Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Knack is not the only skill you need

You have all likely seen this video.

I'm in a room filled with people who have the Knack. You know the type. Give them a great big box of stuff that requires assembly, and they begin immediately begin to put it together without reading the instructions.

The problem is, at the end, when there is one screw left over, they don't know what they've missed. So, now they begin goving over the instructions in detail to figure it out. They will and eventually do figure it out, because they know if they don't, something bad could happen.

Remember, I'm in a room full of these people. Their jobs this week are to put together interoperable solutions. The screws that are left over result in failed tests.

I cannot tell you how many times over the past eight years I've read the instructions to someone else, or the specification, or how many times my colleagues have done the same thing. It usually results in a polite "Oh...thank you" and they resolve their issue to move on to the next problem.

The ones I want to keep are the ones who learn the most valuable lesson of this interaction. They start to read the instructions first.

After all, if the solution was so obvious, IHE would not have been asked to solve the problem in the first place.

So, my best advice for this week. Read.


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