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I am a computer programmer. I do programming professionally and for a laugh.

Technical stuff on programming, java, DSLs, etc...

Saturday, 2 July 2016

The plot of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (unaccounted severeness of doing nothing)


By Throast - Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49559143
I like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, don't get me wrong, it is just a metaphor for winning by doing nothing.

John Oliver actually said this in his show the other day:-
"it’s basically the plot of ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.’ If you stick around, doing nothing while everyone around you f**ks up, you’re going to win big.”
I have a few things to add;

There is one very underrated sin in this world, doing nothing. It is a relatively safe and smooth way to fail. Especially in human related areas like politics and project management where the network of connections are so complicated that usually doing nothing is almost self-justified.

For example; there is a problem in your team, someone is gone totally the wrong way, stirring things up. What do you do as a lead?

You can acknowledge the problem and act on it. With varying success.

Or you can do nothing.

People start to get pissed off, start leaving the team, project is understaffed, lack of resources etc. Now some motion is set because of your doing nothing but who is going to connect the pieces of the issue with what certainty? Nobody. This is the vital bit, by doing nothing you obstructed the cause-effect chain. Whatever happens next can hardly be linked back to the original issue and your subsequent your doing nothing, everyone is safe. Team's failed softly.

You gotta do something.

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