Seth Godin on the “New Normal”

We’re getting out from under here so I’m digging through my own stack of stuff.  It has been exceedingly hard to post, but I’ve tried not to skimp on my reading.  That’s the least I can do to stay connected.

I’ve linked to Seth Godin a number of times, and not just because of his marketing chops.  Seth’s best posts tie complex phenomena directly to the choices we make with our personal and professional lives.  His post “The forever recession (and the coming revolution)” challenges us to recognize that much of the angst of the “New Normal” is driven by one’s perspective:

Stressful? Of course it is. No one is trained in how to do this, in how to initiate, to visualize, to solve interesting problems and then deliver. Some see the new work as a hodgepodge of little projects, a pale imitation of a ‘real’ job. Others realize that this is a platform for a kind of art, a far more level playing field in which owning a factory isn’t a birthright for a tiny minority but something that hundreds of millions of people have the chance to do.

If we project managers cannot thrive in the “New Normal”, than no one can.

PM Quote of the Day — Dietrich Bonhoeffer

If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction

Surviving PMO Success — The Process Maturity Trap

One of the unexpected challenges in our PMO journey has been that success can make an enterprise-level PMO appear less relevant.  A PMO must transform its approach to stakeholders or it won’t take full advantage of the improvements it fostered.  One manifestation of the problem unfolds thusly:

  1. An enterprise PMO composed of PM thought leaders executes a PM improvement program that delivers methodology, training, tools, and change management initiatives to its stakeholders (e.g., regional, local, unit PMOs).
  2. Those stakeholders [largely] adopt those initiatives and transform their project operations in significant and measurable ways.
  3. This transformation creates a new set of PM thought leaders, who often surpass the knowledge and hands-on experience of the original enterprise PMO.

The business problem has reversed; the enterprise PMO now becomes the organization that needs to change to reflect the new reality.  Deliverables that were relevant in moving from low maturity processes no longer work with a more sophisticated audience.  This issue is compounded by the difficulty in recognizing the changed environment.  Who wants to admit that he/she is no longer automatically at the vanguard of knowledge? 

In other words, the challenge for a successful enterprise PMO is: “Who will change the change agents?”

PM Quote of the Day — Montaigne

Fame and tranquility can never be bedfellows

PM Quote of the Day — Faith Baldwin

Time is a dressmaker specializing in alterations

PM Quote of the Day — Nelson Mandela

One of the things I learnt when I was negotiating was that until I changed myself I could not change others

PM Quote of the Day — Leo Tolstoy

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself

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