Category Archives: People issues


I just led a course in Charleston mostly for people working in/on government or military projects. I was asked many good questions, and I was not able, in the time allotted (two days) to answer them all as well as the questions deserved. I have other clients who also have very difficult situations to deal […]

Thank You!

I am back from a visit to Lima, Peru. And from New York, Newark and Sarratoga Springs. Freud said that life is about arbeitung und lieben — work and love. To me, these words have started to intermingle. At a deep level, I think we wish that those we love know we have tried to […]

If you wait for perfection….

If you wait for perfection, you might wait too long. There are some similar quotes, but so far as I know, this quote is mine. As the father, I kind of like it. But most parents love their own children. (If I am not the father, tell me now.) This applies to all of life. […]

Changing people (that would include you)

I am involved with Scrum as a coach and trainer, and occasionally, I get the question, “I would really, really like to do Scrum (better), but I need to change X, Y and Z.” And X, Y and Z are people, or groups of people, at that person’s organization. And, just to remind us of […]

The doctrine of sufficiency

Agile and Scrum start with the assumption that a team is sufficient for the task set before it. This is a bit wacky, or an assumption subject to being false a lot, unless we allow the truth, which is that humans are very inventive. Thus, a given seven-member Scrum team can do many things to […]

To know ourselves

We are in a recession, so we think especially now that money is important. Some of us are introvert technical guys — people skills are not our strongest skill set maybe. So we think strong technical thoughts are the most important things. But at the end of the day, I believe we live for other […]

The ability to create knowledge together

I would like your opinion. I have, for the last few months, been playing with these ideas. To create a new product, the team is all about knowledge creation. Not management of existing knowledge, but creation of new knowledge. Note: The picture to the right relates to Nonaka’s ideas about knowledge creation, and tacit and […]

One impediment at a time

Why is it important to focus attention on one thing at a time, one impediment? Well, there are many reasons. But let’s take a few. First, get something completed. So often we try to do “everything” and nothing gets done. Second, we need fast feedback. For example, sometimes our “improvement” is a stupid idea. Only […]

Hold the mirror

How do we get managers to change? You know, if it were not for them, everything would be just fine. [smile] We got this question in a class on Friday. (The question did not include the second snarky sentence, at least not explicitly.) My immediate answer, maybe an intuition, was to quote part of this: […]


Man is born free, and everywhere is in chains. Rousseau, certainly a man of some well-known weaknesses, was brilliant to say this, just a few years ago now. Of course, it was then far from literally correct. And he said this as a citizen of Geneva, arguably one of the places on this planet with […]