Building Depth by Building Breadth
It’s partly because they are so rare that “overnight success” stories of unicorn company founders attract so much media attention. And all that media attention inspires hordes of other young people who picture themselves on that next magazine cover. I congratulate the fractional percentage of them who make it!
The more common path to success involves developing expertise and gaining experience that increases their value to the organizations they serve. Continue reading Building Bench Depth
Technical Debt Will Cost You More Than Money
Even if your organization’s balance sheet shows no debts, it’s a safe bet you have some. If you’re not aware of that debt, you can’t be managing it well.
The debts I’m referring to aren’t generally tracked in dollars. But the financial toll of their impact on your organization’s resilience, flexibility, responsiveness, ability to grow, and overall health is huge. Continue reading Debt Beyond Dollars
Bringing Value through Depth and Breadth
It’s great to be recognized as an expert. And experts do bring value to organizations that need their specific expertise. But sometimes experts are so focused in their field that they are practically unintelligible to the rest of us.
Generalists, on the other hand, can bring value by connecting the dots across disciplines to get diverse functions to work together. But the jack-of-all-trades hits a wall when a master-of-one is needed.
I recognize the value of both experts and generalists. But if I’m building an organization I’ll place the highest value on the team members who have “T-Shaped Skills”. Continue reading Developing T-Shaped Skills
Doing Small Projects Well
Landing a man on the moon or building a skyscraper are incredibly complex projects requiring advanced project management (PM) skills. Highly skilled project managers pull off seemingly miraculous feats of coordination and collaboration. You may not need that caliber of PM skills, but even small organizations still need to rally multiple resources to launch products, plan events, create marketing materials, build business plans, and solve other problems. Continue reading Minimalist Project Management