Episode transcript The transcript is generated automatically by Podscribe.
Ricardo (4s): Hello everybody welcome to the five Minutes PM podcast. Today, I'd like to discuss with you chaos and chaos management. And this topic was something that I was looking to learn more this year. And I did a little bit of research on it. And in my mind, it's not very friendly to chaos. So I tried to understand what I can do to improve my ability to work in a volatile environment. And them, of course, I came to know the book from Nassim Taleb called Antifragile and this book gave me some insights on the project management world that I wanted to share with you. So basically the first thing we need to understand is what Antifragile is, and to explain that I need to explain what is a fragile and a robust system.
Ricardo (51s): Fragile is a system that deteriorates easily when under volatility. So it's like a bank, for example, a financial bank. For example, if one bank collapses, there is a very high risk that this creates a mass movement of taking money from other banks that can collapse the whole financial system. And this is why all governments, they have a lot of measurements, put in place to avoid that. Because the bank system is a fragile environment. Secondly, is a robust, a robust system It's something that you have that is very strong means If you attack this system, the system can resist heavily.
Ricardo (1m 36s): So for example, a strong encryption in the system. What is Antifragile? Antifragile is something that does not only resist but something that improves when facing chaos. For example, of course, we hate when a plane crash, and it's a disaster, it's a tragedy, but every single plane crash becomes an opportunity to learn and not do the problem again. So remember, volatility, chaos in asymmetry makes fragile systems in danger but improves Antifragile systems. So if you can produce a project that is antifragile, you will improve with these adversities.
Ricardo (2m 18s): So it's a trial and error. And remember most of the time, the current planning techniques, when we think, and try to detail the long-term term they simply do not work. Why? Because they work on the predictability that does not exist anymore. Remember one thing we should never take care of our projects like mums protect their kids because when you overprotect your kid, you are not making your kid Antifragile, but you are making your kid fragile. That will not resist to, the volatility of the environment. So how do we do that?
Ricardo (2m 60s): So I'm talking about how do we create a project that is Antifragile. So let me give you five quick tips, based on the book. First one, develop options. So you will never have, only an A plan or a plan A. You need to have a plan A, a plan B, a plan C, and options increase your variability. You can take things you can change things because you have options. You become extremely fragile when you do not have options. Imagine you in a job for many, many years, with no personal development, you become fragile. Because if you lose that job, you will face a big challenge to fulfill your need for another job.
Ricardo (3m 45s): But if you have different options, you can navigate, you can leave a company and build your own company. You do something, you go work for the government. You have this flexibility and this brings you more Antifragility. The second is proactivity and paranoia. It sounds odd, but you cannot control everything. You should control small pieces, small things, the things that really matter, and let mother nature do the rest. And be paranoid about observing when the changes are not acceptable anymore. And then you can go back to your options and see which options can you use to sort out that problem.
Ricardo (4m 30s): The third one is flexibility. You must be flexible. You must bend. You cannot create a plan that is so robust, that everything that changes destroy your plan because these will not work and this will not be sustainable. The fourth one is, develop a way of creating a compensation system to your team that makes them put their skin on the game. So when you have your skin on the game. For example, when the results of the work, are directly related to your compensation, to your benefit, to your social status, to your progress in career, you will develop the drive and the options to become an Antifragile and last but not least in developing this Antifragile mindset, you need to understand that a lot of setbacks will happen in this is a natural, every single entrepreneur Every single project manager had many, many setbacks.
Ricardo (5m 29s): I have setbacks every single day, but you need to get strength out of the setbacks. So when you are managing the project and something goes wrong, you need to use, like the plane crash, something to improve. So this book was a very nice book for me to read. And now when I'm planning the projects I need to undertake, and when I'm helping people to address their challenges, I always think developing options, proactivity and paranoia, flexibility, skin on the game, and get energy from setbacks. If you can address these five topics, you can make your work as a project manager and the work of your organization, much more Antifragile that will not only resist, but that will improve with the changes we'll face in the future.
Ricardo (6m 22s): I hope you enjoyed this podcast. See you next week with another five minutes PM Podcast.