If Your Boss Doesn’t Want You Preventing Problems, What Is Ethical To Do?

Lighthouse at night, (c) 2009 Martin Belam. Via flickr. (CC BY SA 2.0)

Last time I recommended that if you are in an environment where the management rewards “firefighter” project managers rather than PMs who prevent them from ever occurring, you need to let some fires start. (“You Have To Let the Project Break So You Can Prove Yourself By Fixing It”) I wasnt saying start them on your own but simply don’t take the steps that the firm doesn’t reward to prevent them.

You Have To Let the Project Break So You Can Prove Yourself By Fixing It

Men of Fort Story operate an azimuth instrument, to measure the angle of splash in sea-target practice. 1942. (reversed)

Why do project managers have to create crises on projects to prove that the risk management steps you took are paying off? It’s very common in project environments. The project manager who scrambles to get things done, who stays late to get things fixed, who has problem after problem that gets the attention of management but who then gets things accomplished, albeit a bit late seems to get t…

Tasking, Trusting, Tending: Gillian Stamp’s Tripod of Work

Rose hip on trellis

Trust is hard. It’s the currency of everything social and, as the social capital people like Francis Fukuyama point out, it underpins everything necessary in a society. Some societies rely on

Gillian Stamp — Stamp is a longtime researcher and consultant to all types organizations. She created the Career Path Appreciation (CPA), co-author of several papers with Dr. Jaques, including key…

How to Look Like a Leader (Why Fake Acupuncture Works Better Than Fake Pills)

ADLER typewriter Model n°7 (Frankfurt / Germany). Unknown model date (probably ~1930/40). By Dake

What’s the relative effectiveness of treatment regimens that are never delivered. Get that? It’s how effective is something when it’s faked.

The study was originally published in the British Medical Journal, of two different groups of chronic arm pain sufferers. The first was given a fake pill that resembled one of the normal medicines for repetitive strain injuries. Almost a third of them…

Tell me your favorite posts and you could win an hour of consulting worth $200!

Message in a bottle. Licensed through

UPDATE: Contest extended until Tuesday, 2013 March 26, at 11:59 PM Chicago local time. ALSO! Votes by email and Facebook now allowed by popular demand!

To all my readers:

I’ve been asked to provide a professional society with three or four great blog posts for them to repost. It gives them some nonstandard content and gives me some exposure so it’s win-win!

The problem: I’m not…

Get Your Staging Right to Get Your Expertise Heeded

Presentation matters. A lot. Whether you are trying to get a job, sell a point, or get some respect in your house of worship, you need to spend some time on how the “you” you present to other people makes it easier or harder for them to believe in you.

We co-create social realities. The “presentation of self”, as Erving Goffman put it, involves creating meaning often via props and stag…

Jazz Combo is Stupid Metaphor for Organizations

Swanage Jazz Festival 2012. Excelsior Vintage Jazz Band. (c) Rob Schofield. (CC-A/ND)

A long time ago, I wrote the following commenting on something Luc Hoebeke told me at his house outside Leuven. It’s a good reminder today as I continue to see people want large endeavors to work like tight jazz combos. I have some friends and relatives who are pros — instrumentalists and vocalists in pop, jazz and even baroque chamber — and have been gotten an earful about what…

Strategy vs. Execution: What is strategy anyway?

Manhattan Bridge under construction-1909

Let’s continue our look at strategy vs. execution with a further look at what strategy is.

Most business people seem to use “strategy” to mean “reasons that we do something” or “basis for our decision-making”. Execution builds the car while strategy says what car to build, or whether you should build a car at all at this time. You can execute flawlessly by building the car perfectly but st…

Dragon’s Den, here she comes! Huzzah for Mary & Luigi!

A big congratulations to commenter (and all around cool person) Mary McQueen for making the cut onto Dragon’s Den. DD is kind of the Canadian version of Shark Tank for the Americans. If you’re not in North America, I really don’t know what it compares to. Hopefully I will be able to point Witopia to a Canadian VPN access point and watch the show when it comes out.

A hearty congratulations to…

GenX Future, According to Rod Serling

Back in season one of his show, The Twilight Zone, Rod Serling penned a prophecy of GenX’s end. By taking a look at it, you GenXers can see what lies in store for you at the end of your life.

The episode is “One For the Angels” starring the incomparable Ed Wynn as Lew Bookman, a barely making it, apparently single, aged, Lost Generation sidewalk peddler who gets a visit from Death.

I’ll b…

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