A Business Technology Place

What do you enjoy most about your work?

One of my takeaways from college studies was that I didn’t want to work in a job that offered the same work-script each day. Right or wrong, this was the time in my life that I decided I didn’t want to code computer programs for a living because I saw the the activity as repetitive. It wasn’t the end result of the computer program that influenced my thinking, but rather the act of writing code. I wasn’t the most gifted code writer in my class. I completed assignments, but often by brute-force and will power through hours of trial-and-error. I do enjoy writing computer code, but I didn’t see myself doing it for a weekly 40.

During this time, I found that I enjoy work variety. I enjoy solving new puzzles each week and the process of creating new things. There was a bumper sticker at Georgia Tech during my undergraduate years that said “we don’t fit the mold, we make it”. While I didn’t pick an engineering major or pursue an engineering career, I share many characteristics with engineers in what motivates and inspires me. I love to examine a process to see how things fit together to create work.

So I’ve pursued job assignments in information technology, product marketing, and digital marketing during my career. In all of my work I’ve been involved with creating something new to solve a problem for a customer. So this is what I enjoy most about my work.  I see work as the opportunity to create, to bridge, and to learn.

Onward and upward!

Getting stuff done

Getting stuff done.
Over the years that’s become one of my tag-lines. I enjoy making small incremental changes in an organization that add a big punch to results. That means overcoming organizational friction. That means doing things that are common sense. That means showing determination. That means seeing the end. That means not being afraid to fail.

My experience is that people and groups that get stuff done regularly are those that put results and innovation above rules and regulations. I’m not saying that we should abandon processes, rules, regulations, etc. But when the rules and regulations inhibit employees from thinking, acting, and producing work then the rules are no longer benefiting the organization because they become barriers to progress.

Seth Godin encourages people to “Start Something” in his book Poke the Box.  Godin describes his seventh imperative “have the guts and the heart and the passion to ship.” He encourages people to poke, prod, try, and start initiatives. It’s the way true innovation is discovered.  

Steven Pressfield calls resistance the enemy in his book “Do the Work”. Pressfield promotes beginning over planning. His point it to overcome resistance by getting started. Then measure, adjust, rework along the way to make your output satisfying.

Why I like it.
I have a colleague that works as a usability analyst/engineer for our eCommerce sites. She combines her knowledge of usability with analytics data as a basis for making what would seemingly be small changes to an internet experience. She might suggest things like moving the locations of input fields, adding a cross-sell prompt, or changing the placement of a banner. Time and time again, her changes have proved effective at driving incremental sales in an eCommerce environment where the customer came with the intention to just reorder a depleted supply of single product.

I like this style of work because it shows that empowering those closest to the end-customer to make decisions drives good results. The analysis and decisioning is made close to the customer, not by an executive committee.  The people closest to the work are those who are most likely to battle resistance to get stuff done.

What it means.
This doesn’t mean that large project teams chartered by executive committees with big budgets can’t and don’t get work done. But these big teams are comprised of individuals and it is the individuals who overcome the resistance that get work done. Committees are easy targets for inefficiency and stagnation unless the group members find a way to just get started.

So get started. Do the work. Get stuff done. Find way that you can help to drive change.