The People Thing – thru Agile lenses

Ehancing human performance now appears to be even more important to CEOs and CIOs than automating business processes.

I recall reading an article last year, I believe from Microsoft’s CEO summit last May, where Bill Gates took a few moments to talk about time management.  He noted that, somehow, his calendar seemed to be filled with commitments that – upon reflection – only seemed like a good idea at the time.  In retrospect, he had been foolish to make them.

Things changed for the better when he began sharing his calendar with his colleague – Steve Ballmer.  Steve would ask him why he would want to schedule something, and Bill would look at Steve’s calendar to review what he was spending time on.  This review, supposedly made both of them more efficient, more effective, and more collaborative time managers.

This struck me as a singularly intriquing way for a pair of colleagues to challenge and get more value from each other.  How many people have the kind of relationship where they can do a peer review of each others calendars?  How much more value could be gained by this kind of reality check on intended priorities vs. actual time spent?

This resonates with me personally, as our business is continually trying to get more out of our people.  For decades, CIOs have sold IT as an investment to boost the strategic and operational competitiveness of their firms.  Thats a good thing.  With Web 2.0, blogs, wikis, VoiP, and in some shops like ours, ‘Agile’ as a software development methodology – ITs value proposition has expanded to embrace enhanced communications within the enterprise.

An increasing trend, particularly from CEOs, (and yes, ours included) – puts pressure to get more value from their best people.  Many even seem motivated to get better results from people in non-leadership roles.  In short, management is more ambitious about getting greater returns from their “human capital” portfolios.  Augmenting human performance now appears even more important that automating business processes..


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