I was listening to the .Net Rocks! podcast this week with Carl Franklin and Richard Campbell, and the guest on this specific episode was Steve Smith. They had an amazing talk about Business Anti-Patterns that I really enjoyed, so I decided to write their points of views (and add some of my own from my experience) as business anti-patterns.
So without small talk, here the list of Anti-Patterns or as Carl said in the show:
Reasons why you suck:
You over sell:
Don’t promise something you don’t intend to offer to your team. Or if you have a benefit package which is an OK package, please don’t say we have GREATbenefit package (That might sound Presidential) when it is just as minimum it can get. Or if you really had a plan to have a Great benefit package but because of any reasons now you can’t, let your team know about it, or they will think you over sold (or lied)
Every task is an emergency:
Have you worked with a team or a manager that looks at every task as a Priority 1? yes, we’ve all seen them. That’s just some people’s way ofleadership. They think if they act like everything is an emergency, then it will get done faster and then the team throughput will be higher. But I think they are completely wrong, and when a REAL emergency shows up, then no one will care and that REAL issue will be treated as“just another task”.
You put your team first, but you don’t:
Almost all companies say that: “Our team is our greatest asset and without them, blah blah blah”, now when a client walks in and is asking to accomplish something that with the current budget and timeline, will burn the team and they have to work their ass off 10 hours a day, and all weekends for the next 3 months, please remember that: “Put your team first” and push back on that ridiculous request, rather than try and negotiate with the team to have them on-board for the customer’s request that just doesn't fit to the timelines and the team size.
Communicate with your team:
Keep your team in the loop. Let them know about the “Short” AND “Long” term plans for them (and for the organization). People need to know what they will be doing (or at least what the organization “Thinks” that they will be doing). Even if you don’t know or don’t have a plan, let your team know that there is no such plan so perhaps, they might have some idea!
Keeping people in the dark is bad, and they might decide to take on other roles other places because they don’t know there was a plan for them to do the exact same thing in the current organization.
Avoid Unwritten Rules:
If there is a rule in a team, write them down and let people know about them. Even if there are things that might be considered common courtesy or common sense (Your common sense might not a common sense for others even though it is known as “common”). Otherwise, people will make assumptions that could be in complete contradiction against the “Unwritten” rules that “the team” has in mind.
Be open to changes in processes:
If you have a guideline in your team and someone questions some parts of it, don’t freak out. There is a good chance that they have a point!
Things change and guidelines should too, but nobody updates them, so don’t be afraid to change the guidelines. If someone brings up a point to change a process, that doesn’t necessarily mean than they are troublemakers or hard to work with or not good team players. That just means that they care enough to talk about their opinions.
Trust is very important. If team members don’t trust “the team” (because of other anti-patterns probably) they will probably care only and only about themselves and will always be looking for “Exits” . They will not be as effective as they can be, and they will probably look for other jobs. So try to work on the “Trust” on a daily basis.
How? Look for Anti-Patterns in your team and try to fix them.
Make sure you know what you are getting into:
If you are a company that is accepting a project, or an professional that want to get a new job, do more research than just looking at the customer’s website. Proper research is hard for sure, so try your best.
As a company getting a wrong project from a wrong client can cost you the passion your team that are working for you and without that passion, you will be left with nothing!
As a professional, consider things other than “Money” to get into a new position. Consider “Money” as well, but make sure you consider other things too. Make sure you will be doing stuff that you enjoy doing in the new role.