|Issue: 1(14), June 15, 2009
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Have a great week,
Nancy and Jan
Effort that is neither
fish nor fowl
The idiom "neither fish nor fowl" refers
to something that is no one recognizable thing. Are some of your
efforts neither fish nor fowl? Could outsiders review your activities
and easily recognize your objectives? Or would they be left scratching
their heads or worse yet shaking them in confusion?
The idiom often comes to mind when we
encounter a project that seems stalled in research, never quite making
it to bonified product development. Mid-stage programs usually have a
higher risk of becoming neither fish nor fowl through drift, lack of a
cohesive, "earnest" effort, or loss of perspective. Prompting one to
ask, "Just what are you hoping to accomplish from this?"
It can happen when new questions develop
based on the ongoing line of
investigation, new information or opportunities suggest greener grass,
or the tasks needed to advance the program to the next step mount.
There is a fear of committing (or lack of urge to commit) too firmly
to one path. After all, what if you're wrong?!
Of course the problem is not unique to
R&D and can develop just a well in business development and general
management. What do you (the company) really want to be when you grow
up? Could we tell based on a review of your deals and activities? How
well do the deals and activities connect with your ultimate objective?
Is there a fear to commit fully to a single strategy?
The lack of a firm commitment to clear,
strategic objectives leaves the door open for inefficiencies and worse
yet, disarray. It is OK to change paths when you discover a good reason
to, but not committing in earnest
to a path, well, leads to be becoming neither fish nor fowl; neither a
failure nor a success. Eeuw!
TIP: Don't let fear of
committing to a specific path or objective turn your efforts or company
into the unrecognizable! It is OK to change paths, but not
committing to one leads to nowhere. Get
the PDF of this issue»
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The zen of being an employed professional
With today's economy, keeping your current job is a
necessity for most, and unfortunately a source of anxiety for too many.
Because of the situation, even more, we have to be careful that the
focus on being or remaining employed doesn't squelch talent, motivation
and potential, because every company needs the best effort it can get
to do more with less.
There was a saying I used to use, "We're not here to be
employed!" It meant the responsibility of a knowledge worker
beyond pushing paper or punching a time card.
It was both a rallying cry as well as a reminder to the
professional staff that, as professional knowledge workers, we
appreciated that there were also careers at stake. Performance was
personal as well as for the company.
Top-tier professionals don't slog through the advanced
training merely to
"be employed." They want to do something great with their skills and
intellect; have something to show for it. Take that zen away and you
will gain much less than you could or need to from that individual!
Don't think that just because you're less likely to lose a person in
this economy that you can't lose them in other ways. Watch it in
yourself as well!
Be sure now, more than ever, you rally your professional
troops and find a way to maintain job satisfaction by respecting career
ambitions/motivations, yours included. When corporate objectives and
career ambitions meet, they can make for a personally satisfying and
productive environment no matter how challenging the situation. Ohmmm.
TIP: Even in an
employer's market, don't treat your professional staff as head count.
sure to maintain motivation by showing them you respect their
career within the framework of your corporate objectives to
maintain personal satisfaction and productivity. Get
the PDF of this issue»
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