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Death and Taxes and Something Else

There are several ways you could split your activities each day. Some are habitual, some are conscious. Some are good, some neutral, few somewhat bad and some purely evil. Some are personal, some are social. The selection can go on forever. The important one is that there are things you choose to do and those you must do. But do you really? Is there really anything you must do?

Well, no. Almost.Read More »Death and Taxes and Something Else

Three Trades of Actual Corporate Success

 

Some people, usually before they start working, have an interesting view of business. They see corporations, companies, and businesses as ruthless, pitiless, and greed-driven monstrosities, machines feasting on the soil of the land. Up to a point, they might be spot on. Except the tiny detail, which every engineer should notice by now. Machines are logical. The results of their operation can only be wrong if, for whatever reason, their design is faulty. And real life businesses, while obviously ruthless, pitiless, and greed-driven, are nowhere near what classical theory of economy expects them to be – a production function. Which, in essence, is nothing more but perfectly logical chart.

Now, how come no single business is logical?Read More »Three Trades of Actual Corporate Success

Forget Managing Your Products

There’s a cliché (and unfair) saying, that traditional project management was focused on just what it said – managing a project. That all the efforts, were aimed at the single goal of delivering the negotiated scope, within budget and on time. Some years ago, with advent of the new black (all things Agile), another statement was coined.

“Don’t manage projects! Manage products!”Read More »Forget Managing Your Products

Culture of Negligence – Learn What NASA Failed to Learn

However mindful and careful might you be when behind the wheel, at some point you will inevitably do something dangerous. Near miss some other car when overtaking. Powering through a corner which turns out to be covered with black ice. Forcing a right of way on the intersection. Just a moment of mindlessness, unseen risk, lack of experience – each of these can be potentially disastrous. Thing is, in huge majority of cases, nothing happens. Somehow you recover, just to burst out with nervous laughter once the adrenaline rush stops. Then, inevitably and possibly subconsciously, you will draw some conclusions. You might become more careful or, oddly, start to care less. The latter one is more likely if your similar experiences from the past ended the same way, with no serious consequences. Some action is potentially deadly – but it always works out, somehow. You might start tolerating it.

And it’s not like the phenomenon is narrowed down to single people. Teams do it. Societies do it. Even large and knowledge based organizations do it. Ever heard of NASA?Read More »Culture of Negligence – Learn What NASA Failed to Learn

How Not to Fail With SMART Goals

Some people make utterly worthless resolutions, be it on New Year’s or any other occasion. Something along the lines of earn more, or drink less, or lose weight. Having helpful individual around, these are remarkably easy to achieve. Being myself, I’d give the first person a penny, knocking the wine glass out of hand of the second and propose interesting use of my chainsaw to the last one. Can you imagine reaching your big resolution in 5 seconds? Well, losing weight would take at least minutes, but, anyway.

But people today are not that stupid, or entertaining. Everybody’s goals are SMART now.Read More »How Not to Fail With SMART Goals

4-Hour Work Week or Why You Should Re-Read Your Books

Several years ago, in 2010, an odd title caught my attention in the business section of Stockholm Airport bookstore. Four-hour work week? Really? That sounded like the typical, Internet get rich quickly scheme. For some reason, I checked it out. While still not entirely convinced, I decided to give it a try. It wouldn’t be the first useless book on entrepreneurship that I bought. It turned out quite the opposite.

Upon finishing it, I seriously considered quitting my job.Read More »4-Hour Work Week or Why You Should Re-Read Your Books

Business Lesson From the Demise of Sparta

We’ve all heard of the Spartans. The most dedicated, disciplined and efficient warriors of the ancient times. Their legacy gave us countless games, books and movies. For several years, known as the Spartan hegemony, they were the dominating force in Greece. While their legend fuels imagination for centuries, there’s one tiny detail that seems to avoid everyone’s attention.

Where the hell are they now?Read More »Business Lesson From the Demise of Sparta

13 Ways to Make Your Agile Fail

There are things you can do right about ‘going Agile’ with your organization. And there are countless blogs, articles and books pushing Agile folk wisdom into minds of the wandering ones. That’s fine. We all need someone to tell us how to do the right thing. But what if your goal is… different?

After all, this whole ‘Agile thing’ is likely to be the new black. You’ve seen it all before, right? You’re too tired of all these Communist-style manifesto things, right? Hacker’s manifesto, Cyberpunk manifesto, Agile manifesto… They’re all the same, a lunacy to lure the young minds, to give them hope, to let them dream of fulfilled life.

Damn hippies, you’ll get neither.Read More »13 Ways to Make Your Agile Fail

Change Thyself, Boss

I got to see extreme variance of teams. Some could swarm on complex tasks, rapidly decompose them, find the most critical details and provide reply in no time. Some other hid behind an impenetrable firewall of processes. Some felt and behaved like bunch of good friends. Yet other were just a group of people, apparently put together by some random variation of the loom of time. Now, it would be easy to explain this by different organizations these teams originated from. After all, the way people behave is, to a point, reflection of their workplace culture.

Thing is, all these teams were within one company. Ouch.Read More »Change Thyself, Boss

Blue Monday or Irrational Priming

There’s something amazing about Mondays. It’s the only weekday when virtually everyone allows themselves to grumble, whether they like their jobs or not. Today’s Monday is by several degrees of magnitude more demotivating. Not only does it follow Friday the 13th, it’s also said to be the most depressing day of the year.

But why?Read More »Blue Monday or Irrational Priming