- Coming June 1: Workplace Anti-Patterns
- We find patterns of counter-effective behavior — anti-patterns — in every part of life, including the workplace. Why? What are their features? Available here and by RSS on June 1.
- And on June 8: The Utility Pole Anti-Pattern: Part I
- Organizational processes can get so complicated that nobody actually knows how they work. If getting something done takes too long, the organization can't lead its markets, or even catch up to the leaders. Why does this happen? Available here and by RSS on June 8.
This page has links to articles from 2016. For other years:
May 25, 2016
- Wacky Words of Wisdom: Part V
- Adages, aphorisms, and "words of wisdom" are true often enough that we accept them as universal. They aren't. Here's Part V of some widely held beliefs that mislead us at work.
May 18, 2016
- Ego Depletion and Priority Setting
- Setting priorities for tasks is tricky when we find the tasks unappealing, because we have limited energy for self-control. Here are some strategies for limiting these effects on priority setting.
May 11, 2016
- Characterization Risk
- To characterize is to offer a description of a person, event, or concept. Characterizations are usually judgmental, and usually serve one side of a debate. And they often make trouble.
May 4, 2016
- Just-In-Time Hoop-Jumping
- Securing approvals for projects, proposals, or other efforts is often called "jumping through hoops." Hoop-jumping can be time-consuming and frustrating. Here are some suggestions for jumping through hoops efficiently.
April 27, 2016
- Pushing the "Stupid" Button
- Some people know exactly how to lead others to feel ignorant or unintelligent. Here's a little catalog of tactics to watch for.
April 20, 2016
- Virtual Brainstorming: Part II
- When virtual teams must brainstorm, they try to do so virtually. But brainstorming isn't just another meeting. There's a real risk that virtual brainstorms might produce inadequate results. Here's Part II of some suggestions for reducing the risk.
April 13, 2016
- Virtual Brainstorming: Part I
- When we need to brainstorm, meeting virtually carries a risk that our results might be problematic. Here's Part I of some steps to take to reduce the risk.
April 6, 2016
- Irrational Deadlines
- Some deadlines are so unrealistic that from the outset we know we'll never meet them. Yet we keep setting (and accepting) irrational deadlines. Why does this happen?
March 30, 2016
- Still More Things I've Learned Along the Way
- When I have an important insight, or when I'm taught a lesson, I write it down. Here's another batch from my personal collection.
March 23, 2016
- Much of what we call backstabbing is actually just straightforward attack — nasty, unethical, even evil, but not backstabbing. What is backstabbing?
March 16, 2016
- The Costanza Matrix
- The Seinfeld character "George Costanza" is famous for having said, "It's not a lie if you believe it." What if you don't believe it and it's true? Some musings.
March 9, 2016
- How to Find Lessons to Learn
- When we conduct Lessons Learned sessions, how can we ensure that we find all the important lessons to be learned? Here's one method.
March 2, 2016
- Allocating Airtime: Part II
- Much has been said about people who don't get a fair chance to speak at meetings. We've even devised processes intended to more fairly allocate speaking time. What's happening here?
February 24, 2016
- Allocating Airtime: Part I
- The problem of people who dominate meetings is so serious that we've even devised processes intended to more fairly allocate speaking time. What's happening here?
February 17, 2016
- Conversation Despots
- Some people insist that conversations reach their personally favored conclusions, no matter what others want. Here are some of their tactics.
February 10, 2016
- Patterns of Conflict Escalation: Part II
- When simple workplace disagreements evolve into workplace warfare, they often do so following recognizable patterns. If we can recognize the patterns early, we can intervene to prevent serious damage to relationships. Here's Part II of a catalog of some of those patterns.
February 3, 2016
- Patterns of Conflict Escalation: Part I
- Toxic workplace conflicts often begin as simple disagreements. Many then evolve into intensely toxic conflict following recognizable patterns.
January 27, 2016
- Virtual Clutter: Part II
- Thorough de-cluttering at work involves more than organizing equipment and those piles of documents that tend to accumulate so mysteriously. We must also address the countless non-physical entities that make work life so complicated — the virtual clutter.
January 20, 2016
- Virtual Clutter: Part I
- With some Web searching, you can find abundant advice for decluttering your home or office. And people are even thinking about decluttering email inboxes. But the problem of clutter is far more widespread.
January 13, 2016
- When Fixing It Doesn't Fix It: Part II
- When complex systems misbehave, repairs can require deep thought, inspiration, and careful reasoning. Here are guidelines for a systematic approach to repairing complex systems.
January 6, 2016
- When Fixing It Doesn't Fix It: Part I
- When complex systems misbehave, a common urge is to find any way at all to end the misbehavior. Succumbing to that urge can be a big mistake. Here's why we succumb.
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