L:29 – What you’ve always done

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The gift of this week is the opportunity to look at some processes in several parts of my life and decide if they’re still valid. This is always a tough row to hoe because everyone has enough other things in their world that you’re buddies with The Devil You Know. And the Devil You Don’t seems like a bit of a jerk. So you stick with the status quo, and everyone lives to fight another day.

Throughout my career, I’ve heard excuses for teams that operate outside the established processes as “that’s just how [the team] works”. Well, yeah, and they’ll continue to work like that until someone says it’s not OK. Why is it OK to say “Dev will be Dev” or “Marketing is just like that” but it’s not OK to say “Boys will be Boys”. Often, the same excuse-making rationale exists. How’s about everyone put on their big-kid underpants and be responsible citizens, maybe?

If you always do what you’ve always done, you always get what you’ve always got. And this week presents situations where I no longer want what I’ve always got.

I know, I’m a bit of a Cannonball-in-and-we’ll-figure-it-out kind of person. I understand the benefits of working in the shadows like Batman (*not the Afleck Batman. But I digress). I understand that sometimes, there are projects that don’t fit well into established process conventions. That doesn’t mean you should go all renegade in the wild west, right? It means you should establish something repeatable that doesn’t make anyone downriver want to punch you in the throat. That there repeatable thing… it’s called a process. When you have to change them to make something better, that’s called innovation.

Fortunately, innovating is a thing at $Dayjob and at $Volunteerjob, so I can help wrestle some dysfunctional processes to the ground. And no one has to get hurt.

This Lent, may I ensure that in doing my job, I avoid finding ways to make other people’s job’s harder.

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