The Problem with our Pursuit for Perfection and the Life-Changing Practice of Good Enough’


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    Entries in collaboration (58)


    Keep it moving through the team

    Playing well on a team means not slowing things down unnecessarily or holding things up. To collaborate, contribute, do our bit or add our expertise to a piece of work, is a fundamental part of work.

    It's rare we work in total isolation - unless in our own business - even then, we might have a team member, suppliers and ... customers.

    Do you know how your working style impacts the 'flow' of work through the team? Are you searching for 'more' or to make something you're working on 'better' before it's 'done' or handed on to others?

    Perfectionism and the pursuit of 'right' isn't just an individual thing; it has a huge flow on effect for the wider team and beyond through the organisation, to customers and clients.

    This article talks about the impact of perfectionism on the team.

    Have you been slowed down in a team where someone might be going for perfect?

    Love to hear your thoughts. 


    Hidden experience is a huge cause of productivity loss

    This week I’m writing about experience people have that you might be ignoring. A barrier to hearing people’s experience is often the leader’s resistance to it.

    - Why wouldn’t you want to know about expertise that exists in your team?

    - Why wouldn't you want to know this information?

    - Why wouldn’t you want to hear it?

    ‘Why don’t people listen?’ author, Hugh Mackay says we don’t want to listen due to the fear that what we hear will change us.

    Australian Olympic athlete Cathy Freeman says 'when I'm in a bad mood, I don't listen.'

    Oscar Trimboli, author of ‘Deep Listening' says by not listening ’the same issues keep occurring therefore people are blamed.’ Excuses like: No time Too much to do Too hard Too many people to get through ...are excuses with simple answers.

    It takes effort and empathy to pay attention to people, especially when they're sharing their story, and it’s not about you. New ways of working require us to change what we do so we can make progress through these tricky times. To listen and learn from others is a key part of this. And for many people this indeed is a 'new way of working'. 


    Map your expertise

    Yesterday I lamented the waste of not knowing what people have experienced when they join the team. So here’s what to do: Map the expertise.

    Not a spreadsheet or a folder of resumes/CVs that no one will ever read. Make a map of your expertise and make it visible and available. I call them ‘experience maps’.

    1. Schedule an 'experience share' meeting now.

    2. Give people time to prepare their map.

    3. Everyone talks through what they’ve done and shows their experience map.

    4. The map lives on and can be updated over time.

    A learning-focused organisation sees the efficiency, and practicality of involving people to capture, hear and see the experience in the business. And then they leverage it. It’s wasteful, ignorant and unproductive not to.

    What about you? What skills or experience do you have that people wouldn’t know? 


    The tragedy of untapped expertise

    The tragedy of untapped expertise.

    How often in a meeting, you know what’s happening, you have experience to add, you’ve seen the thing, done the thing the group is thinking about or working on ... yet your experience is:

    * Overlooked

    * Ignored

    * Forgotten

    * Dismissed

    * Excluded

    * Bypassed

    * Invisible?


    A life hack calendar on my wall has the quote: "Learning from mistakes is wise, learning from the mistakes of others is quicker and easier”. Your experience is awesome and valuable. Do not ever, ever doubt that.

    What’s missing is a way to gather that experience, synthesise it, make sense of it and bring it into the team and organisation. Simply telling an ‘I’ve done this’ or a ‘When I worked at x’ story doesn't seem to cover the breadth and depth of our experiences.

    So leaders: you must elicit the expertise in the room, team or group. No matter who, or what or from where. It’s one of the biggest no-brainers in the workplace today too often overlooked. For planning, strategy, problem solving, you don’t need to always start at the zero point. You’ve got incredible expertise on tap, and you’re simply - and seriously - not tapping it. Get tapping.

    How does it feel to not be 'seen' or heard?


    There is power in 'collective sense'

    There is power in 'collective sense'. This week I'm posting on sensemaking, the skill in understanding the deeper meaning of something.

    How do you do it? Write some stuff down and write it in a layout that looks more like a map rather than a list. When you do this in a meeting and other people can see that map, you start to do ‘collective sensemaking’. Making sense of things together.

    Collective sense is in contrast to lone voices and egos who dominate meetings, propose solutions prematurely, or shut people down. It’s in contrast to the loud speakers, the interrupters and the repeaters. Collective sensemaking makes better leaders, and it's a skill today's leaders need to sharpen up on.

    I’ll leave you with these four templates from my book ‘Making Sense: A Handbook for the Future of Work’:

    1. a simple line or continuum

    2. a set of stairs (have you ever presented information about 'stepping up or improving'; this is an ideal shape and template)

    3. a path or road with signs (journey, anyone?)

    4. network diagram (from earlier this week). Give a like if you've learned something this week about sensemaking.

    🤔 What are you trying to make sense of at work?