Paralysed by Perfection?

I got to watch “The Mechanic” starring Jason Statham as Arthur Bishop, this week. In it, the writer uses a quote on a pistol to summarise Bishop’s philosophy:

“Amat Victoria Curam” or “Victory loves the prepared.”

So whilst he romps dealing with seemingly “unexpected” events, it turns out he’s planned for these in advance. He has the time, the resources, and the skills he needs for every eventuality.

Action Flick

It is an action flick though! By definition, he doesn’t just sit around preparing, rather he actually heads out on gigs, and relies on previously learned skills when something unplanned happens. He has found the balance of having a good toolkit, planning for purpose, and getting things done.

Waterfall or Agile?

So think of anything you’re trying to achieve. Anything: Starting a business, getting a job, writing a book, building a Cloud Datacentre…. There are two approaches to achieving your goal:

One is to plan everything in minute detail, then follow the plan (inflexibly.) The waterfall approach. Inevitably if you can’t get the resources (you think) you need in the first place, you don’t start.

The other is to essentially “plan on the go.” Create a high level plan, start your activity, then adjust as necessary.

Both approaches have their strengths and weaknesses. I mean, you don’t want to be at camp 3 on Everest and find you haven’t brought oxygen because you were following an Agile methodology and didn’t need it at the start. On the other hand, as Voltaire said

“Le mieux est l’ennemi du bien.”  or  “Perfection is the enemy of good”

Just Start already

At the end of the day all you ever need to know in the present, is the next step to take. If you want to get anywhere, you have to move. To start.

Idea Magnet

So, with that in mind, Justin King and I published the first episode of a new podcast this week: Idea Magnet.

Nope, the website isn’t where we want it yet. No, we don’t have scripts for all of our episodes. Or a “listener acquisition strategy.” Or any number of things you need for a successful show. But we committed to a date (today) and got the first episode out the door.

Now, we’ll iterate, and work with our listeners to make it the best it can be.

You can check out the site here: http://ideamagnet.com

Subscribe via RSS: http://feeds.feedburner.com/IdeaMagnet

and subscribe on iTunes here http://bit.ly/IM-iT

How about you

  • Are you a “Victory Loves Preparation” or a “Perfect is the enemy of Good?” kind’ve person?
  • Have you started something and failed because you weren’t properly prepared?
  • Are you still sitting on your next big idea because you don’t have everything you need to start?

I’d love to hear about how you’re going and help where I can. You can comment below or on Facebook.

Everyone’s a Winner

Also, in a blatant attempt to grow our listenership, we’re giving a Microsoft Lifecam Cinema HD webcam away on the Podcast. So check it out, enter our competition, but above all, let us know what you think.

Book Review: Focus – Stephen Covey

I’m not sure you can actually get this book in print. It was one of my Audible Downloads. Just due to the nature of my work and lifestyle, I find audio books a great way to keep up with the latest business literature. Fantastic on the bus, in the train, whilst driving – although the girls would disagree 🙂

“Focus” is like the “7 Habits” delivered in an 8 hour course. Stephen only cameos occasionally to drive home a point, and the rest of the course is delivered by one of the senior Franklin-Covey Trainers.

So like “7 Habits,” the points are concise, valid, and well, effective. Unlike the “7 habits,” you get the gist of the methodology in less than 8 hours.

Some things I got from the book:

You can’t manage time, You can’t slow time, You can’t avoid time. Time passes relentlessly”

“Proactively understand your diverse Roles first (husband, father, businessman, coach etc), Then plan your weekly goals for each of these, then determine tasks.”

Do this weekly on a Sunday afternoon, adjust tasks daily.”

Don’t ever plan appointments or tasks for more than 65% of a day – that’s all you get given common distractions”

Sharpen the Saw – i.e. Practice, learn, stay fit”

I think that Stephen has a Process Communication style preference, or has created that through training. Which is great, but some of us don’t take to process easily. Whilst this methodology has some great ideas and tidbits for managing yourself and your goals (remember, you can’t manage time), it needs more work for people with other preferences (e.g. Analytic, Creative, Empathetic).

I was hoping for something to help me define my focus, rather than be effective in a sea of noise. My problem wasn’t getting things done, so much as determining the right things to do in the first place. For that, this book is of no help whatsoever.

That being said, books don’t change the world, students do. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, ineffective, and everything is “Urgent” if not “Important.” I.e. stressed, you’d do very well to read this book.

If you teach, assist, or consult to people in getting organised – this is a valuable resource.

Rog42’s Rating Index (RRI) ****

  1. Readability ****
  2. Novel Learning ***
  3. Influence of Change ****

Buy, Borrow, or Ignore List? “Borrow” – Better off buying “Seven Habits”

…but wait there’s more (Sydney Mobile Online Meeting Details)

Araya PicturesWhat, more than Araya Pictures MD, Dr Avnesh Ratnesan talking about Australia’s First Ever Dedicated Mobile Film Fest?Bonobo

More than Michael Del Borrello, from Bonobo Labs, talking about Yoink! and iBoost?  How to kick start your mobile development business.

More than your very own Rog42 facilitating a Speed Networking session?

Yep, more than all of that. Y’see, we’re streaming live over LiveMeeting. Come and join us from within whichever state, nation, or even nation state you reside. Online, with full streaming video, audio, and slides of the meeting.

Join the Meeting 6:30pm Tuesday 9 Feb 2010

The marvels of modern technology. Whatever will they think of next?

TAG 003 – Technology for the Average Guy – Episode 3

This week the Tech for the Average Guy Podcast speaks to Journalist James Bannan from the APC, and what happened at the Microsoft TechEd Conference.

Well we had a couple of interruptions to our usual programming, which we’re working hard to remedy. Firstly, James and I were up on the Gold Coast for the Microsoft TechEd Conference. Both of us were there in a speaking capacity, which proves a rather heavy workload. Then just to top us, Nick went and contracted Pnuemonia, (as you do) and was out of action.

However, I did manage to catch up with James Bannan, IT Administrator and Journalist for the APC. So he works with your average teacher, and writes for the non-professional IT user all the time. It was great to get some of his insights for the technologies launched at TechEd, and what he believes will be a game changer for 2010.

This week our FLR people:

James:

Rog42

As ever please email your questions, thoughts, comments, suggestions, and angry arguments to tag@channel42.info

You can subscribe to the TAGCast at http://tinyurl.com/TAG-C42 or directly on iTunes at http://tinyurl.com/TAG-C42-iT