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Scylla and Charbydis ... and spelling
Intermittent updates to my Twitter feed are sucking up the energy that would go to blog posts. And energy reserves are not generally high, as I'm going through an exhausting learning process.

My management experience prior to joining One Acre was as a case team leader at Monitor Group. It was a little like playing traffic cop: everything was moving along fine on its own, I just had to make sure it was pointed in the right direction. A lot of young associates came in with some consulting experience already, and (although we never thought about this) everyone came from the same cultural background, making communication a cinch.

Our staff here are also bright and hard-working, but they have much less in common with me. So I've learned things like:
  • Avoiding abbreviated, idiomatic English
  • Delivering tools, training and feedback that are crystal clear
  • Ensuring timely data collection to get a birds-eye view of our progress
  • Getting plenty of time in the field, before and after rollout, to make sure I actually understand what's going on. Rolling out a new field initiative without testing it with a field officer first and getting their feedback is just asking for trouble.

Given the opportunities for miscommunication and the impressive things our staff are capable of, it's tempting to think that execution problems can just be put down to poor communication - but sometimes it just takes energy and drive to get staff to assign the proper importance to tasks. Either way, whether communication or motivation is the problem, it seems like the name of the game is management by persistence.

The part that relates to the title, if not the rest of the post
Oh, right. Scylla and Charbydis. Being dumb, it was only recently that I thought about that image as a narrative version of the Greek ideal of moderation. Clever chaps, the Greeks. Way to work that pattern into our thought. But also: where is this myth misleading? where does moderation fail, as an ideal?


last timestamped: 16:20:55 22-Apr-2009
in categories:OneAcreFund, People/Me, People/Workingwith

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