Thursday, April 9, 2009

Really love this! Steve Roesler: Caution: Your Self, Your Systems , and Quaker Parrots

Caution: Your Self, Your Systems , and Quaker Parrots

You and I may have something in common (in addition to work).

Anytime I come across a parrot, I try to strike up a conversation to see if the bird will talk back. Don't you? For some reason, it's perfectly acceptable for humans to be seen in public attempting to talk with parrots. And if they talk back, it's a treat.

At least for a while.

The problem that arises is this: the darned bird has no idea what it's saying or why it's saying it. Parrots aren't into context. Which is why they, uh, "parrot" things.

Quakerparrot_trainWhat does this have to do with you and systems?

Workplaces are all about systems, and rightfully so. Without systems we would waste time doing the same task differently at each attempt. Makes no sense.

So systems are good. Excellent, in fact. Learning what works and replicating it is a wise thing to do. All of you 5S, GTD, SAP, and PDQ Bach people know that.

So why is "Caution" up there in the headline?

There is a distinct difference between replicating successful systems and trying tomindlessly copy the behavior of managers or management "techniques" that have worked before. 

Take  inspiration from your mentors and models, but become a person who manages upon a foundation of guiding principles. Learn and understand why something worked in the past, taking into account the context in which it worked. That context will help you build a set of principles on which to base your management, your organizational life, and your career.

Use the best models out there to gain a better understanding of management and whyyou do what you do.

The caution?… None of your people really wants to speak with a managerial parrot.

Oh, why Quaker Parrots? According to this, they are "charming (with)comical personalities and a willingness to learn human speech; the Quaker Parrot is an excellent choice for those who want all the fun of a large parrot in a smaller package. They adapt well to living in a "human flock" setting, and enjoy spending time with their owners."

Could be better than having the teenagers around.

Bonus Alert: Dan McCarthy will get you TORC-ed up about what's most important to your career as well as a related hiring process. This is a primo post.

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