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


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    Entries in lean (5)


    The best selling exhibition in town

    In a busy workplace it can be tough to get people to listen and tune in to your change message, your key message or any of your messages!

    How do you get people to listen to and understand what your team is working on? How do you get them to sign up, buy in and want to be a part of it?

    Watch my short sketch video this week and you'll see how a clever project team got people to come along to their best selling 'exhibition'.

    What important thing are you working on?

    What will you do to make the people you work with want to tune in to it?

    Download the video here

    How do you build products people will want?


    What's that? Nine out of ten products are failing?

    What are we doing - and how could we be doing it better?

    Ash Maurya of Spark 59 shares some brilliant principles about building the right products and features that people will want. This applies to services, products … and whatever else you've got on offer.

    This week's sketch video blog helps you find the way to build what people will want, use and buy. 

    How to build features people want

    - Lynne Cazaly

    from Lynne Cazaly on Vimeo.



    Some sooner is better than all later






     As a child I remember when my mother Shirley (who just turned 80 last week!) would whip up a tasty cake on a Saturday afternoon.

    The ingredients would come out and then one by one they'd go into the mixing bowl. After the 'mix' and the 'pour' into the cake tin, the bowl and the beaters were mine… all mine! <evil laugh>

    Tasty cake mixture that hadn't seen the oven yet! Some cakes mixture leftovers were tastier than others but it was a hint of the saying 'some sooner is better than all later.' Sure, I would have a little of the cake once it was cooked, but there was always that test or taste of what was to come, with some baking time.  

    It's the same with projects, ideas you're working on and pieces of work on your 'to do' list. 

    Get it out there so people can have a taste of some of it sooner, rather than waiting and giving them the whole finished thing later ... which they may not like the taste of. Gone! All that time working on something that wasn't to their taste. 

    Software developers and other types of technology workers use this approach often. They deliver smaller working pieces of their projects quickly so that people can test them out and give feedback. Changes are made and the next working version or piece is tested and delivered.

    The Lean Startup movement sees it as a 'minimum viable product'. 

    Quality gets built in. Overall delivery to market will be quicker and you'll stay more competitive. And there is the 'buzz' of getting something shipped that helps motivate and inspire us to action… and then more action.

    Ok … so what have you got sitting there on your list or the 'not quite done' project file that could be put out there now? Today. As it is.

    Give people a taste of it now. Ask and listen to feedback. Make improvements. And then keep that conversation going about what they want and how they'd like it. Mmmm tasty. Yum!  


    PS. That visual up there of my mum's cake, that's your free hand drawn icon this issue. I'll quickly sketch an image of a cake to represent key concepts like: celebration, anniversary, birthday (of course), reward, end of project, years or duration (number of candles). An oval shape for the top, lines down the side, through the middle for the layers, and some thicker lines for candles with little lines for candle flames. 




    "I didn't think; I experimented"

    Kick off 2014 with some experimentation. No need to overthink, ponder for too long or wonder. 

    Just start. 

    Try something out. 

    Then try something else. 

    Keep on experimenting. 

    "I didn't think; I experimented" is exactly what Wilhelm Rontgen did. 

    If you or someone in your circle or network has had an x-ray lately, you can thank Wilhelm.  It was he who discovered and detected the wavelength that we know today as x-rays, or 'Rontgen rays'.

    A Nobel Prize later and he was recognised as truly having changed the future of health care and medicine. 

    And if you're a fan of the TV show 'Big Bang Theory', you'll understand how cool it is that Wilhelm was also recognised by having one of the elements named after him. Number 111, 'Roentengium'.

    He didn't just sit, gazing out the window thinking about how x-rays might work. He got to it, experimenting, testing, trying things out. 

    Wilhelm took notes after each of his experiments and kept on testing and investigating. He was human... and he was worried that his ideas may have been seen as a bit too out there or in error. 

    But without his experiments, our health care and medical diagnoses could be so very different. Wilhelm is a brilliant inspiration and a reminder that few pieces of truly impactful work are created by just thinking. Sure, start with a thought, an idea... but then go and test it out. 

    Talk to someone about it. Get a minimum viable product up and out there to see how it might be received, how it could work, what else needs to happen. 



    Lean Leadership Lessons - the Visual Notes Story

    This morning in Melbourne I watched a livestream of the Lean StartUp conference, beamed from San Francisco. 

    There were many swift presentations on great topics. 

    Usually when I'm at a conference or seminar, I keep myself listening and focused by capturing visual notes. Also known as graphic recording, sketchnoting or scribing. 

    I will often share the image of the visual notes I've created, based on the content I've heard. 

    Today I shared this visual on Leadership Lessons in Lean - presented by a team from Intuit Inc. 

    I'm often asked what app I use or how I create the visuals I share. 

    Here's the short story on what I do...

    - I do use the app Brushes on my ipad mini. There are plenty of others I've tried; this one remains my favourite. Look for an app that will let you zoom, choose brushes and colours and output to a jpeg, mov, PDF or other file.

    - I don't use a stylus. I've tried many and find that using my finger to write, zoom and change colour/brush size is quicker and easier (for me anyway) than writing, shuffling the stylus, writing again...

    - I often start in the middle of the blank screen with the presenter's name and title, or start at the top with a big bold, banner-style heading. You can do this before the speaker starts - it's a good 'warm up'. 

    - I do listen out for voice changes in the speakers -it's as important as listening to the content they're delivering. It helps you separate what's important and what's waffle.  Speakers are signalling which points are important by how they speak!

    - I do write out some key words they've said, and if a quick visual or image comes to my mind that will help anchor and enhance that key point, I'll sketch that. (I don't think you need to know how to draw many icons or symbols at all. About 20 is a good place to start and build up from there to 50 - 120. They're reusable for so many different meanings and concepts).

    - I may have to pause on that point or visual I'm writing because now I'm listening for their next point and might have to write and draw that. 

    - Time permitting I do go back to the previous point and begin to embellish it more; more detail on the picture, different colour for the words.

    - I do keep building up the content either working in columns or radiating out from the centre of the page. 

    - If I feel like I'm 'running out of space', I can adjust the size that I'm writing; I can scale it down and write smaller, or place other key points 'in the white spaces' on the page. 

    If you're not already taking visual notes for yourself - let alone your team - you're missing out on vital opportunities to learn, retain, recall and distil information. Plus it's fun, and a productive and effective way to build your creative muscle - and it certainly keeps you listening and stops your mind wandering to whether or not they'll have muffins at morning tea.

    Some speakers are well organised, structured and entertaining. That makes taking visual notes an absolute joy! Others you have to listen hard to - trying to work out 'what are they saying', 'what's this really about'? Often that's because they haven't clarified their thinking; they could have another pass at their content and improve on their presentation. We could all improve on our presentations!

    But you'll have a better chance of understanding and making meaning of presentations and content when you've got a sorting or filtering process you're working on - and visual notes are just that!

    Try visual notes rather than dot points, linear notes and pages of scrawl that you may never look at again.

    Oh go on! Try it in private - listen to the news, an interview or a TED talk!