Rowling’s got it wrong!

I have already dealt with the topic of “decisions” once before, in September 2020.  Two reasons motivate me to take up this topic again: Firstly, the new book by Daniel Kahnemann et al., which deals with this very topic and secondly, a quote from Joanne K. Rowling, who may be a good writer but apparently has not read anything by Kahnemann and – what is much worse – not even our blog.

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It’s alive!

Is it because I’ve just had my first vaccination? It wasn’t AstraZeneca, but I swear our robot vacuum cleaner is alive. It’s a brand-name model. Great thing, especially if you have a dog and not many carpets. Works really well, it’s just a bit noisy. But it’s alive. I checked, the software is not from Microsoft – which eliminates the only alternative explanation. The dear thing drives around the whole flat and picks up dog hair, dog toys, dog food, dog biscuits and dog biscuits and nothing else really – except dog chews.

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Godot on hold (Part 2)

Waiting and Projects

As already explained in the first part, the uncoupling of waiting from the stimulus entails higher uncertainty with regard to the probability of occurrence, which is increased by temporal extension.

An example: in the course of a project, people realise that its complexity is significantly higher than expected, which per se leads to the increased probability of failure. Researchers call this “dissociation”, i.e., the resources available to humans while waiting, include freedom of action, self-stimulation, temporal range and communicability.

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Godot on hold (Part 1)

The perception of waiting time

The range of different clever pronouncements on the subject of “waiting” demonstrate  the ambivalence of perception. While some emphasise its benefits (Leo Tolstoy: “Everything comes in time to him who knows how to wait.”) others prefer to emphasise the impatience aspect (Damaris Wieser: “Waiting for something only robs us of the time we won’t have later when we need it.”)

Waiting is the “experience of time” and therefore this ambivalence is hardly surprising. Anyone who has children knows about the “Are we nearly there?” after about three minutes of driving, which is often used interchangeably with “I need the loo!” but that doesn’t matter. The critical reader may argue that this example is about boredom, i.e. forced idleness coupled with lack of stimulus, which is also a form of waiting, only in an intensified form. In the same vehicle, however, the parents are happy about the holidays that have begun (anticipation).

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In the beginning was the word…

in the end the cliché (Stanislav Jerzy Lec)

Note from the translator: The more astute reader will swiftly recognize the absurdity of the translation into English of a lament about the use of the German language. Such abuses exist in a modern world where presentation is more important than content. The Top Ten English  words for 2020 include, apart from the inevitable phrases relating to Covid-19 and video-conferencing, such memorable terms as “BLM” (Black Lives Matter), “Karen” (a prejudiced, privileged middle-aged person criticizing condescendingly), Megxit (referring to ex?-Prince Harry and Meghan). A clear indication of the applicability of VUCA everywhere. My apologies too if the text is hard to decipher due to terms beyond the vocabulary of even an American president. Nevertheless, I ask you to give Harlekin RGE a chance in English, since his appeal for a more critical examination of the words we use is hardly restricted to the German-speaking world.

If I claimed just a short while ago that ‘resilience’ had become the new jack-of-all-trades and thus joined the Olympian vocabulary of every project management expert, I must correct myself.

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The turkey’s resilience on Thanksgiving

There is another magic word in the enchanted world of project management: resilience. At least that’s my impression, based on the frequency of mentions in blogs like this one, specialist portals, articles and so on. Whether IPMA or PMI, the term appears everywhere as a key ability for leading projects, but also as a characteristic of projects. Wikipedia defines resilience as ” ability to mentally or emotionally cope with a crisis.” Brief internet research shows that no cliché is omitted here and that there is no fun in buzzword bingo because someone can always call bingo too quickly.

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Great Minds Think a Lot

… and lesser ones too

Dear listeners, let me welcome you to our live feature here at Harlequin Radio on “Conspiracy Theories and Fake News”. Of course we have again invited guests, whom I will introduce to you in a moment, but please participate directly. Our lines have already been open for an hour and we look forward to your contributions. My name is the Harlequin von Zurich and today I am pleased to welcome as guests: Mark Twain, Frank Zappa and Oscar Wilde.

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The thing about decisions

I often get the urge to write in reaction to things that have a negative impact on me. Not necessarily just aggravations. Often it is people making things too easy for themselves. I notice time and again, for example, that there are spelling mistakes on many signs, or that journalists, who ought to be trained in this area, cannot get their grammar right. I’m neither a language specialist nor a purity fetishist, but I do believe that it doesn’t hurt to at least make an effort when you do something. It makes your own statements and actions a lot more credible.

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