Author Archives: Kimi Ziemski, MBA, PMP, CSM

Video Access Fatigue

Month 2 of video chats, video conferences, video lessons (giving and getting), and video meetings is beginning here in Illinois.  As time goes on, I see two approaches developing.  There are some who are drawing firmer boundaries on their availability and some who view these times as an opportunity to break the boundaries of time. This is an enterprising, ambitious and a take-the-opportunity-silver-lining kind of approach. Here’s the silver lining’s sharp edge: breaking the boundaries of time zones is all well and good  right up until the time zone boundaries being broken run smack into the availability boundaries your colleagues and team members have established.  What you choose to do at that point can be a critical element of your relationship with that individual, that professional, for the foreseeable future. How are you demonstrating respect for the approaches of others you work with? However it is, it will give them a strong indicator of how you value them as individuals.

What Does Your Customer Need?

Have you ever accidentally gotten in your own way? Every project manager, every project leader balances the wants and needs of their clients. Sometimes, though, we forget that what we’re making, all respect to the pride of professionalism in our team members, doesn’t actually belong to us! So a shout out to my wonderful colleagues – how do you keep your team’s focus on what the customer needs?

Introverts – Evolution’s Saviors

As a extrovert – someone who gets a lot of energy from interactions with others – I have somehow managed to have some of my strongest partnerships with introverts – loners. I always figured that it was just proof that opposites really DO attract.

Well, it turns out that, according to some truly smart folks at Princeton, introverts might just save the species. In fact, apparently in their studies of various animal populations, the loners tended to be the ones who would avoid things that could kill in large swathes. For the loners who live by themselves, they are significantly more likely to not get what ever bug or virus is going around. They’re also a whole lot less likely to get stressed over strict limitations on socializing opportunities. Some of us extroverts? Not so much.

We’re starting to talk with the pictures on our desk. This sounds to me like yet another demonstration of the strengths of a diverse group. Get those different perspectives about what works and why. Ask people to put their strengths forward. In John Maxwell’s now famous 360∘ Leadership model we learned that the most effective leadership comes from who is the strongest at solving a particular problem.

So let’s keep in mind that those quiet folks, the ones who might need a bit of coaxing to verbally participate – might well be in the strongest position to survive troubling health situations with their sanity intact. They are also leading by example – finding satisfaction in things that extroverts like me don’t always reach for – activities or hobbies we may have long left in favor of sharing conversation and wine with friends at a restaurant.


Is It Boring or Is It Room for Reflection?

What can I do?! Interestingly enough folks have begun posting semi-desperate requests for suggestions about what to do now that they've exhausted their back-burner to-do lists. It turns out that sometimes the thing that will help you amp up your creativity (i.e., new ideas) is the very thing that seems to be last thing you want - boredom. Whether it is physical boredom or mental boredom, you might well get a glimmer of a new idea simply because, without all of the usual noise of busy-ness, there is room for that whisper of an idea to grow and be heard.


Robust & Rich Through Diversity

What the blazes will it take before people are confident enough to achieve an environment of diverse opinions, levels of experience, types of education, and background?!? Is it fear? Is it insecurity? Or have we simply not made the case strongly enough?

The vast interdependencies of any organization’s projects mean that no single person will likely be able to know or manage every possible impact of a project. Why WOULDN’T you reach for the smartest, the widest breadth of experience possible? What will you do to help open minds, break down biases?

A different way of thinking about neurodiversity in the workplace


Upcoming Events

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  • Project Management - not JUST for Project Managers June 1, 2020 at 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm
  • Project Management - not JUST for Project Managers June 2, 2020 at 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm
  • Project Management - not JUST for Project Managers June 3, 2020 at 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm