Thank You

I have seen a many project teams trying really hard to go faster or be better. The fact is, most of us are techies and we often only know to gaze through our technical lens for improvement opportunities while ignoring the non technical stuff. It is also because of our deep rooted technical background, our retrospectives tend to surface mostly technical problems. Therefore our solutions to get better are mostly in a way of finding better technologies or better process to support the technologies that we use.

I think at the surface level, process and technology does affect how fast we can go. I believe there is more parameters in the equation. In fact, I am willing to stick my neck out and say that process and technology plays a small part of our productivity. Process and technology can be no more effective than the people that use it. For example, if I was given a Bugatti Veyron (currently the fastest street legal production sports car); it can only go as fast as I am willing and able to take it. I think it is critical to harness the power of people in the organization first before looking at process and technologies. By doing so we are optimizing the whole.

How do we harness the power of people? Well, knowledge workers like ourselves rely on creativity and innovation in our daily work. It is critical to foster an environment that we can be creative where innovation is encouraged. Most of us think of such a place can only exists in a fantasy world. But in reality, we are constantly faced with aggressive deadlines where failure is not an option. This pressure and fear put us in the frame of mind, in which, the way to increase productivity is to improve on the things we already know but not allowing us to explore the things that we don’t yet know. Often time, we think that by taking a deep breath and keeping our heads down and ride through the rough times we will eventually come out on the other side. Yes, I believe we will come out on the other side indeed. But not without the carnage of damaging our courage to innovate. I believe encouraging acts of innovation is one way to harness the power of people. I also believe encouragement in general provides a good platform for innovation. Personally, encouraging people can be satisfying. It doesn’t have to be hard. We can start by saying, “Thank You” to each other for the things we do for each other. Thank you for taking time to read my random thoughts…

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