to break,” says M in the Bond film Spectre. It is the nature of glass to break. It is the nature of projects to fail. It is the nature of people to overreact. Some things are risky in and of themselves. Handling influences breakage. Risk of breakage increases with volume and violence of handling. Risk is inversely correlated with the experience and competency of the handlers. Methods influence risk. Context influences breakage. There will be more breakage in a volatile, jolting environment than a calm, stable environment. When and where things are undertaken impacts risk. The inherent environment matters. *

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…

Notes from India

Posted on November 30, 2014


In my current line of work, India is often associated with a lower cost labor supply. I know random statistics related to this: for each person’s work sent offshore, the receiving location often staffs 1.3 to 1.7 people to do the work until processes are stabilized. Ratios can reach as high as 1 sending FTE to 2.1 receiving FTE before process improvement occurs. If not properly managed, total costs can increase in an outsourced environment even as individual compensation decreases. These questions never come up at trivia night. Fortunately I picked up a few more anecdotes on my visit to Bangalore, India this month: Infrastructure mismatch – Components of the environment rarely develop at the same pace. Traffic congestion results. The ebbing and flowing…

It’s Environmental

Posted on November 3, 2014


To encourage or discourage behavior, start with a look at the environment. Evaluate the people, processes and tools in the physical space. What can be accessed versus what cannot. Which options can be totally eliminated or stimulus controlled. It’s the conceptual equivalent of childproofing a room. “If you want to influence anyone, including yourself, I submit that the most efficient approach is to change the environment around the cause. Don’t focus on the cause itself. This will be much easier on your mind. It will require less mental fortitude.” –Jacob Lund Fisker *

On Focus

Posted on May 24, 2014


Focus on the trail, not the trees. Definitely not the trees passing your handlebars as you bike through. Or the drop-off threatening the outside path of your tires as the route turns and narrows. Where your eyes are directed your attention will follow. It can be a mental fight – holding your focus in a distraction-oriented environment. A faster pace requires more concentration. “Learning how to think…means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience…you get to decide what to worship.” –David Foster Wallace What you can control is your focus. What to think about. What to ignore. Particularly what to ignore. Where to (not) invest your time. Which things (do not) warrant a response. Staying safely focused…