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Passion, People and Principles

New Blogosphere game

post # 502 — February 18, 2008 — a Managing post

Michel-Adrian Sheppard on www.SLAW.CA writes:

“Many people may remember the “meme” that went around the blogosphere about a year ago, something called Five Things You Didn’t Know About Me. The idea was simple: reveal 5 pieces of information that people might not know about you and then contact other people to contribute. A bit like a chain letter. But much more fun in terms of time wastage.

“Well, there is a new meme zipping around the Net: open the nearest book to page 123, go down to the 5th sentence and type up the 3 following sentences. Then, pass the message along to other people you want to invite to contribute to the game.”

I don’t want to obligate others, but it sounded fun so here goes:

(From EPIC CHANGE: How to Lead Change in the Global Age, by Timothy R. Clark, which was sent to me by his publicist to review)

“In almost every case, change must be handed off for implementation. Unless there is broad-based action by many people, change won’t take place. Change usually affects far more people than those who identify it as a need”


An interesting experiment. You can also imagine providing this quote as an examination question, followed by the instruction: “Discuss”


Anyone else want to join in either on their own blog, or in the comments here? Closest book to you, page 123, start at 5th sentence, and type the following three sentences.


Andy Wilhem said:

Was it really the first book you found?

First I found was in Danish “Når ledelse er kommunikation”, not relevant for most of the people that read this.

Second was Influence, by Robert Cialdini. It has a big chart on page 125 with suicide rates after suicides stories in the news, so the 5th line is about (you guessed it) single-suicide rates and doesn’t even get completed until the next page.

Third book was The Demming Dimension where page 125 has a large quote at the top where the end of the quote is the fifth line.

So, Fourth book, Leadership, Rudolph Giuliani.

“A leader wants all his managers to be strong. He doesn’t want yes-men leading any departments, including the ones the leader himself knows well. If you looked at the people I picked to head, for example, the Police Department, I chose three outspoken leaders, even though that was the area I knew best.”

Good quote by Timothy Clark by the way.

posted on February 18, 2008

Dean Fuhrman said:

“Duct Tape Marketing” by John Jantsch

“Billboards have limited appeal for most small businesses and certainly must be run in conjunction with other forms of advertising, but they can be very effective as a direct response vehicle if your business is location based. ‘Exit here for great food’ is a call to action available on a billboard. Billboards are also a great tool to announce a new product or enhance a trade show.”

Very true don’t you think?

posted on February 18, 2008

Jim Bullock said:

“Design Patterns Explained” by Alan Shalloway and James Trott

They’re actually quoting another book at this point, “Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object Oriented Software”

“This approach is the opposite of focusing on the cause of redesign. Instead of considering what might force a change to a design, consider what you want to be able to change without redesign. The focus here is on encapsulating the concept that varies, a theme of many design patterns.”

Now, aside from the extreme nerdishness of the subject, there’s a strong suggestion here for managing people. People like to feel safe and consistency is a part of that. I you can, not exactly isolate people from changes, but give yourself the freedom to change things one place without directly disturbing people some other place, that’s useful. Oddly to me, lots of allegedly technical people don’t apply the principles of their overt field to how they do the work, or how their organization works. I’ve found that any resource about design of gizmos is also useful for thinking about how to put an organization together – principles at least.

posted on February 19, 2008

Jim Bullock said:

The next-nearest book, hoping to redeem myself a bit:

“Autumn Lightning, The Education of an American Samurai” by Dave Lowry

“When Munenori appeared, he was led by a servant to Iemitsu’s quarters. Sliding back the shoji screen at the entranceway, Munenori dutifully dropped to his knees and bowed fully, his forehead resting on the tatami floor. The seated Iemitsu waited until his teacher was at the full length of the bow, then he snatched up a short spear from a weapon rack at his side and leaped at Munenori driving the sharp point of the yari like a piston at the master.”

That bit is part of a story of skill developed through endless practice, and of course constant broad awareness. Just like managing. In the whole story, Iemitsu was testing Munenori’s teaching frustrated that he – Iemitsu – couldn’t guard against that kind of attack. “No special secret. Just practice” said Munenori

posted on February 19, 2008

Ed Kless said:

The hardest part of this exercise was determing which book was technically closest to me. Here goes:

Pricing with Confidence by Reed Holden, page 123:

Can your customers see this logic in your offerings? If not, you are eroding their trust and ecouraging them to play poker with your sales teams and negotiate more vigorously. If customers don’t see the logic and integrity in the price-value trade-offs you ask them to make, your business is seriously underperforming relative to its potential.

posted on February 19, 2008

Anita Bruzzese said:

I decided to bite the bullet and see what my own book, “45 Things You Do That Drive Your Boss Crazy” had to say (this is a big step for any writer!). And honestly, it WAS the one closest to me at the time. Here goes:

“Anything that has a “those people kind of edge to it should be ommitted from your language in the workplace.

Speak up if there a problem. If you find something a coworker says is insenstive, take the person aside and calmly say,” You know, your’e giving all women a bad name when you make sweeping, derogatory comments about men.” Focus on the behavior, not the person. Calling someone a racist or a bigot won’t get you anywhere — it will just erect more barriers.”

Anita Bruzzese

posted on February 20, 2008

George Dinwiddie said:

Quality Software Management: Vol 2, First-Order Measurement by Gerald M. Weinberg “My military advisors, Dawn Guido and Mike Dedolph, assure me that the military is the classic breeding ground of arbitrarily applied standards. Although many of these standards are well thought out, they are communicated in such a way that the rationale doesn’t come through, or isn’t even offered. The arbitrariness leads to an excess of politics in the interpretation of standards, such as:

a. negotiating for waivers from inappropriate standards b. reparing ithe damage caused by inconsistent enforcement of standards c. complying with standards that hamper work in progress.

posted on February 21, 2008

Maggie (Milne) Chicoine said:

So, there’s a stack of books beside me, with Meg Wheatley’s Leadership and the New Science at the top of the pile.

“There are an infinite number of fractals, both natural and human made.

Fractals can be generated with computers by taking a few nonlinear equations and continuously feeding back into the system the results of those equations (See also Chapter 6). It is not any one solution that matters, but the composite picture of those behaviors that emerges after countless iterations. As individual solutions are plotted, the whole of the system emerges in the form of detailed, repetitive shapes.

Everywhere in this intricate fractal landscape, there is self-similarity.”

OK, now I’m hooked on the meme! Interesting insights! Appreciate your postings.

– Maggie

posted on February 25, 2008

Flash Flashy said:

Thats a healthy game Keeping in mind that it cultivates an habit of reading.

posted on March 8, 2008