This evening I, as usual, watched a favorite tv show, What NOT To Wear. I enjoy the humor, dig the clothing, and get a satisfaction in seeing the transformation from slovenly/dated/trampy to a look that suits both the body and personality of the guest. And sometimes I pick up a tip or two that I apply to my own wardrobe.
In idly thinking over the events of this week at work, I realized that I can discover similar lessons when observing my colleagues: examine their mistakes, determine how those mistakes might have been prevented, then looking for ways to incorporate such safeguards in my work.
Albert Einstein once provided a definition of insanity, which is
… doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
Yet in looking at what happened at work this week, I see both myself and several others repeating the same behaviors and actions, while each time optimistically hoping that this time that square peg will somehow transform into a sphere and fit neatly into the round hole. Are we insane? No, I prefer to think not. Sadly though, we create an insane environment when we take these same failing approaches repeatedly.
My lesson this week was to thoroughly prepare for software deployments. My group does a pretty decent job at this, but we can improve. A pair of teams – not mine, thankfully – did a very poor job of planning, and as a consequence a large group of employees were compelled to remain at work quite late to remedy numerous problems.