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: when we come 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 something else
  2. Unlearning (or unfreezing): when we work through the implications of that realisation, and become open to alternatives
  3. Learning: when we begin to work 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

Or if you prefer, POOO, or GOOO. It’s a pattern we use repeatedly:

  1. Prompts (or prioritised goals): We prioritise 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: We identify things that stop those prioritised prompts or goals from being realised as we would like. See also DUL.
  3. What would you like to have happen?: We identify outcomes hiding behind those obstacles.
  4. Then what happens?: More outcomes – the outcomes behind the outcomes.

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


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