Reflections on 6 years, 6 months, and 4 days of blogging.
I've published Lean Management and Lean Leadership, my first blog post, on February 14th, 2016. That's exactly 2377 days ago—six and a half years of blogging!
That post was originally published on The Lean Presentation website, whose intended purpose was to highlight and sort best videos on Lean Management, Kaizen and specific Lean tools.
Although the website doesn't exist anymore, I managed to salvage almost all 22 posts I wrote for it. Eight Principles of SMED and Mistake Proofing (Poka-Yoke) are still quite popular, if judged by visits.
In June 2016 I started writing posts at Playing Lean blog as well, the first one being Blast From The Past: Facemash. One of the company cards in the game was based on Facebook, hence a post explaining the predecessor. It still attracts a lot of visitors...
Finally, in July 2016 I published On Managing for Quality, a very first post on my own blog. It was followed by fifteen more posts, all based on Implementing Lean Six Sigma: The effective integration of two improvement methodologies specialisation project I did at NTNU.
I kept sporadically writing until early 2020, when I decided on a regular publishing schedule: a blog post every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. In 2022 I also added The Innovator's Attitude, a monthly newsletter with the objective of helping leaders innovate profitably by providing them with best practices, models, and different perspectives.
History aside, here are seven learnings from the above:
- Write from first-hand experience. I used to believe that I must support every statement I make with multiple references and citations. Instead of trusting my experience, I hunted down other peoples' words, as if they have more value than my own.
- Write with confidence. They are only bytes, what's the worst that can happen? Posts can be edited. If one writes with honest heart, then there is nothing to be afraid of.
- Write with care. I mostly write about processes and systems—formulating an innovation strategy, driving change, innovating at a scale in large organisations—and believe me, I go hard on them. But whenever I write about specific people (even if they aren't named), I ask myself "How would they feel if they read this?" I aspire to bluntness, not assholeness.
- Write conversationally. One of the reasons I started blogging was to get rid of (some) writing habits I've developed during my engineering and academic training. I still wanted to write with scrutiny and precision, but without dull, convoluted, and verbose language. Now, when I sit to write, I simply type as I'd speak.
- Write about practical matters. SEO this, SEO that; I couldn't care less. My sole concern is as follows: the reader should walk away with an insight or action to take, no matter how small. When people tell me "I haven't thought about it that way..." and "Hey, I tried that thing you wrote about!" then I know I'm delivering on my promise.
- Write with discipline. Stick to the schedule. Maintain a list of topics and questions. Use visual templates. Write and schedule posts in advance. Keep track of them.
- Write with joy. I began writing for selfish reasons: to get better at writing and to document my evolving practice. I kept writing for the same reasons. And just like in martial arts, I find great joy in the practice for the sake of practice. Of course, one ought to reflect regularly as well, else practice turns to meaningless repetition.
Can't wait to see what I'll learn in the next six years.
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