Why did my production to this blog reduce so significantly over the past few months?
One reason is that I have several draft posts that I don’t know whether to put here. While I’ve put pieces here that are more personal than professional, I had a loose ratio of what was acceptable in mind, and lately my thoughts have been more personal, so if I post what’s on my mind, the ratio would be wrong. I told a few Lean associates about this blog, and I have a composite readership in mind. I worry about causing embarrassment or confusion.
I spent much of April writing a short story, and since then I have been trying to write an essay about the correlation of my compulsion to use my non-dominant with changes to my mental habits—specifically, the volume of questions I ask myself, and the attention I pay to the objects in my mind’s eye.
Writing about my intermittent yet almost life-long fixation on my non-dominant hand isn’t something I enjoy, and I don’t enjoy talking about it with others. It’s just a strange thing that’s always been there. So instead of writing about it directly, I’m composing a series of vignettes describing my habits in regard to my mind’s eye, trying to make more sense of these correlations.
In other words, not interesting at all. Not even to me, let alone to anyone else. The only reason I’m doing it is to try to be done with it.
And this is misleading, because intermittently, it is very interesting to me. I wonder intensely about it. Why this fixation? Do others have it? (Yes, they do. There are wikihows and online articles, and at least one youtube channel, devoted to developing dexterity in your non-dominant hand.) Why do they have it? I’ve been reading Iain McGilchrist’s book The Master and his Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World. which, conveniently, is about the tendencies of the two hemispheres of the neocortex. So that’s making it worse.
What else. I’ve been running. That’s good. I read Northrop Frye’s book Secular Scripture, which is fascinating if you’re interested in how popular stories reflect the collective psyche of the societies that cultivate them. I read a book by John Sarno called Healing Back Pain. I read it on June 20th. Today is July 1st. On the day that I began reading it, I was experiencing sharp pain in my lower back, and with it I was having the normal anxiety that comes with it. How can I accomplish my goals if I can’t sit at a desk? Why doesn’t anything I do work? I’ve had this intermittently since I was fifteen. Occasionally it’s debilitating. Since the 22nd, I can say that I haven’t experienced this pain. I’ve experienced discomfort. But I think this is the normal discomfort that comes from sitting. I haven’t experienced sharp pain, and, maybe more importantly, my attitude towards the discomfort is changing. I am worrying less about it. So that’s interesting.
But, getting back to the problem. I need to decide what to do in regards to this site. Should I start another one for my more personal writing and for fiction? Which isn’t necessary. But right now, I’m in such an in-between place mentally, I don’t even know where to file things. I don’t know where things go. What even is my goal?
At work I am working on process maps and value-stream maps for a process that we are developing on the fly. It’s such an undeveloped process that I’ve decided to do it several times myself, hands on, in order to be able to train the Analysts on it. That is maybe the lesson I’ve learned over the past couple of weeks. It’s the 5th of Leah Guren’s 10 golden rules. (Why she doesn’t just call them commandments, I don’t know. She’s Israeli, so maybe it’s too sacrilegious?) Anyway, the rule is: Don’t write blind. It’s very tempting when people are asking me to develop processes on paper to see it as my job as to do just that. But it’s very difficult to describe a good process that I haven’t performed. It might be adequate. People might agree with it. But, when I actually do the process, and go back and read my own workflow or instructions or process map, I find deficiencies that I just couldn’t see before.
I knew this. So my strategy was to ask the Analysts themselves to take my instructions, and try to use them, and to revise them in a way that makes more sense to them. I set up standards for the process in One Note and ensured everyone had access to the notebook. Clearly the next step (when no one makes corrections to the document) is to let the process run, and produce defects, or excessive cycle times, and do a quick cause analysis on the defect or delay, and find the inadequate process standard to be to blame, and work with them to fix it. That sounds good, right? But everything is moving so fast. There are so many problems.
I’ve been staying late working on developing the process metrics so I can get a good Target Condition. I’m doing this without a Coach, which makes it tricky. Friday I had a good start at a value-stream map with a few weeks worth of data on % C&A and cycle times. Now to gather that data on the upstream processes.