Note To Self: Be Specific In Contracts

This is to me & all that at one point felt more specific contractual terms would have saved a lot of headaches:

  • Always state Who does What until When
  • Always in writing
  • Always repeat and send confirmation emails
  • Aways have written minutes
  • Over-communicate instead of under-communicate. Being in between the two is often ineffective
  • Use a RASCI chart

… what else?


The Bullshit Dance

This story follows a series of experiences, the last one being a recent conversation with a Nigerian soccer player that landed in one of Romania’s most international-void places. This is my home city, once the pride of Romania’s steel industry because parts of the Eiffel tower and first country locomotives had been built here, it later became a culturally and economically deserted place.

The train ride…

After scanning the inside of the train from the outside, I chose the Continue reading

Collaboration and Competition

Last week I met a friend involved in a local not-for-profit. From outside, this organization grew up to have an impressive notoriety among young leaders and has been awarded several times during the year in in-house competitions. Seen from the inside, the story was a lot different. With prizes in mind, the board members (my friend was one of them) controlled a lot of the activities and when there was no one to move things forward, they would do it by themselves. They won the prizes, they communicated this in newsletters and, from outside, it all seemed perfect. Inside, a gap was created between leaders and members. Continue reading

Dear Microsoft… how about sustainability?

So I just bought a mouse the other day and it came in this massive box made of what it looks like reinforced cardboard. Expensive? Not really, around 7 EUR.

I took the mouse out, plugged it in the USB slot, worked as expected. Happy!

The box, still massive and heavy. Inside, two manuals… one 91 pages (including covers) Product Guide and one 46 pages (with covers) Warranty.

A 91 pages Product Guide? For a mouse? C’mon! Continue reading

10 Mistakes in Behavior Change

From BJ Fogg & the team, here are 10 mistakes in behavior change:

  1. We rely on will power for long-term change
  2. Attempting big leaps instead of small steps
  3. Ignoring how environment shapes behaviors
  4. Trying to stop old behaviors instead of creating new ones
  5. Blaming failures on lack of motivation
  6. Underestimating the power of triggers
  7. Believing that information leads to action
  8. Focusing on abstract goals rather than on specific behaviors
  9. Seeking to change forever rather than for a short time
  10. Assuming that behavior change is difficult

There are also some other resources from the same author on his website:

On having ‘no buts meetings’

A few weeks ago, irritated a bit by the extensive usage of the word but in our office conversations, I proposed to the team I work in to run ‘no buts meetings’. While not every but is as obnoxious as using the conjunction in phrase structures like “you did a great job in the project, but…”, to keep things simple the proposal was to skip all buts. Same for synonyms like however, still, though.

As the meeting unfolded, we realized that it was a challenging task to keep the conversation clean and the sentences to the point. We often seek to smoothen our tone in business conversations and it sometimes backfires in the form of confusion, unclarity and exaggerated politeness.

While some suggest using words that have the same meaning, my proposal is to shorten sentences and use a full stop or a comma instead of ‘but’.

I feel you did a great job on the project, but there were things missing…” becomes “I feel you did a great job on the project. There were also some things missing…

In this way the praising part of the statement does not get polluted with the slightly negative tone of the reproach sentence. Pausing a bit after the full stop allows the receiving end to take in the compliment and feel proud of their results.

So, here’s a challenge, should you accept it: run as many ‘no buts meetings’ as possible. And one final tip, make it stress-free! If the word does slip in, it’s ok! It will be better as you keep practicing.