The Danger of Comparison (from Launchpoint)

My daughter has a reminder from Theodore Roosevelt posted on her refrigerator:

Comparison is the thief of joy.

As I look back on my life, my unhappiest memories involve me comparing myself to others and anxiousness about where I “should” be. When I focus on where I am and try to improve from there, I am much happier and much more successful.

This is a great post and worth your time.


 

The Danger of Comparison

August 10, 2016 – by .wpb_animate_when_almost_visible { opacity: 1; }

.wpb_animate_when_almost_visible { opacity: 1; }</style&We’ve all watched the Olympic swimming rivalry play out between the USA’s Michael Phelps and South Africa’s Chad le Clos. The not-so-subtle jabs in the media between the two have spanned continents, from the London games all the way to Rio, and are credited with Phelps’s return to the sport from retirement.

phelps+faceFor those of you who haven’t been salivating over this story, le Clos narrowly beat Phelps in the 200 meter butterfly race during the London games and giving Phelps his first international loss. Phelps announced his retirement shortly after, with this one blemish on his nearly spotless competitive record. He watched le Clos dominate in the 200 meter fly race in international competition and eventually announced his return to the event stating the other swimmers really “are not that fast,” clearly taking a jab at his rival. That statement has unleashed a slew of back-and-forth comments from both parties in the news and on social media.

And since arriving in Rio, le Clos has been trying to psyche Phelps out, most notably while shadowboxing in front of Phelps as they wait for a qualifying race, launching a thousand memes featuring Phelps’s hilarious scowl.

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Building Knowledge that Improves Work AND Home Life

I am a huge fan of Gretchen Rubin. @gretchenrubin I appreciate her deeply researched books and I love how she keeps asking “why” in pursuit of root causes. In her book, “The Happiness Project“, Gretchen takes us through a series of experiments, (she calls them projects), to determine if one can take specific actions to become happier. Having discovered that it is possible to be happier, she narrowed her focus to the home in the next book in this series. The next installment in this area is personal. In, “Better Than Before”, Gretchen talks about habits and how we can improve ourselves and our happiness by understanding and improving the things we do everyday.

If you only read one book this year, make it this one.

Better Than BeforeBetter Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin

How can we change our habits?  We all have them and they are difficult to change.  This book gives us a framework to better understand our own habit formation and how to finally change them, for good. This is an especially good read for anyone trying to move their IT team toward a climate of openness.

The CIO Leadership Council blog included Gretchen’s book on their “5 Books All Sales People Should Read This Summer 2015.

https://www.executiveboard.com/it-blog/5-books-all-salespeople-should-read-this-summer-2015/

Matthew E May Advises Us to “Boot Your Root (Cause)”

This is a great post from Matthew E. May on Root Cause Analysis.


Boot Your Root (Cause)

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

Process improvers the world over rally around root cause analysis as if it were the Holy Grail of all things organizational. But is it?

Understanding the root cause of a problem certainly makes sense in the context of a present day situation carrying the potential for a correct answer or solution. In the process improvement world, problems center on reducing some form of excess, which comes in several traditional flavors…all of which center on something not working as well as it should be in a perfect world.
But the one critical place in business where root cause analysis has no real place is in strategy formulation.

I’m sure I’ll be taken to task on this by the lean/kaizen/six sigma crowd, but bear with me, because I’ve witnessed repeated attempts to apply root cause analysis to strategy, only to be met with derailment and eventual failure.

The difference between a fix for an existing process or pain point and a set of choices about the future is night and day. Process problems are generally focused inward on activities you presently control. Strategic problems are generally focused outward on the future, and forces you cannot control. In process improvement, you’re pursuing perfection. In strategy formulation, there’s no such thing as a perfect strategy, so you couldn’t pursue one even if you wanted to.

If I own a traditional taxi or limo company, for example, I don’t need to know specifically why Uber entered my market, only that they did, and that my market share is dwindling and my growth and profitability is eroding.

Looked at another way, all strategic problems boil down to a single root cause: customers are finding superior value elsewhere, from a competing offer.
This may seem blazingly obvious. But that doesn’t seem to deter organizations (and their consultants) from applying traditional problem solving to strategy development, spiraling ever downward in an endless series of “why?” questions. The result is an emphasis on drafting a perfect plan and a futile attempt to craft a detailed articulation of the perfect future for the company.

It’s unnecessary, mostly irrelevant, and doesn’t work.

Click here to read the post on Matthew E. May’s blog: http://matthewemay.com/boot-your-root-cause/

Leadership is Always Responsible, How to “Turn Your Ship Around”

Leadership Is Always Responsible

Much of my career relates in one way or another to adult learning. During that time, I learned that no amount of training can overcome poor leadership.

This article from Fast Company is a great overview of the power of leadership language
http://www.fastcompany.com/1843334/submarine-captain-power-leadership-language

If you are interested in this book, the link below is from the Lean Thinker’s Bookshelf.
http://astore.amazon.com/theleathi-20/detail/1591847532


Bob Hubbard
Lean Six Sigma Black Belt
AT&T
Technology Development
P: 770.982.5898
bh3762@att.com
Send #X before you drive to pause the conversation until you arrive.
Take the pledge…
It Can Wait.

 

Did you Forget About What Motivates People?

This 2009 TED talk is just as topical today as it was then. This is a great message.

Career analyst Dan Pink examines the puzzle of motivation, starting with a fact that social scientists know but most managers don’t: Traditional rewards aren’t always as effective as we think. Listen for illuminating stories — and maybe, a way forward.

TED Talk: Dan Pink, What Really Motivates Us?

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