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Channeling the pain

This past week, I've told at least three different people I work with to give me (and my team) pain and to not accommodate requests that are not in adherence with work processes that we have laid out for ourselves.

I'm personally quite accommodating and find it hard to say no when someone comes with a genuine request where I understand the necessity for deviating from the process and for making an exception. And most people I work with are like that as well.

Which seems like a good thing, but isn't.

It might be good in the short term to help put out an immediate fire, but it does nothing at all to address the underlying issues that are causing such fires in the first place. Which leads to more such fires in the future and more such favours, until the processes we set out to follow are completely broken.

Instead, when we refuse to accommodate exceptions, we cause short term pain, but will force the other party to account for such issues and fix the underlying causes and improve the whole system so that they don't find themselves in such a place of pain again.

This is how we learn from our mistakes. If things turn out alright despite our mistakes, we will not learn to not make them again. So, there is a good chance we will repeat them.

In the spirit of learning and getting better, I've been asking people I work with to give me pain. So that I can channel that pain to improve the underlying processes, which eventually benefits everybody involved.

Learn to channel the pain.

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