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Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Embrace Constraints!

Developing from ‘Blue Sky’ Requirements can be exciting, scary, and confusing for some teams without a healthy vision and a certain amount of boundaries to work from. This has been my experience in the past.

With constraints come interesting boundaries that force designers and marketers to think creatively. If something were easy, everyone would do it, right? Constraints stretch us out of our comfort zone of what’s ‘known’ and predictable. It’s where true differentiation comes from. Sometimes, constraints even force us to simplify.

Look out for Inspiration!
A carefully drafted vision statement can give people a purpose and a hero’s call to action. Some people generally need to believe there is a cause in their work. I know I do!

I think there are generally three ways to react to work:

The Pessimist reaction: “Aw, man! We have to do this again? It’s [stupid / hard / tiring / etc.]” translation: “I don’t wanna do it!”

The Optimist reaction: “Well, this may suck, but let’s try to make it [fun / less of a beating / over quickly / etc].”

The Opportunist reaction: “Hmmm…. considering the root problem, and the fact that practically all people want to be lazy, there can be money made in fixing this problem. We just need to find a way to reuse whatever we put into it…”

The Cycle of Emotion in Development
Sometimes, I react to a situation in all these ways in the same project (!), but it’s exciting to be the opportunist– even though, ultimately, you know the idea may be brushed aside. It takes a lot of work, people, convincing, salesmanship, numbers, and dedication to sell good ideas … regardless of company size!

Inevitably, I always end up thinking, ‘Oh well, perhaps someone else with more energy has already thought of whatever it is’ 🙂

… Well, hurry up and build it! I wanna use it.

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Be honest. Are you ready for change?

How do you cope with change? This is an important question to ask yourself.  Are you passive? Are you accepting? Are you participating? Are you a fighter?

I’m just a problem-solver

When something surprising comes my way, I think to myself “What’s the worst that could happen?”. I think what I’d do in that case, and then become comfortable with my action plan.  By comfortable, I don’t mean I make myself like it. It just means I accept that its a possibility. From there, anything less severe than worst-case-scenario is… well BONUS! Plus, since I always really hate worst-case-scenario, I work hard to counteract everything I can that I want to avoid.

Forecaster or Backcaster?

Recently, a friend told me that my thought process is ‘backcasting’, and introduced me to the topic from a former IA Summit talk. Check out the backcasting presentation online on slideshare.

Basically, this means I work from an outcome — whether desired or avoidable — and work backwards towards mapping goals and actions from that possibility to now.

Being a Change Agent is hard!

Us human beings are weird. We want choice and freedom, but the lack of structure and stability can cause some major stress and odd reactions. Some people become unbalanced and fight just to be proven ‘right’ and to keep their ‘I’m important’ status, when all that matters is NEW understanding and growth. Solving problems is not for the faint of heart. You have to have an open mind, patience, and the fortitude to stick to your guns while still considering additional perspectives as well.

Pain brings people together

Change can be painful, frustrating, and confusing. It takes perseverence and realistic expectations to keep from getting discouraged along the way. Once people readjust to a new understanding, it becomes worth it. People get closer after being forced to go through an experience together. That’s why self help groups exist. It’s better when you know you are not in it alone.

The challenge for everyone now is that it’s not a matter of accepting change. Change is here with more to come whether we like it or not. It’s a matter of adapting. Roll with it!