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Charter’s block

September 26, 2008

Save for the last several years of my work life, I’ve lived by Powerpoint, and Freelance before it.   My job boiled down to developing an understanding of situations, coming up with an idea about what I thought should be done next, and then using presentations, to try to convince others of my reality.

If I were successful, then something generally along the lines of what I would have suggested would happen, and if I were really successful, then I would have been right, and things would change for the better.

Ironically, last night I struggled for several hours to try to shape some thoughts and impressions about a new tool into a very clumsy summary and recommendation to an exec team.  My charts are a mess, the thoughts muddled and redundant slide to slide.  

I know what I want to say, so why am I winding up with an electronic version of oatmeal – all grey and lumpy?  Shapeless and pointless. 

What do I really want to say? 

Tools are great, but to get any work accomplished, you need people to use them.  Investing in tools is just the first step – you need workers, and you need a clear desired objective – to change from what is today to the vision of what should be tomorrow.   The tools help measure the progress from A to B.

Often in today’s environment, it is easier to get funding for tools or services, because they are tangible and can be purchased.  Intent to use them, and the available time of existing staff are assumed assets that don’t require investment of one form or another to activate, when in reality they do.  Investment does not always have to equate to hiring more staff, but may simply mean changing the work priorities of existing staff.   Strategy is as much deciding what you will not do, as much as what you will not do.

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