Monday, April 3, 2017

"Right kind of Crazy"

Have you read this book?
Spoiler alert: No math! And, it's only 225 pages in hardcover
  • If you are a mechanical engineer, it's a must
  • If you are any kind of an engineer, it's a should-read
  • If you are a project manager looking for leadership lessons, it's a must read (but you can skip the engineering detail)

It's an amazing story of the project team at Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) that conceived the skycrane for the last Mars rover landing.

That's a fascinating tale by itself, but the leadership and teamwork insights are worth the price. Indeed, the subtitle is:
Teamwork, leadership, and high-stakes innovation
The chapter titles are major themes developed in the context of the JPL systems and mechanical engineering context, but really applicable all around. A few to ponder:
  • "Hold onto the doubt" meaning continuing doubt about that what you are doing is a good thing and that doubt will often keep you out of the disaster area 
  • "Self-authorization" meaning act when others won't or can't or are paralyzed by analysis
  • "Systems engineers" meaning step back and get a holistic view; the parts, when assembled, are sometimes destructive rather than constructive
  • "Dark room" meaning sometimes you wander into a black hole from which there seems no escape... now what?
And, there are others ....
Recommended reading for anyone in the leadership, team work, or technology domains

Read in the library at Square Peg Consulting about these books I've written
Buy them at any online book retailer!
Read my contribution to the Flashblog