Do you like overtime?


Nowadays, companies like to connect the readiness for overtime work with the responsiblity. We are responsible if we are ready to work at night. We aren’t lazy if we are finishing our job after hours. It is an important client, it is an important product, it is an important project. How often have we heared such explanations?

I admit that people who work after hours are responsible for their work, but overtime haven’t to be treated as something natural. Instead, it may be a good ocassion to ask why we need additional time to finish our task or project? In my opinion this question and especially the anwsers are more important than the readiness for working at night. What goes wrong? Where is is the source of the delay?

Toyota give us a method called 5 Whys.


  1. “Why did the robot stop?” The circuit has overloaded, causing a fuse to blow.
  2. “Why is the circuit overloaded?” There was insufficient lubrication on the bearings, so they locked up.
  3. “Why was there insufficient lubrication on the bearings?” The oil pump on the robot is not circulating sufficient oil.
  4. “Why is the pump not circulating sufficient oil?” The pump intake is clogged with metal shavings.
  5. “Why is the intake clogged with metal shavings?” Because there is no filter on the pump


Be responsible and require a responsiblity – this is my conclusion :) What do you think about reponsibility and working after hours?

Too lazy to give up on quality


Long time ago during job interview…

– What are your strengths?
– I know it may sound crazy, but I’m lazy and this is my strength!
– How is it possible?

I don’t like overtime. I hate to do the same job over and over. I don’t like to feel nervous one hour before the deadline. But…. my computer loves to work all the time, even at night!
Now I understand. Unfortunately, sometimes overtime is necessary.
– Sure, but only for people that give up on quality. Instead working more and more, we can eliminate waste. Why not to improve communication, procedures, products, internal deliveries etc.?
People are too lazy for that…

What will be your answer?

Keep calm and develop yourself

Last week I’ve finished reading a book: The Toyota Way to Lean Leadership. Achieving and Sustaining Excellence Through Leadership Development. It made a great impression on me. The Toyota Way changes the thinking about the business.

How to develop yourself to be in accordance with the Toyota Way? The answer is Shu Ha Ri. It is a Japanese martial art concept, and describes the stages of learning to masteryContinue reading

Brainstorming.Works or not?


I’ve never thought that brainstorming might be so controversial. Then I’ve found this article: Is Brainstorming a waste of time? Let’s talk about brainstorming and its rules.

  1. Generate as many ideas as possible – the more ideas you come up with, the better chance you have of coming up with good ones.
  2. Don’t criticise – it will dampen peoples enthusiasm and kill their creativity.
  3. Welcome unusual ideas – it’s important to break out of your usual mindset and consider wild and wacky ideas if you want to be really creative.
  4. Combine and improve ideas – instead of criticising ideas, look for way to use them in combination and/or make them better.

Continue reading

Why we remember failures and forget about successes?

mistakes5We are persuaded to remember our failures and learn from them. Self improvement is a positive phenomenon, but it requires energy and motivation. The question is: how to get them, when we’ve failed? Nowadays we are often working from task to task, but sometimes we cannot cope with the problems. Unfortunately, we don’t pay attention on our successes and no one remind us about them. We rarely feel satisfaction and pride and as a result we haven’t got motivation when it is especially important.

I expect that you will fulfil your responsibilities and deal with the problems. This is what we hear when we ask about our objectives. How to be satisfied, proud and motivated if every closed task is just a closed task? In my opinion it is very important to learn our brain, to pay attention to all the things we do well. Our company might help us with that, and this is very difficult and necessary responsibility.

Your performance… meets expectations.

What does it mean to meet expectations? Why is it so frustrating to heard that our job met expectations only? When I heard this sentence for the first time I felt very strange. Ok. How can I be better than it was expected? – I thought. What was expected from me year ago?

The truth might be cruel. This sentence means nothing! Really. It is the simplest and safest solution for managers who don’t want to talk with the people about their work regularly and have to evaluate them once a year. Unfortunately these words prevent employees to be proud and creative. Why should I make an extra effort if I’m not going to get recognized for it? I will do what is expected and nothing more. It is a race and I’m going to win ;)

What do you think about this? Is it worth to participate in such race?

What motivate us? What inspire us?

This week I was thinking a lot about things that may inspire people. My recent experiences have caused that my opinion about motivation slightly changed.
I had an opportunity to teach children programming in Scratch language for several months. I took a part in employee volunteering. My idea for the classes was simple. I wanted to show that computer engineering might be easy, interesting and enjoyable. We created simple computer games, animations. Children had fun and I was proud… Continue reading

What is the difference between difficult and hard work?

Before I try to answer I would like to share my opinion about a fashion to working smart. Nowadays many companies encourage their employees to work efficiently. It is said that smart work is our individual choice and … that’s all. So, how to work smart? Let’s talk about example.

Imagine the trading and forwarding company that sells and transports bricks. Naturally the goal is to satisfy customers and make a money. Each individual employee of a logistic department knows how to transport bricks as soon as possible from one customer to another. Furthermore, company hires the most experienced truck drivers from the area. Unfortunately the customers are dissatisfied, because of the delays. They blame truck drivers for laziness. Truck drivers blame logistic department for stupidity. Logistic department blame the management for a financial crisis. Management decided to give up truck inspections several months ago because of the savings…

How to work smart in such environment? What’s the problem? In my opinion smart work isn’t our individual choice. To work efficiently we need well organized company and team. Of course, we have to be honest and work as good as we can. Otherwise our work will be very hard.

Finally, difficult work means challenge for our brain. This is the difference!

Competition. What’s wrong with this?

Race to be the best company on the market. Race to be the best team in the company. Race to be the best employee. These slogans prove that the competitions are our passion. Winning is often our most important motivation to work hard. What’s wrong with this? Let’s take a look at a story.

One time, a group of 50 people were attending a seminar.
Suddenly, the speaker started giving each person a balloon. Each one was asked to write their name on it using a marker. Then, all the balloons were collected, and put into another room.
Next, all of the people were prompted to go into that room, and were told that they had five minutes to find the balloon that had their name on it. Everyone was frantically searching for their names, colliding with each other, pushing others around, and there was utter chaos.
At the end of the five minutes, no one could find their own balloon.
Next, each person was asked to randomly pick a balloon, and give it to the person whose name was written on it.
Within minutes, everyone had their own balloon.
The speaker began — this is exactly what is happening in our lives. Everyone is frantically looking for their happiness all around, not knowing where it is.
Our happiness lies in the happiness of other people. Give them their happiness, and you will discover your own.

This example shows that sometimes starting in a race isn’t a method for being successful. In that case people try to be the best by finding their balloons as soon as possible. It’s very natural behaviour. They lose the game, because they disturb each other. True goal was simple: everyone should hold appropriate balloon. The solution for this problem wasn’t very difficult. Cooperation, not competition! Try to think about the things you and your company may lose because of the competition. Maybe the prize for being a winner is worthless.

Assertiveness. Just to say no or say the truth?

How to be assertive? Pictures below or similar are often used to illustrate the answer for this question. There are many articles about assertiveness titled “just say no!”. As you can see on the images  “no” might be said in many different ways.

We can explain our thoughts and try to find a compromise or just say no and nothing more. In my opinion, the second case has nothing to do with assertiveness. Unfortunately, many people think that to be assertive means to be able to refuse. Let’s take a look at example.

A: Would you like to go to a dinner with me?
B: No, I have no time. I have to finish my work.
A: Ok. No problem.
—– After a few minutes —–
C: Would you like to go to a dinner with me?
B: Yes, sure I’m very hungry. Wait a minute.

What do you think about the behaviour of person B? One may say that person B has the right to refuse to person A. This is definitely true. My question is: what about the feelings of person A in the context of the next situation? The calm answer “I have no time. I have to finish my work” might be a reason for person A to feel ignored. Why? The answer is simple, that was a lie. Person A has the right to hear the truth, even if it was difficult. For that reason my definition of the assertiveness is a bit different. It’s the ability to say the truth respecting feelings of the other people in the same time.