Rick Baker Thought Posts
Left Menu Space Holder

About the author

Name of author Rick Baker, P.Eng.

E-mail me Send mail
Follow me LinkedIn Twitter

Search

Calendar

<<  October 2018  >>
MoTuWeThFrSaSu
24252627282930
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930311234

View posts in large calendar

Recent Comments

Comment RSS

Small business is like walking a tightrope: failure to step gets you nowhere & slip-ups bring you down.

by Rick Baker
On May 4, 2017

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

Take Delegation seriously. It is really important to do it and to allow yourself and your people to learn from errors.

Tags:

Delegation & Decisions | Humour | Thought Tweets

Some ancient wisdom for Success: Have bone in back, not bone in head.

by Rick Baker
On May 3, 2017

The Thinking Behind the Sales Tweet

Probably no ancient person ever said that. But, we will never know for sure. On the other hand, I did write “People should work at having thick skin and thin skulls”.

Thick skin will help people be less influenced by the criticism of others.

A thin skull will ensure important stuff gets in easier.

Do you want to be on time?

by Rick Baker
On May 2, 2017

On Timeliness...

Do you know anyone who has achieved success in life without having the habit of meeting time commitments?

As I write this I'm thinking of petulant actors/actresses exerting their will on frazzled directors...that behind-the-scenes movie cliché, where one person disrupts everyone else's plans and schedules.  On top of that, I'm thinking of the 1992 comedy movie 'Noises Off', which combined this behind-the-scenes movie cliché with a plot that is all about humorous consequences that could happen when people fail to meet time cues in live theatre. 

While we can laugh about people messing up timing in movies, we seldom laugh about it in real life. 

There are many sayings that capture our consensus view/wisdom around time and timing, as examples - 

  • Time waits for no man.
  • Time is of the essence.
  • Timing is everything.

Yet, almost all of us mess up timing, at least once in a while. We forget appointments. We arrive late for meetings. We fail to meet project deadlines.

Some people are habitually late. [Most families have at least one of these types...always late while the meal is overcooking or the cake & ice cream is on hold...waiting.] 

Some people are intentionally late. [They act like 'The Royals'...or like they are, by far, the most-important person at the meeting.]

Some people completely lack any talent for timeliness. [Like they have stormy clouds of confusion around their watches and calendars.]

***

It seems to me timeliness holds lower priority now than it did a few decades ago. 

Do you agree?

How do you feel about timeliness - 

  • Do you want others to be on time?
  • Do you want to be on time?

No question about it, people are interested in learning how to kill good ideas

by Rick Baker
On Apr 27, 2017

A number of years ago, I posted the following thoughts about how to kill good ideas.

It is interesting to see a number of people liked the contrarian approach. Perhaps we should spend more time communicating about how to kill good ideas? Perhaps that would encourage people to come up with more-creative ways of squashing one another's innovations, inventions, and creative thoughts? Perhaps this could go a long way toward throttling that annoying habit called Curiosity?

Regardless, at least we have 4 proven ways of getting the job done!

 

4 ways to kill a good idea

By Rick Baker
On Oct 4, 2011

As mentioned recently, I read a really interesting book. It taught me how to kill good ideas.
 
Here is a sample of what I learned, 4 ways to kill good ideas:
  1. Fear Mongering…use genuine facts from the past to create a picture of a fearful future You know many people agonize over the mistakes they have made in the past. And they worry horrible events will repeat themselves…causing misery. So, when someone has a good idea and you want to kill it you can try this strategy. Just recall some extremely painful event from the past and express your concern that this terrifying situation could happen again if we accept this new idea.

  2. Death by Delay…one great way to do this is send the idea to a committee 

    Here’s a nuance you can incorporate when you use this strategy. Dig up some abstruse fact from your company’s history. Applaud the idea then introduce the abstruse fact and talk as if you are convinced the idea and the abstruse fact must be addressed by a committee of various intelligent people. Suggest a chairperson for the committee…i.e., suggest someone you know to be a curmudgeon. 
  3. Confusion…inject lots of irrelevant facts and support them with illogical arguments

    Keep a list of irrelevant facts in a file in the MemoPad area of your BlackBerry. Gather these over time, wean out the weakest ones, and replace them as you find really-choice irrelevant facts. Have at least a dozen fresh irrelevant facts ready for use. Then, whenever people come up with ideas pull out your BlackBerry while stating something like, 'What a synchronicity…I was writing some notes around that topic last week'. Then go on to cite a list of irrelevant facts…keep it up until at least one person dozes off.
  4. Ridicule…with a good-natured demeanour and calm voice, assassinate the character of the person who has the idea

    This one should come with a warning: DO NOT show anything close to a negative emotion while you do this. That could backfire on you, making you look like some sort of unreasonable person. CAUTION: this will take practice…if you are real busy then pick another strategy. To pull this one off you must be pleasant and calm. You must prepare your assassinating words well in advance and practice them in front of a mirror so they come across just right. I recognize that is barely an introduction to this 4th way to kill ideas. But, a more-detailed explanation is beyond the scope of this Thought Post.
You may be saying to yourself, surely there must be more ways to kill good ideas.
 
Yes, do not fret; of course there are many other wonderful ways to kill ideas.
 
Footnote
The book I am referring to is ‘Buy-In, saving your good idea from being shot down’, John P. Kotter and Lorne A. Whitehead. According to the authors of the book I just read, the average person receives about 10,000 ideas [other people’s plans, demands, suggestions, and proposals] every week. That’s a lot of incoming ideas to deal with. Many people are overwhelmed. Most people figure out ways to kill the vast majority of those ideas. The authors provide some solutions…i.e., how to save your good ideas from being shot down. But, it’s a double-edge sword…you can also use their wisdom to hone your skills at killing good ideas.

Don't delegate any task you cannot do yourself...except software engineering.

by Rick Baker
On Apr 25, 2017

Clint Eastwood taught those villains, "A man must know his limitations."

Similarly, a man must understand he is at risk when he delegates beyond his limitations.

Yes, I known this also applies to women, however, Clint Eastwood didn't shoot women...at least I don't recall seeing him shoot women or instructing them on limitations.

OK - people, both women and men, must know their limitations and they must understand they should think about the risks before they delegate work that exceeds their capabilities.

So, one Master Rule is – Don’t delegate a task you cannot do yourself.

From time to time, leaders need to do the dirty jobs. [The jobs everyone can do but nobody enjoys doing.] If leaders choose to delegate all the dirty jobs then they will surely alienate some people….perhaps, most followers.

At the other end of the spectrum, leaders get into trouble when they delegate tasks that are beyond their capability. As examples - troubles follow when the time required for tasks is underestimated, when the complexity of tasks is underestimated, and when the resources required for tasks are underestimated. The best way to know the time, complexity, and resources of tasks is firsthand experience doing the tasks.

So, one Master Rule is – Don’t delegate a task you cannot do yourself.

…unless, of course, those tasks are software engineering!

Tags:

Delegation & Decisions | Hero Worship | Humour | Master Rules

In days of old, fear made us fit and functional. Now, with many options as close as our remote, we rarely allow that.

by Rick Baker
On Apr 25, 2017

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

Fear is the part of the human condition that provides us a fighting [or flighting] chance to survive. In tougher-times-of-old, fear-triggered physiological changes pumped blood to our arms so we could fight and to our legs so we could run. 

Now...

Rather than fight we take out our aggression on a big bowl of popcorn while watching GSP doing MMA on PPV.

And, rather than run we calm our troubled minds by watching Honey Boo Boo reruns.

Now, more often than not, fear bypasses our arm and leg muscles and finds its way to our bellies and hips.

Tags:

Emotions & Feelings @ Work | Humour | Thought Tweets

490 Dutton Drive - Suite C6 - Waterloo ON N2L 6H7 - phone 519-886-6522 - fax 519-886-8795
Copyright © 2012. W.F.C (Rick) Baker. All Rights Reserved.