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Friday, June 8, 2012

Moving Parts

I was having lunch with a friend who is the Assistant Deputy Director to the Deputy Assistant Director, after she came back from vacation.

In a week off, she realized that many of the offices around hers are vacant, and that while once safely in the midst of the horde, she had been exposed by years of attrition. Last woman standing.

She is paid well for skills that are somewhere in the middle of the business development process, probably earning more than 90% of the people in her vacation state. However the results that are now required go far beyond the capabilities of any skills either of us know.

You know why you didn’t win that re-compete? It wasn’t because your team wouldn’t cooperate with you. It’s because the customer didn’t want you back.

If business gets any worse, they may let her go, too. What, you thought you were family?

So we started discussing Plan B. She has spent 30 years honing big company skills. Needs a cast of thousands.

I’m concerned that by concentrating on getting results, I haven’t developed any management skills.” Don’t worry, management skills are over-rated.

I started naming the three key factors of disruptive innovation – lower price, fewer features, larger audience, and she got excited.

That’s my college roommate! She has her own business, works with two other one-person businesses in Chicago and Atlanta, no one else like her, and she makes over a million dollars a year!” Now my Assistant Deputy Director has a believable model. Doesn’t know what hers will be, but knows it can be done.

If you’re going to strip out the moving parts, it’s good to think about the three requirements for work to have value, get it right the first time, customer has to care, and the thing must change physically. Then think about what’s the minimum process and organization that will provide what someone wants.

June 12 is the next Capital Technology Management Hub featuring Sales Lab'sRainmaker 14 – The Myth of Full Capacity - 300 seconds of pure profit. The featured speaker will be Cory Lebson of Lebsontech LLC, presenting User Experience: What it Means & Why a Technology Manager Should Care!

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