Michael Bungay Stanier on Do More Great Work, Part 10

In the book, Do More Great Work.: Stop the Busywork, and Start the Work that Matters, Michael Bungay Stanier shares his inspiration and techniques to help us do more work that matters.

These are some of my favorite takeaways from reading the book.

In Part 5 of the book, Michael discusses potential approaches we can use to develop our Great Work Projects.

He recommends we take the following steps:

Map 9 What’s Possible?

  1. Shift gear mentally to a focused mindset of idea gathering. It is OK to have improbable, impossible, or irresponsible ideas. We are still deciding what to do; it is about expanding our choices.
  2. Give ourselves a time limit to have ideas. It is easy to start small, say five minutes.
  3. Start at the top of the map with “What ideas do you already have?”
  4. Scan the remaining questions and pick one that strikes our fancy.
  5. Pick a second question and do the same. Pick another question after this question.
  6. Review the ideas we have written down.

Map 10 What’s the Right Ending?

  1. Bring to mind our Great Work Project. We are going to imagine how it is going to play out. Write down three variants of the story on the map.
  2. The first story is where things work out perfectly for us. Tell the story in as much detail as we can imagine step-by-step how we arrive at the best possible outcome.
  3. Next, tell a different story about the same challenge when everything goes wrong.
  4. The final version is in the middle. It is neither great nor terrible – it is just a mediocre experience.
  5. Review the stories and find new elements we need to consider. We might have fears and expectations that we may not have articulated. We also might have questions for which we may need to find answers.