I opened the box today and found hard wood floors..in boxes…with guys and their tools ready to start installing it all.
This has been my life this week. My family and 4 cats have voluntarily relegated ourselves to a couple of large connected rooms (mostly to keep the cats out of the flooring stuff) in the evenings, and the cats are there during the work day (plenty of food, water, toys, and, heaven help us all, litter…). It’s not comfortable and we’re all dearly looking forward to when (hopefully late this afternoon) they will be done, do the final sweep up, and we can reassemble our normal lives.
So, beyond the obvious, I started to think about what this evolution has entailed and what else I can learn from it. Here’s what I have so far…
OK, so the title of this post may seem a little like link bait, but stay with me.
I have been a Dr. Who fan for a long time. Generally each season of the show has some kind of overarching storyline. This season a race of beings calling themselves The Silence are introduced. They have a number of disturbing traits, but the back story on them implies they’ve been on Earth for thousands of years and have had a controlling hand in the destiny of mankind. No one has noticed because they have a particularly disturbing ability: they can erase all memory of themselves from a person’s memory once the person looks away from them. How do you fight against something when you can’t even remember it when you’re not looking at it?
Where this thought connected for me in my professional development comes with my completion of Steve Pressfield’s excellent book The War of Art last night.
I am not a BIG FAN of product support…..except, of course, when things go south. Perhaps it comes from the days when I operated in that capacity (and occasionally still do for at-home items, but I digress), or from the bad old days of sitting on hold for untold hours waiting for someone with the actual answer to give it to me, so I could fix the broken whatsit and get back to work/play/whatever.
Things have gotten better….
I am consistently drawn to the central point of the conversation as I read all of our assigned articles, books and collateral material. One of the standout articles that has brought a new perspective to my work and analysis of what I’m doing is the Christensen HBR article (Bower, Joseph L. & Christensen, Clayton M. (1995). “Disruptive Technologies: Catching the Wave” Harvard Business Review, January-February 1995). His analysis on how competent companies miss disruptive technologies by listening closely to their existing customers describes a business problem I am working with.
My experience on Tuesday, presenting to my colleagues three consecutive times in forty-five minutes, felt very much like when I was a working musician. In most jazz groups I played with, we had a ‘chart’, so called because if provided enough melody and background riffs to play specifically, and then ‘chord hash’ that allowed an improviser to be able to play within the chord progressions (or not, depending on the player’s mood, sensibilities and abilities) while soloing.