Posted by: kerrywills | May 11, 2018

What the &@#%

Increasingly, I hear a lot of people using profanity at work and during meetings. And some of them are very senior people. It is usually to make a point and not directed at a particular person. I am not personally offended by this but I am not sure if it is appropriate business behavior (not that I am an expert in appropriateness by any means).

I am interested in what other people thing. I can see it being a way of making points and being dramatic but I also believe in knowing your audience and being sensitive to team members who may have a problem with it. I do it sometimes but generally with my door closed and someone that I am very friendly with and I know would understand (and likely who speaks the same way). So what the @#$% do you guys think?

Posted by: kerrywills | May 4, 2018

You never know….

I am a firm believer in building solid relationships at work and never “burning bridges” because you never know who you will work with or for in the future. Countless times I have seen scenarios play out….

  • Two people having a conflict and one winding up working for the other one at a later time
  • Two people not getting along and a future job opportunity reaches out to the other person and gets negative feedback
  • People switching reporting relationships – at one time Person A reported to Person B and then later on it was the other way
  • People not getting along and then being put on a team where they are dependent on each other
  • Someone working as a consultant and not being treated like an employee becomes an employee and the boss of some of those people

So my advice is to be cordial to everyone and build relationships with people. Because you never know….

Posted by: kerrywills | April 27, 2018

Meeting goals

Earlier this year I decided that I wanted to get 10,000 steps in every day. As of writing this, I have accomplished that goal for 40 straight days.  It has not been easy with challenges such as long workdays, child activities and bad weather. What I have found is that if I am deliberate about meeting the goal then I plan for it and figure out a way to make it happen. Here are some examples…

  • Running at the gym in the morning if I have a lot of meetings
  • Taking work calls on a walk outside (sometimes in the rain and sometimes in the snow)
  • Walking around the work office if the weather is bad outside
  • Waking up at 5am to walk on the treadmill on days where I have all-day meetings
  • Getting to a work dinner early to walk around the parking lot (yes I was that weird guy going in circles around the lot)

So the lesson here is that if we focus on the goal, we can plan out multiple ways of accomplishing that goal

Posted by: kerrywills | April 20, 2018

Referees at Work

If you read my blog then you know that both of my children participate in sports. Both soccer and basketball have referees who watch the game and look for fouls. We may want to consider having a similar role during our meetings at work to ensure that things do not get out of control. I think this might actually help the effectiveness of the meetings.  Maybe people even get thrown out after being called for too many fouls!


Some examples of fouls during meetings could be…

  • Stating problems without recommendations – “illegal conversation”
  • General complaining – “bad sportsmanship”
  • Arriving late, disrupting the meeting and then asking people to repeat what they had missed – a “blocking” foul for blocking progress
  • Blaming other organizations or team members – “traveling” for trying to move accountability to the wrong places

And in some cases there may be more flagrant “technical fouls” which get called…

  • Someone who keeps interrupting other people talking – “defensive charge”
  • Someone who shuts down others when they are giving their views – “roughing the speaker”


Now we just need to get special outfits for these people and let the games begin!

Posted by: kerrywills | April 13, 2018

Spring Cleaning

Well it is Springtime, which means time to clean the yard, sweep the garage and clean out the clutter that has amassed over the winter. This is a good approach to take with our work and projects on occasion as well. We need to step back and evaluate how they are progressing and if there is anything that requires cleaning up…

  • Are we on track?
  • What are the big risks and are they being addressed?
  • Are the right people working on the project?
  • Are there outstanding actions or decisions that are needed?
  • Are there processes or scope that is not directly tied to delivery of value (i.e. clutter) and can it be removed?

So now that the skies have cleared, the temperature is warming up and we start venturing outside again, we should revisit our work as well to see what Spring cleaning we can do there.

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