Montag, 31. Januar 2022

On blaming


 During my readings of "The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time" from Jeff Sutherland, I came over the Milgram experiment and the blaming topic. 

The experiment was about Authority and also about the question if the Holocaust was caused by just following orders.

As mentioned on Wikipedia[1], three individuals took part in each session of the experiment:

  • The "experimenter", who was in charge of the session.
  • The "teacher", a volunteer for a single session. The "teachers" were led to believe that they were merely assisting, whereas they were actually the subjects of the experiment.
  • The "learner", an actor and confederate of the experimenter, who pretended to be a volunteer.

The teacher was asking the learning word pairs and for wrong answers the learner gets an electric shock with increasing voltage from wrong answer to answer. If the teacher wanted to stop the experiment, the experimenter used words to force the teacher to continue [2]


  1. Please continue or Please go on.
  2. The experiment requires that you continue.
  3. It is absolutely essential that you continue.
  4. You have no other choice; you must go on.

 The majority of the teacher got to the maximum voltage. 

Now, many years later, this experiment is a great source to analyse and a great sample for asking questions. It got quite common in the past decade on the court yards and also off them to always look for a guilty person. But does this mean, everybody just has to follow orders? Asking about the experiment, who did it wrong leads to a wrong mindset. Is is none of the participants it is the experiment itself. The teachers and the experimenter did simply said just their job. Blaming the teachers as they were the persons who did the electric shocks might be the easy "solution", but is it? Many of the teachers were heavily stressed and if started to doubt the experimenter tried to push them to continue.

As a conclusion and takeaway, recognize stress in the teams to prevent errors is at least important as avoiding to blame persons. Remember from the previous post, a decision of a person to a specific time is always correct, it depends on the system around. 

Also in case of something wents wrong and you know the external cause, you probably can react with an answer like "it is not my fault, it is because...". Take a moment before answering that way. What does this answer helps to solve the problem? What can you do to prevent this next time. Do not blame, improve the system!




Dienstag, 25. Januar 2022

Choices and decisions


The life is full of choices and they can be categorized in many ways. Starting as a baby until the first years a lot of decisions are intrinsic. Although most of them are also unconscious, depending on the external reactions, decisions can became very soon conscious.

Later on through social learning, there are a lot of unconscious decisions probably even more as you think of. In time of big data of customer behaviour, predicting customer decisions make them way more conscious even if the affected person might not realize this.

Self-reflection is a great way to clarify unconscious decisions. Why did you decide for on choice? What did you support? Who influenced me? When was the decision clear? Where is the place for the decision, is it outside during a walk? Which facts helped to decide? How did the decision affected me? 

Use this to prepare yourself for the next decision, making it easier and it strengthen you. No matter of that, everybody faces from time to time difficult decision. Having two or more choices and the decisions affects you to a larger extend, the most importent thing is to decide.

No decision is no solution. In my jobs I often faced that the result was no decision or a postponed decision. Both leads to delays and ends in a task shift. For sure, getting completely rid off that problem is nearly especially the larger a company is the more persons are affected and/or involved in decisions. Using retrospectives are a powerful instrument to identify and address these impediments.

Decisions are always correct. 

If somebody decide, it is always correct otherwise the person would haved decided for an other choice. This is essential to understand decisions which seems to be crazy, stupid, awful or whatever. Some decisions have been wrong in hindsight because you get additional information or have more or a different context. To understand somebodies decision, it is necessary to understand the person in the moment of the decision. 

Understanding other people is an essential part of working together on the job, especially in terms of motivation when making decisions. It helps to prepare the selection of options in such a way that there is little or no waste.




Freitag, 14. Januar 2022



Pillars are used in human kind since thousansds of years. If you go to Italy, Greece or Egypt you will find a lot of them. For me, every time I see these architectures, it is impressive. They did not build a wall for these buildings, they used the pillars to get someting really great. Imagine they would have build the temples with walls - they would look more like a castle or cuboid than a temple.

Pillar styles changed through the time but the core functionaliy staid the same - being a essential part of something big.

Pictures for any informatoin reuse the symbol of pillars to easy show essential parts and reduce the amount but not the value of information. You can find pillars of health, pillars of finance, pillars of selling on amazon and many others. All these samples you can find transports the core information with a word or a short phrase. The value of it is, you can easy remember it and you can embed these values in your life.

In the Agile manifesto there are also pillars, phrases you think they are simple to understand but hard to master. 

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Working software over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Responding to change over following a plan

But why? In the picture above you see, that just the pillars are still here. The Agile pillars also are just a base of something great. You need to think also of many other aspects to build, rebuild or change your organization so that the next earth quake or storm is handled easily.