Howdy friends! I’ve been such a busy person lately, I’ve failed to keep up here with blogging on my observations and thoughts. I can truthfully say that I’m not lazy, just a bit too consumed with ensuring many little details of life are being addressed.
I finished up the end of July on a wonderful project in Philadelphia for Shire (pharmaceuticals). They are a great team of professionals and they needed my services to help them effectively take their in progress project and bring it home through some additional, careful planning and focus. It was a project where one can lose sight of the goal as the components were just so numerous and diverse. During the project life they had also made a very large change to their scope, so this brought in an additional layer of complexity. For a small, medium business they also had set their goals on a very large scope of work to accomplish, so there was little rest along the way for the team to keep up the enormous drive needed in such a project.
The project does remind me that in HR systems, it is very key to partnership with the right people. For many years, I’ve just been a team leader and let project managers worry about the big stuff like building partnerships, but since now I’ve also worked for some 4 years full time as a project manager, now I can observe the importance and delicacy of partnering. What we may fail to admit is that no one person or discipline has all the answers to the complex items that come our way. It is also to say that our particular discipline may lack particular skill sets needed for multi-dimension projects.
I’m uncertain why we feel so proud to admit our need of others, but it is a key to finding success in today’s adventures. If I’ve seen a major failure in companies today, it’s that they fail to observe other successful companies or projects. We got so thrilled to finally be working on a special project, and pulling together the plans, that we fail to say to ourselves, “why not go to another firm and ask questions about lessons learned?”.
Another issue we have is our own “pain points”. We become so familar with those things deterring us, we get locked into just trying to address these items. This is why hiring an outside firm to help us accomplish goals, has a way of paying huge dividends. An outsider can see many times the bigger picture and can help bring to the table the idea that people need to broaden their horizons. It’s funny how we get locked into our own thinking and can’t see the forest from the trees.
Well, keep up the great work and let me know if you have any comments, ideas on this front, as at the end of the day, I love to see breakthroughs.
We’ve all heard about the mysterious trap known as the Bermuda Triangle, haven’t we?
I’m musing today on how we landlubbers find ourselves too in a Bermuda Triangle.
People traversing through the Bermuda Triangle did so as they had a strong desire to achieve something. I live in a world of execution as there has been an agreement to a goal. Someone was sold a solution. There is a lot of new thinking these days on the need to revisit our customer post-sale to determine if the expectation is being realized. This in another way is not so new is it as most projects have incremental acceptance agreements, wherein a team goes over a particular deliverable and tests whether or not the conception has been realized and whether or not it has met all the criteria put down in a blueprint. The shocking or the disturbing point here is that in some cases the overall expectations were not captured and now there are unrealized expectations still afloat. This is definitely a bad experience and frustrating to have to resolve and address.
Two key traps I’m familiar with due to painful experiences are 1) looking at something and saying, “that’s what I want” and 2) making a decision solely based on price. The first item mentioned above is not a bad thing, we all need to articulate, this is what I want, the error here is rushing to obtain something without thoroughly examining the details surrounding what we’ve set our expectations upon. I recall a famous minister talking about how he wanted to buy his children a swingset, that is until he read the directions which terrified him. No it was not putting the swingset together, it was the rigorous maintenance schedule to be followed post-build to ensure his precious family was safe at all times. (seems some dear manufacturer wanted to avoid a legal altercation, so they’d laid out very heavy requirements for their product) This means that whenever we look at something we want and need we have a lot more homework to do to determine how this solution will address and fit into our overall abilities to achieve our goals. Second if we don’t do all the necessary homework, we’re headed into other traps like focusing solely on price and here we sell ourselves short don’t we? How many of us bought the new living room couch because it was just such a good price, so comfortable, only to realize post delivery, that the carpet doesn’t quite match, the curtain clash with this, and yeah, you get my frustration here don’t you? This goes back to root of capturing our expectations more and harmonizing them with other factors present in the overall picture. A third complexity is how we set dates for things. We all know that we need a completion date don’t we? Again though how we set a date for a completion can make us or break us. I won’t explore that fully here my point, but the key item here is gathering the full details of the original expecation including costs, work efforts, goals, and on-going support of a solution, lest we jump in early and find ourselves in the Bermuda Triangle with no hope of escape.
Life is full of “pot-holes” and one of them is silence. Hey, I’m not putting down time of reflection or rest here, I’m talking about the fact things go unspoken. We go on week after week, month after month, and fail to communicate key information to others. There are a legion of reasons silence pervade our business, homes and relationships, I can’t begin to explore these all, or this will turn from a blog to book. This is also an oxymoron is it not? I mean aren’t we living in the era of openness? One has to only turn on the TV to hear the most intimate details of why, what, and how on any subject. We now have Instant Messaging, Telepresence, the Inside Inventigation, and yet we have major failures in communication don’t we? The person traveling through the Bermuda Triangle became silent, out of touch with the rest of the world, and they were ulimatey lost. Do we find ourselves in the same place today? I was recently asked, “why do you think people in this company are afraid to express themselves?” Ouch! Here we are in the post-modern age, we have more scientific knowledge than one can imagine, and yet we are out of touch, out of communication because people are silent. Yes, people are afraid, people are talking but about all the wrong things. Just because we have volumes on a subject doesn’t mean we’ve hit the core, the “ah-ha”. Silence will keep us living in the dark ages, but than again how do focus into the heart and realize the core?
People who entered the Bermuda Triangle, were set on a direction. Here I don’t want to discuss the merits of setting direction, we all know the classic need for setting a common vision, a common goal. My thought here then is more how we work as multiple entities in a way that is common direction. Again as a professional I’m asked on a annual basis whether or not my leadership is supporting to direction of my corporation, and am I helping others that work with me to see and realize that direction. So for me the issue on direction is not that we lack direction, it is this nectare of multiple entities coming to a point of shall we say “dancing together” for lack of better terminology. There is tremendous push and pull by powerful people in organizations today, and we tend to all look up above us to uncommon folk who have a gift at setting direction, call upon us to follow in that direction, and who if successful articulate that direction in a clear and powerful way. People who have got lost in the Bermuda Triangle must have internally gone in circles, “should I turn back, should I go left, should I go right” and somewhere along the way because they lost touch with good details that would ground them in knowledge of their position, they ran out of fuel, they made the wrong decision, they were lost for all time. And yet this example doesn’t show the larger dynamic does it? How is that we’ll be linked in amrs with others to accomplish great things? How is that our organization can remain organic and learn to turn on the dime? How is that we’ll learn to change our thinking and adopt wholly new ways of doing things? (after all nature is adaptive, and yet we as people seem to defy nature itself, i.e. we remain stuck in our thinking, this is the way things have to be, it’s always been this way, I don’t belive what I’m being told!) My apologies if I now have you swimming in thought, but I too am a student and trying to put my arms around this same concept of how to bring multiple players together in a common direction. Please do comment or express yourself here should I have touched a similar thought in your mind.