Eric D. Brown, D.Sc.

Data Science | Entrepreneurship | ..and sometimes Photography

Tag: Timothy Johnson

SWAT – Seize the Accomplishment Review

SWAT Seize the Accomplishment ReviewI just put down SWAT – Seize the Accomplishment (Amazon affiliate link) by Timothy L. Johnson….and now want to pick it back up and read it again.  It’s that good.

I received the book as a review copy from the author…but don’t let that get in the way of believing me when i say that this business fable is an excellent one.

SWAT is an acronym for “Systems Working All Together”…but it also helps set the stage for the story in the book.

The storyline of this book is a good one and keeps the concepts moving forward quickly. In the story, a team lead has a difficult task to work through and turns to his best friend and cousin…who happens to be a SWAT commander.

The main character, Toby, spends time with his SWAT commander cousin and learns the systems thinking concepts that make SWAT teams successful.

The concepts are described perfectly and in a manner that makes it easy to comprehend and easy to understand how you might apply them to the problems your currently facing.

I’ve read quite a few systems thinking books but nothing as entertaining as this.   While this isn’t nearly as comprehensive as Peter Senge’s The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization, Timothy Johnson‘s put together a great little book that can help to introduce the systems thinking concepts quickly and easily.

Grab this book from your favorite bookseller today..Amazon has it for $14.95.

Carpe Factum: Hit and Run Project Managers

Timothy Johnson, author of the Carpe Factum blog (great blog…check it out), had an interesting St. Patrick’s Day post titled “The Luck of the Irate” where he talks about the wonderful “hit and run” managers. You know, this managers that step into a situation that they know very little about, offer their opinions and/or bark orders and then leave with the thought that they’ve “solved the problem”.

We all know managers and project managers like this…they don’t wait to find out the details…they barge in and ‘get things done’ but most times they end up confusing the issue and causing more work than needed. I’m a big believer in being hands-off as much as possible and expect my folks to bring up any issues that they need my help with…and it appears that Timothy believes this as well…he writes:

There’s a lot to be said for the finer art of facilitation as opposed to going into a conflict like a bulldozer on a steroid overdose

The “Tao of Project Management Blog” is quoted by Timothy to help make his point about using less of a bulldozer and more of a facilitator:

The wise project manager does not interfere with the work of the team unless all else has failed. Delicate facilitation is the way not sudden intervention. By using a sudden intervention the work of one or more members of the team is cast aside and they will feel violated. The team will be weakened and what may, at the time feel like a victory, is actually a failure.

Managing a team of people requires a lot of skills…being a bulldozer isn’t one of them. 🙂

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