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Re: Do it like I do

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  • Dale Emery
    Hi Kent, ... As far as I can tell, that s common among successful people who try describe what they do. I think it s easy, and certainly common, for such
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 1, 2005
      Hi Kent,

      > To the extent XPE1 says, "do this in this context and you'll
      > get these results," I was fantasizing when I wrote it.

      As far as I can tell, that's common among successful people who
      try describe what they do. I think it's easy, and certainly
      common, for such folks' descriptions to omit:
      - Idiosyncrasies in the context
      - Idiosyncrasies in the people involved
      - The power of having personally developed the approach

      As far as I can tell, it's easy for people to omit these things
      because they simply don't notice how these factors contributed to
      their success. Other people who subsequently try to adopt the
      "successful approach" may or may not have the benefit of these
      tacit success factors, of which I suspect that the third is the
      most influential.

      > That's what gets me about the responses that say, "I really
      > like XPE1 because it just tells me what to do." The world is
      > just not that simple.

      A number of years ago I was hired to lead a team to define,
      promote, and support a "standard methodology" for a 3000-person
      IT department. By the time I joined the company, the team had
      already defined a standard methodology and was in the process of
      delivering it. My first act was to issue a mandate (I abhor
      mandates, so this was an interesting learning experience for me).

      Over the next month or so, I noticed four distinct responses to
      the mandate, each response coming from a different part of the

      1. Enthusiastic adoption and adaptation. This group had been
      trying to define something similar for their own use, and saw the
      "corporate" mandate as lending support and legitimacy to their
      work. They adapted the standard to their local curcumstances,
      and adjusted as they learned what worked for them and what did not.

      2. Ignoring. This group simply ignored the mandate and the
      methodology, and went about their business.

      3. "Fuck you! You don't get to tell us what to do." This group
      rejected the mandate because it was a mandate, independent of its
      merits or demerits.

      4. "Tell us what forms to fill out." This group was concerned
      almost entirely with compliance. This response scared the hell
      out of me.


      Dale Emery, Consultant
      Inspiring Leadership for Software People
      Web: http://www.dhemery.com
      Weblog: http://www.dhemery.com/cwd

      The moment a person forms a theory, his imagination sees in every
      object only the traits which favor that theory. --Thomas Jefferson
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