Unlearning

March 24, 2017 by · Comment
Filed under: Agility, Leadership, Project management 

The well-known Marshmallow Challenge asks teams to construct the tallest tower they can using spaghetti, tape and a string. Young children regularly do better than MBA graduates. Read more

Lenses

March 6, 2017 by · Comment
Filed under: Agility, Leadership, People 

If you like to watch movies, you have probably found that there are movies from certain directors that fit a particular style, giving you a bit of a short cut to decide whether you are likely to enjoy another of their movies. The Wachowski siblings are likely to challenge your view of reality, Alfonso Cuarón is going to take you through some long harrowing scenes without a break, The Coen brothers are going to throw plot twists at you that you could never imagine. They all have their particular lenses through which they see the world. Read more

Stay Balanced

January 18, 2016 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, People 

There are a few terms that are front-and-centre these days around the workplace, with gender equity and cultural diversity often leading the pack. During a presentation a few months ago, I asked the group about the challenges they face on projects. One woman, from the back of the room, suggested there were too many men on her projects. While at face value I don’t have enough information to agree with her particular case, I do believe this thinking leads to an area where we need to focus – not on equity, but on balance. Read more

Stay Humble

December 16, 2015 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, People, Teamwork 

We all suffer from a variety of cognitive biases, faulty assumptions that screw up our ability to make decent decisions. One of my favourites is the Dunning-Kruger effect, where those that are unskilled tend to overestimate their abilities. Apparently the study of this bias was inspired by a bank robber who smeared lemon juice on his face (you may have used lemon juice as invisible ink when you were a kid) to hide from surveillance cameras. Read more

Stay Fresh

December 9, 2015 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, Resilience 

It’s something we all tend to do: rest our laurels on the same behaviours, the same activities, the same stories that have worked for us in the past. It’s a simplification to make sense of the complicated, information overloaded world around us, but it’s dangerous. Read more

Cost of Non-Quality

August 12, 2015 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Leadership, Quality 

I just read an article, albeit a year old, that suggests preventable medical errors persist as the number 3 killer in the US, behind heart disease and cancer. I wasn’t surprised for two reasons: a) I had seen similar literature before from other sources, and b) I had worked with companies in the medical field and large IT infrastructure projects. Read more

Symptoms

April 9, 2015 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, People 

I was having lunch with a friend earlier this week, and after catching up with how our kids are doing and our shared interest in music, talk got around to the workplace. Generally things are going well for them, but a few interesting comments were made about one person that works with him. On reflection, I see these as symptoms. Read more

Flip the Switch

March 18, 2015 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, People 

There’s one simple thing that you can do to improve your productivity, make better products, to make everything you do go more smoothly. It doesn’t involve a new tool, it’s not the latest cool process that is going to save the world, it’s not an app. It’s not something that a consultant needs to come in and anoint your team with for far more money than is reasonable, and it’s not protected IP. Read more

Consultant or Cheerleader?

February 12, 2015 by · Comment
Filed under: Agility, Leadership, People 

When you hire a consultant, you probably have an expectation of a specialized set of skills, or a particular value that you are looking for. That might be some expertise that you don’t have (or couldn’t readily develop) in-house, or an objective perspective to help you see things in a different way. Read more

Breaking Through Glass Ceilings

October 29, 2014 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, Teamwork 

In the workplace, there has been a long-standing issue around a “glass-ceiling”, typically described as a limit beyond which it is difficult for women to rise in a male-oriented business environment. This may manifest itself as lower salaries (no karma jokes here) or challenges in advancing through the ranks. My experience is that this is a far more nuanced issue than simply a gender-based bias in the workplace, and has roots that can be traced back through a gender imbalance in many business and engineering programs in schools, and biases and choices made in raising our children, cultural biases, and how we all manage our relationships in life. Read more

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  • What’s Happening

    September 15, 2016: Thanks to the Vancouver chapter of the IIBA for inviting me to present a talk about Real Analysis agility - the bottom line is thoughtful application of effective analysis over Cargo Cult application of the latest fashionable approach! - fabulous interaction, great feedback!
    November, 2016 - A workshop series to help you develop resilience in the workplace and in your life!
    Next open enrolment sessions start soon - contact us to get involved!
  • On The Road Again

    Jim frequently travels across Western Canada for engagements, and welcomes opportunities to meet, run a workshop, Diagnostic or Lunch and Learn session.


    Contact Jim if you would like to connect around any of the upcoming dates:

    • March 1-3, 2017 - Winnipeg, MB
    • March 6-8, 2017 - Edmonton, AB
    • March 15-17, 2017 - Victoria, BC
  • What People are Saying

    Jim is a true professional. His expertise in software development and project management is outstanding, but perhaps more important is his commitment to his clients and his own personal learning. Working with Jim is a pleasure for me – and will be beneficial for you.

    — Kevin Eikenberry, Owner, The Discian Group