One of my core principles is to continuously increase the clarity with which I see the world.
This is a top-level principle, and so I have a bunch of values and behaviours which flow from that.
I have seen this value misused. A bitter person misused it to excuse counter-productive behaviour, and an idealist misappropriated it to disguise their unwillingness to accept reality as it is.
Another value I have is for clarity around facts and observations. Particularly I want:
- people to be specific about the source and validity of a claim, and
- observations to be described distinctly from conclusions about observation.
For example, “Apache crashed” is a conclusion and “http 80 is not responding” is the observation. Other causes could be security groups or internet connectivity.
In a cool way, these values overlap with my bias to action. So when solving a complex problem, if I find things going in circles, I will write a clear problem statement. How to think clearly about problems has been studied and codified by systems like Kepner Tregoe. I think all good services organisations should use a consistent problem solving method and be sure all staff are trained in it; you cannot assume a University degree will give a person this skill.
Problem statements can be quite simple, though. You can just include:
- the observed issue
- the desired behaviour
- a list of possible solutions
Update, March 2017: I found an absolutely superb article on this topic you should read for more detail.