Spoonful of Zietgiest

Do you want to have a winning team?  Bring a spoonful of zietgiest to your next meeting!

For me, Zietgiest is about how group dynamics influence how we feel about technology and make decisions.  It’s like meme, but I like Zeitgiest more because of its lower vowel ratio (Hirschfeld = 2:10).

Yesterday, my release team meeting had negative Zeitgiest.  Locally everyone was checking email while the remote speaker flipped through dense powerpoint slides.  It was like watching my divorced aunt’s family vacation slides via Webex.  We needed a spoonful of zietgiest!  That’s how I found myself explaining some of our challenges with the phrase “turd in the punchbowl” and getting people paying more attention to the real work.  A small positive spark and faked enthusiasm changed the momentum.  Yeah, it was fake at first and then become real zeitgiest when the other attendees picked up on the positive vibe.

The idea of seeding zietgiest is critical for everyone on teams.  It’s like the William James expression,feeling follows action: if you act happy then you’ll shake off the blues and start to feel happy.  Yes, this is 100% real.  The same applies for groups.  We can choose to ride or steer the zietgiests.

There’s no reason to endure low energy meetings when you can get out your spoon and stir things up.

This entry was posted in Teams and tagged , , , by Rob H. Bookmark the permalink.

About Rob H

A Baltimore transplant to Austin, Rob thinks about ways of building scale infrastructure for the clouds using Agile processes. He sat on the OpenStack Foundation board for four years. He co-founded RackN enable software that creates hyperscale converged infrastructure.

3 thoughts on “Spoonful of Zietgiest

  1. Pingback: Crowbar 2.0 Design Summit Notes (+ open weekly meetings starting) « Rob Hirschfeld's Blog

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  3. Pingback: From orphans to open source, data matters | Rob Hirschfeld

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