Sunday, July 4, 2010

Pushing the productivity limits for knowledge workers - Adoption versus Implementation

The 80s are over. There are still some new processes you can adopt if you have yet to get your efficienies (TQM, PLM, a slew of other TLAs). We have productivity suites, tools, ergonomic platforms... But when you've pushed process to the limit, there's still this place where more and more of us sit called 'knowledge work'. And that's where all this 2.0 (still hate that term) conversation comes from. But really, it's not JUST about being social. When you get to knowledge work, vs say physical work, there's a realization that while there is a best way to lift a heavy weight (knees bent, back just so) the way to really connect information together, find it, and come to conclusions that require real brain power, not just search, requires different modes for different people. We all have heard of different learning styles for years (auditory, visual, and the like) but we dont always acknowledge people consume and process information differently during work, not just during some training session. Knowledge work IS learning.
We can complain in the business world that we can't customize tools for every knowledge worker, or we can acknowledge that we can no longer just IMPLEMENT a tool and make everyone the best they can be. When your business is knowledge, when you want to eke out every bit of productive brain power, scientific creativity and brilliance from the folks around you, you need to give these people what THEY need, and that means sometimes applications that are flexible, configurable and adopted by users as they as individuals find them most valuable. It means a suite of consumption, interaction and creation tools that operate on open standards and thus interact the way those knowledge workers need them to. It's about letting people ADOPT what they need. And occasionally trying out things that aren't widely adopted, but aren't sufficient costly that you care if they die or that cause you to get into the sunk-cost sinkhole, or are used by a sliver of people who are more than worth the efforts. It's about letting work-in-process happen anywhere, and knowing what needs to be captured before moving on to a new tool.
If we keep thinking that one size fits all for creativity and discovery, that's exactly kind of stuff we are going to get out: more and more of same thoughts, and very few brilliant breakthroughs. But when we create a dynamic environment for work, the possibilities become so much more. Variability will potentially increase, but the potential to excel can be well worth it. Knowledge work is not about decreasing variability to create a better widget. You want that? Do Six Sigma. You want the next great idea? Create a little variability and let people work to their potential with tools that work for them.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Microsoft folks have no social life

Who could have predicted? Me. Microsoft proves they don't get it once again. The Kin is dead. They consistently don't understand the social experience. I'm sure some focus group made them think this thing would sell, but I cant imagine why they think half a smartphone experience would be enough.... Then again, the 'social' experience of SharePoint as Microsoft creates it doesn't hit the mark either. Guess whether it's consumer or business side, Microsoft's product people aren't social enough to get it. I keep thinking when I see them come out with something new like this that they must know something I don't know. And then, once again, I find out they don't.

When Buzz is not enough

Google finally realized (or already had in the plan) what I've known all along: There's space for something other than MySpace or Facebook in the social networking world, especially for people who don't want glittery unicorns and an endless parade of click-jacking and game notifications. And Google Buzz isn't quite it. (And Wave... most just aren't ready for the instantaneousness and complexity). But Google Me is a live project, a new social network​. This article says they are modeling it on Facebook, but I am hoping it feels less like the crowded bar scene that Facebook feels like, and more like a gathering of friends exchanging ideas. More like Google Reader with some Buzz elements and a crisper network. None of this massive profile data where they try to pinpoint everything I like and target me with that data. If they need to do more advertising, do it as somewhat-anonymously as mail and search ads on Google do, based on what I'm posting, and certainly don't network me automatically with people based on my activities (YES, that's what LIKING anything or even filing in your hometown does on Facebook.)

I want Google to hear this. I want them to know that I will be there if they do this. As many know, I'm not a person who is shy about my opinion, and I'm willing to put it out in public. I just don't have the energy to engage everyone and their mother about it, so stop trying to make me do that! Give me my voice back while allowing me to express my likes and dislikes. The fact that I have to choose is annoying is hell.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

stop and start

Stop hiding who you really are
Stop following the rules
Start scaring yourself
Stop taking it all so seriously
Start getting rid of all the crap
Stop being busy
Start something

Saturday, January 30, 2010


There are generally 2 types of people who makes lists:

- There are people who make lists and must get everything done on their list by the end of the day, and cross them off They even add things to their list that aren't on their list after they've done them, just to note they've done them and satisfactorily cross them off.

- There are people who make lists of everything that needs to done, even the stuff that isn't for today, they get to what they get to, and they move the rest to a new list, or keep that list floating, or sometimes even drop things off the list.

I am the latter. But I take it to a new art form.

I can make a list of things I want to do, and a month or a year later, I may still have not gotten it done. I'd like to say that it's not procrastinating so much as adept prioritization, where I finally figure out that if it's waited this long, it's either something that really didn't need to happen at any point (if I ever thought it did), or I obviously just didn't want it that much. But sometimes, maybe, possibly... it might be procrastinating. Sometimes, sitting doing nothing, writing a blog, reading a book, taking a walk, getting my nails done, going to the museum, boxing a few rounds, an extra hour of sleep, chatting online, catching up on the DVR, playing a game...any of those things might be more important.

And I get over it.

Until I realize it's been on my list for a year or 3. And then I decide if it's really what I want to do.

Did I mention I have 3 of those things on my to do list today?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

little things to be grateful for

Yes, we can all talk about the important things we are grateful for... but what about the little silly things?

1) matched socks
2) a day with letters in the mailbox and no bills
3) free pizza
4) when you drop your cell phone/ipod/favorite electronic device and it doesn't break
5) friends close enough that you can ask them to scratch your back for you
6) hats that don't give you hat head
7) when someone hears you singing to yourself and it actually wasn't embarrassing
8) snow days when you wanted to stay home anyway
9) a hard rain BEFORE you wash your car
10) the candid photo that turns out to be awesome
11) chocolate covered anything
12) good flavored lip balm
13) when something is not too hot, and not too cool... just right. this goes for food, drinks, rooms and parties
14) going back to sleep so you can continue that good dream. and it works!
15) when your favorite movie you've watched 100 times is on at 1pm on Sunday
16) fingerless gloves
17) comfy sweats
18) self-cleaning ovens
19) just enough rain to keep the grass green, but not enough to ruin your days
20) wireless mice
21) slip on shoes
22) aglets
23) knowing the answer before you hear the question
24) altoids
25) sweet tea with lemon
26) when you find that word that you were looking for before you have to stop your sentence and look clueless
27) the way everyone becomes a 5 year old when they get the chance to suck the helium out of a balloon
28) zits that go away before you wake up
29) when the earworm finally leaves your head, replaced by happy sounds
30) lists that aren't things you have to do

I'll keep adding, hope you might inspired to add some of your little things to be grateful for.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

another day, another list?

Yeah, I live on em.

Today I need to
1) Make a dent in the hard water stains on my shower. I swear, it's like someone dumps chalk in our water! I do not promise clean, I only promise cleaner.
2) Reclaim my guest room. Storage room no more!
3) Spend my CVS extra care bucks (you must do this if you shop there!)
4) Pick up the dry cleaning so I can have something to wear to work when I go back after over 10 days off :(
5) Make the semi-annual trip to Trader Joes for a few yummies.
6) Be girlie and get a manicure.
7) Dig through a pile of papers.
8) Laundry. It never ends.
9) Clean my bedroom, including feed the furniture.
10) Write my list for the week ahead...

And now for a less practical list, because I'm in the mood for it on this 2nd day of the year:

Things I need to keep in mind today and every day
1) Drink water
2) Eat good stuff
3) Do something that makes me giggle
4) Talk to someone that makes me happy
5) Breathe fresh air
6) Bring nothing into the house that I don't love (or need)
7) Get rid of something I don't love from the house
8) Be social
9) Be observant
10) Smile

Have an awesome day. I plan on it.

Friday, January 1, 2010


Home on the first day of the year, looking in the fridge. Haven't done a good full food shopping this week. Decided to re-evaluate the normal shopping list and meal plan

Wanting to try some new recipes... tomorrow I'll be looking for some for the new year. On the list... Veggie chili, chicken chili, a variety of soups, bean burgers... and a creative new salad or 3. Things I can freeze and reheat easily. Things that keep away the fast food, the delivery guy, and the random looking in the fridge thing.

Also wanting to get some quick healthy snack and quick fix items to always have around. I'm usually stocked in apples, carrots, and eggs to hard boil. What else should I have around?

How often do you re-evaluate your food supply? Me, about 3 times a year. One day I'll get it right :)