the boss

“I must disabuse you of a commonly held idea, that when you get to be the boss everybody under you works for you.  You will get far more done if you figure out a way to work for them.”

      — Kenneth Ashworth, American educator, educational administrator, and public servant; from his 2001 book, Caught between the Dog and the Fireplug

How to get organized

  • Make a day plan by adding your To Dos to a calendar along side your appointments. This will give you an idea if you have enough hours in the day to get everything done.
  • Keep long term activities separate from you day plan and bring them onto your day plan as small tasks. An unspecific task can detail your whole day as it stares back at you. You have a bigger plan for long term activities somewhere, even if it is just inside your head. When the time comes, create discreet tasks that can be completed in a short amount of time and put them in your calendar.
Scrum Board for an Agile Team

Where’s the app for this?

There is so much software in the public domain that doesn’t work. A few examples include the ticket app that fails to process your payment in time, the parking app that failed to register your account setup, or the payment app that charged your debit card three times. What happens when these issues occur; who can you call? We, aka the End Users, are tricked in a Postman / McLuhan kind of way, to replace solid functionality with UX driven graphic design. What is not obvious is that the cool, spinning, bright-colored buttons are inexpensive because they are just eye candy. The real investment in software is in making it resilient AND intuitive so that it works 99.9999% of the time.

The current state of leadership

Here are some questions your employee might be asking himself…
What am I learning in this organization?
Am I able to live?
Do I have time for other things?
Do I have friends here?
Do I understand my value?
Here, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs has been superimposed onto a measured scale of employee engagement. The corelation to an employee’s sense of being valued is clear. If you are a leader who belives your employees are only there to collect a paycheck, then they will hover at the Security level of the paramid and will likely never engage.
You, Ms. Leader, make me feel disengaged from the organization when you think communication is not important …
When you hold me accountable for things I can not control …
When you withhold information about the direction of the organization so I don’t understand the value of my work …
When others have more influence with you than I do because your focus is upwards and not down …

Tags: #NatureofMan

Orange Thinking

Orange thinking is a concept of combining two powerful perspectives, aligning them strategically by establishing a common end, and synchronizing and integrating plans to bring about change.

The discipline of Psychology tells us that the color yellow represents ENERGY and the color red represents PASSION. Together they are orange which represents FOCUS and ENTHUSIASM, which is an ideal environment for change.

The challenge is implementation.  There are three steps to turning one’s thinking orange.

  1. The fist step is to identify where the energy in an organization comes from.  What is the brightest shining light and what is it shining on?
  2. The second step is to determine what driving forces exist.  Where does the passion lie?
  3. Finally, the energy and the passion need to be reoriented towards the same objective.

Aligning red and yellow forces creates an impact at a visceral level and it facilitates overcoming inertia inherent in the organization.  Like traffic cones, orange thinking enables movement towards making a change in the world.


photography of person using macbook
Photo by on

How many emails do you have in your inbox? Do you really want one more? Your employees feel the same way. You are competing for their attention and so you must craft your message so that critical information gets through.

To reach your organizational goals your team needs to counterbalance ambiguity with good organization design. You need your employees to be able to talk about your goals consistently and passionately without a PowerPoint.

You must contextualize communication around your strategic objectives for communication is the lifeblood of your organization and essential to successful projects.

Hello World!

Ok, so this isn’t the first post but we are starting fresh. Have you ever experienced a moment when you wondered what you were supposed to know but don’t given your age? Questions might pop into your mind such as, when should I go see the doctor for a physical or how do I get investment advice?

I know some of this knowledge is supposed to be passed down from parents but what if that didn’t happen?  Would you rely on television commercials or Google? Would you try to strike up a conversation with a buddy at work? How will you know you are getting good advice?

Insights will tackle some of the questions that we can’t put off any longer.  I hope this starts a conversation and possibly provides some helpful guidance occasionally.

9-11 memorial

At the 9-11 memorial

Symbolism satisfies a need for connection and offers a way to communicate with others in a shared way that promotes understanding.
The magnitude of force due to pressure and resonant movement makes me think how fragile the human body is.
Why would someone cause this kind of pain?