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Posts Tagged ‘groupthink

Doing more; Doing more of the same; Doing just a little different

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I always read Seth Godin’s blog.  They entries and short, direct, to the point, and always give me something to think about.

Here is a recent posting

“I’m making money, why do more?”

Because more than you need to makes it personal.
Because work that belongs to you, by choice, is the first step to making art.
Because the choice to do more brings passion to your life and it makes you more alive.
Because if you don’t, someone else will, and in an ever more competitive world, doing less means losing.
Because you care.
Because we’re watching.
Because you can.

There is a difference between doing more and doing different.

Sometimes, doing more of the same is your biggest liability – whether its your personal life, a for-profit company, a non-profit organization, or a government agency.

I always encounter people in organizations that are intent on “doing more”.  This is their biggest mistake.  They do more of same expecting to get promoted.  The only thing “doing more” (of the same) in non-strategic job roles is going to get them is “more of the same” since few managers will promote someone who excels at being  “a workhorse”.

Doing more (of the same) didn’t keep most traditional booksellers from going out of business.  Amazon did it different.  Different beat more of the same.

For non-profits, doing more of the same when the social, economic, technological, cultural and other external realities are shifting under your feet is going to send you on a trajectory of irrelevancy.  Traditional organizations like the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and the ARRL faces this challenge.  Do more of the same when the external context has radically changed –  or do different?

NASA essentially accomplished its biggest goal in 1969 by landing a man on the moon and returning safely back to earth.  What happens when you do it 6 more times?  Doing more of the same triggered some scrutiny by Congress with a report saying they needed a viable strategic plan, not to do more of the same, but to do more of something different – something that can engage the national vsion.  How about the US Post Office.  They would like to do more of the same (delivering physical postal mail) but seemingly most of the public doesn’t need more of the same.  Customers do different and the Post Office is now in decline because they are not doing different – what customers really need, want, and are willing to pay for.

The Take

Do more?  Ok.  But sometimes, doing more of the same is really doing less.

Doing a little different may grant you the privilege to do more of the same…  Then the chance to do different again…  and the process repeats.

Read more

Doing more of the same.  From one of the few books on the social history of amateur Radio “Why end this book as of the year 1950?  It is because the story of ham radio’s development essentially takes place in the first fifty years of the twentieth century.  Having been created, accepted, regulated, and achieved permanent status by 1950, the story after that becomes one primarily of repetition.”    Read the posting – ARRL: Does the ARRL need a Strategic Plan?

NASA – more of the same. From the office of the Inspector General ” These problems are not primarily of NASA’s doing, but the agency could craft a better response to the uncertainty, for example, by developing a strategic plan that includes clear priorities and a transparent budget allocation process. A better response would improve NASA’s ability to navigate future obstacles and uncertainties. An effective agency response is vital, because at a time when the strategic importance of space is rising and the capabilities of other spacefaring nations are increasing, U.S. leadership is faltering….”   NASA: What to do after mission accomplished

More of the same.. missing it allOf Telegraphs, Telephones, Radios, and Organizational Momentum

Why?  Group ThinkThe C-word: Consensus

Doing a little differentStupid Survives until smart succeeds

Written by frrl

March 4, 2013 at 6:17 pm

Career choices for the “less-than-social”

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So you can’t be social?  What careers are best for you?

Caught this one on yahoo (read it).  What are the top careers for people who are not good at being social?

Interesting that the top careers for people who are introverts and have a need for a “less-than-social” job are in Information Technology .  Anyone who has tried to manage techie teams already knows this.  Managing these folks is like herding cats.  Making matters worse for any organization, is that these folks generally have communication challenges.

In one workplace I observed a couple of techie folks who sat across from each other communicating with each other with terse e-mail messages.  Couldn’t they just talk to each other?  When one company tried to introduce a program that would assemble the collective wisdom of those who were designated as “Distinguished Members of the Technical Staff” and “Technical Fellows” we found that the internal corporate portal discussion groups set up so these folks could collaborate fell mostly empty.  I once asked a woman about the person who sat in the cubicle in front of her.  She did not know who he was or what he did.  Both of these people were part of the IT department at this company. An executive once asked a UNIX admin a question about security.  The UNIX admin responded by e-mailing him a UNIX syslog of thousands of lines of messages with little other explanation.

At another company I asked where the IT folks were.  They pointed me to a locked door near the freight elevator.  Behind the key-pad entry door was the IT staff with desks on raised floor and no windows.  This was office space reclaimed from the days of the mainframe.  For whatever the reason, the business decided to separate these folks from the rest of the employees.  I’m sure this just exacerbated any communication problem that already existed.  Most businesses struggle with alignment of business and IT.  Is it any wonder that business and IT are misaligned and don’t easily communicate when you choose to physically separate groups in such an extreme manner?

In any case, check out the full story on Yahoo here

By Amy Winter

Are you an introvert looking to find your place in the working world? You’re in luck. There are actually a variety of jobs out there that are geared toward the less-than-social.

Career coach Curt Rosengren recommends that introverts look for careers more focused on the internal process.

“Envision doing something where a majority of the time is spent doing things in your head,” says Rosengren. “An introvert would feel more comfortable and enjoy the solo time.”

Career #1 – Computer Programmer

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, computer programmers might spend time alone writing in computer languages like C++ and Java in order to create software programs. They’re also the ones who test code and fix mistakes in the event of an error.

Career #2 – Medical Records and Health Information Technician

Instead of being hands-on with patients, these technicians are generally more hands-on with patients’ health information, making sure it’s accurate, up-to-date, and accessible in paper and electronic systems, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Career #4 – Network Administrator

If you consider yourself a techie and think you’d prefer spending time alone with computer networks versus people, a career as a network administrator could be right up your alley.

As a network administrator, you might be responsible for organizing, installing, and supporting a company’s computer systems, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. In order to keep the systems up-to-date, you could set up network hardware and software, gather information to measure the network’s performance, and make the necessary upgrades and repairs, adds the Department of Labor.

Read some related articles

Four Challenges of Techie Teams

Leading Techie Teams

Advice to Engineers from Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple

Top 5 Career Tips for Graduate Engineers… and a few observations

The rise of the new groupthink…  in the NY Times

Written by frrl

June 3, 2012 at 5:28 am

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