Posts tagged “Pressure

Forced Capacity

Posted on January 28, 2017


You can always get a little more out of people, or so it seems. Stay a little later. Handle it over the weekend. Psychological manipulation du jour. The challenge is two-fold: 1) forcing capacity in a manner that is sustainable, without straining the system or leaving too little slack, and 2) forcing capacity for meaningful reasons, those that have a true impact…not just because we can. *

Turning the Crank

Posted on January 22, 2016


They’re turning the crank, one of my former bosses said frequently when waiting for materials. He meant the administrative wheels were in motion. All the things that happen behind the scenes to meet a need, respond to a request or fight figurative fires were happening. We gave him credit for recognizing the work required to bring ideas to life – the hours of inputs and the various dependencies to produce a report or service a meeting or satisfy a client, often unseen – like the underwater mass of an iceberg keeping it afloat. His peers didn’t always get it. Too many requests, scenarios and philosophical debates filled the management gears, each requiring layers upon layers of work. The executive request cascades to a management team and…

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…

Under Pressure

Posted on August 9, 2013


Organizations frequently operate in pressure-filled environments. Teams are asked to continuously produce more with less. Operations are pushed to their perceived limits. Processes are constrained by volume, complexity or limited resources. Technology may appear unresponsive to user needs. However, in the right environment, under the right pressure, the most fragile components may become stable. On a related note, a raw egg yolk and white won’t separate if the egg is cracked below 60 feet of water. The water pressure keeps it together. What do we truly know about our client, project or team pressure points? *