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Sunday, February 15, 2009

There is Abundance Don't be Afraid to Share

Paul Zane Pilzer says that we should not look at our work as a scarcity of resources, one person's gain does not have to be someone else's loss. Success should be scene as an ever abundant, expanding pie with enough for everyone. If we are all working together for a common goal and we share our findings and abilities so that others can then expand their productivity we all benefit from the success.

I had an excellent project manager who worked from me a few years back, she produced a project summary document that was very good and it was quickly adopted throughout the organization. However this project manager was not happy and came to me to express her displeasure with everyone using her self developed tool. Now we would have developed a project summary document anyway. The summary would not have been nearly as nice or as easy to use as the one she developed; at the very least she got to continue to use her very effective solution rather than one created by committee. As many of you are aware the ones developed by committee are far more complicated and much less effective.

I happily explained that a solution was badly needed within the organization and we were using hers rather than assigning a committee to develop one and how I thought it was a great to see so many people using her summary document and getting great results. Unfortunately this project manger did not see it the same way, which was too bad because her knowledge and skills in delivering projects were outstanding. If our business and technology mangers adopted her techniques for project delivery it would have resulted in one of the more successful technology delivery organizations.

This project manager made a major contribution to the organization by showing the effectiveness of good project management and reporting. Why was she so upset? This was a win/win situation and everyone in the organization benefited. Rather than seeing abundance she only saw scarcity and pushed away other managers. Ultimately she left the organization and explained her departure saying that it was not a good fit for her. I was deeply disappointed to see her go, however, she was right: we wanted abundance from our managers and this did not fit her world view. Today I still keep in touch and she continues to manage projects as an individual contributor.

Abundance versus scarcity in the workplace, what are your views?

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