Something I have noticed frequently is a team, in the moment, can get really excited about implementing a new idea. And in that moment, they talk about it and say, “Yes! That’s a great idea! Let’s do it! Someone set up a meeting later this week and we’ll talk about it.”
The following week, usually nothing has changed. Why is that?
Half the times the meeting never gets scheduled, and the other half when the meeting does get scheduled everyone shows up and tries to remember what the meeting was for.
This isn’t something that just happens with teams though – I’ve noticed the same thing happen in my personal life as well. I’ll have a great intuition about something and think, “That’s a great idea! I’m going to jot that down in my notes and do it later!” And guess what happens…
Nothing! Half the times I forget to check my notes, and the other half when I do check my notes, I wonder what the context of the cryptic note was. Or worse yet, in the moment I think, “I’ll remember that. I don’t need to write it down.” Those thoughts are almost never heard from again.
As a Scrum Master, this anti-pattern frustrates me because I see the initial excitement of a team’s intuition slowly fade away, and all that is left is old habits. As a person, this anti-pattern frustrates me in my own life because I will have an exciting intuition about something that I think will really have an impact on something, someone, or myself, but that impact doesn’t happen because I didn’t use the initial excitement to build momentum.
Something I have begun trying is harnessing the power of that initial excitement to build momentum, which will hopefully build into a change habit. A quick example is this blog post.
This post was actually a product of an intuition I had while at work – a random thought (and feeling of frustration) about this anti-pattern. So instead of jotting down a quick reminder in the notes on my phone that would soon be forgotten, I connected my bluetooth keyboard to my phone and just started writing. I even snapped a quick picture for the post. I left the editing until later – I just focused on using that initial inspiration of an intuition and getting my ideas written down. I still had to do some editing later, and I actually rewrote much of this post. But without getting those initial thoughts down, this post probably would have never been written.
To be fair, acting in the moment doesn’t always work out or make sense. Sometimes a team tries something new right away, and they find out that their idea didn’t really make sense in practice. Sometimes other things are more important or you don’t want to interrupt flow. So I’m not suggesting that a team or person should always follow through on every intuition immediately, especially if you’re someone like me who has ideas floating around in his head all day long. But what I am trying to do is take some immediate action on ideas that I think are worthwhile in order to build some momentum.
I’m still experimenting with these ideas in my own life and with my team, so I’m not declaring a solution, and even if I did, it would probably only work for certain people. These are just some observations that I’ve noticed.
If you’ve had similar thoughts, I’d love to hear about them. Tweet at me on Twitter.