Skip to main content

Which will you choose - the 2 step or 4 step?

When it come to being a messenger - we all should receive a Kevlar vest.

So you have bad news - you feel that the upper management will not like to hear about it.  Here are two options.

The Harvard Business Review recommends
a simple 4 step process:
  1. Describe. Provide a general overview of the problem, and explain the impact. Be sure to position this in terms of what matters to your manager. 
  2. Identify a solution. Recommend a specific solution or approach, along with alternatives. 
  3. Analyze your solution. Share the pros and cons and explain the implications. Be prepared to discuss the risks or barriers that may be of concern to your boss. 
  4. Accept responsibility. Let your manager know that you are willing to take the responsibility for the outcome of your proposed approach. 


Or you could use the Two Step:
  1. Lift carpet. Find somewhere to put the problem out of sight - out of mind. 
  2. Sweep. Keep sweeping the problem out of the bosses sight line. 

Which is going to be the easiest.  I question which method will become the de facto standard if some other forces are not at play.  What might those other forces be?  What is culture but the de facto standard forces?

What would happen if your management gave you a 3rd option?  Simpler than the first two options.

Just make it Visible.

Simple - one step process.  Then we decide what to do.  We use group processes to identify multiple solutions before converging to "the one solution."

Scrum tries this simple one step process - they call it an impediment.

The Responsibility Process.  Excerpt Pg 27 section: Control the Sail, Not the Wind
“Control the sail, not the wind” — which is a great summary for the concept of personal responsibility. Those six words raise the challenge that we don’t always get to determine the many forces that affect out experiences; however, we do individually choose whether and how to navigate those forces.
History leaves us with hundreds, maybe thousands, of maxims, principles, and pithy quotes on performance, success, leadership, and happiness. Take the “control the sails, not the wind” quip. It is a shortened and more direct version of no fewer than three other quotes. Inspirational author William Arthur Ward wrote, “The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjust the sails.” Country-music singer turned breakfast sausage entrepreneur Jimmy Dean said, “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” And entrepreneur, author, and motivational speaker Jim John gave us this: “It is the set of the sail, not the direction of the wind that determines which way we will go.”
We can trace these sailing metaphors back nearly two millennia to the first century Greek-speaking Stoic philosopher Epictetus who is widely quoted as saying, “It’s not what happens to you but how you react to it that matters.” Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar and a host of others changed Epictetus’ react to respond as in “it’s how you respond that matters.” Many are fond of saying responsibility is the ability to respond, response-ability. We may not always be in charge of what happens to us, but we can always choose our response.
The Responsibility Process - Unlocking Your Natural Ability to LIVE and LEAD with POWER.
By Christopher Avery

One of the great things about learning to sail on a small boat is the imeadate feedback one can receive about their decisions.  The sail is a big visible indicator of your decisions and of what you think about your directions, the winds directions and the balance of your boat.  The tipsiness of a small boat allows one to learn rather quickly to sense and integrate many many inputs that are in constant flux.  Interestingly enough most adults learning to sail wish to short cut the beginner phase of learning to sense and get on a big boys boat.  All this does is reduce the feedback, enhance the stress, increase the risk (crashing that $150K boat into the fuel dock is costly) and slow the learning process.  They should accept that they need to start at the beginning - that $200 12 foot sunfish.

Post a Comment

Most Popular on Agile Complexification Inverter

Software Development terms applied to Home Construction

Let's Invert the typically wrong headed view of Software Development project management as a construction project.  We can map it the other way just to see if it works... to have some fun, to explore the meaning of phrases we toss around quite frequently.


Normally Project Management terms come from a construction domain.  We are going to apply the lexicon of modern software to the construction of a home.  We will follow the construction project and meet some of the people doing the work.

This is a very small (8 homes from $600,000 skyward) program in my 30-40 year old neighborhood.

About 6 months ago I saw the programs landing page go up.  It gives casual observers and some of the stakeholders a general idea of the intent of the program.  And most importantly who to contact for additional information if you happen to be interested in their products.

The Refuge program has 8 product projects and has them running independently.  Yet much of their DevOps infrastructure has already b…

Innovation in the Automobile Industry

In the 1900s the automobile industry was the most important and innovation industry in the USA.  But one could question if this was good for our society in the long run.  And one could question if they actually innovated.

In the early 1900s there were few automobiles, very little infrastructure created to support the industry.  For example the road system was still designed for horse drawn wagons and the wagon wheel (remember a steal rim and wooden compression spoke wheel).  The future US Highways, or the 1950s Interstate Highway System at the cost of $425 billion were decades and many innovations away. There was no gas service station, there were however horse stables, farriers, and blacksmiths in each town along the roads.  There was no real "road map", there was no road naming system, like was created in 1926 - the United States Numbered Highway System.

The industry employees millions of people, and was a large factor in the economy of the USA.  It created or was created b…

Timeline of Social Networks -or- the Long Haul

I was listening to KERA's Think and they mentioned the concept of social networks.  It got me think...

But the book Long Haul, is its own interesting story - A Million Miles and Counting - A Trucker's Tale.

“The Long Haul: A Trucker’s Tales of Life on the Road”
Did you know 41 million people move in the US a year?  Having moved a few times in my life, sometime with the Bed-Bugger's help, this book is a great insight into that life.
Author: Finn Murphy's CB handle - "U-Turn" The radio interview noted the concept of social networks in the 21st century.  What is a highway - but a manifestation of a social network - a trail across the land.

a timeline using the Knight Lab Timeline JS tool kit.

See Also:

Social Media - Tracking its Exponential Growth video
Social media has overtaken porn as the #1 activity on the Web
List of social networking websites - Wikipedia

The World's 21 Most Important Social Media Sites and Apps in 2015



The Growth of Social Media - infog…

David's notes on "Drive"

- "The Surprising Truth about what Motivates Us" by Dan Pink.

Amazon book order
What I notice first and really like is the subtle implication in the shadow of the "i" in Drive is a person taking one step in a running motion.  This brings to mind the old saying - "there is no I in TEAM".  There is however a ME in TEAM, and there is an I in DRIVE.  And when one talks about motivating a team or an individual - it all starts with - what's in it for me.

Introduction

Pink starts with an early experiment with monkeys on problem solving.  Seems the monkeys were much better problem solver's than the scientist thought they should be.  This 1949 experiment is explained as the early understanding of motivation.  At the time there were two main drivers of motivation:  biological & external influences.  Harry F. Harlow defines the third drive in a novel theory:  "The performance of the task provided intrinsic reward" (p 3).  This is Dan Pink's M…

One Dark and Stormy during a Hurricane

I'm from the Carolina's where legend has it that our family commonly just hunkered down in the home on the coast and waterways than to head for inland shelter. Now that's from the old school days of barely improved (read paved) roads. They counted a storms severity by how high on the back porch steps (about 15 - top to ground) the water reached.  I don't recommend this action in todays world of long range forecast and transportation options.

I do recommend a drink or two in a hotel bar, far far away.

This is the week that Harvey came ashore in Texas.  I live on a hill in the little old town of Grapevine outside Dallas and Fort Worth.  And thank you all for letting me know that a storm is coming... I didn't get out and walk Malibu before the rain hit, so I grabbed a hat and we went anyway.  Much nicer walk with the drizzle, I'd say.

I'll raise a glass to you - if you were not smart enough to do the responsible thing, at the last responsible moment.

I do re…