Last week’s tweets

tweet, tweet

tweet, tweet by chibiniko on

In case you missed it, here are some tweet & re-tweets of articles & other things that caught my eye last week:

From Others:

From Me:


SOPA blackout – the silence is not deafening


Stop SOPA.  Make Your Voice Heard

Stop SOPA by nabichan on

First off, I’d like to thank all of those bloggers and site owners out there for raising awareness of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) issue.  Personally, I’d like to thank Jamie Flinchbaugh for sending me a DM to make me aware of the issue, and to inform me that both he and Mark Graban would be joining major sites like Wikipedia and blocking out their sites today in protest.

I, too, do not agree with SOPA and I am glad that President Obama effectively killed it yesterday.  The Senate’s anti-piracy measure, PIPA, is still alive & well, however.  As you may have noticed, however, I have decided that I won’t be blacking out MFP for today.

 The reason?  Simple:  I don’t believe the correct response to the threat of censorship is to voluntarily censor one’s self.

What the internet has given us is the relentless ability to share ideas and information, in realtime, for both good and ill.  While no one would want to take away the “Good” what acts like SOPA intend to do are to take away the “Ill.”  At first glance, this seems reasonable and logical – we want to protect people from the objectionable and the illegal.  Unfortunately, what constitutes either Good or Ill are matters of time, place and circumstance and what tends to lead to societal, technological, and governmental change is when someone challenges the accepted distinctions between the two.

Yes, I believe property owners deserve to have their property protected and supported with the force of law.  This, of course, includes intellectual property.  What I disagree with when it comes to SOPA, however, is that the means for protecting this property should be to limit the ability of everyone to pursue whatever interests them.  To draw an analogy, it is like saying that in response to a rash of speeding cars on a particular street, no one in the town is allowed to own or drive a car, and the gas station needs to shutdown, too.  Unfortunately, in that situation, the powers that be don’t have the ability to patrol every street all the time or stop you from buying gas one town over, so you’ll need to monitor yourself.  If you don’t, you’ll get whacked with some penalties, too.  Nevermind that you might not be able to go to work or respond to an emergency if you need to.

Back to the blackout as a means of protest.  The response to the SOPA and PIPA bills that led to President Obama’s decision took place by means of……the internet!  The multitude of voices and the ability to dissemminate information on the issue, in many ways, on many platforms, and in huge volumes at very quick paces is what created the stir.  It is exactly this ability to allow information to flow that makes the internet so vital. 

Even those sites that are blacked out….aren’t really.  The “blacked out” sites contain inforation on SOPA and PIPA, demonstrating that the true strength of the internet lies in the sharing of information and ideas, even objectionable ones, and not in the power of silence.  Like this site, many of them are also hosted by GoDaddy and, of course, indexed by Google – who have raised the ire of some folks for supporting the SOPA bill or not blocking out their sites entirely today – proving  that the major internet providers will continue to be major providers, SOPA or not.

Why? Because as information flows around the internet people do 2 very human things:  They get creative, and they get bored.  If a site is down, folks will find a way around the problem.  They will go elsewhere or someone will be bold enough to create an illegal site in protest, possibly hosted overseas and beyond the reach of the very laws it seeks to overturn.  It might even gain enough popularity to cause legislation or whole industries to realign with what people desire – as expressed (you guessed it) in droves on the internet. 

It is that expression of discontent that matters – and it should be done as loudly as possible, with full voice by all those with something to say.  The awareness of SOPA and PIPA that brought about the President’s action did not come through site owners voluntarily taking their sites down – it came about through the collective voices of all those site owners and readers emailing, texting, tweeting, and calling Washington on web-enabled cell phones.

I’d much rather see people articulating their exact thoughts on thousands of sites as to why this issue, or any issue that they feel needs to be confronted, is important to them than see those same sites showing a boilerplate message or a simple, blank screen.  Through volumes of posts expressing their point of view on an issue, is how change occurs.

Actually, come to think of it, that’s exactly what’s happened on this issue already, isn’t it?

Oh, and by the way……..

It’s working.

Maps of War

I came across this really, really interesting site today:  Maps of War.

The Maps of War March of Democracy On the site are several animated maps depicting the spread of democracy, the casualties in the Invasion & Occupation of Iraq, the history of conquest in the Middle East, the spread of religion, and many other events from antiquity to today, including battles and campaigns of WWI and WWII.

What I am wondering is how these maps could be incorporated into improvement practices?  For one, wouldn’t it be great to have a history of your organization?  Knowing how to get to your future state might have a lot to do with knowing how you got to your current state.  Having such a map would be tremendously useful for understanding all the idiosyncratic, cultural norms within an organization.

Also, think of how useful this could be for process mapping, mind mapping, or value streams.  Seeing the spread and growth of an idea, or the way in which a process evolved over time, would be tremendously insightful.

Here’s an example of the animations available at Maps of War:


Project Management Haiku

Sponsor gives the task
With Impossible deadline
Insanity rules

Create Gantts to show
Path to achieving success
Thanks, M.S. Project

Kick-off not so good
Resources are all tied up
Late the day we start

Panic already
Project reviews are painful
But no help in sight

Schedule slipping right
Costs are increasing daily
Metrics board bright red

Spec is adjusted
To something realistic
Still feels like failure

Project completed
Delivered less than wanted
Still we celebrate

Sponsor is calling
Follow-on is imminent
Here we go again

Combining Forces: Lean, Leadership, Organizational Development, Innovation come together.

Yesterday, I made my way down to Vibco in Wyoming, RI to be a guest on The Lean Nation radio show. After a meet and greet with Linda Kleineberg and a tour of the facility, we headed into athe studio for a live broadcast. 

You can listen to the podcast here

Originally, we’d planned on talking about The Eighth Waste of Lean: Unused Human Creativity.  As we got into it, however, we dove right in to our secondary topic:  How all the different schools of thought on making the workplace more productive, enjoyable, and just plain better can benefit from using each other’s strengths.  In effect, doing so is what makes tapping into all that unused human creativity possible! 

Combining strengths makes the team invincible.

As this blog has developed over the past few months, I’ve had in the back of my mind that leaders in different areas seem to be talking about the same things very often, however, they also seem to be using different words.  As I pursue what interests me, I am finding that multiple disciplines, each with an interest in developing leaders, reducing stress and eliminating the unnecessary all discuss ways to improve both work and life.

What’s needed, then, is an opportunity for the practitioners and experts in these different areas to come together and join forces.  I’ve had this in the background, but I’m bringing it out front.  I believe as these communities share their knowledge with each other, each will become stronger and move us closer to that workplace ideal.

Lean requires tremendous amounts of change, leadership, redefinition of organizational roles and trememdous problem solving capabilities to get through old, traditional methods and push through their transformations.

The experts in the schools of Leadership development, Organizational Behavior, Change Management and Innovation often have difficulty connecting their knowledge of “soft skills” with business impact.  You should be looking at the success that Lean transformations have yielded.

During the show I made mention of a few resources and people I’ve found that both inspire and educate me: 

All Things Workplace. from Steve Roesler

Heart Centered Leadership. from Susan Steinbrecher

Riverfork’s Lead Change by design. from Melissa Dutmers

The Lead Change Group. from Mike Henry, Sr..

Blogging Innovation. from Braden Kelly

The Creative Problem Solving Institute

The W. Edwards Deming Institute

There are so many other influential, supportive and just plain cool people, blogs and sites out there that I wish I’d had the time or the quickness of thought to have mentioned: 

Leadership Freak. from Dan Rockwell

The Experience Factor. from Kelly Ketelboeter and Jennifer Kuhn

Management Leverage. from John Burrows

Lean for Everyone. from Jon Wetzel

A Major Consulting. from Toby Elwin.

Give the show a listen, and let me know your thoughts!  Thanks so much to everyone.  Your contributions have made everything to date possible.