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Archive of Point Lookout for 2016

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Here are links to all previous issues of Point Lookout, a weekly email newsletter. Bookmark this page. Or browse this archive by topic. Subscribe now.

Magic Lantern Slide of a dog jumping through a hoopComing May 4: 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. Available here and by RSS on May 4.
Dr. Ben Carson speaking at CPAC 2015 in Washington, D.C., on 26 February 2015And on May 11: 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. Available here and by RSS on May 11.

This page has links to articles from 2016. For other years:

April 27, 2016

Two varieties of "Stupid" buttonsPushing 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

A virtual team as a networkVirtual 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

A globe puzzleVirtual 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

The deadline at Rock Island Prison during the U.S. Civil WarIrrational 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

An example of a Weaver's PathwayStill 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

Erich Friedrich Wilhelm Ludendorff (1865-1937) was a German general and politicianBackstabbing
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 MatrixThe 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

Conferees attending the NATO Lessons Learned Conferencde 2015How 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

A collaborative discussionAllocating 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

Donald Trump, a candidate for the nomination of the Republican Party for President in 2016Allocating 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

A dense Lodgepole Pine stand in Yellowstone National Park in the United StatesConversation 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

U.S. Troops in Viet Nam, 1961-1968Patterns 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

Sen. Robert Packwood, Republican of OregonPatterns 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

Artist's conception of an asteroid belt around the star VegaVirtual 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

Clutter in the Leonardo Module of the International Space StationVirtual 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

A curious babyWhen 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

Vintage slot machine at the Casino Legends Hall of Fame at the Tropicana Las Vegas Casino Hotel Resort, NevadaWhen 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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