Friday, February 10, 2017

A Blog That I Follow – The Pinkcast

A blog site that I follow and highly recommend is The Pinkcast. Daniel H. Pink is the creator of this site. Pink is a best-selling author of five books, and is a contributor to The New York Times, BusinessWeek, CNN, CNBC, ABC and National Public Radio. He also lectures on economic transformation, motivation, behavioral psychology and the changing workplace for organizations around the globe.

A few reasons why I enjoy his blogs so much are that his blogs are videos, they get straight to the point (every video is under 3 minutes), his information is actionable without a great deal of effort for me to take action and his ideas can be implement immediately. The videos are also entertaining and at times he has guests appear with him. Each video blog contains links and further readings if you want to delve more into the topic discussed.

A great and easy idea from Pink to implement is the idea of a “premortem”. Pink says the “premortem” is an idea from Gary Klein’s book, The Power of Invitation, and Klein also describes how to conduct a “premortem” in this Harvard Business review article Performing a Project Premortem.

In his blog, Pinkcast 1.6, How to Anticipate and Prevent Big Mistakes, Pink says a “premortem” is a process to do before you begin a big project. He defines a “premortem” as taking the time to think about all the things that can go wrong before you start a big or important project. This process allows you a chance to review possible problems and pitfalls before the real project starts. Thus, “you make mistakes in advance, in your head, rather than in real life with a real project”. This makes sense to me and easy to do.

With a post-mortem a medical professional is looking back at what caused the death of a person. With a “premortem” we are looking to avoid the ‘death’ or failure of a project. We are thinking proactively to avoid possible disasters that can we awaiting us.

Pink had a number of people who commented positivity about Pinkcast 1.6. One post I find particular interesting was a reply from Ant and this person posted the following:

I train organisations to do this based on parallel thinking (e.g. Six thinking Hats). It enables teams and individuals to look at all aspects of a problem, idea or solution – i.e. Why are we doing this?, What will it look like?, How do we feel about the idea/solutions?, and What can go wrong? And then you can do the ‘post-mortem’ – what worked, what didn’t, what were the results and what actions do we need to take for next time?

I replied to Ant and said, "I Iike your idea about expanding the 'premortem' question of "What can go wrong?" to include additional questions such as: Why are we doing this?, What will It look like?, How do we feel about the idea/solution?, Will this solve or improve the issue? and What happens if we do nothing?"

I have not heard a response back from Ant yet but I think they are on to something about asking additional questions besides, "How can this project possibly be a disaster?". Nevertheless, another informative and different perspective from The Pinkcast.

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