Art of Being Effective: Cyclone of Assistance

Hegel is famous for one thing in particular, and that is the concept that history represents a progressive combination of diverse viewpoints as the Truth or Absolute slowly comes into focus.

Who knows what the hell that means, but the short version of most interpretations on this is that Philosophies and Ideas slowly become more perfect throughout history as new viewpoints appear to critique and enhance the original Idea as the result of this critique is a middle ground between extremes. (Think Democracy vs. Communism leads to Democratic Socialism and Socially Minded Democracy) For Hegel this virtuous cycle leads Ideas closer to perfection. While we wait to see whether he’s right on a meta-historical scale, let’s compare this to a small scale example: Corporate Projects

Ideas have this beautiful evolution in business, moving from thesis to antithesis in a wonderful melody of transformation… Except not necessarily in the divine, virtuous way Hegel posits, but also potentially in a vicious cycle that I affectionately call the Cyclone of Assistance.

The fundamental principle underlying the Cyclone is that sufficiently important activity has a habit of breeding attention in a corporate ecosystem. This attraction of opinion is healthy by bringing diverse thoughts to bear, but unfortunately can also bring a level of ego-driven intervention that disrupts progress and drains your energy.

This hindrance arrives most frequently in the form of too many requirements being demanded as a solution becomes over-engineered to diverse, yet highly focused implementations. Of course, the corporate ecosystem has a control on this behavior by limiting the scope of efforts once they’ve embarked, but for the one driving the work, deflecting interventions to bring about effective change is draining.

Effectiveness of the projects within the Cyclone of Assistance can degrade as time goes on and the intensity of opinions increase. It’s a reality of corporate work that there will be virtuous and vicious Cyclones and acting in the middle of them is the art of being effective.


Look, it goes without saying. These thoughts are entirely my own and don’t reflect my employer’s opinions. It’s also worth noting I’ve much respect for my coworkers and these examples are caricatures not Real events.



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