All we do is looking for some way to fulfill our needs.

czwartek, 2 stycznia 2014

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Technical leader worries: my organisation is a mess and nobody cares

Some time ago I coined a funny equation like this:

Business = Busy + Mess
What is not so funny that reality many times follow this heurisitcs. The bigger organisations the more true it becomes. But it also true for many small organisations so don't bother. The grass in not greener on the other side.
Even if company has an estabished vision, aligned values and rules to follow, the mess is there. It is quite obvious - entropy works so scale and time make the consequences more painful.
What I really mean? Many times I can hear complaining like this:
  • My boss is not interested in what I am doing...
  • Executives in my company don't care about people
  • We are treated as resources
  • There is no people development plan
  • Our (mine and the team's) needs are not taken into consideration
All these whinings point in some way to organisation. Sometimes situation is really not too friendly. And then I sometime ask a question (especially to those folks who work in the company for a couple of years):
- So why are you still working here?
A couple second of silence take place after the question...
- You know I have family, payments, motgage...
- So you choose security over looking for a workplace which will foster your fulfillment?

Yes. This is something I would like to emphisize.

We always have a choice. We can choose what we want to do. Always.

And we often choose security and sacrify what is so important to us: fun, development, great work climat. What is more tragically we make that decision uncounciously. If you had done it with full awareness you wouldn't have complained about it because it was your choice.

So do it now. 

I call it Self-demistification Tool. 
Ask yourself:
1. Why do I choose what I am doing now in my professional life?
2. What are the trade-offs of my choice? (probably those things you are whining about)
3. Do you still want to choose it?
  • if so, stop whining
  • if no, quit the job or start influencing enviroment to make a change. 
Yes. This you who is responsible for this. You. Nobody else.

These questions are very important as you can read in this article (in section about job). The experienced people at the end of their lives encourage us not to work in a job we don't like (old truth but it's worth to remind it as so few follow it).

I have another funny equation which expresses what I write here about:

 You are satisfied with what you do when reality is somehow equal to your expectations. If reality is equal or "greater" than your expectations you will be satisfied. If reality is much below your expectations you will be dissatisfied. Based on this model you can do two things:

  1. Change reality - a) change your job, b) change the way you and your team work, c) initiate the change in your organisation
  2. Change expectations - d) find mission in what you are doing, e) admit that you choose what you do with all trade-offs
I prefer to do use these strategies in following order: b) c) d) e) a) What it means? First I try to change the way I work, if it doesn't help I try to initiate change in my organisation, if it doesn't work or seems impossible, I try to find (maybe not obvious) mission in what I am doing .. and so on.
But never stay in between too long. Choose something otherwise you will welcome depression sooner than you think. Remember. You always have a choice even if it is not easy.

For those who will decide to initiate some kind of change I would like to clarify one thing. I use the term "initiate" because many important changes require time. Usually much more than you would like (and it is sometimes the reason why we give in). So be prepared for waiting.

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