Monthly Archives: October 2014

Joy in Work

Deming asked “By what method?” and observed that “A goal without a method is nonsense”.

In my head, the Antimatter Principle is both a goal and a method. The goal – an environment where everyone is attending to their own and each other’s needs – is pursued by means of attending to folks’ needs.

Somebody recently asked about how to do that – just how to attend to folks’ needs? Are there any practices which might help the novice or the uninitiated to do that? Are there any explanations, books, courses, etc., which might help folks get a first foot on that ladder?

My choice since about two years ago has been Rosenberg’s four step Nonviolent Communication process. Others may have found other established, learnable approaches to attending to folks’ needs.

In any case, I suggest that however people go about attending to folks’ needs, the aim is to create a workplace environment where bonds of mutual giving create an engaging environment in which everyone finds joy in work.

– Bob

Further Reading

Joy, Inc. ~ Richard Sheridan
Nonviolent Communication ~ Marshall B. Rosenberg




Here Comes The Plumber


I can imagine how experienced plumbers must feel when they arrive at a house to find the owners have been doing DIY.

I get much the same feeling when I arrive at an organisation to find the software and product folks – and managers, too – have been doing DIY improvements. Long on bodging, short on theory, there may not be the pools of water and damp spots visible to the long-suffering plumber, but there’s often the same sense of ill-informed kludging and make-do-and-mend patches.

Obviously, as a plumber of some standing, it’s in my interest that folks take a second look at their decisions to go it alone rather than call in a plumber. I’m minded of this observation by Red Adair:

“If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.”

~ Red Adair

Most people refrain from working on their cars – things that are infinitely less complex than organisations. Why then the eagerness to dive in to work on fixing software and product development issues?

As Deming said:

“There is a penalty for ignorance. We are paying through the nose.”

Yes, the people doing the work are best placed to say how that work should work – except when they’re not. A little bit of guidance and friendly support can go a long way. Can you tell when that might be of value?

– Bob

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