Sunday, July 16, 2006

More Tao of PM

Another image in the Tao Te Ching is that of strenght versus flexibility. As oak tree is very strong. The same can't be said of grass. But here in Kansas, when we get a tornado, the grass may bend in the strong wind, but remain unharmed. The oak tree however can be broken by the winds.

So what does this say for the project manager? I once recruited a project manager from another department to work for me. This PM got things done through use of power, primarily via their position. In my department though, positional power didn't carry as much weight as other types of power. In my department, it was more about building good relationships, often referred to as personal power or power through trust. This type of power requires more flexibility and more time to develop.

So the PM was acting like an oak tree, but they should have been acting more like grass to be effective.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Tao Te Ching and Project Management

It's been a while since I've posted. I have been out on vacation in London with the family and then doing a little traveling for work. It's given me time to think about ideas to write about here.

I recently got a new Palm T|X. It's really slick! It has WiFi, so I can surf the internet from my couch without dragging my laptop over. It also plays MP3s, audio books, and I can keep pictures on it. It uses the same memory chip as my camera, so I can use it as a picture viewer.

One application I found for it was a copy of the Tao Te Ching. I have read this book before, and even used it for a presentation on leadership. Now I have it on my fingertips anytime I need some inspiriation.

One image used in Tao Te Ching is that of water. Water is fluid and moves around obstacles, but at the same time wears things down; think of the formation of the Grand Canyon. I think a good project manager is one that recognizes when it's time to move around an obstacle and not try to overcome it with force.