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Working Up in Project Management, Systems Engineering, Technology, and Writing

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Entries from November 2009

Redefine Impossible

November 30th, 2009 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips What was impossible at one point in the past, often is now possible. What is impossible today will probably possible in the future. Change the conversation by replacing “impossible” with a phrase. What is impossible these days? Curing the common cold Finding politicians who are candid about their proposals An efficient government […]

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Tags: Ideas · Learning · Thinking

This isn’t for You, but We’d Like You to Attend

November 26th, 2009 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Knowledge comes with age. Older colleagues don’t need to be taught some things that younger ones do. There are, however, times when you want older colleagues to attend events that are not necessary for them. Explaining the reasoning makes attendance easier. I’m in my 50s. I know much more than people in […]

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Tags: Communication · Learning · Meetings

That’s not What I Heard in the Meeting

November 23rd, 2009 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips People attend meetings. People make decisions in meetings. Two days later, people rarely agree on what they agreed on in the meeting. This doesn’t have to be the norm. I lived through one agonizing week a few years ago because notes were taken in a meeting, but they were not done visibly […]

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Tags: Communication · Meetings

Going Native

November 18th, 2009 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips To provide a system for users, we need to know the users. How can we know the users without being a user and forgetting about the providers? I once worked a couple of years in an American Embassy in Africa. A constant concern at the U.S. Department of State was that its […]

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Tags: Adapting · Culture · Differences · Government · Management

Adapting and Adaptability

November 16th, 2009 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Situations change and people adapt to those changes. Has adapting to chance taken away your  ability to adapt? Change is constant Okay, that is neither original nor brilliant. It does, however, describe my experiences. Groups of people adapt Another observation that is neither original nor brilliant. What many people fail to observe […]

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Tags: Adapting · Change · General Systems Thinking

Internet Coffee Shops

November 12th, 2009 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips On Internet coffee shops and my preferences for such. I frequently visit places that sell coffee and have Internet WiFi service. On a regular weekday, I will usually visit two of these places. There are several personal and professional reasons for this habit, but that is not the subject of this post. […]

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Tags: Coffee · Communication · People

Life on the Road; Life at Home

November 9th, 2009 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Traveling – living in and out of motels – is different from living in a home. This differences points to lessons that can improve home life. I recently spent five weeks on the road. Motel after motel, night after night. In the past, I have had jobs where I traveled two and […]

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Tags: Change · Culture

Paper Ballots

November 5th, 2009 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips I voted on Tuesday using a paper ballot where I filled an oval with ink to register my vote. This removed one computer from the voting system. I think that was a good thing. I voted on Tuesday. The voting place near my home in Northern Virginia used paper ballots. This felt […]

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Tags: Design · Government · Privacy · Technology · Voting

Concentrating on the Differences

November 2nd, 2009 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Organizations tend to highlight their differences. The differences set them apart in the marketplace. Concentrating on the differences also can dim thinking. Perhaps it is good enough to merely be good enough. In my experience, organizations tend to highlight what makes them different from all other organizations. They concentrate on the differences. […]

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Tags: Communication · Differences · Ideas · Logic