PRODUCTIVITY: Manage things, lead people

Sunday, October 18, 2015


Flying Off the Handle
by Theodore Dalrymple 
October 10, 2015

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I am no great admirer of management as a science or of managers as people. The latter tend to speak a strange language, a jargon neither elegant nor poetic; they buy very dull books at airports, they are often shifty and ruthless, and they seem to me to live in a constant condition of bad faith. They are bureaucrats pretending to be entrepreneurs even when they work for the state, an organization that secures its solvency by the simple expediency of printing more money—in fact, not even by printing it anymore, simply by adding a few naughts on computer screens. We live in a regime of paper money without the paper.

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As a fat old white guy injineer, who has been “managing” for a long time, I learned from my first boss at AT&T that “You manage things, but lead people.” Hence, I think there is “science” in managing things (i.e., projects; processes; technology; etc. etc.). But the minute, one attempts the “Human Resources” approach of “managing” people, you are doomed to failure. Argh!

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

TextExpander Snippet for Gmail Compose Page (without inbox) — plus some thoughts on email
It’s finally happened: my inbox has become a problem. More on this below.

But first, here’s a lil’ textexpander snippet to take you to a compose message for your gmail account WITHOUT pulling up the inbox… helpful when, like me, you get sucked into the incessant sucking sound of your inbox.

Set that up for something like ;gmc (for GMail Compose) and use it when you write an email instead of opening up your inbox.

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I’ve stolen this idea.

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PRODUCTIVITY: Keep records

Thursday, March 28, 2013

“Everything is an idea for something, something that touches the imagination, a fact that seems relevant or maybe just a statement I find interesting — either because it resonates or because I disagree. All of it is fodder for continued work or thinking on the topics. It’s also important to me to record the ideas that my instincts tell me are bad.”

Elizabeth Spiers
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PRODUCTIVITY: Roles for meetings

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A tip for effective meetings: Always be capturing
Joshua Porter/Director of UX, HubSpot

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At HubSpot, we recently did a product design sprint with the Google Ventures Design Studio. It was a great experience, not only to work alongside a team of highly accomplished designers, but to observe their design process and how they proceed through a project.

Our design team learned a lot from Google Ventures. We learned about designing quickly. We learned about keeping laser focus on the goals of a project. We learned about keeping the scope as small as possible (but no smaller). But one of the most powerful things we learned was a simple lesson that applies to way more than design: Always be capturing.

“Always be capturing” is about the habit of continuously recording the value from your conversation. For example: If you’re talking about a new concept, you should be sketching it as you talk so your team has a shared understanding and an artifact of the conversation.

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I’ve tried … …

(“NO! … Try not! … Do or do not… there is no try.” (To do it justice, you must say the word try with all the revulsion and disgust you can put on it. Like you were talking about a rapist, a child murderer, or a politician!) — Yoda (Fictional character from George Lucas’s “Star Wars” movie)

… … to change the culture about meetings!

I might as well be speaking Greek — scrums, huddles, meetings — to redefine the bad behavior.

“Camp fires” where everyone sits around and tells stories and departs with no “totem poles” erected to memorialize anything.


Amazing how undisciplined modern corporations are and then they are surprised when they gon’t get the results that they want.


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Monday, February 25, 2013

Mayer Terminates Yahoo’s Remote Employee Policy
Posted by timothy on Saturday February 23, @11:34AM
from the gonna-ask-you-to-come-in-on-saaaaaturday dept.
An anonymous reader writes
“AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher reported and tweeted that Marissa Mayer (CEO since July 2012) has just sent an all-hands email ending Yahoo’s policy of allowing remote employees. Hundreds of workers have been given the choice: start showing up for work at HQ (which would require relocation in many cases), or resign. (They can forget about Yahoo advice pieces like this). Mayer has also been putting her stamp on Yahoo’s new home page, which was rolled out Wednesday.”

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Because if you can’t see people working, there’s just no other way to manage them.

I’d feel the stock!

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A humorous exercise. For me it’s clutter, and birthday / holidays / anniversaries! Drains my battery to zero in nothing flat.

This recent Christmas, I screwed up sending money to the “children”. I had a budget, took out the requisite cash, filled envelopes, and sent them out in three waves. And, discovered I had an odd amount left over. So I took it and went to the American Legion to ponder what to do. That eliminated the problem. Bottom line: no one got an empty envelope, so in that sense, no reportable problem. Further, since it was “found money” for the receivers, no one knew I screwed up. Next year, I’m using Paytrust my bill payment service. Nice an impersonal and un screw up able. Everyone will be happy! And it won’t “drain my battery”.

I’m also scanning all loose paper into Evernote and / or Dropbox. By sometime next year, all my paper will be electrons somewhere in the cloud. No clutter to distract and drain me.

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PRODUCTIVITY: Intergenerational war

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Turning the Generational Dial: A Plea to Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y By Carol Orsborn, PhD

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Carol Orsborn argues that instead of participating in a complicated generational tug-of-war of who is more relevant, Gen X and Gen Y must learn from Boomers because these following generations will also face the same elongated lifespans and increased vitality…and buying power.

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Interesting that today’s Gooferment fiscal stupidity is a direct assault on the future generations’ pocketbooks and wallets.

And they don’t see it.

Or they don’t understand.




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