Social Automation

I do love finding a couple of words that sum up a subject neatly. The latest: “Social Automation”.

This popped into my mind (thank you, Subconscious Me) as the point of regular scheduling for meetings and ceremonies. Once their times, locations, and where possible, standard agenda and so on are all set, the brain-burning cognitive load has been lightened.

This is very like David Allen’s thinking behind GTD. If you have a system to capture all your outstanding “open loops”, and use the system reliably, the cognitive load of holding all those open loops is gone. Lower stress, more brain power available for doing the things rather than grinding on all the almost remembers things to do.

So ( favorite question) hands up those here who are not professional. Right? Merriam-Webster has “professional” as “relating to a job that requires special education, training, or skill”. I want my energy to go into the job or increasing my “special education, training, or skill” not into the noise around it.

Remember, our brains are phenomenal pattern-matching threat-management engines. The more habitual the pattern, the less fuel the engine requires. Habit rocks!

So use habit to lighten the load.

The trap? Using habit to lighten the wrong loads. Or to go unconscious. Or to rely on “How it’s done round here” for something that actually requires some active thought.

That’s the point. Use habit aka Social Automation to lighten the load so you have the fuel available for the active thought.

Did I just reinvent Scrum?

They took the Null Set! From beyond!

I had one of my occasional agile dreams last night.

Because we’re rewriting the product owner training, I needed an exercise to challenge the participants to create a truly innovative product.  (Remember, this is a dream.)

The challenge is this: something is poking through from beyond our dimensions, just like a finger descending from above into Flatland.  It has taken the “null set” from us.  The product challenge is to resolve this situation.

I told my wife this dream as we both woke up.  Sensible woman that she it, she responded “Alien from another dimension eh?  Have you tried communicating with them?  They’ve taken all your zeroes?”  I didn’t point out that zero and null aren’t the same, it didn’t seem to be the right moment.

This dream, of course, felt like it had taken up half the night, and was so important, I should have gotten out of bed and immediately updated our training material.  I didn’t, and perhaps this is an opportunity missed.

So, dear reader, if you have a solution for aliens from another dimension stealing your null set, an innovative solution mind, then please write in on a 3×5 card, attach it to a mint-condition R-series Bentley Continental Tourer Fastback and submit to your author through the usual channels.