Have you ever tried to pitch an idea just to hear someone tell you, “We can’t”? I know I have, too many times actually. While sometimes there is some truth to the “We can’t” claim, we often over emphasize our (in)ability to do something and deemphasize our obligation to do something. To explain what I️ mean by this, let’s consider the following example.
I had lunch the other day with a colleague who was interested in meeting to discuss more about by blog post The Middle Level Leader. We both share a passion for data in business decision-making and wanted to discuss how leadership, including middle level leaders, could better use data to drive decisions and move the business forward. We both have had similar roles in our career, although mostly different companies, so it was fun to talk about the same problems seen across organizations and across industries. One of those problems we discussed was how data is often misused or misunderstood in businesses, especially at the leadership level.
As I mentioned in my blog post last week, I am posting a series of self-reflection posts where I reflect back on six different “Words of wisdom” concepts I left my former team with when I departed. In part two of my six part series, we will look at what it means to take ownership.
The other day I was waiting outside of a conference room for the previous meeting to end. There was a group of individuals near me waiting for another conference room. As much as I pretended like I wasn’t listening, I was. Don’t judge me, we were practically standing next to each other and you would have done it too. Their topic of conversation was about effectiveness and hours worked in the day. The person who initiated the topic stated that she would rather have someone on her team who worked 8 hours a day and was very effective rather than someone who worked 12 hours and was not effective. The question she posed to her colleagues was “how do you teach effectiveness?” I love this question.
Six months ago I made a big life decision – I left a job that I had worked really hard to get to. I left a company were I spent years to build my reputation and develop a network that enabled my success. I left for two reasons, but most people were only aware of one of those reasons. The driving factor behind my departure, and the one that I told everyone about, was I wanted to try out the world of cybersecurity. I had just completed my graduate degree specializing in this topic which is something I have been interested since the first time I heard the term “honeypot” in 2004.
The term “scope creep” is often used in business and we all know what it is, but do we really? In my experience leading various process improvement activities or new project management initiatives, I have come across at least three different problems that are often grouped together and classified as “scope creep.” I want to discuss a different concept that I call “solution creep” as a way to rethink these distinct problems and give some insight on how your can prevent your solution from creeping.
I recently came across the article “An Email From Elon Musk Reveals Why Managers are Always a Bad Idea” and it hit on some things that I am very passionate about, but I think it left out a different, but important, way of looking at the problem. The good news is that this article did what it was intended to do and that is, get me thinking. I hope my approach makes you think too, so please let me know what you think.