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

Choice

June 9, 2015 by · Comment
Filed under: Agility, People 

We all have times when we’re exasperated with the world around us – frustrated or scared or angry at something or someone. We’ll lash out, blame others for our predicament. Sometimes we depend on others for our own validation, relinquishing control to external drivers. In all cases, we’re setting ourselves up for a fall. We’ll rarely get the result we are looking for, and there’s a good chance we’ll fill our heads with negative self-talk, kicking ourselves in the butt for being so stupid. Read more

Transactions and Connections

May 28, 2015 by · Comment
Filed under: People, Project management, Teamwork 

When we stumble on our projects and seek ways to improve our experience and results, there is a strong tendency to establish a clear approach for future projects, based on what hurt us in the past. This might look like a particular approach, a set of templates to ensure something doesn’t fall through the cracks anymore, perhaps a collection of checklists to guide the way. These become ‘our new standard approach’, but can actually get us into more trouble than before. Read more

That Vitamin Distraction

April 14, 2015 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, People, Quality, Teamwork 

There’s an old (and frankly, tired) query that investors will pull out of their bag of clichés, usually when they are leaning away from funding your idea: “are you building vitamins or painkillers?”. The suggestion is that painkillers fix an immediate need and sell better – more attractive to those that want instant financial gratification as well. Hopefully, we’re not all consumed by that myopic view. 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

Sensitive Leadership

December 4, 2013 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, People, Teamwork 

As we gain more responsibility in the workplace, there comes a time when that new responsibility changes from ‘getting more complex tasks’ to ‘being in charge of others’. Whether or not we are prepared for it, there comes a time when we are asked to take on a leadership role. 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

    I learned a lot from Jim, and will always be grateful to have had him as instructor and client. Jim’s class lectures reflect how knowledgeable and well rounded he is – as a person, software developer, and project manager. As a client, Jim is great because he understands the issues that obscure most projects. He made sure we both achieved our goals. It will always be a pleasure working with him.

    — Donabel Santos