FTN 83: ADHD Has No Time For Committee, with Randy Cassingham
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Welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal! Thrilled that you’re here!
We’re talking this week to American syndicated columnist, humorist, publisher, and speaker Randy Cassingham, probably best known for starting one of the first ever email newsletters, “This is True.”
Massively ADHD, hear how he left a perfectly good job at JPL (the NASA guys) to go out on his own to do something with “that internet thing.” He never looked back.
Randy’s best tip: Turn off email notifications.
This episode is inspiring. I’m a huge fan of this guy. No doubt you will be, too. Enjoy!
I work for a government agency. I heard your comment about getting them to justify what they were doing when you were procurement officer. What can you tell me about changing bureaucracy?
Wow …that’s a big question! I think the best start is what I discussed on the podcast: understanding what it is the person you need approval from is asking for — the why. In the case of my procurement activities, I asked WHY the gatekeepers required the multi-step approvals I had to get. The answer was, they needed to be able to justify the specific item being purchased in case they were audited (and they could be sure they’d be audited). Once I understood the why, then I knew what action I had to take: write really clear justifications in the purchase order so that it was delightfully easy for THEM to say “Yes, I can approve this: the agency’s butt is well-covered.”
It only seemed like these gatekeepers were trying to interfere with my job. Once I understood what they needed in the purchase orders I was already writing, I was able to address those needs so it was easy on both of us. It was a really eye-opening idea for me to sit down and ask them to explain THEIR why, and then it all fell into place.
How to make it happen throughout a bureaucracy is a big job, but you can help in your own circle of influence: just “Start with why.”