Category Archives: Behaviour

What Can You Learn From Watching a Five Year Old Play Soccer?

My son started school this year. As he turned five our weeks started to fill with sporting commitments. In particular for us hockey (the field/grass/artificial turf kind) and soccer.

Every time I watch one of his games of either hockey or soccer I am reminded of this post Business Strategy and Kindergarten Soccer by Nick Malik

On the Inside Architecture blog for Microsoft, Nick writes the following back in July 2011:

It is interesting to watch very young kids play soccer, because the instructions are so simple: kick the ball into the goal.  With instructions like that, what do you get?  Bumblebees, of course.

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Show Early, Show Often

I once worked on a team supporting an internally developed and maintained application.

This application was the beating heart of the organisation. Every organisation has one of these.

You know the application at your company, the one that can’t be bought off the shelf? The one that reflects your company’s business model?

That one.

Continue reading Show Early, Show Often

Poor customer service? Are you doing your part?

Are you a good customer? Have you ever thought about how your own attitude in a given scenario affects the interaction?

I was working at the Keystone Resort, in Colorado, in the US, over the winter of 1998/99 as part of a student working holiday program.

I was assigned to Base Operations. We were the groundsmen of the resort. We cleared the footpaths after snowfall, collected the trash from restaurants, and we marshaled the car parks amongst other things. Not very glamorous but a lot of fun.

We also had to man the parking booths. Remember the old days when you paid a real live human on leaving a paid parking lot? Well that was us.

Continue reading Poor customer service? Are you doing your part?

Do you Assume?

Have you been somewhere with no internet access and tried listening to music?

Chances are you encountered the same frustrating problem I did last week.

I was holidaying with my family near Coffs Harbour in New South Wales, Australia. There was a 3G signal, but it was weak and intermittent in our accommodation. The resort had WiFi in communal areas, but that does not help when you want to listen to music in your villa.

On opening Spotify I would have to wait what felt like a minute or more while it tried to connect to the internet. Often failing. Then it would present me with my downloaded playlists.

The ability to download music is the main reason I subscribe to Spotify. For precisely these moments. When network connectivity is an issue, for example when on a train or in a car, and to limit data usage.

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Just Enough, then Out of the Way

“We rely on simple, efficient thought processes to get the job done—not so much out of laziness (though there is some of that, too), but out of necessity. There is just too much going on, too much to notice, understand, and act on, for us to give every individual and every occurrence our undivided, unbiased attention. So not only are you innately hard to understand, but the people observing you are hoarding their attention.”

From No One Understands You and What to Do About It by Heidi Halvorson

I couldn’t resist this quote when I read it earlier this week. On Tuesday, the 15th, I gave a presentation to a Business Analysts Meetup Group in Brisbane on the core concept of the Jobs to be Done framework, the Job.

The words “get the job done” stood out straight away.

I was primed to see them.

Specifically, the link between getting the job done and being a cognitive miser caught my attention.

Continue reading Just Enough, then Out of the Way