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ChangingMinds Blog! > Blog Archive > 03-Aug-14


Sunday 03-August-14

Ground rush, buffers, exceptions and weddings

When you jump out of an aeroplane, hopefully wearing a parachute, the ground seems far away. It continues to look this way for some time, which can lull you into a false sense of security because when it starts to get bigger, it gets bigger quickly and you need time to pull the ripcord, for the parachute to open, and for you to decelerate from 100 miles per hour or so down to a gentle walking pace.

The same is true for actions and events.

When Christmas or some other celebration is approaching, there seems plenty of time to get things done, but as many last-minute shoppers know, that last minute is characterized by panic and desperation. There may be several reasons for this, a common one being that your plans do not turn out to be a predictable march from A to B. Traffic is much worse than you expected. The things you were going to buy are out of stock. Other urgent things crop up, demanding your time as well.

Some people do this. They always leave things to the last minute. It's a personality thing as each of us range across a scale of Judging vs. Perceiving. Judgers plan well ahead. Perceivers leave things to the last minute. Yet both may be affected by ground rush as the judger's plans go awry and the perceiver's chaos gets in the way. A helpful method that many project managers use to handle this is to include 'buffer time', or space and resource that is not yet allocated, so if things go perfectly they finish on time and under budget. But usually they do not, and spare time money can be very helpful. Process designers and computer programmers cope by including 'exception handling', where ways to cope with undesirable events are built into the system.

My daughter's experiencing ground rush at the moment as her wedding is just over a month away. Being a smart business consultant, she's been planning and preparing for this for ages (she's a strong Judger) and we were treated to a PowerPoint presentation about it all over breakfast earlier in the year. It's going to be a complicated affair with all kinds of decorations, games, music and so on, with a science-fiction/1920s theme. Her exception handling includes a dynamic couple of bridesmaids who would do pretty much anything to ensure she enjoys her big day. If that doesn't work, it's Dad time.

I've already got my top hat and tails.

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