For most people in Alabama, Space Transportation System (STS) is linked NASA’s shuttle program. So I often get puzzled looks when I start talking about 17 sts – 17 steps to success.
Several years ago I managed a team of dedicated professionals that stretched from Nova Scotia to Tampa to Santa Clara. We operated on conference calls, shared screens, and an occasional team meeting. I was chatting one day with one of my team when the topic of haiku came up. We decided to see who could write the best haiku among the team members to stimulate creativity and increase team cohesion. What, a contest to write a haiku? Really?
The 17 syllables in a haiku forces you to think differently. The 17 syllables makes you think simply. The simplicity leads to success. We worked in the difficult space of creating and communicating marketing programs in a multi tiered distribution environment. The programs had to meet business targets, engineering rules, and communication constraints. We used the haiku as a way keeping focused on the need to be simple. Complex programs just don’t get used.
That started me on a journey of focusing on simplicity and execution. That is what 17 sts brings to every situation encountered.
Oh, one of my favorite haiku from the competition-