Johnnie Moore

List anxiety

Johnnie Moore

Johnnie Moore

I’m Johnnie Moore, and I help people work better together

I’m curious. Does anyone else feel that there are too many lists being made these days?

I remember when presenting design work clients might dislike for instance an idea for a front cover. Then they would often list lots of things that were wrong with it… I don’t like the picture off centre, the font is too big, that’s not really the blue I had in mind, our logo is too small, perhaps we should have a square shape not A4 etc etc.

We’d have a discussion and often I’d persuade them to let me change just one or two of the things on the list and see what happened… More often than not, they’d see it with just those changes and be happy. All the other list items turned out to be red herrings.

There are lots of lists in blogs. How to improve employee engagement; how to save time; how to boil an egg so the white is cooked and the yolk is runny. I’ve noticed how often my first response to lists is to feel anxious and inadequate. Oh my god, I’d better learn this list if I’m to give good advice on engagement, manage my time and boil an egg effectively. Of course, that anxiety usually means I rapidly distract myself with something else. No wonder I’m still struggling with that egg boiling.

Am I alone in this? I’m not against lists, I’m sure I’ve written plenty of them. But I think that list-making can be a pit paranoid, an attempt to create a perfect, comprehensive framework into which our raw, imperfect, paradoxical lives can be squeezed neatly.

These long lists of what’s right or wrong with a company or practice tend to make me think: oh goodness, this is a tough thing to crack. Yet, as with my design experience, I often find that changing just one or two things can resolve the other problems too. Or that there is another more intriguing issue underneath all of the listed ones.

Lists will always be with us. Could we at least have some funnier ones?

Share Post

More Posts

Rambling thoughts on models

I went down to Surrey on Friday for long walk and pub lunch with Neil Perkin. We’d originally planned to run a workshop about agile

Planning as drowning

Antonio Dias offers a fascinating description of what goes wrong when drowning: What separates a swimmer from someone drowning is the way a swimmer acknowledges

Leadership as holding uncertainty

Viv picks out some nice ideas from Phelim McDermott on the subject of leadership. “We love the security of the illusion that someone is in

Concreting Complexity

I’ve been thinking about the urge to scale things lately – see here and here. I understand the concern with being able to effect big

The absurd

In moving house, I radically downsized my collection of books which I can highly recommend. I used to think I’d one day find a reason

Rewriting history…

Thanks to my Improvisation friend Kelsey Flynn I rambled into a letter cited in Margaret Cho’s Blog (go to Letter #1): Lately it seems like

Who says fun is dangerous?

I wanted to share this email doing the rounds this morning… AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE After every flight Qantas pilots fill out a form called a gripe

Yes, and…

A quick ramble on the nature of paradox, inspired by a blog on the value of both fear of the new and curiosity

More Updates

Emotional debt

Releasing the hidden costs of pent up frustrations

Aliveness

Finding the aliveness below the surface of stuck

Johnnie Moore

Hopes and fears for the net

In preparation for a visit by Tim Berners-Lee, the folks at NESTA asked people via twitter to send in short statements of their best hopes and worst fears for the

Johnnie Moore

Update

If you’ve been trying to email me in the last few hours it will have bounced due to an overload at my host. It should be working again now but

Johnnie Moore

Small interventions

I liked the point Shawn at Anecdote makes here about the power of small interventions and this example: This company practices hot-desking and they noticed there were very few conversations

Johnnie Moore

Facilitating with Confidence – London 2010

I’m going to be helping to run a facilitation training this autumn in London based on the programme developed my friend Viv McWaters in Australia –Facilitating with Confidence. Viv will