It was an exceptional Monday at our office. No one was on a business trip, and we even had time for a morning coffee together.
“It’s a great day today! My to-do list will be empty by lunch! Haa haa!” said Jaakko.
Suddenly his phone rang. “Greetings from the market research…” said the voice. Then came a second call. “Top of the morning from the supporters of This-and-That. May I have a moment of your time?” said the guy.
The coffee had time to grow cold, and then we got the daily mail. No I don’t mean email or the newspaper, we still get regular mail at times!
The logistics process of out postal office had had an error, and one of the envelopes was just a ripped up mess of confetti. Contract papers from a customer were missing. It was time to pick up the phone again and investigate.
“It’s lunchtime guys!” someone shouted at the front door. “What?! Noooo!” shouted Jaakko. “I haven’t done a single item on my to-do list yet.”
It was a typical morning when an abundance of annoying small things became a big issue.
Stories like this are a tool to discuss difficult things. They are a tool to spark a change of mindset because most people have an experience of similar annoying mornings.
Let me give you an example of a situation where I have used this story tool with success.
In software development, it is too easy to dismiss details that impact the big picture. As a testing professional, I’ve heard this priceless oneliner almost weekly.
“We don’t need to fix this. It’s just a small bug.”
The next time you hear something like this, take a step back. Tell this story or one of your own. And then see what happens.
Don’t let a flock of small things become the big thing!