Best Intentions

August 16, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Leadership, People, Quality 

We’ve all been in situations where we find ourselves slogging through our work, and the focus (if there is any focus at all) is to get the work done, rather than get it done well. Certainly household chores can fall into that category, and around the office there are similar activities like month-end reporting that can feel more like drudgery than uplifting activity. It becomes easy to find excuses for not getting the work done, procrastination becomes an art form, and while the result might pass muster, it certainly isn’t a masterpiece. When the core work we do starts to feel this way, when we just want it done and over with, it’s time to rethink what’s going on. Read more

What Drives Us

January 25, 2010 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, People, Teamwork 

What motivates you? Chances are that it is not one particular thing but a mix of a wide range of things. Chances are even greater that if you look at the other people on your team, their mix of important motivators are quite different from yours. If we know what motivates us in our environment, we can behave in a manner that feeds these motives and results in a much more rewarding experience. Read more

Planting Seeds

December 22, 2009 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, Quality 

When it’s time to act as a catalyst for change in an organization, the last approach you want to take is the old ‘bull in a china-shop’ method: taking charge, giving orders, ignoring feedback, making demands. While you may end up delivering the proposed changes and maybe even an accurate analysis of what really needs to be done, you will fail in the end. There will be massive overt push back and passive resistance, and you will likely sour the team’s attitude toward change in general. A better approach is to think of yourself as a farmer, and to plant seeds. Read more

No More Mills!

August 20, 2009 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership 

I have found over the years that there are two reasons that people will engage organizations like ours to work with them: to demonstrate to a third-party that they are doing a bang-up job, or to actually improve at what they do. Read more

Learning Via Others

March 1, 2009 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Leadership, People 

One thing I have noticed in the past few years is that there seems to be an explosion of coaches in the market, similar to the explosion of entrepreneurs and consultants that occurs when the economy sours, and people are driven to tackle a new venture. As with any major influx of resources into a crowded market, you will likely find some good coaches and some that, well, are less than stellar. Find a good one though, as I did recently, and you can learn quite a lot. Read more

All That Jazz

July 6, 2008 by · Comment
Filed under: People, Teamwork 

I sat down to lunch recently with a good friend, and we talked about challenges we face in staying motivated, and in keeping the troops motivated as well. On reflection, I think it is a matter of keeping everyone jazzed. Read more

Testing That Team Agreement

April 20, 2008 by · Comment
Filed under: Project management, Teamwork 

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about what can happen when a team agreement is hastily put together: it can actually be worse than no team agreement at all, and can serve to tear a team apart. It is one thing to observe this and note that the team agreement was part of the root cause. What tests can we apply to our team agreement to determine if it is good enough to pass muster to begin with? Read more

Getting In the Groove

January 14, 2007 by · Comment
Filed under: Process 

These days, we are hammered with more information than ever, and expected to get more done in less time. For most of us, this drives up the pressure to juggle a number of tasks simultaneously, in a frail attempt to meet expectations. We are busier than ever, and there is no end in sight. Read more

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    Another excellent article – we were just discussing this very subject in a course I recently taught. I forwarded your article to everyone in the class, so you might expect a few more subscribers soon…

    — Bruce Butler, PEng, Senior Systems Engineer, Modular Mining Systems Canada