Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Looking at the Altitude Dimension

I see altitude as scale and scope.

I > my immediate environment > my family and/or department > the organization > the neighborhood and/or market > the nation > the earth > the universe > ?

We only have control of the I (and some days, for some of us, even THAT is dodgy).

We may influence our immediate relationships and environment.

Everything else, we need to observe and work with (or move on – if that is an option).

The small-scale and the large-scale influence each other.

Many of us are comfortable thinking at one particular level.

We’re being invited to look at how our actions influence, and are influenced by, different scales of our environment.

A way to think about this is through the language of business.

Our tasks influence our projects. Our projects influence our programs. Our programs influence our portfolio. Our portfolios influence our business and how our business engages with the market and, therefore, with the world.

Meanwhile, what is going on in the world influences our chosen market. What we see in the market influences our enterprise business strategy. Our enterprise business strategy influences how we organize our portfolios and what we are trying to accomplish in these portfolios. Programs are then developed and projects get funded based on what we are trying to accomplish at the higher levels (in an ideal world).

Think about what is on your plate.

What is the influence on you?

How are your actions influencing your immediate environment?

What might be the impact locally? Globally?

Details disappear at higher altitudes.

The north star is seldom glimpsed in the forest.

Can you see your impact at a level that differs from the perspective you usually take?

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Looking at the Time Dimension

“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” 

Bill Gates

We can only act in the present moment.

We only have certainty right now.

We can only decide what to do next from where we currently stand.

We can base our decisions on where we want to go in the future.

If I take this next step – will this move me towards or away from my desired destination?

Clarity only exists in the immediate.

I only have certainty that I will perform the next task.

I can plan my to-do list for today. Whether I am successful in crossing anything off may be another story – and that’s OK.

Slightly more challenging is figuring out what I need to get done this week. I can set time aside in my schedule and try to scope the work to fit the time I have. A lot can happen in a week that we don’t expect.

Same thing with the month, the quarter, the year, and other, longer periods of time.

We lose clarity the farther out we go on the time scale.

That’s OK.

More importantly is whether you are headed in the direction you desire and that you are clear on why you are headed in that direction.

As much as we wish that our dreams would manifest instantaneously – creation takes time. Often more time than we would wish.

Life happens, energy fluctuates, we make our estimates based on our best-case scenario with our current environment staying static.

This is why we tend to over-estimate what we can accomplish in a year and under-estimate what we can accomplish in 10 years.

We feel we can get more “done” than we actually can. We over-estimate our time and energy and under-estimate the amount of change in our immediate environment.

However, if we continue to move forward, weaving between the trees and finding the shallow spots in the creeks, we can find ourselves having accomplished more than we ever dreamed of.