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My Thoughts On COVID-19 And The Second Wave

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In the US and some other places around the world a second serious wave is happening with COVID-19. We are seeing businesses and activities have to shut down again after months of limitations have already reduced things to a point some are having to close their doors for good. It is interesting watching how people react to changes like this. The outrage and the arguments people have over certain policies are truly astonishing. Yes all of this sucks but the more people don't follow the simple guidelines the longer this continues to spread. You look at countries around the world and some have enacted far stricter policies but they have essentially wiped out the disease and they have mechanisms to quickly identify and contain things before they get out of hand. In America that is never going to happen because we like our freedoms too much.  This virus is going to continue to be a problem until an effective vaccine is available and distributed to the majority of the population. The time

Comparing The View Of The Value Of Time

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We all know time is precious and it is the only resource we can't make more of. Yet we continue to waste it and continue to forget how precious our time is. In any activity there is the task, or what we want to get done. Around it are additional factors that determine the outcome of the task. There is quality, the tools we have, the money invested and the time it takes to get the task done.  Over the summer I built a retaining wall. It was one of the most time intensive projects I've ever done. It required more time to have a finished product I could be proud of. Taking the time to do it right ensured I won't have headaches later on of things shifting and becoming uneven. That would cause it to look terrible and possibly require me to redo it which would not be fun. I could have spent less time on it but it wouldn't have turned out as nice. I could have spent more money on it and hired a professional to build it for me.  In any project people will sacrifice something ba

Applications Of The Project Management Triangle

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In my work there is a concept called the project management triangle, it deals with four main qualities you try to balance. Time - The total number of hours it is going to take and over how many days/weeks/months/years. Cost - What it is going to cost in dollars and cents Scope - What features are included Quality - How well put together the product is. There is a tradeoff with this so we typically say as the client you can pick two, but then those doing the work get to set the other two. If you want something fast and cheap, it is not going to have a lot of features and it likely won't be the best quality. If you want something fully featured really fast, it is going to cost you. It is a pretty simple concept, but not one many people probably talk about except maybe a handful of times in their life. I work in software development and it is a common conversation had almost every day. The interesting thing about it though is how much it applies to almost any area of our lives. If yo

What Comes After The Disagreement?

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I sure hope you weren't thinking as soon as the election was over things would get back to normal. We shouldn't be shocked by how things are going right now. And we shouldn't think things would be any different had the results gone the other way. Based on how close the election was in so many states it is clear how equally divided we still are. Where we go after the disagreement will tell us what our future is going to look like. Our country is an organization, like so many others. Like any organization it has conflicts and decisions to make. Not everyone is going to agree with every decision. Say you are launching a new product, some think it should be green, some think it should be orange. In most organizations, before you decide on the color, you have a discussion, listing the pros and cons for each choice and trying to make the best decision you can. When the company decides it is going to be green you have people that might not get behind the decision, waiting for the

Ownership, Accountability And Responsibility, Oh My!

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Ownership, accountability and responsibility. I'm not going to attempt to break down the differences in these words and what they actually mean. When you hear those three words it is easy to get a picture in your mind the concept I'm talking about.  You are either the type of person that wants more of it or the person that avoids it. As a manager we want to find and promote the people that exhibit it.  The problem is how hard it is to find and evaluate. Anyone can tell you stories in an interview of their responsibilities, how they took ownership of something or how they were accountable in a situation. I see so many people that get into a situation though and they begin to shrink from accountability, responsibility and ownership.  It might be hard to interview a person to determine those qualities, but it becomes very easy to judge someone on them. Just as I didn't have to define the words for you to know what they meant, people will evaluate you and will know who you are.

What Do People Outside Your Organization Say About Your Culture?

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Every organization has a culture. Some cultures are very defined, extremely clear to see what it is they stand for. Other cultures are less defined. It might seem there is a clear definition the heart of it is usually just about an organization that is built to feed the ego of the owner or head of the organization. You see this in departments or companies where every person that has a good idea is let go and only those who submit and cater to the leader are allowed to stay. Building a culture is one of the single most important things any organization can do to be successful. A culture is not just what is important to the leader, it is about what is important to the employees and to the customers. Strong cultures exist when all parties understand and support the culture. It is believed at every level, not just at the top. Patrick Lencioni says, "An organization has to institutionalize its culture without bureaucratizing it." This is what so many organizations get wrong. You h

Don't Let A Bad Day Turn You Into A Bad Person

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The topic of grace has been discussed recently in our house. Came about because in discussing different scenarios our girls have been in they see people they know acting differently.  We as humans are complex and each interaction we have can be impacted by what happened before. Think of the times you've had a bad day at work and then you yell at your kids or spouse for something trivial, certainly not something worth getting upset about. Those moments are what each of us experience. So when you are on the receiving end of it you have to ask yourself if this is a normal behavior or abnormal? If this is unusual behavior that is where grace comes in. You don't know what other hardships someone is going through causing them to behaving in a different way. Just as important though is to understand when you are having a bad day, it doesn't give you freedom to treat others poorly. We need to have the self awareness to realize that something in our situation is causing us to not ac