Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Bonus Process Wednesday: life tips from Neal Anderson

On page 19 of the second edition of "Practical Process Research and Development", a really smart comment:
"Don't trivialize the work of others, especially if you don't understand their job." 
A temptation that strikes even the best of us; an excellent reminder that it's unwise.  

8 comments:

  1. "But their work is trivial and I do understand everything." - Dr. Sheldon Cooper

    "As you are diminished so I am enhanced."

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  2. I don't know but it almost seems that in current views MBAs get an opposite reinforcement to deemphasize importance of all others and individuals worth even though usually have little clue as to what those people do, at least when it comes to technical/scientific roles. Admittedly generalizing and stereotyping yet seen enough MBA action examples to make me feel is their SOP.

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    Replies
    1. Be careful you don't trivialize what your business teams do either. It definitely can go both ways.

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    2. No no. MBAs bad, scientists pure and good. Not wise to trivialize work of others, except MBAs.....and lawyers....

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    3. Btt, I don't think anyone is (seriously) trivializing the work of MBAs. I think some chemists (and I admit to being very guilty of this, too, though I know it is unfair), feel that non-scientific administrative personnel, who sometimes do not understand what we do, are in positions to make decisions regarding our employment based on their evaluation of the importance of our work. I have seen this personally: MBAs have made seemingly uninformed decisions to lay off my science colleagues to save money, with little input from the science staff. Those of us who are left have to figure out how fill in the gaps and agonize about how long it will be before we suffer the same fate. I know that the resentment towards the business people is juvenile and one-sided because most(?) of us are scientists without the knowledge or skills to run the companies and organizations that employ us. The bitterness is rooted in anger and fear, though, and it is difficult to overcome. (I have less experience with lawyers.)

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    4. Just like in chemistry, MBA's use jargon to communicate with others in their field. Unfortunately, I've seen so many self-promoting buzzword jockeys that business/management jargon makes my bullshit detector beep whenever I read or hear it. There are often good ideas hidden under the business-speak.

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  3. A variant of this quote applies to many chemists (and scientists in general) who look down upon work that is not their own.

    Don't trivialize the chemistry of others, especially if you don't fully understand it.

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  4. Professional StraphangerFebruary 11, 2016 at 11:41 AM

    Anyone who has ever worked with lawyers knows that this quote should be carved into every lawyer's desk...if not their foreheads.

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