Depression: Unemployed;destitute man leaning against vacant store:photo by Dorothea Lange, circa 1935

The Trauma of Unemployment

E. Forrest Christian Careers 2 Comments

So, you lost your job. Maybe it really is a “killer job market”. Yet here you are, sending out more resumes, hitting “Apply” in the job website, making the rounds. And nothing seems to be working. You keep at it, but it’s getting tiring. Your spouse, originally so supportive, is asking how long this is going to take. “Mary lost …

Tower of Babel (Rotterdam) by Pieter Bruegel. Via Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain.

Why We Talk Past Each Other at Work: The 7 Decision Languages

E. Forrest Christian Overachievers 3 Comments

I recently sat through a meeting where the discussants, all intelligent people who care deeply about the work under discussion, argued deeply and long without much actually happening. You’ve been in these, too, and you’ve also been frustrated by how people don’t understand when you start talking about what we need to do. But I now don’t have to live …

Teams are about who is in them: The Imaginist

E. Forrest Christian Overachievers Leave a Comment

What does a team do? It depends on who is in it.  The Imaginist decision maker sees teams as “teams of persons”. You can’t determine what is should be done until you analyze who is going to do it. Work cannot be separated from who does it because, for the Imaginst, it’s all about the person. Lots of ex-programmers seem …

Manhattan Bridge under construction-1909

Talking about Teaming: The 7 Languages of Action

E. Forrest Christian Overachievers Leave a Comment

As I try to get “team” better defined, one of the biggest problems I have — and one shared by Requisite Agility as a whole — is that people use words differently to talk about decisions about action. Teams, as I have started defining them, are all about doing something together, working to a purpose. How we talk about decisions …

Adam naming the animals, Christ Church Cathedral, High Street, Dublin (by Andreas F. Borchert, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Start with the Naming of Things

E. Forrest Christian RequisiteAgility 1 Comment

As I start things back up in support of the Requisite Agility movement, it’s a good idea to begin with the basics: name things clearly. The naming of things is important. In the Jewish Bible, it’s the first thing God has the first man do: And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl …

Closing up at No.9 Park by Peter Hall. (CC BY SA-2.0). Via Flickr

Closing Time (or “So long, Elliot Jaques”)

E. Forrest Christian Admin 5 Comments

It’s closing time. After spending almost all of the last thirty years of my worklife as a consultant, I finally walked away. As of last week, I have returned to the risk career I left a long time ago. I joined a large financial company’s technology risk management oversight group where I’m an internal consultant. As a part of this …

Employees at Mid-Continent Refinery [ca. 1943 Tulsa, OK (LOC). By John Vachon]

How Unemployment Endangers Everything You Love

E. Forrest Christian Careers 1 Comment

Happy people are generally happy, no matter what. Unhappy people are generally unhappy no matter what. Whether genetics or childhood environment, it seems to be pretty set by the time you hit your mid-20s. It’s like we have a thermostat that gets set to a particular number. You might have something that changes the temperature suddenly, but the system will …

TITLE: Clarify roles or kill performance

Clarify Roles or Kill Performance—Your Choice

E. Forrest Christian Change Leave a Comment

Dr. Eduardo Salas is the Trustee Chair and Pegasus Professor of Psychology at the University of Central Florida, and the author or coauthor of a slew of articles and books on teamwork performance. His findings seem entirely counterintuitive to what many people in software believe. Eschewing roles, they advocate keeping everything completely informal, with everyone cross-training to be able to …