Self Reflection and How to be a Dot Connector

In the third part of my six part series, I am reviewing what it means to be a “dot connector” and why I think it is foundational to leading and being a part of an effective team. As I did in my previous posts, I will first go through the part of the email I sent my team and then I will self-reflect on what I think now that it is six months later. Note, items in brackets have been generalized with specific vendor names and tools removed.

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Before You Analyze Data, Understand the Context of the Problem

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.

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Effectiveness

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.

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Do You Suffer from Scope or Solution Creep?

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.

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