Tony Dye

Tony Dye

MAKING IT EASIER TO DO
THE RIGHT THINGS

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LaSD, Chapter 15

Chapter 15. Box Focus

Last chapter was about Collusion, and how, when we’re in the box, we tend to provoke the very behaviors in others we say we don’t want, and in turn, they do the same to us, and it goes round and round. The very last line is Bud asking “What does it have to do with work?”

Page 108

Tom surprises himself with his quick and strong answer, “It has everything to do with work.”

TD> Have to agree with that! Maybe going stronger, it has everything to do with almost everything! (everything that involves human interaction) Everyone is in the box. All the time. Which invites everyone else to get in the box (even though they are already in the box). These boxes are well reinforced!

[Bud] “So What?”

TD> Bud asks that a lot!

[Bud] The box gets in the way of our achieving results.

Page 109

Top & Middle

Bud describing “What-Focus” and “Who Focus”

  • Out of the box, what focus is results
  • In the box, what focus is justification
  • In the box, focused on self
  • Out of the box, focused on others

Bottom of the page

[Bud] most people aren’t nearly as happy when other people in the organization succeed as they are when they themselves do.

TD> I think this is partially learned behavior. Or at least the converse is. I’m learned to cheer others on when they do well. Is that just age (I want to say maturity, but that can’t be it), or was I taught this somewhere?

Page 110

[Kate] The box provokes others to get into the box, too.

TD> The more we see the problems in others, per the collusion chapter, the more we cause them to be problems

Middle of page

[Kate] When I’m blaming … it’s to justify my failure to improve.

[Kate] When one person is failing to focus on results, it provokes others to fail in the same way.

Page 111

Top of page

Tom blaming Chuck Staehli … because he really was a problem

Bud suggesting Tom should think about that more.  Someone else having a problem doesn’t mean I don’t have one too!

TD> I’m getting agitated by all this. I’m identifying with it far too well. Projects gone awry, and it’s his fault. He didn’t do his part. And I’m a bit gleeful that he didn’t, so I can point the finger at him. And that keeps me from having to look at where I’m not on track. Realizing that I’ve got 30+ year’s experience doing project management by blame! Simultaneously, I talk often about how project management is all about communication. Hmmm… slap myself in the face!

TD> Darn, But and Kate and Tom are beating me up, and they don’t even know me. Heck, they don’t exist! Fictional characters are clobbering me.

Chapter Summary:

In the box, our need is primarily for justification, which is clearly at odds with any sort of productivity, and helping each other, and working towards goals. Out of the box, focuses on results. In the box, focuses on self. Out of the box, focuses on others. So, this is almost the answer: focus on others, focus on results. I don’t think it’s going to be quite that simple.

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