Thursday, April 13, 2006

Getting Katie Couric Out of My Relationship (Central)

Great ideas often have a simplicity and elegance of design and execution that can initially escape your attention -- until it solves a major problem. Then it's your best friend for life.

Such was the case when I replied to Kyle McFarlin, Gyronix's chief trainer (see the training modules here) who asked if there was anything he could do to make my journey with ResultsManager better.

I was complaining that there wasn't a good visual way to track what actions I have leveraged out to others. "What ResultsManager needs is a good way to track what I'm waiting for others to complete and which ones they are waiting on me to complete."

Silence on the other end.

Then, "ResultsManager does have something like that. It's called Relationship Central."

Oops (ok, another oops - happy now?!). I didn't want to admit (although I'm sure he knows now) that because I didn’t see the point of Relationship Central, I've been deleting it off my dashboards. And what a dumb name, btw. "Relationship Central." Sounds like something my girlfriend would come up with.

When I saw it in my first daily dashboard I scoffed, 'That's stupid. Who cares about personal relationships in a professional setting?' and promptly deleted it. And prior to recently, have deleting it out of every dashboard.

At Kyle's prompting, I took a closer look at it.

Hmmm . . .

In a single section of your daily or weekly dashboard, you can quickly scan to see who owes what to you and what you owe to others. Ok . . . I like that everything I've leveraged out is grouped in a single area, broken down by person. That works for me.

And now that I've started using it, it seems to be a good tool for tracking what I've leveraged out to others.

And being able to track tasks delegated to others is mission-critical because, as I'm sure you've experienced, sometimes others deliver when they're supposed to and sometimes they place a different priority on completing the task than you do.

In other words, they're late or they drop the ball entirely and hope you won't notice.

And for that, it's good to have a central place to monitor it all with a glance.

I've also noticed that it really boosts accountability (especially when they know you're tracking it) and fewer things fall through the cracks.

Here's a shot of my Relationship Central from the infamous "Spock's Ears" dashboard of the map.

P.S. - As of this writing, Couric still has not responded to my frankly generous job offer (see picture). Hmmm, perhaps I should call Leonard to explain IDIC to her once more. Perhaps QT (i.e., Q-Tip) can help remove some obstructions.


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