Acrobats dangline in the sky. © 2008 Sergio from Spain (CC BY 2.0). Via Wikimedia Commons.

Uncertainty Love bringing Garlands of Success

All work involves managing uncertainty, and all decisions are made in the face of it. As Michael Raynor pointed out in Strategy Paradox, uncertainty gets larger the higher that you go in the business. At lower levels, I’m still worried about uncertainty but I’m trying to eliminate it. I work reduce process variance through statistical process control, ensuring a repeatable …

Acrobats dangline in the sky. © 2008 Sergio from Spain (CC BY 2.0). Via Wikimedia Commons.

Less Really Is More For Making Good Decisions

On the Commutecast this week, I talked about how Gerg Gigerenzer and colleagues have shown that a simple algorithm can out-perform a complex one in predicting future events (PDF). It’s not just that getting the information is expensive — whether you are hunting it down or finding it, collecting data costs you effort and often resources. It’s that even where …

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

Learn Decisional Due Date and Build Dynamic, Decision-Driven Organizations

Elliott Jaques is rightly praised for many things: first one to apply the ideas of social culture to the life inside organizations; identified and named the “mid-life crisis” (sorry Gail Sheehy!); led the longest on-site social research efforts at Glacier Metal Company, running some 25 years; and developing a method for building the requisite organizational structure for any managerial endeavor. …

Oklahoma Land Rushm 1893 by William S Prettyman

“Just make a decision!”

Last time we heard from Danny Fleming, the banking executive, who said that his success was in a large part due to his ability to make decisions when others would dither. This time I’m going to a Danny closer to home: my late father, “Danny” Christian. I was reminded of his thinking on decision making recently when a relative told …

Manhattan Bridge under construction-1909

Top Key For Success: Make Decisions

Successful people — people who get things done and not just kiss asses — have on thing in common: they can make decisions. You’d think it would be leadership or emotional intelligence or even financial acumen. But it’s not. It all comes down to getting things done. And if you want to get things done, you have to make decisions. …

Gaza protest Amsterdam by Jos van Zetten (CC BY 2.0)

Talking Too Complex Will Destroy Communication

Did you ever think that by really pounding a logical point home you are destroying your success as a communicator? You get into an argument with a relative at a wedding dinner, say. He’s arguing some asinine point that’s clearly in violation of any semblance of reality. You provide key proofs. He fights back. You esalate your logic with more …

Looking down at Château-d'Oex from our chateau on after a snowfall. © E. Forrest Christian.

Software Architecture: There Is No One Right Way

I spent some time perusing the programming stacks at Seattle’s main library today, and skimmed through some texts on software architecture. Perhaps the most interesting was 97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know: Collective Wisdom from the Experts (ed. Richard Monson-Haefel). It’s a collection of various two-page thoughts from people who do software architecture from across the globe. Think Chicken …