Published monthly by Sharon Eakes, Hope Unlimited, LLC
************************************************************** FOCUS: Managing System Delays
Disciplines: Systems Thinking, Personal Mastery

"Argh! Help!"
Those are the sounds I made last week, at the helm of our rented houseboat in the Everglades. Even when we understand systems - and know that delays are part of systems - it is hard to wait through a delay. A houseboat is slow to respond. It has a very different rhythm from power steering. Luckily our houseboat had a GPS (Global Positioning System), which gave me a line to follow on a screen, and kept us from being hopelessly lost in the 10,000 Islands. I crossed the GPS line and headed into a mangrove swamp. Scared, I turned sharply in the other direction. I zigged and zagged, finding it impossible to wait long enough after each correction, needing to DO something. Fix it now!

We live with system delays everywhere and they frustrate us:
- children moving through developmental stages
- seasons
- the creative process
- the stock market
- software engineers writing workable programs
- cycle time in manufacturing
- response time in service industries

One of the known ways to optimize a system is to manage its delays. Here is a 3-part guide for managing system delays.

1) Say the Serenity Prayer (This may seem corny, but it helps)
God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference

2) If a delay falls in the "cannot change" department, name it, respect it and trust it. Then manage yourself. Sitting on my hands and breathing deeply eventually helped me stop overcorrecting the houseboat.

3) If a delay CAN be shortened, AND it's important, then bring all available resources to bear on shortening it. The most significant reductions in cycle time and response time come from using the ideas and experience of all kinds of people involved in or affected by the delay, from both inside and outside an organization.

You are warmly invited to join me for a 45-minute telebridge conversation on Managing System Delays, Thursday, April 5, at 8:00 p.m. EDT (7 PDT, 6 MDT, 5 PDT). Just dial(702) 558-4398. Come if you have ideas to share or if you don't have a clue what this is about. It's always a learning-kind of fun.
Reach me: 1-888-769-3494 or e-mail

Each month FRESH VIEWS focuses on a single topic, relates it to one of the five disciplines of a learning community, and offers a coaching tip and a follow-up telegathering. Please forward it to friends and colleagues. My purpose in writing FRESH VIEWS is to nurture, prod and encourage readers to think and talk about these topics with their families, friends and colleagues. Mine is only one view. Multiple conversations may deliver us to insights only hinted at here. Such a process sustains the vitality of learning relationships, learning families, learning organizations and learning communities.

Fresh Views E-zine Index

720 Maple Lane, Sewickley, PA 15143
TOLL-FREE: 1(888) 769-3494
FAX: (412) 741-2159