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Looking around on the net for something else I needed this afternoon I accidently re-stumbled on something else I had read before but seemed to hit me differently today that I think is really important. The otherday I had asked the question somewhat rhetorically on Fine HomeBuilding Magazine’s Breaktime forum about Crew Size & Productivity.

I had mentioned there that while some of the well known leaders in the industry (Walt Stopplewerth to name a name) advocate remodeling companies adopting a one-person crew type system I don’t like the idea for safety reasons. While ultimately just as important and as critical I also don’t like the one-person crew because it discourages “conversation”.

I think: Conversation Good (in a Me Tarzan type voice).

I often recall from reading and then listening to the tape of one of Tom Peter’s books him saying:

“Echoing these ideas, journalist Alan Webber claims the profound shift toward a brain-based economy means reconceiving “work as conversation.” Time was, Webber wrote in the January February issue of Harvard Business Review , “if the boss caught you talking on the phone or hanging around the water cooler, he would have said, ‘Stop talking and get to work.’ Today if you’re not talking with colleagues and customers, chances are you’ll hear, ‘Start talking and get to work!’ In the new economy, conversations … are the way knowledge workers discover what they know, share it with their colleagues, and in the process create new knowledge for the organization.”— (The New Management Imperative: Start Chatting And Get To Work! – tribunedigital-chicagotribune)

Well anyway Hal Macomber in his blog of October 03, 2002 Fool Me Again and Again! writes:

Task durations depend on the quality of the conversations.

and then again on Friday, October 04, 2002 writes:

“Let’s Not Be Fooled Planning is conversation….
…Let’s stop fooling around on projects. Stay in conversation with all key performers and insist they do the same with those people supporting them. Use those conversations to continue exploring possible ends and means. It is the one and only avenue for succeeding with projects.

That’s all very very important stuff that I think so many remodeling contractor’s ignore or never even think about.

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J. Jerrald Hayes
Primus Inter Pares at Paradigm Projects, Ltd.
I am an architectural woodworker and general contractor turned IT, Business and Project Management consultant, software developer wannabe senior division triathlete and ski racer, Yankee fan and founder of, 360 Difference, and now too.
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