It's been ten wonderful years, folks, and we're still at it, still filling up, still helping with careers. And lives.
New Book Review: "Amplifying Your Effectiveness"
review for Amplifying Your Effectiveness: Collected Essays, edited by Gerald M. Weinberg, James Bach, and Naomi Karten, Dorset House Publishing, 2000, reposted here:
This book is a collection of "pre-cedings" written by 17 software consultants for a conference of the same name. In the introduction, Weinberg explains the frequent ineffectiveness of proceedings typically distributed at the end of conferences. These essays (the entire text is less than 150 pages) present a preview of the hosts participating in the first "Amplifying Your Effectiveness" conference by demonstrating the diverse styles and interests of the authors. Weinberg explains that within any organization, improvements in effectiveness can occur at three levels - the individual ("the Self"), the team ("the Other"), and the organization as a whole ("the Context") - and that this collection attempts to address all three levels. In addition, there are three fundamental abilities that contribute to the effectiveness of a manager or any other technical leader: "the ability to observe what's happening and to understand the significance of your observations", "the ability to act congruently in difficult interpersonal situations, even though you may be confused, or angry, or so afraid you want to run away and hide", and "the ability to understand complex situations so you can plan a project and then observe and act so as to keep the project going according to plan, or modify the plan". These three abilities are also addressed in this collection because the least developed among them prevents one from amplifying effectiveness the most.Read more at www.erikgfesser.com
I find it can cut both ways in any problem-solving activity, including testing.
Variety, particularly in a routine activity like going to work or brushing my teeth, acts as a brain jiggle and sometimes jiggling my brain is exactly the right thing to do. Any writer knows you can often solve a writing problem by changing where you sit, or the time you sit down at your desk. I can sometimes see a work problem from a different angle by taking a different route in. Other times it's better not tackling the problem at all for a while, but concentrating deeply on something entirely other, like learning a new piece of music or gardening.
But executing a well-worn routine can also free the mind to wander. I often have new ideas while walking a familiar route or taking a shower in exactly the same way I always do. That's a common human pattern too.
I think the trick is to do both. Allow yourself some familiarity, but frequently challenge basic assumptions by going against your patterns.
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