Posts tagged “Logic

Buzzword Rationale (Connect the Dots)

Posted on September 29, 2017


At the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta, there is a display related to Project Kansas, the ill-fated 1985 New Coke initiative.  If you look closely in the display case, you see project documentation rife with military references: Project Kansas is a bold-stroke attempt for total victory. It is a sweeping effort to redefine the selling proposition, not just for sugar colas, but for all soft drinks. In its size, scope and boldness, it is not unlike the Allied invasion of Europe in 1944… And so it goes for buzzword rationale. Apply military jargon to inspire victory, discipline and coordination. Mention dot-com and Y2K in the late 1990s to trigger technology spending. Later, connect risk management initiatives to the Enron scandal, local economic disruption to Walmart,…


Posted on September 23, 2016


The tl;dr summary of a Chief Operating Officer conversation this month: let’s not reduce costs…I don’t want to run around cutting legs off of the furniture. It’s such an extreme binary view when we can look at degrees of application. To what degree should you practice, participate, delegate, solicit or invest? It’s a version of a spectrum, and there’s a long way to go before your furniture has no legs. *

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. *

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…

Reverse Rationalization

Posted on October 26, 2014


Anything can be explained in hindsight. Children often have wonderfully complex excuses. Partners frequently summarize the end of long-term relationships in very simple terms. Our minds constantly generate and rationalize desires. The timing difference is interesting…how we think in the moment versus how we think looking back. “I’m interested in how people understand things in present tense, and not how they tell the story back to themselves in the past. That’s why I’m not that interested in interviews. People create these narratives of themselves, and it becomes a kind of locked path. All the uncertainty and danger and risk and decision-making are ripped from the telling.” –Laura Poitras I occasionally see project teams make two separate sales pitches. The first is in advance of the project to…