Some Brief, Not So Random Thoughts


I have posted before about the Manager Tools Trilogy. What I really like about the Manager Tools "Trinity" (it is actually *four* things: one on ones, coaching, feedback, and delegation) are three things. One, they looked at what very successful managers do (like Collins and Porras, "Good to Great" with companies) and created a teachable model that is pretty easy to learn and apply. Two, the "trinity" works exceptionally well because it is a system based on a deep understanding of human psychology, which makes it timeless (like Covey's "Seven Habits" and David Allen's "Getting Things Done"). Three, the parts work well very as a system so it is impossible to "copy" or get similar results with shortcuts (like Southwest Airlines, who are not in the same game as United, American, Delta, and US Air).
One of the biggest "blind spots" in technical organizations is that they tend to treat humans like components (create the right instructions and manuals and you get the performance you dictate, deviations are the result of personal "defects"). Performance improvement will be asymptotic with that view because the tools and practices used to reach a certain level cannot take such organizations any farther (as Sidney Dekker notes in "Ten Questions About Human Error"). I stumbled upon this when I was at Supship as Carrier Overhaul Project Officer and getting ready to go on to my next job.  After my thinking on human error and system safety "evolved," I started to scare people senior to me and at headquarters pretty frequently because I did not think the way they did (that "more of the same" just done "better" would produce better results) anymore.