Month: February 2016

Three pillars of communication…

I believe there are 3 ways to communicate

  1. Asynchronous:  This is when if I am communicating with you, its mostly for your information, or doesn’t need your immediate attention.
  2. Synchronous:  This is where its is somewhat important or very important and I am trying to communicate with you interactively, in real time.  This could be a phone call, instant messaging, etc.
  3. A complete emergency…

Communication is key for any business, and everyone eventually falls into a trap and get in a review that they do not communicate well, or enough.  I really broke down communication types into the above, and people need to figure out the best times to use each one.

Let start with email.  No one should ever email you anything important <period> Anything that is important should be done with some other form of communication.  I do understand there is sometimes a “mass” communication that is often important in an organization that is 1,000 people or more that email is more effective.  But I still believe that if it is that important, there are better ways.  If I send an employee of mine an email, I expect them to do their “important” work first, then get to the email when taking a break.   Email is a huge disruption to work.  Emails with Important tag are more of a waste, but again that is an opinion.

If something is important, I will use some form of synchronous or semi-synchronous communication.   I use the semi- as I now have updated this to include instant messaging (when you have presence) and text-messaging (as this has become a prime form of communication) as well as calling on the phone.   These synchronous are that as if it is important, and I need an immediate response, and I feel its worth interruption then i will used it.  I expect someone to pause and response to synchronous (within limits)  As stated in the initial writing of this, I would prefer developers to turn of email alerts, but keep IM/SMS on.

Now lastly, if it is complete emergency, email and IM wont do, security will come and remove you from the building.   Now this 3rd pillar came during 9/11, where the CEO of the company I was working at was told to leave a building in downtown Manhattan.  Well he argued, and fought until security came and dragged him away.   This was his downfall, as the board started working on his exit soon after.  Your work is not important as your life, it matters.

This was originally written in 2016, and updated December of 2020.

This opinion is mine, and mine only, my current or former employers have nothing to do with it. I do not write for any financial gain, I do not take advertising and any product company listed was not done for payment. But if you do like what I write you can donate to the charity I support (with my wife) Morgan Stanley’s Children’s Hospital or donate to your favorite charity. I pay to host my site out of my own pocket, my intention is to keep it free.  I do read all feedback, I mostly wont post any of them.

Sunlight is the best disinfectant

Often you wonder if your employees are good or bad, or can they work well.  In larger companies it is easier for people to hide.  This as a business owner, a manager or even a shareholder is a problem.  The best way to solve this, make everyone and the work they do visible.  The more visible everyone is, their work will speak for themselves.   If work is shown to others to see, it will surface whether or not they are a good employee or not.  Good employees wont want to hide, they would want to stand out and help themselves get ahead.

Now I wrote that in 2016 I am rethinking this one.  Not because I think it is wrong, but I am wondering if this is appropriate in every situation.  There are times where the sum of the parts is not greater than the whole (putting superstar together fails) and sometimes the opposite (putting together a bunch of misfits and they are better.)

This means as a manager you need to think, understand the situation and decide once you shine the light on someone, do they work better in a team? Is it that person that keeps the team going? Does he/she have soft skills that somehow make up for technical skills?  Shining light may show someone as who they are, but now you need to understand the next step.

Originally Published in Feb of 2016, Updated in December of 2020

This opinion is mine, and mine only, my current or former employers have nothing to do with it. I do not write for any financial gain, I do not take advertising and any product company listed was not done for payment. But if you do like what I write you can donate to the charity I support (with my wife) Morgan Stanley’s Children’s Hospital or donate to your favorite charity. I pay to host my site out of my own pocket, my intention is to keep it free.  I do read all feedback, I mostly wont post any of them. 

Get on the Steamroller…

Often in business change happens.  Whether is is forced upon you, whether you are the driver, whether it was well planned there are very few companies, relationships or people that don’t change.   Two of the most successful companies right now have gone thru drastic changes, Apple and Microsoft.

Apple has turned itself to a dominate cell phone company and Microsoft to a cloud based services company.   These changes did not come easy, and didn’t come with wishy washy side ways going.  It came with a strong leader driving the way.

When I was at financial firm there was an influx of managers from a competitor. Their goal was the raise us to new level of success.  There was a drive to not only compete with other financial firms, but also be “dot-comish.”  All of the old employees were to learn the new way of working.  The old style isn’t going to fly, the old culture isn’t going to be acceptable.  The CTO of the stated  “Get on the steamroller or be part of the pavement.”  When change comes, you better be willing to change.  If you don’t you will find yourself being run over, and thrown out.  As Bruce Lee says “To change with change is a changeless state.”

There were people who left, people who were let go and new people brought in.  There was a whirlwind of change.    If you wanted to stay, wanted to continue on you needed to change.   Which in his eyes was to get on the steamroller.   From one of those who was there, it was nothing, change had already happened in the years I had been there.  In fact having been there for a bunch of years already, there was multiple changes.  Whether reoriganization, change of IT units, cancelling of giant projects, I had seen change come and go.

Seeing someone come in and state it, was new, but knowing how to change was the course of business.  In fact that notion of change has allowed me not only keep a current job, but go on to do other things.   I have adopted from organization to organization, role to role, and company to company.  The key is finding out what the steamroller is, could be a methodology, culture, business model or anything else.

I have also learned there are people who can and willing to do the same job over and over again.  But that is not me, and if you want something more I am not sure you can.  “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”  This quote is attributed to Einstein, and if he said it or not, it does make sense.  Either way the statement is the same, you need to change.  So get on the steamroller, be part of the change and avoid being part of the pavement.

I updated this on Dec 18th, 2020…

This opinion is mine, and mine only, my current or former employers have nothing to do with it. I do not write for any financial gain, I do not take advertising and any product company listed was not done for payment. But if you do like what I write you can donate to the charity I support (with my wife) Morgan Stanley’s Children’s Hospital or donate to your favorite charity. I pay to host my site out of my own pocket, my intention is to keep it free.  I do read all feedback, I mostly wont post any of.   

Difference between Interesting and Annoying….

What is the difference between Interesting and annoying.   Interesting is when there is a difficult problem, and the problem happens to be yours.  Annoying is the same problem, and it happens to be mine.   I use this often when working, as its fun to let people know they have an interesting problem.

I put this post here as not to be anything else or to actually just document that it is my saying.

This opinion is mine, and mine only, my current or former employers have nothing to do with it. I do not write for any financial gain, I do not take advertising and any product company listed was not done for payment. But if you do like what I write you can donate to the charity I support (with my wife) Morgan Stanley’s Children’s Hospital or donate to your favorite charity. I pay to host my site out of my own pocket, my intention is to keep it free.  I do read all feedback, I mostly wont post any of.

Documented Feb 2016

Condom Sense… The Beginning

I always wanted to do this…

I always wanted to get everything I have learned in my life in a single space.  This is going to be a blog about the things I learned, experiences I went thru and thoughts that I have with one goal.. How to be a better person.  It includes health, technology, relationships, finding deals, etc.   All of the items may seem unrelated but, they are all part of me and I hope you enjoy reading.  Currently (and now years later)  I don’t plan on advertising (most people use blockers anyway… see that on Technology when I write it) – I may open a patreon or other ways to help fund hosting, but for now please donate to a charity that I care about; Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital.

I originally had this on a site called condom sense (the tentative name of a book if I wrote it) but now its at LrAu.com.  For those who don’t know what that stands for please take some time and figure it out.  Remember high school chemistry is your only hint.

This opinion is mine, and mine only, my current or former employers have nothing to do with it. I do not write for any financial gain, I do not take advertising and any product company listed was not done for payment. But if you do like what I write you can donate to the charity I support (with my wife) Morgan Stanley’s Children’s Hospital or donate to your favorite charity. I pay to host my site out of my own pocket, my intention is to keep it free.  I do read all feedback, I mostly wont post any of.  

Thanks
LrAu

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