July 29, 2009

On Triiibes

Posted in Business, Life, Technology tagged , , , , , , , , , at 6:01 am by lindaslongview

triiibes_blog_ring

A few years ago, I found Purple Cow by Seth Godin when I was browsing the local bookstore.  Purple Cow started me on a journey of reading other Seth books and then becoming a daily reader of Seth’s blog, I was immediately addicted to Seth’s daily pithy, yet succinct observations, advice, insights, and admonitions.  His blog posts start my day.

In July of 2008, Seth invited his blog readers (me) to buy Tribes (a terrific leadership book by Seth) and to join an online tribe called Triiibes.  I joined!  Today is the anniversary of Triiibes and we are celebrating it with an interconnected blog ring.

The community of similar-minded professionals that emerged in Triiibes, with whom I converse, learn, and occasionally teach, is amazing.  What I love most is that Triiibes is interactive and asynchronous – I can participate day or night and spend as little or as much time as I have available.  Simply perfect!  I have made many enriching friendships.

Most importantly, over this past year as I participated in Triiibes, I achieved a new perspective, gained confidence, and realized that I was in a cul-de-sac.  Although I had achieved significant professional success over many years, I finally realized that I had already achieved my personal goals where I was and that my efforts were no longer leading to important gains – it was time to do something different and/or set out on a new adventure.  So…

I initiated a rebuild of my personal long view:

  1. I resigned from my full-time professional position and am now achieving proficiency (mastery?) in the non-technical art of nurture.
  2. I am nurturing myself, my family, and my community through care-taking, volunteering, and just helping where I can.  By doing this, I have met many interesting and amazing people that I would not have had time for previously.
  3. I created this blog to share – here I coalesce my long view insights and publish them.
  4. I am defining my next adventure.   I have steadfast confidence that an opportunity to nurture technical innovation will emerge from this investment in nurturing.  ☺

Happy Anniversary Triiibes!  Thanks for everything, I look forward to many more insightful years!

Next on the Anniversary Blog Ring:  Being Tribal

July 27, 2009

Shoe Fit?

Posted in Life, Technology tagged , , , , , at 11:23 pm by lindaslongview

ClimbingShoesToday I bought a new pair of climbing shoes.  These shoes represent a milestone in my (indoor) climbing that marks that I’ve made it past “beginner” and I need a bit more performance from my shoe.

Selecting climbing shoes is no different that selecting tools for technology applications.  My long view advice on ensuring functional performance of equipment is as follows:

  1. Understand the function – borrow, rent or purchase an inexpensive model to learn. Identify the characteristics that are important.  Sometimes, expert advice can define the key characteristics, but it is always important to come up the learning curve enough to understand what you value.
  2. Measure/Differentiate performance – there is no substitute for testing the product and measuring difference. Whether you are purchasing large liquid handling equipment or shoes, try different models/brands in the intended application!

As an aside, when I started rock climbing in the mid-70’s there was no such thing as rock climbing shoes, we wore hiking boots!  Even though specialist shoes did not exist, gear was still key. The early-70’s introduction of a simple belay plate provided the necessary mechanical advantage for a 13-year-old girl weighing less than 100 lbs. to belay a full-grown adult male.  It was this device that allowed me to participate with my Dad and his friends before I left for college.

Today, rock climbing has come a long way with the advent of indoor gyms and the plethora of specialist equipment.  It can be daunting to select the most basic item: shoes!

Climbing shoes are notorious for being uncomfortable, yet I know that comfort is important to me. (I am just not tough enough or good enough to need the pain.) Since my current shoes are comfortable, what I really needed were shoes that have less slip (the better to smear with), more touch (improved grip on small holds), and a friction surface all the way across the footbed and heel (the better to stem with in tight spots).

I bought my first pair (Scarpa Marathon) online for $25: #1 purchase inexpensively to learn. This time I needed to assess slip and touch on a climbing wall: #2 measure performance.  I tried on just about every pair that my climbing gym offered – three different brands, two different models, and a few sizes.  Each time, I headed to the bouldering room to test their slip and touch.  I admit that I did not buy the most aggressive technical shoe, rather I bought one that is still considered a beginner shoe (Scarpa Veloce) but proved to be more sticky (less slip), more tactile, and yet comfortable enough to wear for a few hours in the gym.  Or perhaps I just liked them because they were Kermit-the-Frog green…

Maybe someday I will need a quiver of climbing shoes, but not yet!

When you purchase a new performance item, do you learn first and then test performance?

July 15, 2009

Keeping Core

Posted in Business, Technology tagged , , , , , , , , , at 11:17 am by lindaslongview

JambaJuiceJamba Juice is a frozen fruit smoothie franchise that has consistent taste, predictable service (both timing and quality), hip marketing, and friendly staff.  As a process engineer, I have always marveled at the “process line” that Jamba Juice employs.  It is simple, efficient, and allows for excellence in quality in pace and accuracy (so long as the vast majority of products being sold are smoothies).

Jamba Juice uses a register station, a prep station, a blending station, a finishing station, and a washing station.  The “line” works because each smoothie gets a paper ticket with the smoothie identity (product) and the purchaser identity.  The paper ticket sticks to the blender carafe when moist, so information flows along the line with each carafe.  As the tickets flow, carafes are prepped and pushed down the line, creating an excellent First-In-First-Out (FIFO) process line.  The “line” is usually well staffed to ensure flow through the series of stations and the register station can be used regulate flow.  If needed, they can reduce the flow momentarily by ceasing to take orders when they get too backed up.  It is easy to see your order progress in the line-up, making the wait very predictable.

I also like Jamba Juice because they are “hip.”  They use colorful advertising, clean humor, and they have a “secret smoothie menu” that appeals to teens (my kids like the “Pink Star”).

When I went for a smoothie today (it was hot outside), I found that Jamba Juice had added many new food products to their menu.  I watched sadly as the once simple process gave way to complexity and FIFO flow was no longer working.  The woman in front of me in line received only one of her two smoothies.  Even though she muttered about the error (such that I knew), she was not assertive in requesting a correction from the staff.  On the other hand, when I observed that one of my smoothies had NOT been prepared at the prep station, I spoke up immediately, because it was clear to me that the new way the paper tickets and carafes flowed led to errors and a loss of system capacity.

Indeed the squeaky wheel (me) got the grease (my order was fixed ASAP).  I left advising the woman ahead of me to speak up, even though I knew that more expediting would continue to cost process capacity.  They had became caught in an eternal expedite situation – as each person found an error in their order, “flow” work ceased and “expedite” work filled the capacity of the staff.   The line backed up more and more because complexity unintentionally increased the rate of error and no mechanism was added to compensate.

I lament the loss of the niche excellence that Jamba Juice once commanded.  I am saddened because they have lost their core to the unintended consequence of what probably seemed like an “improvement” (revenue?).  Maybe only this location was duly affected with the addition of food to the menu and maybe they can create a corrective action, but I am not confident.

Jamba Juice failed to see the long view value of their core competence from a customer’s perspective:  consistent fruit smoothie preparation (tasty!), FIFO process (predictable timing), and high order quality (order accuracy).  It is the experience that has value. The unintended consequence of their change compromised this core value.    As my friend Greg (a marketing guy) points out, “Ask your customers why they buy your product and why they buy your product from you and not one of your competitors. You will no doubt be amazed at the answer.”  In summary, understand your core and the potential for unintended consequences from your customer’s perspective.

Do you know what your customers think your core competency is?

June 30, 2009

Community Evolution

Posted in Business, Life, Technology tagged , , , , , , , at 11:12 pm by lindaslongview

I said in an earlier post (One Book, Two Months), I continue to be interested in the evolution of communities and organizations – how to increase collaboration and to reduce feelings of isolation.  Today’s post was sparked by connections among:

  • A whispered negative comment at a community meeting, “Did you hear that the Smith’s are leaving?”
  • An uplifting positive email from a former colleague mentioning that a mutual colleague, who had worked for me, was a panelist at a recent career seminar and had said very complimentary things about how I explained the details of his position during recruitment, how I had piqued his interest enough to accept the job, and how I had been a good coach/mentor later after he was hired.
  • And, continued thinking on my last post, Applied to Soccer.

What these three things have in common are the ebb and flow that exists in every community and organization, which occurs like the ebb and flow of the flock of birds in this estuary photo.  EstuaryEbbandFlowMy three examples differ in tone and timing:  negative, positive, arriving (hiring), participating, and departing.   Organizations and communities evolve (grow and adapt to external change) as people depart and others arrive, so it is important to prevent stagnation, but there is no need to be negative.

Arrivals are recruited to perform specific functions (in organizations) and are assessed to ensure fit to the organization or community through shared goals, values, and vision.  With each arrival the community/organization is infused with the new, the fresh, and dreams.   Arrivals generate hope for the future.

Departures, on the other hand, are subdued, because there is loss.  The losses come in many flavors:  a valued contributor choosing to go elsewhere, a respected contributor departing under organizational contraction, and/or the loss of an aspiration because goodness-of-fit was not achieved (or outgrown).

Managing arrivals is easy because they are naturally positive – hope is good.  Conversely, managing departure can be hard.  The key to success in managing departure is to ensure shared goals during participation and dignity in departure.

Dignity is infused when leadership conversations are respectful and there is a history of communication around expectations and goals (positives are reinforced and negatives are identified and corrected early). Although it takes more effort to stay positive and to over-communicate, that extra effort nurtures joy, enthusiasm, and loyalty.  Thus, the long view advice is to lead with dignity upon arrival, during participation, and upon departure.

Are you infusing your community/organization with dignity?

June 12, 2009

Relativistic Comparisons

Posted in Business, Technology tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 12:44 pm by lindaslongview

FortuneCookieI had Chinese food with a good friend last evening.  My friend received the following fortune:  “Linger over dinner discussions this week for needed advice.FortuneCookieFortune

Specifically, we discussed the challenges of coping with isolated HR (Human Resources) actions that benefit a single individual/group, yet create long-term unintended consequences for other staff.   One example was a scenario where HR advocated offering a higher starting salary to recruit a new employee without adjusting other staff salaries for like positions.   The problem is that even if current staff salaries are economically fair (from an entirely objective perspective), the salary differential will be perceived as unfair when (not if) the details become known.  This is because humans are tightly bound to relativistic thinking.  Watch this great YouTube video by Dan Ariely from his work, Predictably Irrational, Ch.1, to demonstrate the point.

How people feel about their situation is highly dependent on comparison to others.  Thus, in order to achieve good staff morale, it is important to consider how to minimize negative comparisons now *and* in the future.

The question that my friend and I discussed is the WHY would anyone advocate for such a scenario?  I think that the biggest issue is that organizational policy-makers may not believe that negatives resulting from relativistic thinking are real.  Concerns are dismissed by otherwise thoughtful and well-educated policy-makers because they want to believe that we should not behave that way *and* because they don’t “feel” it themselves.  They are more likely to be insulated from accumulating these negatives, because their own (more senior) staff better model ideal behavior.  Thus, their mental models, based upon their current experience, allow them to apply idealized logic to the expected behavior of more junior staff when assessing positives/negatives.

Intentions are good, vis-à-vis accruing an immediate (short view) positive for the single/group (improve employment competitiveness by recruiting new employee at higher salary).  However, as noted by Jeffery Pfeffer in his book What Were They Thinking? Unconventional Wisdom about Management, pg.117, “…executives [can be] hopelessly out of touch and unable to empathize with or even understand the situation faced by front-line staff…,” underscoring the reality that long view negatives can be dismissed.  The situation is more acute if policy-makers believe that that actions/policies will inculcate ideal behavior – it won’t!  Humans are wired relativistically.

It is much better to avoid the conflicts than to have to deal with the unintended negative consequences. Thus, what is needed is for policy-makers to understand the effects that they are not currently considering.  My advice:

  • Teach Concepts: show the video clip to demonstrate the global concepts – Ariely has done excellent work to unequivocally demonstrate that relative thinking is universal and unavoidable,
  • Explain Specifics: describe the specific logical effects of the proposal under scrutiny, and
  • Gain Acceptance: get agreement that relativistic thinking causes significant negatives before you begin to discuss a direction for solution.

Are you taking time to teach concepts, explain specifics, and gain acceptance to those who do not “feel” them directly?

June 7, 2009

Scratching Stopped!

Posted in Life, Technology tagged , , , , , , at 10:25 pm by lindaslongview

The urgency began when my son began looking rather haggard after a night of sleep.  After inquiring, I learned that a loud scratching sound from under the floor in his room was keeping him awake.  I knew immediately that the roof rats, (endemic to our area) had found a new ingress point to our crawl space under the house.  Being way past the stigma of having rats, I knew that they must be excluded immediately and proceeded to take action!

So, how does this relate to the Long View?

As I noted in “About the Long View”, “Although [we] sometimes struggle to make (or coach) “long view” choices because “near term” gets in the way….[it] is not to say that there is no place for short-term actions, to the contrary.  Sometimes you have to plug the hole in the dike right now in order to protect the dike for the future.

  1. Rat intrusion is a clear example of  the Urgent/Important – stuff needing to be fixed immediately or it will get worse quickly!
  2. In the time-management matrix that most technologists abide, it is acceptable to shift priorities to accommodate the Urgent/Important (1st quadrant).

After interviewing several local pest control companies (several wasted my time – they didn’t actually offer needed services!), I settled on a local company that was willing to enter the crawl space to assess integrity, seal potential ingress areas, and trap the critters out.  Once the technician arrived, he immediately identified several potential ingress points that had to be fixed (some in the roof area – which needed a specialist) and several at the baseline.  We worked together to fix the exterior baseline ingress points (where the scratching was heard).  Then it was time to “house dive.”  Miguel (the pest control pro) was able to assess the north-side crawl space, but the south-side was too narrow for him to access.  So, being both action-oriented and small-framed, I put on my coveralls, my headlamp (all self-respecting gadget queens have one!), safety glasses, mask, gloves, and squeezed into the south-side crawl space.

RatIngressPointI quickly discovered a single well-evidenced ingress point (many rat turds!) and evidence of excessive scratching.  MetalMeshFixIn a second “dive,” I hauled camera, metal screen, nails, and a hammer to the spot and dutifully sealed the ingress.

Over the next several days, my son slept on the couch because the previously loud wood scratching amplified/progressed to metal scratching.  The enclosed rats were desperately in search of food, allowing Miguel to trap the critters out.  The final score is 3-1.

TheBIGOneMiguel captured/killed three rats in the snap traps, and I caught one in an untethered glue trap.  Although the fourth rat touched the glue trap, it was able to scurry away with the trap.  In a third “dive” to retrieve the trap/rat(carcass?), I found the trap wedged at a pipe penetration – the rat had leveraged the trap off and escaped to another part of the crawl space.  Smart!  I have yet to find the carcass, but hopefully I will not need to.

The scratching has stopped, my son’s sleep is restored, and only the painter needs to come to polish up the roof work.  Whew, back to the Important/NOT Urgent (2nd quadrant)!

Are you working to the Important/NOT Urgent routinely?

May 31, 2009

Rocking Customer Service

Posted in Business, Life, Technology tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:48 pm by lindaslongview

iSH3_Interval_H20AudioI had a rocking customer service experience yesterday with H20 Audio that reinforces why I am a raving fan for them…

Even though swimming is a second-string pursuit (I’d rather be rock climbing, running, biking, etc.), I swim regularly because it “rehabs” everything I injure in my other athletic pursuits. The downside of swimming is the boredom.  So, about six (6) years ago, I started a down and up affair with music while I swim…

I started with waterproof earphones coupled to a waterproof “bag” that held a 1st generation iPod.  I stuffed the bag in my swimsuit and swam happily to tunes for a few weeks.  Unfortunately, the “bag” sprung a leak and that iPod is now a doorstop (husband was very unhappy).

A year or so later, I found and purchased a SwiMP3.  The sound quality of the bone conduction speakers was awesome, but it was terminally painful to update my music because it was iTunes incompatible.  As I became more and more iTunes exclusive, it became more and more obsolete.

When I found the iSH2 from H2O Audio, which holds an iPod Shuffle, I was delighted.   Unfortunately, those early waterproof earphones had inconsistent performance and I still pined for the sound quality of my SwiMP3, but with the ease of iTunes.  I began sending notes (to both companies) asking for sound quality AND iTunes compatibility.  I was elated when H20 Audio told me that they were about to come out with the iSH3 (aka Interval) incorporating their Surge headphones to the iPod Shuffle casing.  I was so delighted that I ordered two as soon as they were available in Feburary 2009 (one for me and one for my friend’s birthday in May).  I was so early in my purchase that I had to work with customer service to register – the warranty website had yet to list the iSH3!  That’s how I met Richard at customer service.

I have been rocking my splashes very happily ever since.  I love my iSH3 and whenever anyone at the pool asks me about it, I encourage him or her to purchase an iPod Shuffle ($50) and the iSH3 ($80) – great deal!  I provide the H2O Audio website info and tell them that they will not regret it.

Imagine how distressed I was when I found out that my friend’s gift had a broken latch!  Considering that I had purchased it in February and I desired to make it right when I saw her next weekend, I was glad to have a relationship with Richard.  I typed up an email to Richard, explained situation and he made it right!  I have a new iSH3 on the way so that I can swap with my friend when I see her next weekend and then I’ll send the broken one back. With this gesture, H2O Audio amplified my raving fandom. ☺  Their customer service exemplifies my three favorite (long view) customer service mantras:

  • Build relationships with your users. Get to know each other – exchange full names and try to know something about the other person that allows you to connect. For a customer, nothing is more frustrating than either not knowing whom to call or not having comfort to call when a problem arises.  Creating connection encourages honest, timely communication.
  • If your customer calls you to complain or seek advice, THANK them, encourage narratives, and listen for information in the details.  No matter how hard it is to say “Thank you” to someone who is complaining, be sincere.  The provided information is a gift that will help you to make products better – you will learn how the product is actually being used.
  • Fix what isn’t right without excuse and be grateful for the opportunity.

This advice applies equally to technology development (internal customers) as to consumer products (external customers).

Are you building relationships with your users?  Thanking them? Fixing what isn’t right?  Staying grateful for the opportunity?

Are you rocking your splashes with an iSH3?

May 5, 2009

One Book, Two Months

Posted in Business, Life, Technology tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 12:00 am by lindaslongview

bowlingaloneI am a voracious reader; typically I read a few books a month. I started Robert Putnam’s “Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community” on 03/06/2009 (the day I checked it out from the library). I renewed it once and then ordered it from Amazon when I realized that I wouldn’t finish before I had to renew it yet again.

My long view journey with this book began with the question: “What to change in the workplace and in the community to increase collaboration and to reduce feelings of isolation?” This question arose from my observation that the world is changing as a result of our adoption of technology (this is a good thing), yet it affects both workplace and civic communities in ways that make it harder in many cases to be effective because of concomitant rising expectations.

My key observation was that each of us has many demands on our time (more and more), making it harder and harder to get people to collaborate (workplace) and/or connect (civic) face-to-face (the old way) because we need lower transaction costs to do more and remain effective. The good news is that technology is lowering transaction costs everywhere – Clay Shirky in “Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing without Organizations” makes the point very effectively (if you don’t want to read this book, let Steve read it for you). As lowered transaction costs permeate our lives, we begin to shy from activities that exceed a certain threshold of time (or effort) because we require reduced transaction costs everywhere (lowered tide lowers all boats) in order to participate.

Weighing in at only 414 pages, “Bowling Alone” was a dense and demanding read — chock full of statistics and data of all sorts. It required slow absorption, but I learned much!

On page 335, I hit resonance. Putnam summarizes that many of us in modern society feel down because we have a stronger investment in our own autonomy than commitment to duty and common enterprise, thus leaving us unprepared to deal with the inevitable setbacks, losses, and outright failures that are part and parcel of commercializing emerging technology or just living life! In prior eras, the commitment to duty and common enterprise was stronger than personal achievement (flipped balance), enabling a stronger network of family and friends (social capital) to be available to cushion our dips.

Although the shift from community to autonomy created a reversal in the strength of our personal connections, it was accompanied by the strong positives of greater diversity and tolerance (gender, race, religion, orientation). Thus, I celebrate the era of self-determination, meritocracy, and achievement through perseverance; yet as a leader (workplace and community), I look for guidance as to how best to ignite greater connection (social capital) in our transformed world.   I desire self-determinant workplaces and communities that create much more needed human camaraderie to re-balance toward the common good.

Putnam’s guidance is sparse, but positive.  He does not tell us what to do, but gives us direction for solution: we must build mechanisms with our new tools (reduced transaction costs) to create (more and more) reciprocity, trust, and mutual aid. Putnam makes the point that during the Progressive Era (following rapid industrialization), reformers of social capital then were activist, optimistic, and hugely successful by using the new tools of their era.

How best to accomplish this mission?!  Do you have ideas?

May 1, 2009

Gadget Queen

Posted in Life, Technology tagged , , , , , , at 9:15 pm by lindaslongview

flattireThere is just something about gadgets that I love.  I love the innovation and the potential for transformation that they represent.  With each new gadget, I buy into the story that it will somehow improve my life:  save me time, make my experience more joyful, or reduce the tediousness of tasks.

Emerging technology represents the same potential for transformation, yet must be nurtured to successful commercialization.  Processes need to be developed ensuring that robustness and customer satisfaction are built in.

With the love and devotion that I give my gadgets, it is such a disappointment when a favored gadget fails.  Yesterday, one of my favored gadgets, the Max Stealth Tire Minder pressure gauges, failed. My car had a completely flat tire – not a little low, but completely flat!  Naturally I assumed that I must have picked up a nail on my last trip. Maybe because I wanted to believe that my Tire Minders were robust, it never occurred to me that they failed (even though it happened once before a few years ago).  So, instead of pulling out the compressor, I dutifully pulled out the jack, collected the tire wrench and changed my tire.  Although I couldn’t see the failure point on the tire, I took the tire to the shop this morning to get it fixed.  My tire dealer assured me that the tire was fine, but my super-hooty-doo tire stem pressure gauge indicator was the culprit.  Aargghh, the indignity of it all – I believed in them, loved them, and told all my friends how neat they were – I feel betrayed!

I sold myself the storyline that I saved time while still ensuring that my tires were properly inflated (saves gas!). Each time I filled up, I didn’t have to drag my pressure gauge from the glove compartment to check my tire inflation.  All I had to do is just walk around the vehicle and look for the “yellow” indicator to see if a tire was low.

As it turns out, all that accumulated time that I saved not using the regular tire gauge evaporated with the time it took to change that tire, take the tire to the shop, and then wait to have the shop “fix” it.  Was it worth it?  Well, the fellow at the tire shop told me that he sees lots of failures and fine print indicates that they are warranted for a year.  I bought them exactly one year ago, when I purchased my tires – how did they know a year was up?!  Even though Tire Minder is neat, it is not robust enough to create my satisfaction over the long view.

There’s always a positive, I think my neighbor got some good laughs watching me change my tire.  I was challenged to break free the lug nuts with my short little tire iron that came with my sedan, so there I was jumping up and down on the tire iron (putting all my weight into it) to get them loose.  My neighbor took pity on me and brought over his long lever arm tire iron.  It worked much better; I think I need one of those!  🙂

That being said, I will continue to try new technology and innovations, because over the long view that is how we achieve progress.   This story just provides another reminder of the importance of building robustness and customer satisfaction into innovative products (and emerging technology) to ensure successful adoption (and commercialization).

April 26, 2009

Heeding Warnings

Posted in Life, Technology tagged , , , , , , , , , at 11:27 pm by lindaslongview

warningtriangle

All too often, we hear “warnings” but proceed without heed.  Sometimes it is a small voice inside one’s head that says, “things do not add up,” sometimes it is a real warning (do not use lawnmower as hedge trimmer or bodily injury might result), and sometimes it is a recitation of all possible observed “rare events,” such as on drug labels.

Two weeks ago, my doctor prescribed me the antibiotic levofloxacin for a sinus infection.  As he prescribed it for me, he hestitated because I am an avid athlete and he said that it was known to be associated with spontaneous tendon rupture.  Although I was warned, once I felt better I did not think about that warning as I returned to my regular repertoire of sports.  Last Thursday morning, as I perilously dangled after I lost my footing on a V2 bouldering problem, I had to strain hard to regain my footing and overgripped my left hand/arm to finish the route.  Later that afternoon, I could no longer open my car door with my left hand and the previously faded memory of the “tendon rupture” warning had resurfaced.

When faced with warnings, there is a tendency to discount that which causes us to deviate from plan.  As busy humans (never enough time!) we are risk averse especially to the loss of time. We have an ability to proceed with any number of justifications:  the probability is small (rare event), the concern does not apply (no associated risk factors), and/or the risk is overstated, because we have not deliberately considered the unfavorable outcome’s impact on time.

Deliberately planning for undesirable outcomes based upon “warnings” is the long view approach.  By including contingency for the unexpected, we are more objective in dealing with risk.

I have since learned that strenuous sports activities predispose patients to quinolone-related tendon rupture [Gold and Igra, “Levofloxacin-Induced Tendon Rupture: A Case Report and Review of the Literature,” The Journal of the American Board of Family Practice 16:458-460 (2003)].  Yikes!  Had I been sufficiently deliberate to more fully understand the potential for tendon rupture and had planned for a twelve week (or more!) tendon recovery, I would not have been bouldering on Thursday morning.  Swimming would have been a much better long view choice!

The good news is that my elbow pain is already better (probably unrelated to the drug concern).  But, nevertheless, now that I know the full implications, I will not be placing high loads on my tendons while taking levofloxacin again!

I am duly reminded to take the long view and plan for contigency in order to be more objective in dealing with risk.  I hope you are too!

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