Monday, March 21, 2005

A blast from the past

Joe Podolsky was one of the early online essayists. From 1994 through 2000 (and perhaps beyond), he wrote Joe's Jottings, an email journal. Joe always seemed to be a serious, interesting, and insightful thinker. While I haven't reviewed all of his Jottings today, I've probably read them all at some time. I encourage you to peruse a few and see what you think.

The "blast from the past" label comes from seeing a few of my decade-old replies to his essays. I sometimes make the point to people that some of the interventions I and others try with organizations to help them improve interpersonal communications don't quite have the flavor of "soft skills," nor do they seem "touchy-feely." One of my responses from 1996 tries to point that out. As much as that effort was about communications, it was also about the tough aspects of communicating effectively when there's disagreement and even conflict, and it was very much about how to achieve the organization's goals.

We succeeded, by the way, in that we reduced process cycle time by 83%, as promised. We also succeeded in that we helped make that organization a much more rewarding place in which to work, again, as promised. To a significant degree, it became a more rewarding place to work because people knew they would be heard and because they knew they owned the work and its results (the closer we got to the end, the more they were willing to remind me of that in an energetic fashion!). While it sounds suspect for the change initiator (me) to be making those claims, I think those in the group would say the same thing.

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