Antimatter principle

Software Development: It’s Not Even Slightly About Tech Skills and Coding Practices

đź’ˇ What’s the undervalued secret sauce of software success? You’re in for a wake-up call as we reveal the overlooked ingredients that make or break software success in the business world.

➡ Blimey, it’s no surprise that most execs – those few that are even slightly interested in software development – reckon it’s all about tech skills and coding practices. But I’ll tell you, there’s more to this picture than meets the eye. Sure, being a dab hand at coding is somewhat useful, but in the context of business operations, it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

You see, the nitty-gritty of software development, especially in a business setting, also involves top-notch communication, teamwork, and adaptability.

And let’s not forget, building strong interpersonal relationships is a piece of cake for no one, but it’s a skill developers need to master to keep things from going pear-shaped.

A good understanding of the customer’s needs and the company’s goals is also crucial. After all, you can’t score a winner if you don’t know where the goalposts are. So, execs might choose to realise that there’s more to software development than just cranking code. And much more to hiring than the recruitment of code toads.

A successful software development team is the whole package. It’s not just about having a bunch of coding whizzes; it’s also about fostering a culture where everyone’s on the same page, working together as a community to bring work to fruition. Otherwise, businesses might find themselves up a creek without a paddle.

Girls Who Don’t Code

Girls and women are ideally placed to become real developers (by my definition*) and yet they want to CODE?

*My definition:

A real solutions developer is not so much someone who possesses technical expertise, but rather has the ability to connect with people and truly understand their needs.This requires a high level of emotional intelligence and empathy, as well as excellent communication and interpersonal skills. A real solutions developer builds relationships with clients, collaborates with team members, and creates solutions that meet the unique needs of each individual and group. By putting people first and prioritising human connections, a real solutions developer is able to deliver truly transformative solutions that make a difference in people’s lives.

See also: #NoSoftware

The Secret Sauce Behind Exceptional Development Teams

đź’ˇUnleash your teams’ true potential by discovering the untapped secret to a thriving software and product development environment – it’s not about the tools or methodologies, but the way work works! Get ready to revolutionise your SOPs (standard operating procedures) and create extraordinary results.

➡Hey there! I wanted to have a little chat about a thought that’s been on my mind recently. You see, in the world of software and product development, we often find ourselves in a never-ending quest to improve our practices, methodologies, and technologies. While it’s important to strive for continuous improvement, I’ve come to realise that we might be missing the bigger picture. Here’s what I’m thinking: it’s pointless trying to improve software and product development practices before improving the way the work works more generally. Let me explain.

To put it simply, we can have the most cutting-edge technologies and methodologies, but if the overall work environment and culture aren’t conducive to innovation and growth, we’ll still face challenges and inefficiencies. Think about it: a healthy work culture that encourages collaboration, open communication, and mutual respect can create an environment where people feel empowered to share ideas and contribute to the development process.

Before we even consider adopting new tools and practices, we should focus on understanding and improving the foundation upon which our projects are built. This might involve examining our team dynamics, communication channels, decision-making processes, shared assumptions and beliefs, and the overall alignment of our teams with the organisation’s goals and values.

One way to start making improvements in the way work works is by fostering an atmosphere of trust, transparency, and attention to folks’ needs. This can create an environment where people feel comfortable sharing their opinions, admitting mistakes, and asking for help when needed. This, in turn, can lead to more effective problem-solving, innovation, and ultimately, better products.

Another aspect to consider is the work-life balance of team members. Ensuring that employees have enough time to recharge and avoid burnout is crucial for maintaining high levels of creativity, productivity, and engagement. By addressing issues like excessive workload, unrealistic deadlines, or lack of support, we can create a more balanced and healthier work environment.

So, let’s not get too caught up in the pursuit of the latest software and product development practices without first taking a step back and evaluating the broader context in which we operate. By focusing on improving the way work works more generally, we can lay the groundwork for lasting, meaningful improvements that will ultimately benefit not only our products but also the people who create them.

Mastering the Art of Discovering Folks’ Needs

Do you struggle to uncover the needs of those around you? Discover the power of the Antimatter Principle and learn how to cultivate empathy, deep listening skills, and observation techniques to uncover the desires, hopes, and concerns of the people in your life. With these tools, you can build stronger relationships, improve communication, and develop a greater understanding of those around you. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to connect with others on a deeper level and create more fulfilling connections.

I write a lot about attending to folks’ needs. I’ve explained the psychology behind it, and named it the Antimatter Principle. I’m often asked HOW to discover folks’ needs so we can attend to them. Here’s a brief response.

Attending to the needs of others is an essential part of building strong relationships and creating a fulfilling life. However, discovering these needs can be challenging. The first step in discovering folks’ needs is to cultivate empathy and deep listening skills. This means paying attention to both verbal and nonverbal communication and being present in the moment.

To begin, it’s important to ask open-ended questions and encourage the other person to speak freely. I often start out with “Is there anything you’d like to have happen?” This can help uncover their desires, hopes, and concerns. Additionally, observing their behavior can also give clues to their needs. For instance, if someone is constantly checking their phone, they may be feeling disconnected and in need of attention. Caution: It’s way too easy to project your assumptions into what you observe. Always test such assumptions by asking e.g. “I see you checking your phone. I guess this might mean you’re feeling disconnected?”

It’s also essential to recognise that folks’ needs change over time. Therefore, it’s important to continually revisit the dialogue and check in with people to ensure that their needs are receiving attention.

In attending to folks’ needs, it’s important to recognise that everyone is unique and has their own set of needs. Thus, it’s crucial to approach each individual with an open mind and an intention to learn about them. By doing so, we can develop meaningful connections and improve our understanding of others, leading to greater empathy and compassion.

The Antimatter Principle In The Real World – Rendanheyi

Haier Group Corporation is a multinational home appliances and consumer electronics company based in Qingdao, China. It was founded in 1984 and has since grown into one of the world’s largest appliance manufacturers, with operations in more than 100 countries.

Haier’s unique management philosophy is called “Rendanheyi,” which means “employee-customer integration” in Chinese. This philosophy emphasises the importance of aligning the interests of employees and customers to create a shared sense of purpose and drive innovation. Rendanheyi involves creating a company culture that encourages employees to think like customers and solve their problems, which in turn leads to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.

The concept of “zero distance” is an essential component of Rendanheyi. It means that employees should be as close to the customers as possible, to better understand their needs and preferences. This proximity to the customer allows employees to develop a deep understanding of their needs, which they can use to design and deliver products and services that truly meet those needs.

When it comes to software businesses, the application of Rendanheyi and the zero-distance philosophy can be transformative. In the software industry, it is all too easy to get lost in a sea of features and forget about the customer. By emphasizing zero distance, software businesses can focus on customer needs and create products that truly solve their problems.

This means that software companies should aim to have their developers, engineers, and other employees interact directly with customers as much as possible. This can be done through a variety of means, including user research, customer support, and even direct sales. By creating opportunities for employees to engage with customers, software businesses can ensure that they are developing software that meets their needs and expectations.

Another way that Rendanheyi can be applied to software businesses is through the use of cross-functional teams. By bringing together employees from different departments, such as marketing, sales, and development, software businesses can ensure that all stakeholders are aligned around the customer’s needs. This can lead to more efficient development cycles and better products that truly meet customer needs.

In conclusion, Haier’s philosophy of Rendanheyi and its emphasis on zero distance can be applied to software businesses in a variety of ways. By focusing on the customer and creating opportunities for employees to engage directly with them, software businesses can create products that truly solve their customers’ problems. Additionally, by using cross-functional teams and aligning all stakeholders around the customer’s needs, software businesses can ensure that they are delivering the best possible products to the market.


The Dangers of Projecting Needs onto Others

Projecting needs onto other people without evidence or dialogue can be a dangerous and problematic behavior that can lead to misunderstandings, conflicts, and even harm. Assuming that we know what other people need can reflect a lack of empathy, self-centeredness, and a belief in our own superior knowledge or intuition.

When we project our own needs onto others, we may be blind to their individual experiences, perspectives, and preferences. We may overlook their unique circumstances, cultural background, or personality traits that can shape their needs. Moreover, by stating unequivocally what other people need, we may come across as arrogant, dismissive, or manipulative, and erode trust and rapport.

To avoid projecting needs, we might choose to practice active listening, empathy, and curiosity. Instead of blithely asserting that we know what others need, we can ask open-ended questions, seek clarification, and pay attention to nonverbal cues. By doing so, we can gain a better understanding of their needs and show that we value them and their feelings.

Ultimately, projecting needs onto other people can be a barrier to effective communication, mutual respect, and collaboration. By acknowledging our own biases, limitations, and uncertainties, we can create a more inclusive and compassionate environment where people feel seen, heard, and appreciated.


Innovation Revolution: How a Culture Change Can Ignite Breakthroughs

The Thinking Environment is a concept which aims to promote the creation of spaces enabling people to think more effectively and creatively. It’s based on the idea that the quality of a person’s thinking is directly related to the quality of the attention they receive. (Note the resonance with the #AntimatterPrinciple – Attend to Folks’ Needs).

The Thinking Environment is built on a set of ten principles, which include giving attention, asking incisive questions, giving equal turns, and appreciating diversity. These principles are designed to create a space where people feel safe and valued, and where they can engage in deep, reflective thinking. The goal is to create a collaborative space where people can share their ideas, explore new possibilities, and solve problems together.

One of the key principles of the Thinking Environment is the idea of giving attention. This means that when someone is speaking, everyone else in the group is focused on listening and understanding what they are saying. This helps to create a sense of safety and trust, which in turn encourages people to speak more openly and honestly. When people feel that they are being heard and understood, they are more likely to engage in creative thinking and problem-solving.

Another important principle of the Thinking Environment is asking incisive questions. These are questions that are designed to help people think more deeply and critically about a particular issue. By asking incisive questions, facilitators can help to expand people’s thinking and encourage them to consider new possibilities.

The Thinking Environment is also characterised by giving equal turns. This means that everyone in the group has an opportunity to speak and contribute their ideas. This helps to ensure that everyone’s perspective is valued and that no one person dominates the conversation.

Finally, the Thinking Environment invites appreciation of diversity. This means that differences in opinions, experiences, and backgrounds are seen as a strength rather than a weakness. By embracing diversity, the Thinking Environment creates a space where people can learn from one another and gain new perspectives on complex issues.

Overall, the Thinking Environment is a powerful tool for fostering creativity, collaboration, and innovation. By creating a space where people feel safe, valued, and heard, it helps to unlock the full potential of individuals, teams and organisations. It’s a framework that can be applied in a wide range of settings, from business meetings to classrooms, and it has the potential to transform the way we think and work together.


A Gentler Approach to Culture Change

Culture change can be one of the most challenging yet rewarding initiatives that a business can undertake. It entails a significant shift in the way that people think, work, and interact, which can often result in resistance, confusion, and frustration. However, a gentler approach to culture change can help to mitigate these challenges by fostering collaboration, openness, and a shared sense of purpose.

One of the first steps in a gentler approach to culture change is to involve people in the process. This means creating opportunities for people to contribute to the development of the new culture, to voice their opinions and concerns, and to participate in the change process. By involving people in the process, they feel valued and supported, and they are more likely to embrace the change.

Another aspect of a gentler approach to culture change is to focus on the positive aspects of the change. Instead of dwelling on the negative aspects of the current culture, organisations may choose to focus on the benefits of a new culture. This can help create a shared sense of purpose, which can motivate people to work towards the new culture. By emphasising the positive aspects of the change, organisations can create a more optimistic and collaborative atmosphere.

Communication also helps in a gentler approach to culture change. Organisations benefit from nurturing a clear and compelling vision of the new culture and from seeing it communicated frequently and consistently. This can be done through town hall meetings, email updates, and other channels of communication. By keeping people enrolled and engaged throughout the change process, organisations can build trust and encourage buy-in.

Don’t underestimate the power of attending to folks’ needs in the context of culture change. What do people need from the new culture? Attending to everyone’s needs makes it that much more likely that people will reciprocate and attend to the needs of the organisation, too.

Finally, making support and resources available during the culture change process means providing training and development opportunities, creating support networks, and offering mentoring or coaching. By providing these resources, organisations can help employees navigate the change and feel supported and involved throughout the process.

In conclusion, a gentler approach to culture change can help to mitigate the challenges associated with changing an organization’s culture. By involving employees in the process, focusing on the positive aspects of the change, communicating effectively, sensitivity to needs, and providing support and resources, leaders can create a more collaborative and optimistic atmosphere.

Social Media: A Garden of Thorns in a World in Need of Roses

As an ideas artist, philosopher and human being, I lament the state of social media and its impact on our society. Was it ever intended to encourage dialogue and conversation? This is a question that has been on my mind for a long time now, and I feel compelled to express my experiences on the matter.

Social media was originally intended to be a platform for people to share their thoughts and opinions, to connect with others and to create a virtual community. It was supposed to be a space where people could engage in meaningful conversation and exchange ideas. However, over the years, it has transformed into a breeding ground for hatred, division and negativity. The anonymity and distance that social media provides have led people to hide behind their screens and engage in vicious attacks on others.

Instead of fostering meaningful conversations, social media has become a place where people come to judge and criticise others. It has become a space where people can publicly shame and harass, and where the truth is often distorted. People are more concerned with getting likes, comments and shares than with fostering genuine connection and understanding.

Moreover, social media has become a tool for propaganda and manipulation. The algorithms that control what we see on our feeds are designed to keep us engaged, but they also limit our exposure to new ideas and perspectives. The result is that we are trapped in our own echo chambers, only exposed to information that confirms our own biases and beliefs.

This has led to a fragmentation of society, where people are more divided than ever before.

The negative impact of social media on our mental health and well-being is also undeniable. People are becoming more and more obsessed with their online persona, and are constantly comparing themselves to others. The constant exposure to negativity and hate has led to a decline in self-esteem and has increased levels of anxiety and depression.

In conclusion, social media was never intended to encourage dialogue and conversation, but rather to connect people and foster understanding. However, over the years, it has become a platform for negativity, propaganda, and manipulation. It has fragmented our society, and has had a devastating impact on our mental health and well-being. As a society, we need to reclaim social media and transform it into a space where people can engage in meaningful conversations, exchange ideas and foster genuine connection.

The Great Deception: Truth is, Working For the Man is Unfulfilling and Oppressive

The idea that work is fulfilling and liberating has been touted as a central tenet of the capitalist system for generations. The notion is that work provides people with a sense of purpose and self-worth, and that it is a means of obtaining financial independence and personal freedom. This concept has been perpetuated by those in power, who have a vested interest in keeping people virtually enslaved. The reality, however, is that for many, work is far from fulfilling and liberating. In fact, for many people, work is a source of stress, anxiety, and oppression.

The proponents of this idea would argue that work is fulfilling because it provides people with a sense of purpose, and that it is liberating because it allows people to escape poverty and the lack of opportunity that often comes with it. They claim that work is the key to success and happiness, and that anyone who wants to achieve these things simply needs to work hard and be disciplined. However, this is a fallacy that has been perpetuated by those who benefit the most from it.

The truth is that work is often far from fulfilling, and that it is not liberating. The demands of work can be overwhelming, and the pressure to perform can be immense. The hours are long, and the work is often monotonous and unfulfilling. The reality is that work can be a source of unhappiness, rather than happiness, and that it can be a source of enslavement, rather than liberation.

The wealthy elites, who benefit the most from the system, have the wealth and power to manipulate and control the system, and they exploit the masses by perpetuating the notion that work is fulfilling and liberating. This is a cruel deception to keep people working for the Man, and to keep them from questioning the system.

In conclusion, the idea that work is fulfilling and liberating is a cruel deception that has been perpetuated by those in power. For many people, work is a source of stress, anxiety, and oppression, and it is not the key to happiness and success that it is often portrayed to be. It is up to each of us to challenge this notion and to fight for a fairer and more equitable system that values people over profits.

Attending to Your Employees’ Needs Gives Your Company a Financial Edge

Attending to folks’ needs has been found to benefit companies in multiple ways. A new report, “Performance through People: Transforming Human Capital into Competitive Advantage,” analyzed 1,800 large companies across 15 countries and found that a dual focus on attending to folks’ needs and developing people gives a select group of companies a long-term performance edge. These companies, referred to as “People + Performance Winners,” prioritise attending to the needs of their employees and through doing so achieve top-tier profitability at the same time.

The report found that companies that build human capabilities are more likely to propel their employees into higher earnings brackets over the course of their careers. Building human capabilities also pays off for firms in the form of more consistent company earnings and greater resilience during crises. People + Performance Winners have lower attrition rates, which is important when companies are facing hiring challenges.

People + Performance Winners have a distinctive organisational signature that challenges and empowers employees while fostering bottom-up innovation. This form of organisational capital contrasts with other top-performing firms, which tend to be more top-down and transactional, and creates a tangible competitive advantage.

In conclusion, attending to folks’ needs provides a real financial edge for companies. People + Performance Winners have demonstrated that by prioritising employee development, they can achieve consistent and resilient financial performance whilst surmounting staffing challenges.

Embracing and Meeting People’s Needs Leads to a Thriving Workplace

Making employees feel highly valued is an essential aspect of keeping a positive work environment. The best way to do this is by attending to their needs. This means creating a culture where employees feel comfortable expressing their needs and have a voice in the workplace.

Dialogue plays a crucial role in surfacing individual needs. Encouraging employees to communicate openly and regularly is key to understanding what they need to feel valued and supported. This could be through regular one-on-one meetings, team meetings, or other forms of communication.

It is also important to listen actively and show empathy towards people’s needs. This could mean providing flexible work arrangements, offering professional development opportunities, or acknowledging their contributions and successes.

By understanding and attending to people’s needs, you create a workplace that is supportive, inclusive, and respectful. This helps to foster a sense of community and enhances job satisfaction, motivation, and engagement. In turn, this leads to improved performance and overall success for the organisation.


Shift Your Workplace Culture with Organisational Psychotherapy

Organisational psychotherapy, the process of exploring and addressing the collective assumptions and beliefs within a company, has become an increasingly important tool for modern businesses looking to improve the well-being and satisfaction of their people. The central focus of this approach is culture change, as it is through a shift in the company’s shared assumptions and beliefs a.k.a. the culture that people’s needs can be met in a powerful way.

One of the key benefits of organisational psychotherapy is the way in which it helps to create a culture of open communication and mutual understanding. This is especially important in today’s business environment, where people are often under significant stress and pressure. By providing a safe and supportive space in which people can surface and reflect on their collective assumptions and beliefs, organisational psychotherapy encourages people to open up and express themselves in ways that are not always possible within the normal workplace environment. This leads to a greater sense of trust and connectedness between people, which in turn fosters a more positive and productive work environment.

Another important aspect of organisational psychotherapy is the way in which it helps to align individual needs with the goals and values of the organisation. This is critical because it is only by understanding and addressing the needs of individuals that a company can truly thrive. For example, by exploring the needs of employees, organisations can create a culture that supports and encourages individual growth, while also aligning with the overall goals of the company. When employees feel valued and supported, they are more likely to stay with the company, perform at their best, and contribute to its success.

Moreover, the process of organisational psychotherapy also helps managers to understand and manage their own needs. By exploring the emotional and psychological drivers behind their decisions and behaviours, managers can gain greater insight into their own motivations, as well as the impact that they have on their employees. This can be particularly valuable in situations where managers are dealing with conflict or difficult employees, as it provides them with the tools and insights they need to resolve these challenges in a way that is respectful and supportive of all parties involved.

In conclusion, organisational psychotherapy is a powerful tool for helping employees and managers get their needs met. By fostering open communication, aligning individual needs with organisational goals, and empowering managers to understand and manage their own needs, this approach helps to create a workplace culture that supports and celebrates the well-being of everyone involved.


1000 Little Acts of Defiance: Disengaged Employees Are Costing You Big Time

1000 little daily acts of defiance are small, seemingly insignificant actions that individuals take to undermine the purpose and goals of an organisation. Defiance is the flip side of compliance.

1000 little daily acts of defiance can take many forms, such as purposely slowing down everyone’s work, failing to complete tasks to the best of one’s abilities, and spreading rumors and negativity. The motivations behind these acts can range from frustration with management decisions, a feeling of being undervalued or that one’s needs are being discounted or ignored, or a desire to push back against what is perceived as an oppressive work environment.

One historical example of this type of resistance can be seen in the Luddite movement of the 19th century. The Luddites were skilled textile workers who, in response to new technologies that threatened their livelihood, engaged in acts of sabotage against the factories that employed them. This act of defiance was rooted in a desire to protect their jobs and way of life, and it had a significant impact on the industry.

Similarly, saboteurs are individuals who intentionally engage in acts that disrupt the operations of your organisation. This can range from damaging equipment to leaking sensitive information. Saboteurs are often motivated by a desire to cause harm or disrupt the operations of an organisation that they believe is acting unethically or in opposition to their interests.

The impact of these 1000 little daily acts of defiance can be significant. The reduction in productivity and morale can have a direct impact on the bottom line, with a recent study finding that quietly defiant employees can cost a company an average of $3,400 per year. In addition, these actions can also create a toxic work environment, leading to increased turnover and decreased employee satisfaction.

Data further supports the impact of these acts of defiance. For example, a study by the Society for Human Resource Management found that companies with high levels of employee engagement had a 41% lower absenteeism rate than companies with low levels of engagement. This highlights the fact that when employees feel valued and engaged, they are more likely to show up for work and be productive.

In conclusion, 1000 little daily acts of defiance can have a significant impact on an organisation’s bottom line. From the Luddites to modern-day saboteurs, individuals have long sought to resist the operations of organisations that they believe are acting in opposition to their interests. While these acts may seem small and insignificant, they can have a significant impact on productivity and morale, leading to a major drag on the overall success of an organisation. Creating a supportive, engaging work environment well serves those companies needing to mitigate the occurrences of defiance and enhance their success.

Navigating the Ever-Changing Terrain of Needs: The Thrilling Journey Through the Needsscape

The Needsscape refers to the dynamic and ever-changing landscape of the people and their needs that are critical to the success of a business. These people can include owners, shareholders, employees, customers, management, suppliers, and wider society, each with their unique set of needs – financial, emotional, and otherwise. Understanding and addressing these needs is crucial for businesses to create value, build strong relationships with stakeholders, and avoid effort that undermines their needs.

The concept of the Needsscape invites visualizing the current and future state of these key people and their needs, helping businesses understand their position in meeting and exceeding those needs. A real-time or near real-time visualization of the Needsscape provides transparency and visibility into business operations, making all work and objectives visible, including progress, status, and other important aspects related to the relevant people and their needs.

A well-defined and understood Needsscape allows businesses to be proactive in addressing the evolving needs of their stakeholders. It enables them to anticipate changes and shifts in the market and adapt their strategies accordingly, staying ahead of the competition. By staying attuned to the changing needs of their stakeholders, businesses can ensure that their products and services remain relevant and competitive in a fast-paced and ever-changing business environment.

Moreover, a well-defined Needsscape can help businesses prioritise their efforts and allocate resources more effectively. It provides a clear understanding of the most pressing and relevant needs of stakeholders, allowing businesses to allocate resources to the areas that will have the most impact. This, in turn, leads to more effective operations and higher customer satisfaction.

In conclusion, the Needsscape is a crucial concept for businesses looking to create value, build strong relationships with stakeholders, and stay ahead of the competition. It provides a real-time or near real-time visualisation of the current and future needs of key people, allowing businesses to adapt their strategies and allocate resources more effectively. By staying attuned to the changing needs of their stakeholders, businesses can ensure their efforts remain relevant and competitive in today’s fast-paced world.

Don’t Let a Gift Mask Your Emotions: The Transactional and Trivial Nature of Gift-Giving

From my own experiences:

Gift-giving is a common practice in many relationships, whether it be romantic or platonic. However, I believe that showing someone how you feel about them by giving them a gift is a transactional and trivial way of expressing emotions.

First and foremost, a gift is a physical object that can be bought and sold. It is a tangible item that can be exchanged for something else. In contrast, emotions are intangible and cannot be bought or sold.

Expressing emotions through a gift is a transactional way of showing how you feel because it reduces emotions to a physical item that can be exchanged for money. This commodification of emotions trivialises the relationship and reduces it to a transactional exchange.

Furthermore, gifts are often given with the expectation of receiving something in return. This creates a sense of obligation and expectation in the relationship, which can lead to feelings of disappointment if the gift is not reciprocated. This expectation of a return on investment in the relationship can create a sense of distance between the two individuals, rather than fostering intimacy and connection.

Additionally, gifts are often given to fulfill a need or want that the giver perceives the recipient to have. Giving a gift to fulfill a perceived need is not always the best way to attend to emotional needs. The emotional needs of an individual are complex and cannot be fulfilled by a physical item. A gift can only provide temporary satisfaction, whereas emotional needs require time, attention, genuine understanding and empathy.

In conclusion, I believe that showing someone how you feel about them by giving them a gift is a transactional and trivial way of expressing emotions. Instead of giving gifts, it is important to focus on understanding and fulfilling the emotional needs of your loved one. A gift is never the best way to attend to emotional needs. It is important to ask oneself, “Am I attending to this person’s needs?” before giving a gift. Emotions are intangible and cannot be bought or sold, and are much better expressed in a genuine and empathetic manner.


What’s the job of a carpenter? Is it to cut, saw, shape and finish wood? Hardly. Although those things are involved in carpentry.

How about the production of doors, chairs, tables, cabinets, structural woodwork, etc.? Again, not really.

In essence, the job of a carpenter, as for so many other trades, skills and professions, is to attend to folks’ needs, via wood. Needs like: things to sit on, things to close off spaces, things in which to keep other things, things to support things, and so on.

What say you?

– Bob

I’ve not called myself a software developer for at least thirty years. That’s not to say I’ve stopped coding. Far from it. But the end in mind has changed. From “developing software” to “attending to folks’ needs”. Seems to me that latter frame offers far more potential for satisfaction – both for me and for those I serve – than coding ever did. See also: #NoSoftware and the Antimatter Principle.

Reasons To Be Cheerful, Part 3

Reasons to be cheerful, Pt. 3

Some of you dear readers may, entirely reasonably, assume that I mention my books in the hope of increasing sales. However, this just ain’t so.

I mention my books in a vainglorious attempt to effect some positive shift in the world of business. I’ve written many times about my motivation. Specifically, my delight in helping people have a more joyful time in the world of work (in particular, Collaborative Knowledge Work).

I truly believe that Organisational Psychotherapy is a path to saner, more joyful, more humane workplaces. And my book “Quintessence” illustrates and maps out what a saner, more joyful organisation looks like and works like, in detail.

Maybe you share my enthusiasm for change, and for seeing things improve. Maybe you’re content with – or at least resigned to – the status quo.

In any case, I’d hate for my enthusiasm to be a source of frustration or angst for you.

On the other hand, I’d be delighted if through reading one or more of my books – or even blog posts or white papers – you might find a different perspective on what ails you, and new, more effective ways to meet folks’ needs, including your own.

– Bob


Further Reading

Marshall, R.W. (2021). Quintessence: An Acme for Software Development Organisations. [online] Falling Blossoms (LeanPub). Available at: [Accessed 16 Jun 2022].
Marshall, R.W. (2021). Memeology: Surfacing And Reflecting On The Organisation’s Collective Assumptions And Beliefs. [online] Falling Blossoms (LeanPub). Available at: [Accessed 16 Jun 2022].
Marshall, R.W. (2018). Hearts over Diamonds: Serving Business and Society Through Organisational Psychotherapy. [online] Falling Blossoms (LeanPub). Available at: [Accessed 16 Jun 2022].
Marshall, R.W. (2021). Organisational Psychotherapy Bundle 1. [online] Leanpub. Available at: [Accessed 16 Jun. 2022]. (n.d.). Ian Dury and The Blockheads – Reasons To Be Cheerful, Pt. 3 (Official Lyrics Video). [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Jun. 2022].

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