A friend told me over drinks recently that I should write a business book. Its not something that I really want to do, and to be honest this sounds like a big headache....
My problem is that most of my writing is to either contribute to or comment on technical reports. If there is a hierarchy of enjoyable reading, this type of writing would be on the bottom. It's hard for me to imagine that I would (or could) write something that anybody would find interesting. But as I considered her suggestion, it did occur to me that after a lifetime of note taking, reading, storing little nuggets of information, perhaps a journaling habit to organize it all would be a reasonable middle ground between doing nothing and writing a book.
So a blog it is and here we are.
WTF is Happening Here - It's a Profound Question
One thing that I did determine through this thought process... If I am going to write a blog, I'll call it barlows.blog. Let's keep things simple. But if I were to write a book the title would need to be "WTF is happening here"? I actually think that this is the most profound question that everybody should be asking. There isn't a day that goes by where I don't ask that question (sometimes multiple times each day).
I actually think that if I don't start my week, my day, team huddles, meetings or even my email without asking that question, I might be missing something important.
I need to take a moment to clarify the context of the question. Asking "WTF is happening here?" is a question that can be posed in two distinctly different ways. So for instance, you can ask "WFT is happening here?" when there is clearly difference between WTF should be happening and WTF is actually happening. This is a question that you can use retorically in order to point that difference. You might do that when your dog is sleeping on the couch. That's actually not what I'm talking about.
I have come to believe that starting most business interactions from the internalized perspective of "WTF is happening here?" can frame my mindset to a place of curiosity. And it also often makes me laugh, which is helpful. If I am not asking this question (authentically wondering WTF is happening), I could be skipping an important step and assuming that I know WTF is in fact happening. In reality, I probably don't.
Curiosity Leads to Data and Insight, Data and Insight Lead to Big Ideas
Curiosity kills cats, or so they say. I understand the cautionary advice that some things are better left a mystery, but I will also say that anybody who tries to convince you that you do not want to know the answer to a question may not be playing at the top of their game. Curiosity is the foundation of all questions and questions are how you find your way to truth. Asking "WTF is happening here?" in the humble sense (i.e. I assume I don't have the slightest idea WTF is actually happening) puts me in the right mindset to ask questions, confirm facts, confirm assumptions and truly understand situations prior to decision making. This tactic has saved me from myself countless times.
Anyhow, if this blog does turn into a book "WTF is Going on Here" is going to be the title and I guess this post can be the introduction.