Promote inner dialogue between both sides of your brain

The Creating Passionate Users post below actually eloquently (both visually and verbally) points out one of the biggest struggles I’ve had in dealing with how we at work get rewarded for ideas:

http://headrush.typepad.com/creating_passionate_users/2006/12/how_to_be_bette.html

She argues that it’s the ‘right’ side of the brain that often saves us.  Although Kathy Sierra is referring to the two halves of our brains in human form, I’ve seen the real-life versions of the people depicted below in the corporate work environment. More often than not I feel like the pensive Asian man in the comfortable sweater rather than the sharp looking schmoozer in the shirt and suspenders (by the way, never trust anyone who wears suspenders unless he also wears a bow-tie and sells popcorn).  Perhaps it’s just my perception but it feels like the bow-tie/suspender wearing people usually get a lot of credit in meetings or their the ones that look, sound and smell right to leaders.

Lately, too, it feels like project managers and leaders listen to the ‘glib’ guy because he usually tells them what they want to hear:

  • “We can get this project done if we do a,b,c.” (Also, the like this guy because he’s seen as strong and confident – real bully material)

But they don’t like it when the intuitive guy utters:

  • “This might not work because experience tells us that end users will not be able to figure out this configuration of buttons.” (This guy seems wishy washy because he hesitates and can’t put his finger on the idea)

I think that the challenge project managers and leaders will face is trying to get both types of people to have a constructive dialogue with each other, and also deal with some of the pertinent problems a design or project may face rather than pushing forward just to get the product out the door.  I’m sure their are a ton of arguments against doing this. But that’s the Microsoft-type model of product development (example: Sharepoint)  and hey, why fix it if it ain’t broke.  But I’d be the first to tell them IT IS BROKEN!!!! FIX IT!!!  STOP PRESENTING US WITH UNINTUITIVE, _ _ _ _ _ _  (*censored*), HALF-BAKED PRODUCTS!!!

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