Check These Headlines: Ignoring Failing Projects, Unsafe Cloud Computing and Mindfulness

Twitter, Twitter chat, KaizenBiz Every few months we change things up a bit on the Twitter chat, #KaizenBiz and go for a more lightning round style with our topics. Have you come across any interesting posts or new stories that make you stop and think? This week we are going to borrow from those talk shows that move from topic to topic and see what big ideas are popping up. So, check out these stories and bring your own this Friday to the live Twitter chat, #KaizenBiz at 5pm GMT/12pm ET/9am

Dangers of ignoring failing projects

If you haven’t experienced them, you’ve witnessed them. It’s the project that has so many missed deadlines, glitches and conversations about what to do that you might wonder why people keep trying to make it work. In an interesting post on the HBR Blog Network, Gretchen Gavett talks about what can make projects work better. These are her suggestions:

  • Check and revise your business case regularly
  • Pay attention to what really happens in meetings
  • Cast a wide knowledge net
  • Monitor what’s not being spent
  • Have an entrepreneurial project manager

The underlying connection with all of her recommendations is the human element. It seems that many of the usual things that derail a project – missed deadlines, scope creep, lack of resources and the like – are often more due to human judgement and relationships.

Discussion questions:

  • What do you believe really derails projects?
  • What contributes to the blindness/deafness experienced by team members of failing projects?
  • How could an entrepreneurial-style project manager be more effective than any other project manager?

Think twice about cloud computing?

So much is run on the cloud now that due diligence makes a lot of sense. Although it was quite clumsy for Ben Fried, CIO for Google to say publicly that there may be an inherent security risk to putting an organization’s information on someone’s data center, it does bring up some interesting questions. As was noted in the OPEN Forum post by Kelly Spors, much of what Google provides is, in fact, on cloud-based technologies.

Discussion questions:

Spors asks a great question so we’ll borrow it “If the cloud isn’t secure enough for Google, should any business trust the cloud to store important documents and data?

What kinds of things should a business look for in data security measures?

What other options do businesses have for data storage?

 Mindfulness is gateway to emotional agility

One of the big trends right now is mindfulness. Every Monday, Scott Eblin has a post every week from his series “Mindful Mondays” and  many leadership development programs are including mindfulness is their training. MIndfulness is essentially keeping your focus on the here and now while acknowledging your thoughts and feelings without judgement.

One of the areas that stymies novice practitioners of mindfulness is that negative or unpleasant thoughts and emotions continue to occur. In the Fast Company post “4 Important Things About Mindfulness You Didn’t Realize“, Drake Baer identifies how we can experience our own negativity and still remain mindful:by using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy:

  1. You recognize your patterns
  2. Label the thought or emotion
  3. Accept the things that are happening in your mind
  4. Act on your values

Discussion questions:

Are we spending too much time trying to fix ourselves instead of recognizing that thoughts and emotions happen anyway? Why/why not?

How could our negative thoughts and emotions be addictive?

What affect could using mindfulness have on our performance, particularly in times of stress?

Time for your suggestions

The above topics are my suggestions for our lighting roundtable discussion on the Twitter chat, #KaizenBiz. If something caught your attention this week, bring it the discussion on Friday, October 28th at 5pm GMT/12pm ET/9am PT. Remember to include the link and even  one or two discussion questions.