The notion of exploring for dysfunction is actually an easy to do. Just make list of the things you don't like. As Robert Glass mentions in his book Quotes like those from Jeffery and Landsbaum seem to be treated like traditional griping of those at the bottom of a management hierarchy toward those above, rather than information that may be real significance.
So the first circle in Simon Sinek's approach to "selling anything" is the why questioning approach. The answer to this why needs to be some identification of a problem that is connected to a behaviour of the system that when corrected results in a benefical outcome to the System not just to the individual.
Turns out observing dysfunction is really easy. Just look around, it's every where. From the project team actions, the line at Whole Foods, to the road repair crews in our neighborhood. It's an endless supply of things to find dysfunction about. Observing the systems and asking why is much harder, when that why must also contain a tangible benefical outcome beyond the personal motivation.
How to do something about the discovered dysfunction is the next step. But this means actually assembling a collection of possible solutions, testing those solutions in a set of experiments to see if they are applicable. Or in another paradigm, classifying the taxonomy of the dysfunctions and looking for the reference classes as a starting point for known solutions.
We are pulling weeds today after the floods in Boulder County. We're dry, many others aren't. But the back garden is nice and wet. Bishop's Weed is a pervasive and invasive ornamental ground cover. It's real pretty unless of course you don't want it. The collection of solutions for keeping Bishop's Weed from the flower garden is essentially ZERO. So gripe all we want, the only way is the pull it. But weeds in the rock beds can be sprayed. Weeds in the yard can as well. Solutions abound. Pick one. Apply it. Stop griping and searching for dysfunction. Fix it or move one.
One real example is managers who can't wrap their heads around how to properly get the development team engaged in producing probabilistic estimates have similar problems. Griping about it is trivial.
Figuring out what to do is the hard part. But that's where the value comes from. At least for those with the money. Value is certainly produced by griping among colleagues. It's a release of frustration. It's a bonding of people and ideas. It's a way to pass the time. It provides a communication channel that produces agreement on the problem. No suggestions for solutions. And certainly no actionable solutions. But useful all the same. We here griping all the time on our defense programs. But when we look around at the leaders of some programs, they come to the table with identification of the problem, several possible solutions, and the Analysis of Alternative (AoA) plan.
Now this is not a reasonable approach for a disjoint group of individuals I know. But somewhere along the way to the final solution - or set of solutions for different domains - the second step in the process needs to start if the third step is ever to be reached and the griping is to stop.
As Shim Marom says Think about it. And be ready for the FlashBlog on September 25th hosted by Shim