The Idea Dude


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

No choice

There's a television program on the Food Channel called Dinner Impossible. A reknown chef is given limited time and resources to cook a themed meal for a number of guests. In this particular episode, the chef's mission was to create a Japanese meal with the help of two experienced sushi chefs.

During the preparation of the meal, the rice cooker failed and two batches of sushi rice had to be thrown away costing them valuable time. The head chef lamented several times how luck had let them down. Each time, the Japanese sushi chef simply replied, "No choice!" and carried on as if nothing had happened".

I'm sure the Japanese chef was just as frustrated and perhaps even a bit angry. But his discipline and professionalism shone through. He simply resolved himself to the fact that stuff happens and he had no choice but to continue. Needless to say, the meal was a success.

Often we are faced with the same catastrophes in our lives. I remember shipping code that had undetected bugs, followed by irate customer phone calls. My developers would look at each other trying to find reasons why no-one found the bug, bad code? bad testing? Who was to blame? Was it the developer who didn't write robust code? Was it the tester who didn't have a test case for that scenario? Or me who enforced unreasonable time lines? Perhaps it was the customer with big bucks threatening not to pay if we didn't meet a deadline?

But the bottom line was to teach them was at that moment, the most important thing was to fix the bug, get it tested and make sure we resolved it for the customer as fast as possible. Nothing else really mattered. We had, "no choice". There is no blame because I'm sure we all conspired in some way to that particular situation. And ultimately it is a matter of circumstance and luck. But rather than dwell on what should have been, it is more important to figure out what we should now do to make it what it should be.

Just two words, stands between what was and what will be. "No choice" meaning what is done is done. What will define us is what we will now do.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, since you like "Dinner Impossible" I thought you might enjoy reading my weekly blog that covers the episodes!

Please check it out if you have some free time! Thanks!

6:12 PM  
Blogger The Idea Dude said...

Thanks for the tip. Sure will visit.

8:01 PM  

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