Every organization has problems they want to solve. And most knowledge workers claim to be critical thinkers. (So much so, the phrase “problem-solving skills” has become such a cliché that Monster.com says is one of the top 10 terms that “ruin a resume.”) Zety.com states, “employers are literally fighting for candidates with highly developed problem-solving skills.” So if you have it, it’s time to prove it.
Whether you are one of those who claims to be a problem-solver or not, this skill may be less obvious than you think. Perhaps this is because people report feeling they have to make quick judgments that keep them from applying the inter-related skills that make-up problem-solving. (Like analysis, evaluation, and creativity.) …
The Muppets were the most high-performing team in the history of pop-culture. The blend of characters created the kind of team we all dream of being part of. So what made them so magical and enduring? We often presume success is predicated on the leader of a team or the culture of the organization. Those are strong elements. But ultimately, it all comes down to the people on the team.
The first thing Jenny remembers coming out of the fog is being wracked with excruciating abdominal pain, so intense she cannot catch her breath. Anxious faces are hovering, but all she can focus on is trying to breathe. The sharp, burning pain is wrapping and rippling across her upper abdomen and causes her to attempt to curl into a fetal position, but she is being held back. She’s aware of people and noise; she can hear loud voices, but the pain blocks her comprehension of the words. On her left, she sees hands with a syringe coming near an IV attached to her own hand, a burning sensation, and then, finally, long moments later, a relief. The pain is not gone, but it has receded enough she can breathe, and the words being thrown at her start to make sense. …
Rachel is a founder, a bringer of ideas, a bias-toward-action, err on the side of collaboration kind of gal. She’s started communities of practices, meditation groups, mentoring circles, and book clubs. She serves on conference boards. She speaks at conferences. She mentors others. Her philosophy is that opportunity drives opportunity.
But now, she’s tired. The kind of fatigue that sucks the energy out of the (virtual) room, that shows up in destructive self-talk, and that leads to long hours of escapism through novels or binge-watching Netflix. Despite her accomplishments, this was not the life she dreamed of.
Rachel is a human anagram. She’s part me, part colleague, part friend, part neighbor, part stranger. If you relate, read on to discover three questions that can help you design your best life. …
Find your common purpose in an uncommon career
Lora Soderquist lives outside Bozeman, Montana. Driven to provide community and environmental impact, she is grounded in her connection to the land and people around her. Her choices revolve around the best life she can provide for her son, Jack.
When Lora became a single parent, she stood at a crossroads with which many of us are familiar. Her life had just taken an unexpected turn. She had one critical mission: How could she provide financially for her son and still spend quality time with him?
Lora had a choice — take a traditional job that would give her financial stability but most certainly place her son in daycare, or somehow realize her true vocation combining her education and passion for holistic land management. …
“I used to believe that timing was everything. Now I believe that everything is timing.” Daniel Pink, “When” (2018)
It’s that time of year again, with the New Year lurking. Are you someone who loves New Years Resolutions, prefers to soften the approach with an annual theme, or hates the whole concept? Regardless of your stance, here are some tips from Daniel Pink’s book “When,” combined with good business planning techniques that will set you up for success in the upcoming year.
Fast forward 12 months. There are no masks in view, and you are milling among other humans. Suddenly, you see an old friend approaching. Still, instead of delight, you are cringing inside, already imagining answering their inevitable question, “What have you been up to?” …
First, we felt energized and productive through the state of emergency. Then, we experienced depression, infighting, and fatigue that appear in a regression state. Now, we are moving into a recovery phase (and in some regions, back into regression.) Merete Wedell-Wedellsborg’s article in Harvard Business Review, “If You Feel Like You’re Regressing, You’re Not Alone,” eloquently chronicles my experience living through the COVID-19 pandemic. I imagine it may describe yours, too. This is the story of how applying a simple coaching technique changed my pandemic, my depression, and my relationships.
For the first three months of the Great Pause, I celebrated working from home. Like many, I reveled in gaining back the lost hours of commuting. My professional life revolved around traveling and face-to-face interactions. My Great Pause wasn’t a new life of leisure — my energy was re-directed to becoming more technically fluent and establishing a professional remote-working environment. Like others, my household shifted and adapted while we adjusted to new patterns. I felt the shared identity and the unity from the massive global impact of the shutdown. …
Two organizations in two diverse domains, material sciences, and life sciences, are investing in maturing their business agility using Scrum. Recently, both asked about introducing Six Sigma practices into their organizations. They pose the question — can Scrum and Six Sigma co-exist?
My short answer: Of course, they can, and they should — if the problem requires it. Please read on and share your opinion at the end of this blog.
What is Six Sigma? Motorola developed Six Sigma in 1986. Six Sigma is a structured methodology for process improvement and problem-solving. The tools, techniques, and roadmaps aim to reduce variation, increase quality by decreasing the number of defects, and improve the processes, services, and products. …
As a Product Owner, there is nothing more frustrating than using valuable development time to deal with technical debt. We use the debt analogy to remind us of the imperative need to mitigate it, to keep our products scalable and sustainable. But it still seems difficult to communicate the value of refactoring to stakeholders primarily focused on customer-facing features. So, we often don’t talk about it. It’s like the first rule of Fight Club. Our business partners don’t want to acknowledge it, we get tired of delivering dire warnings, and the debt continues to accumulate. …
A collection of thoughts from that in-between space between sand and waves and ocean sky.
Flapping noise and commotion
as they lift in controlled chaos.
Sudden quiet, their gliding seems effortless.
They watch me from the swell.
Grounded, I’m drowning in effort
and voices pinning me to gravity.
Dis-ease smothering my yearning.
I discover the voices are my own.
The breeze ruffles and I lean in.
My claws clenching soil and known
Heart throat eyes straining up and seeking oh to fly away!
My rib cage painful from the stretch.
My breast swells and opens, reaching,
bones cracking, searing air releasing. …