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Frank Patrick's Focused Performance Business Blog
This Focused Performance Weblog started life as a "business management blog" containing links and commentary related primarily to organizational effectiveness with a "Theory of Constraints" perspective, but is in the process of evolving towards primary content on interactive and mobile marketing. Think of it as about Focusing marketing messages for enhanced Performance. If you are on an archive page, current postings are found here.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Another Point of View on Civility -- From Rageboy's commnentary on the 10th anniversary of Cluetrain:
"While some have suggested that civility is the most important value we should propagate in our social exchanges, I think that sometimes the most honest conversation can go a little like this.

'Fuck you!'

'Yeah, well fuck you too!'

"After that, if the guns don't come out -- very important not to come to the table armed -- some kind of actual communication can take place. I know not everyone will agree with me on this, but I think too much civility can be toxic. After you. Oh no, after you! But I insist. But you are too kind.



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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

GETS Thee to an OASiS -- Following up on last week's post on consideration, Matthew at Lean Project Consulting writes...
"A Toyota executive says that to be able to deal with issues, they first have to have a cordial environment. This for him is OASiS representing Ohayo (good morning), Arigato (thank you), Shitsurei-shimanshita (pardon me), and Sumimasen (excuse me; I'm sorry). Being polite are the first step in creating a culture that encourages open and collaborative communication. Especially with people on the front lines. Especially when we need them to say whatever they must to whoever in the organization.

"A colleague of mine (thanks Rebecca McCoy) suggested another acronym - GETS. Good morning, Excuse me, Thank you, Sorry. Anyway, the point isn't this silliness. It's having a cordial environment."
Read the whole thing at OASiS for projects.

Cordially yours...

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Consideration -- On thinking of not just yourslef, but others, from 5 Tiny Steps to Quit Being Such a Jerk at Zen Habits...
1. Admit you’re not perfect...
2. Place yourself in the shoes of others...
3. Act with compassion and kindness...
4. Practice, practice...
5. Do 5 little things...
These are only the steps. For the explanations, go read the whole thing.

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Friday, April 17, 2009

The Project Communication Problem

Related to this week's post on conversations and meetings, aka communication, Project Shrink Bas de Baar is working on a series of pieces on the subject, anchored at Solving The Project Communication Problem.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

On Conversations (Meetings?) -- From The Quotations Page...
"Most conversations are simply monologues delivered in the presence of witnesses." -- Margaret Millar
Reminds me of something I read a few years ago on that now seems to be a dead link:
"Meetings should be for network communication not 1-to-many, many-to-1. Effective meetings seem somewhat ad-hoc, though with defined goals, and no one really "runs" them, though they may be facilitated. If it's just presentation of information, it shouldn't be a meeting."
But by the way, a sales pitch is not just a "presentation of information"; from Why do we meet? - Thinking Faster:
"We generally meet to educate, inform, persuade or sell ideas, in which case few people need to speak and therefore few people need to attend, or to generate alternatives, provide different or unique insights or gather data, in which case everyone who attends should contribute."
On a related topic, i.e., decisions on appropriate means of conversation/communication, back in 2004, Dave Pollard wrote a piece about blogs as great communication media but lousy communication tools that included the following decision tree graphic...

It's still a good checklist, although it might benefit from some minor updating for the newer social media tools in the final bottom decision block.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Links & Snips
  • How to detect bullshit - Scott Berkun: "Great teams and families help each other detect bullshit, both in others and themselves, as sometimes the real BS we need to fear is our own."

  • Protecting the Workgroup - Fast Company: " high-performing groups, the leader 'protects' the group from the larger company, whether lobbying for more resources or shielding the group from company interference."

  • Designing Interactions - Bill Moggridge (Recommended book.) - First sentence: "Who would choose to point, steer, and draw with a blob of plastic as big and clumsy as a bar of soap?"

  • Leading Ideas: Walk the Fine Line - Fast Company: "By definition, if you want to create something extraordinary you've got to leave the majority. You've got to break free from commonly accepted ideas and practices and go out on a limb. The catch, of course, is that you risk your sanity in the process. It's never easy to be a non-conformist, dissenter, or rebel. You end up walking the fine line between crazy and brilliant. But if you want to look back on your life and smile, it's necessary from time to time."

  • The Laws of Simplicity (Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life) - John Maeda: (Recommended book. You can browse it at Amazon.)

  • We specialize in everything - Seth Godin: "It's okay to specialize in being a generalist, of course. By that, I mean that there are many problems...where someone who can see wide and doesn't have an allegiance to a particular solution is exactly the right person to call. I rely on generalists all the time, and so do you. My point is that you never call on these people when there's a better specialist available. And in the old days, a little town could only support one generalist, so it wasn't an issue. Today, especially in high-value situations, that's just not the case. So, yes, generalize. And specialize in it!"

  • iPhone Development: 12 Tips To Get You Started - from the often useful Sitepoint
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    Monday, April 13, 2009

    Social Media's Only Rule -- Don't be boring!
    "There's a growing conversation about the 'rules of social media' and the consequences marketers face should they violate them. But there's only real rule of social media: don't be boring. So long as you do not bore your audience, you are free to try anything. That goes for individuals and brands alike."
    You'll let me know if I get boring, won't you?

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    Friday, March 07, 2008

    Memos are like meetings --
    Bureaucrats write memoranda both because they appear to be busy when they are writing and because the memos, once written, immediately become proof that they were busy.
    - Charles Peters
    ...kind of like the flurry of emails I sent out yesterday, justifying the past few days of work, I must admit.

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