This post is a thought experiment – please don’t do anything it says.

Many people feel as if they have no control over their situation. Let’s look and see if this is true. Consider something you feel totally victimized. Something you can’t improve. Now consider, what could you do to make it worse. Anything? I’d suggest that if you can make it worse by doing something, you can look to see to what extent you’re already doing that and go in the opposite direction.

Maybe you’re a developer and your customers are always changing their minds. You feel out of control. It seems that no matter what you do you can’t improve things. Ah, but can you make them worse? Maybe don’t ask them any questions, but do the first thing that crosses your mind. Or finish the entire project before getting any feedback?

 Or, if you’re a manager and your people don’t listen to you, try yelling at them. Stop listening to them. Don’t look to understand what they are trying to do. Getting the idea?

The thing is, if you really have no control, clearly there’s nothing you can do to make it better. But out of control also means you can’t make it worse, or else you’d have no control. When you realize you can make things worse, you’ve identified the dimension of what makes it better.

For whatever reason, human beings are wired to see how to make things worse more easily than seeing how to make things better. Use that skill in reverse.


Go to Amplio Development: The Path to Effective Lean-Agile Teams


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