A Story About Trust

Consider keeping fear and anxiety out of the workplace. Think about what we do that generates fear and anxiety. Perhaps the biggest culprit is inconsistency—especially on the big things. Edwards Deming (the quality guru) says constancy of purpose and consistency of purpose are paramount. Inconsistent purpose may be worse than no purpose (vision, mission, values) at all.
I took a course not long ago where on the first day of class the teacher said, “You all have an A.” I’ll bet you and I both wish we had more teachers like that. The reason the teacher gave for this practice is fascinating to me. She said that we practice a skill or attitude in the same mental state in which we learn that skill or attitude. If we learn a skill in a state of anxiety, we’ll feel anxious when we use the skill. If we learn an attitude in a state of fear, we’ll be afraid when we use that attitude.

Consider keeping fear and anxiety out of the workplace. Think about what we do that generates fear and anxiety. Perhaps the biggest culprit is inconsistency—especially on the big things. Edwards Deming (the quality guru) says constancy of purpose and consistency of purpose are paramount. Inconsistent purpose may be worse than no purpose (vision, mission, values) at all.

What can we do to generate trust and security rather than anxiety and fear? I believe there’s a bunch of letters that lead to self-assurance: WWA, WWA, WWWTB, HTGT, and HTEP. These letters stand for defining and knowing 1) Who We Are, 2) Where We Are (Yes, two WWAs), 3) Where We Want To Be, 4) How To Get There, and 5) How to Evaluate Progress. These ideas essentially constitute strategic planning and lead to self-assurance. Therefore, perhaps the most important reason for strategic planning is: If done right, a strategic plan aids self-assurance and reduces unhealthy anxiety and fear in the workforce.

The connection between the bunch of letters and strategic planning is: WWA (business definition and environment); WWA (situation description); WWWTB (vision, goals, objectives); HTGT (strategy, roles, responsibilities); and HTEP (success indicators, outcome, output measures). I believe the engineering process is WWA, WWA, WWWTB, HTGT, and HTEP.  This is the beginning of the story.