"How often I found where I should be going only by setting out for somewhere else.” — Buckminster Fuller
“By indirections find directions out.” —Hamlet, II. i
I [T. Peters] proceeded by trial and error and instinct, and each experiment led to/ suggested another experiment (or 2 or 10) and to a greater understanding of potential—the “plan,” though there was none, made itself. And it was far, far better (more ambitious, more interesting, more satisfying) than I would have imagined. In fact, the result to date bears little or no relationship to what I was thinking about at the start—a trivial, self-designed chore may become the engine of my next decade; the “brushcutting project” is now leading Susan and I to view our entire property, and what it might become-represent, in a new light.
“No one rises so high as he who knows not where he is going.” —Oliver Cromwell
Action Bias on Steroids:
Scrum: A Breathtakingly Brief and Agile Introduction
5. The team decides how much work it can do in an iteration.
6. The team decides how to do the work in the iteration.
7. The team measuresitsown performance.
8. Define work goals before each cycle starts.
9. Define work goals through userstories.
10. Systematically removeimpediments.
Source: Steve Denning/Forbes/0429.11
Wheels Rarely Need To Be Re-invented
“Where planners* raise high expectations but take no responsibility for meeting them, searchers prefer to work case-by-case, using trial and error to tailor solutions to individual problems, fully aware that most remedies must be homegrown.” —WSJ, 0822.06 (on malaria eradication, and hedge fund manager Lance Laifer) [*“Planners [WHO, World Bank, etc] see poverty as a technical engineering problem that their answers will solve.” —William Easterly] “All sorts of approaches need to be tried and we need feedback.” —Roger Bate
“Somewhere in your organization, groups of people are already doing things differently and better. To create lasting change, find these areas of positive deviance and fan the flames.” —Richard Pascale & Jerry Sternin, “Your Company’s Secret Change Agents,” HBR
“Some people look for things that went wrong and try to fix them. I look for things that went right, and try to build off them.” —Bob Stone (Mr ReGo)
Build you base of ALLIES. Ignore/Avoid/Surround FOES.
1/5,000 “YOU MISS 100% OF THE SHOTS YOU NEVER TAKE.” —Wayne Gretzky
“WE HAVE A ‘STRATEGIC PLAN.’ IT’S CALLED DOING THINGS.” — Herb Kelleher
“Intelligent people can always come up with intelligent reasons to do nothing.” —Scott Simon
“Andrew Higgins , who built landing craft in WWII, refused to hire graduates of engineering schools. He believed that they only teach you what you can’tdo in engineering school. He started off with 20 employees, and by the middle of the war had 30,000 working for him. He turned out 20,000 landing craft. D.D. Eisenhower told me, ‘Andrew Higgins won the war for us. He did it without engineers.’ ” —Stephen Ambrose/Fast Company
“Nothing is more dangerous in war than theoreticians.” —Marshall Petain (John Mosier, The Blitzkrieg Myth, “War as Pseudoscience: 1920-1939”)
Worth a Laugh
WHAT MAKES GOD LAUGH?
PEOPLE MAKING PLANS!
“This book is about luck disguised and perceived as non-luck (that is, skills) and more generally randomness disguised and perceived as non-randomness. It manifests itself in the shape of the lucky fool, defined as a person who benefited from a disproportionate share of luck but attributed his success to some other, generally precise reason.” —Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and the Markets, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
The Mess Is The Message! Period!
“A pattern emphasized in the case studies in this book is the degree to which powerful competitors not only resist innovative threats, but actually resist all efforts to understand them, preferring to further their positions in older products. This results in a surge of productivity and performance that may take the old technology to unheard of heights. But in most cases this is a sign of impending death.”
“Recently I asked several corporate executives what decisions they had made in the last year that would not have been made were it not for their corporate plans. All had difficulty identifying one such decision. Since all of the plans are marked ‘secret’ or ‘confidential,’ I asked them how their competitors might benefit from possession of their plans. Each answered with embarrassment that their competitors would not benefit.” —Russell Ackoff (from Henry Mintzberg,