Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Moving ahead by leaving behind

Nick Tasler has a posting on the HBR Blog Network with an intriguing title: "To Move Ahead You Have to Know What to Leave Behind" 

His theme is summed up this way in an early paragraph:
The Latin root of the word "decide" is caidere which means "to kill or to cut." (Think homicide, suicide, genocide.) Technically, deciding to do something new without killing something old is not a decision at all. It is merely an addition.

So, what do the hoarders among us do? We save everything; kill -- or throw away -- nothing! Actually, we find deliberately making these trade-offs -- keep this; discard that -- so energy absorbing (Tasler says: exhausting) that we just layer on new change.

This behavior leads to what Tasler calls "trickle down trade-offs" in which there is sort of a push-down stack with the most current issue on top and the not-dealt-with issues more or less far down the stack.

Many of have seen this in action -- and we joke about planning an exit strategy before the stuff at the bottom finds its way back to the top!

Nooooo.. that's not management -- that's escape. To be effective, we must all acquire the killer instinct and be thought of as 'trained killers' of excess (think: Lean!)

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