When you confront a problem, one of the most important things you can do is ensure you are asking the correct questions. Too often we dive in to solving a problem the moment it is presented, but quite frequently, that will not lead to an optimal solution. Sometimes it doesn’t even solve the problem at all! Instead, step back from the problem and ask a few questions.
- What are you trying to accomplish? (or, what is the desired result?)
- Why is this important now?
- Who should be tackling this issue (and how can I/we help them to do so)?
By asking these and similar questions, you can determine if you are attacking the real root cause of a problem, the right problem, or potentially even something you don’t need to worry about at all. This takes only a moment, and can save so much.
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal.
One of the greatest challenges a manager can face is helping someone through a performance roadblock. This is especially true of those who have done well at every job they have ever done – for them, the idea of needing to change in order to succeed can be unpalatable, and in the end, holds them back from even higher performance.
The concept has been explained by Continue reading
Most people don’t accept criticism well, which is a shame, since it is only through learning how to control our negative features that our best features can shine. Certainly we all like flattery, and positive feedback, but being able to listen to and learn from critique is crucial to career and personal advancement. Continue reading
When was the last time you did any work of significance, and didn’t have to learn something new along the way? I’m guessing it has been a while, if you can even remember such a time.
Jobs which don’t require you to learn, and then apply that learning, are not as engaging, nor as likely to stay local. Now we should expect ourselves to have to constantly learn and apply new concepts. It is for this reason good companies and hiring managers will not care nearly as much about what you can already do as they care what you can learn to do, and how quickly. Continue reading
Readers of the popular Dilbert comic strip will have no-doubt seen this recent comic.
This concept comes from the book, Outliers, where author Malcolm Gladwell repeatedly talks about how it requires 10,000 hours of practice to become truly good at something.
Some questions this raises: Continue reading
There are some terms which are commonly misunderstood, one of the most common is the reference to “The Cloud.” This term initially came from network diagrams which depicted the internet as a big cloud. Over time, this has morphed into a description meaning any service consumed over the internet – which is by definition almost all network traffic. After all, your browser just made a request to my web server, and got back a response of this page – a simple standards compliant exchange over the internet. Unfortunately, Cloud Computing has taken on almost mythic proportions if you listen to our business leaders, and they usually don’t understand what they are talking about. If you are like me, you likely hear this term misused at least weekly, if not daily. Continue reading
With all the information available to us, one of the challenges is deciding what we allow to enter our consciousness, and what gets ignored. Below are some of my regularly visited sources, and what I like about them.
- Slashdot – a great geeky news source, occasionally heavy on skepticism and ‘fight the man’ attitudes, but often points me towards things I otherwise wouldn’t have seen.
- Psychology Today – Understanding the way the human mind works is key to our success in almost every endeavor.
- Mashable – Collection of trends and topics which help keep me informed and keeps me from missing out on bits of culture which everyone seems to know but me. (Warning: if you aren’t careful, this can be a time-suck) Continue reading