Photograph depicting a trail of foot-prints on snow-covered area.

© 2007 John Haslam, Creative Commons 2.0


People should get closer to the work of others in order to better understand what is going on. They can do this by moving their feet, moving their desk, or moving their mike. Decreasing the distance between yourself and others helps to increase communication and creativity. A great exercise for a better understanding of people is to capture what you know about them in personal maps.

Figure depicting a long irregularly placed rope attached to a small cylindrical object.

When I just started as a manager 16 years ago, I had my own big office with a shiny desk, a fast, new computer, and a desk phone with more buttons than the ceremonial suit of your average dictator. There was also a small workforce, consisting of a dozen or more software developers, to boss around as I pleased. There was just one thing I lacked: I had no clue what was going on in their minds.

Raised as a software engineer, I saw developers as unreliable computers with legs, and too much hair. My desperate attempts at programming them failed because they rarely followed ...

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