Blog

Good enough is not Good Enough

I happened across this document when looking in my storage and I love the ideas.    The rest of the story… is that I received a small pamphlet when I began my first serious job at Prentice-Hall Publishers.    The year was 1975.    I carried the pamphlet around for many years and as many things in life, I eventually misplaced it, but not before I took the key points and entered them into a Word doc.

SNAG-0003

Miller Heiman Conceptual selling

I’ve attended the Miller Heiman training several times over the course of my career.    What do folks think now?     I still believe that the training is immensely valuable to almost anyone and I have been trained in Conceptual and Strategic Selling.     Without getting into deep details the fundamental idea is to create an approach for navigating through complex situations with many people involved.   I think my training is a valuable part of my resume.       Any thoughts?

Miller Heiman Group

Winning in 2018

Look at various statistical odds in life.    Lately, since December I’ve been playing the Powerball lottery.   It’s fun to dream about winning and I actually enjoy going down to my local store and picking up the tickets.    Maybe I’ll never win the “Lottery”,  but someone will.     One of my life habits is to place my loose change in a jar,  then I can reach in and buy a ticket weekly…     It’s a simple easy practice that makes me feel great,  well…  hopeful.

SNAG-0580

I won’t digress into how the game is played but the odds of winning are pretty small, one in millions.    Along the way,  I glanced at the various odds and it gave me pause to wonder about other odds in life.    Somewhere out there, I noted that your odds of being in an auto accident were one in 645.     Your odds of being struck by lightning were one in 13,500.    Oh well…   Started thinking about what could happen to me in 2018.    There is a good article in the Washington Post, “The ways you’re most likely to die, at every age”

SNAG-0581
Washington Post article on odds of dying

Are we safer today in 2018?

The answer to your safety really depends on many factors.    Perhaps more to the point is a recent article in the New York Times, published at Christmas,    “How to Be Happier, Safer, Healthier and Smarter in 2018”

A couple of years ago, I was invited to attend a seminar which was provided for all the managers of my company.     The core idea was to encourage the managers to take more risks.    On the way to that saga,  the seminar was led by a consultant who, aside from being a risk expert, also was an avid skydiver.    The one thing I remember from the seminar is that the consultant/leader said that he had only had two close calls with death out of two thousand jumps.     So, that is really just a fraction of a percent chance at death, but then I started considering;  “Who is making him take that risk?”.     The odds seem poorer when one engages in the needless risky behavior.

This year is a good time to improve your powers of risk assessment.    For all the reasons, you probably already know, there’s a lot going on in our world and it’s good practice to be a great estimator of what’s going to happen next and how will it impact my life.  🙂

I’m going to work on creating and evangelizing more “Checklists” in 2018.    I used to do this a lot and it is a terrific habit.   The Construx Software Consultancy offers many checklists that are useful for software development.    Some years ago, (i.e. 1993),  the leader of Construx, named Steve McConnel wrote a leading bible for Software Developers entitled “Code Complete”.       I don’t mean to digress into software engineering, but more to the point, there’s a need to develop a good leader and manager habit for developing checklists.     To that end, my continued work in defining collaboration,  “Who What With”  is pretty exciting to me for 2018.WhoWhatWithSNAG-0584

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where do we go in 2018?

Happy New Year – Day One.     The sun still hasn’t risen but I’m up and gulping coffee and reflecting on how this coming year will proceed.    I had occasion to think about Chandler Bing, from the Friends TV show,   (played by the actor,  Matthew Perry).   In short, Chandler started a temp job and then proceeded to stick with that career over the course of the TV series,  ( many years ).    One core element of Chandler’s job was to produce the WENUS report, ( Weekly Estimated Net Usage Systems ),  that that’s the base of many jokes.

I mention all this because I have given some thought to the Info Tech industry and how it is progressing.    If you look at a lot of the media you come away with the news that everyone seems to be working on topics as exciting as Artificial Intelligence and Big Data Analytics, and doing it all with JavaScript.  🙂    I suspect the truth is closer to the fact that most of us produce WENUS reports.

Another one of my brilliant epiphanies concerns the state of application development.   Recently, on Linkedin, someone posted a funny video on recruitment.    I mentioned this because a lot of Info Tech recruitment centers around the candidate’s understanding of technologies, but I suspect that job success really depends on navigating relationships and leading with good decisions.    It’s EQ more than IQ, but you need a foundation of the right stuff, the IQ.    Therefore, if you watch the video there is a humorous view of how employers try to ascertain a candidate’s analytical and decision-making potential.

WhoWhatWithI’m not all that big on new years resolutions but I vowed to do more to try and help facilitate a common sense approach to helping people get a grip on how to proceed with accomplishing tasks.    Frequently you see people flow the questions of;  Who, What, Why, How, When, etc…   But I’d suggest that Who, What, and With are probably the right ideas to convey.    Fundamentally you need to accomplish some result and you probably consume resources to get there.

I’ve now been in IT for a pretty long time.   It was called Applied Math when I started and big IBM computers crunched numbers, accounting.    I’ve never seen a WENUS report but I’m still very excited to develop computer applications and I continually get the feeling like we’re on the verge of some exciting new computer-assisted products and services.

I hope everyone finds good fortune in 2018.

 

Fashions

Never engage in a fashion fad that doesn’t look right. It won’t be any better twenty years in the future.

I worked a lot with fashions relating to virtual reality… and consequently the real world.   I became much more aware of fashions, fad, and trends.     I’m not really a big fan.    I sort of get that fashions drive business models, advertising and merchandising.

It all gave me pause to wonder why humans have not developed some sort of miracle fabric clothing which is vended from convenient machines.     Tyvek paper cloth comes to mind.

When considering new projects there is a related anti-pattern where a designer or developer has a skill and then wants to use it for everything.

When all you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail.  🙂