(In)Decision Making

Are you more likely to book your next vacation through LastMinute.com or through PlanWayAhead.com?  Do you make snap decisions or like to keep your options open?  Are you usually the first to meetings or the last? Do you like to arrive at the airport with seconds to spare or would this send your stress sky high?  Is your desk clean or chaotic?  Are deadlines your friend or foe? Do you like to focus on a task to completion or have many balls in the air?  Do you always finish what you start?  Are you a procrastinator?


Read the Procrastinator's Creed

These behaviors are tied together on psychological scales.  Awareness of your natural behavior has its benefits, not least that it gives you greater opportunity to consciously adjust your behavior according to circumstance.

Recognizing and understanding the decision-making style of colleagues has its benefits too. It can reduce tension and misunderstandings between people with different styles.  It can help like-minded individuals to avoid group-think. It allows diverse teams to play to the strengths of individuals.
Read on…


The Entitled and The Narcissist

I think we are all entitled to some basics in our working environment; to be rewarded fairly for our contributions, to work safely, to be allowed to act ethically, amongst others. There are some people who, however, hold an exaggerated sense of entitlement.  They might feel they have a right to be given things which others believe should be obtained through effort.  They expect favorable treatment.  They can expect others to automatically comply with their wishes.  Working with or managing the entitled can be demanding for colleagues and managers alike.

Where the sense of entitlement is greater we are talking about narcissism.  Narcissist behaviors can be particularly difficult to deal with. From my own experience and from researching on this article I have heard many stories of the destructive impact that narcissists can have on colleagues, managers, teams and even entire businesses.

How do you recognize and deal with somebody who lives with a sense of entitlement or has a narcissistic personality disorder?

Read on…

Motivation, Bonuses and Open Source

Let’s start with a few quick observations on money and motivation.

  1. Bonuses can be an easy and expensive way to demotivate staff just as to motivate them.
  2. Experiments consistently show that financial motivation can actually reduce performance particularly on tasks that require thinking … like programming.
  3. If money were the sole motivator then open source would not have transformed the world and society would lose the massive contributions made by other volunteers.
  4. But equally … unfair rewards and low salaries can switch off the mind of your team.

So why do many organizations persist with financial bonuses as their core incentive?  What’s the right balance of rewards?

Read on…

“Spontaneity has its time and place”

Have you ever been asked to attend a meeting in which there will be an hour (exactly) of brainstorming or creative thinking?  … perhaps just after lunch while your brain is faded? … perhaps on a day where you’ve some major item to deliver?  … perhaps in a meeting room as comfortable as a crowded bus on a hot day?

As a project manager once put it to a software team, “We will be having a meeting tomorrow at 2pm where we’ll write down all the ideas we need for this project”.  The message was also clear that after that meeting the scope and schedule would be fixed and creativity and innovation would be unwelcome.

Shoehorning a creative process into a tight box is not ideal.

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