Not Even Wrong – Reality Checks 7

May 2014
Rio de Janeiro, Pestana Rio Atlantica

I heard from a friend who told me that he distributed snippets from the “Not Even Wrong – The model” post to his colleagues prior to one of their regular status meetings. He also informed me that the conversation that ensued was most rewarding. This made me happy. It also intrigued me. It seemed as if a nerve had been hit, but I was not entirely sure which one. So I decided to ask.

Here goes:

Q: What prompted you to send the text to you colleagues? 

I felt that we as a group suffered from a lack of understanding of the ”state of the world” as it actually was. We were busy making plans that had no foundation in reality. Also, I felt there were erroneous underlying assumptions in play as to our current state with regards to the usability of the frameworks we had at our disposal, and the work being performed in another group we were relying on to complete a major refac of an essential framework.  

The short answer is that I wanted my group to have a ”wake-up-call”. The simplicity of the model, and the realizations it provoked, was what prompted me to send a few paragraphs from the text to my team.

Q: What reaction did you expect?

I expected my colleagues to publicly and collectively agree that our efforts needed to be adjusted to the harsh reality of reality. It should be noted that they never actually were under the impression that our plans were feasible. They are not that gullible. But management pressure to draw up concrete plans for imaginary deadlines was pushing everyone to work towards unrealistic goals using poor assumptions. This frustrated them greatly.

Q: What reaction did you get?

A collective sigh of relief that the elephant in the room was being put on public display.

Q: What, if anything, do you want your colleagues to take with them from that meeting?

That in order to minimize frustration, simply acknowledge the state of the world as it is. And act and plan accordingly.

There it is. We will return to this further on. For now, I think the final answer sort of captures some sort of essence with beautiful clarity.  I paraphrase:

In order to minimize frustration.
Acknowledge the state of the world as it is.
Act and plan accordingly.

Earlier posts on “Not Even Wrong”