Posts tagged “Sequence

How Many Rooms?

Posted on December 26, 2015

Share

I like to use a room analogy when discussing change. It goes a little something like this: Picture yourself walking into an adjoining room that is exactly the same as the one you’re currently in…except for one thing. You get to pick one thing to change. It could be an artifact, a person’s presence, new information, whatever…add, alter or remove. Same thing as you walk into the next room…one more thing. How many rooms would you need to pass through to reach your ideal state? Would you spend more time in some rooms than others? Is there a final room? What can you do now to bypass rooms? It’s a positive (and less morbid) spin on Bill James’ thinking about capacity for action and steering away from situations:…

Collect, Edit, Showcase

Posted on June 30, 2014

Share

Much of my consulting work (the work within the work, so to speak) involves collecting, editing and showcasing information. The more successful the project, the more likely each of these processes has been well planned and executed, even if they are only underlying activities within the project. Collect Gather information relevant to the question at hand. Understand the context, obtain qualitative and quantitative data (note: the most challenging step in data analysis is usually getting the data) and review opinions from a wide range of sources. Consider the source of the source. Compare to prior experiences, existing knowledge and recent trends. Begin to analyze and fill in gaps. Edit Perform analysis iterations using an appropriate framework. Understand the evolving conclusions and messages. Prioritize and conduct further research. Focus…

On Time

Posted on April 18, 2014

Share

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…

The Do Nothing Option

Posted on March 9, 2014

Share

The do nothing option is almost always available. One of my former bosses used it in response to dramatic proposals or perceived emergencies. He invariably let a situation evolve awhile before weighing in, and when he did respond his guidance was generally in line with the evolving direction, i.e., which way the wind was beginning to blow. What I originally took as his indecisiveness was in fact an ongoing strategy. Start with doing nothing. Sometimes the emergency would resolve itself, more information would arise through other channels or decisions would become more transparent. In this context, I learned to always present the do nothing option up front. If there were a number of possible options discussed, the first (or last) option considered was doing…

Bringing it Together

Posted on September 21, 2013

Share

If very little is original in substance, we are left to explore originality in the use of our resources. We can integrate existing materials in a new way, reprioritize common ideas and resequence recurring activities. We can craft individual facts into coherent messages and align our teams accordingly. We can help bring people together or match people with products.  We can look at productivity through the lens of innovation rather than the lens of cost.  Sometimes bringing it together is more important than creating new pieces to move around. “Like most people I’m influenced by what’s around and available to me. Which in the end is really just a way of translating all the ideas you have into a different material, or taking these…

Control the Sequence

Posted on May 28, 2013

Share

A film director can control an audience’s sequence of experience better than a photographer. If you want to create a shared context and an anchored outcome, act more like a director. If you want wider variability in interpretation and a less bounded outcome, act more like a photographer. The ability to control the sequence (or intentionally not control the sequence) has application to information messaging, activity scheduling, architecture planning, etc. Thanks to Brad Lapin via Whitespace Gallery for the original thought. *