I'm drinking coffee at Snooze at Union Station in downtown Denver and getting schooled on the importance of focusing on outcomes when talking about the value of software and software development. I am intently listening to my host while chiding myself internally for slipping back into old habits of thinking. We have only just met, having been introduced by a mutual acquaintance. He's a successful business owner. I feel privileged to be sitting here absorbing the kind of wisdom that only comes from real experience. We share similar values and views on a variety of topics.
Why then do I feel like I’m flunking class or trying and failing to grasp the stone from the master’s hand?
It IS about outcomes I think to myself! Then I reflexively start talking about technologies, methodologies, design, programing languages, and a whole host of other topics you might overhear techies talking about on any given day in a hundred offices within a mile of where we sit. I’ve got an MBA. I’ve read all the books. I’ve been coached and have even coached others on the importance of focusing on outcomes. But when it comes to having conversations about creating value, I seem to instinctively regress back to talking about the whats and hows and forgetting entirely about the whys. “Why do I do this?” I ask myself. Is it because that’s just the culture I’ve been in for so many years? Maybe it’s because I’ve always been rewarded for being good at the whats and hows. Maybe it’s just the kid in me still enamored with and fascinated by technology. I’m not sure I know the answer. But I do know that I must learn and internalize this important lesson if I want to take my career and my business to the next level.
Does this sound like you? I would love to hear your views and stories about the importance and benefits of focusing on outcomes in your profession.