From the Department for Dodgy Mnemonics: DUL and POWT

From DfDM, the Department for Dodgy Mnemonics, two for the same day, April 18th, 2017.

Mnemonic 1: DUL

Don’t blame Schein for the awful nmemonic, but do thank him for the process:

  1. Discomfirmation: coming to the (perhaps difficult) realisation that past assumptions, values, or solutions either don’t hold, cause as many problems as they solve, or must make way for else
  2. Unlearning (or unfreezing): working through the implications of that realisation, and becoming open to alternatives
  3. Learning: working with a new set of assumptions, values, and solutions

Source: Organizational Culture and Leadership, Edgar H. Schein. I can vouch for the audiobook also.

Mnemonic 2: POWT

I haven’t used the mnemonic in the new book, but there is a repeated pattern:

  1. Prompts (or prioritised goals): Prioritising assessment prompts (or similar descriptions of how we would like things to be) because we realise that they represent – in a positive way – something that isn’t working as it should. See also DUL.
  2. Obstacles: Things stopping those prompt from being realised as we would like. See also DUL.
  3. What would you like to have happen?: Identify outcomes hiding behind those obstacles.
  4. Then what happens?: More outcomes – the outcomes behind the outcomes.

Worst case, you get to discover what’s beyond your most immediate outcomes. Better (and quite likely) case: you agree on outcomes more interesting and achievable than the ones you started with.


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