June 22, 2021

A blocker


There’s a difference between a bottleneck and a blocker.

Bottlenecks are contractions in the flow, slowing everything that passes to the pace of the lumpiest and stickiest part. Everything backing up behind waiting to push through, everything stacking up ahead waiting to be joined by the next component or the critical decision.

Blockers are obstacles, real or imaginary, put in the path of progress for the sake of … take your pick. Sometimes the block is for all good reasons – a decision made and a simple No. Sometimes though, it’s disguised and a bottleneck. Maybe it’s ego, not invented here-ness, vested interests, a misunderstanding, and preferred alternative despite the evidence. The problem isn’t the actual problem, it’s the disguise – when you don’t know whether you’re dealing with a justifiable delay or a deliberate (or nonchalant) distraction technique.

To unblock: ask, walk-me-through-it questions.

Skippy strategy: Wait out the bottleneck or break down the blocker.