Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Never leave your computer unlocked

I spent a few days with industry colleagues last week in Chicago and got quite a bit accomplished.  My favorite part of the week was when one of my colleagues left the room for only a minute with his computer unlocked.  Keep in mind that everyone in the room is highly technical and also knows me well enough to know you should lock your computer.

Today I received this note:

So I go to type this email to the most wonderful person I know and every time I type his name, it gets replaced with the most wonderful person I know.

Now I’m not saying he’s not the most wonderful person I know, but I am impressed.

Oh and I will NEVER leave my laptop unlocked while he is near it.  Never again that is.

Well played sir.

Well played indeed

It only took 1 minute to change his autocorrect so that when he typed "Dale" it replaced "Dale" with "The most wonderful person I know".  He caught me at his computer but I was quick enough to see his reflection behind me and act like I hadn't gotten to anything.

Friday, May 13, 2016

I hate mushrooms

I hate mushrooms yet I realize that mushrooms aren't bad.    First of all, it's not just the texture.  I hate cream of mushroom soup. YUK.  Mushroom sauces are bad too.  I hate the taste of mushrooms.

My wife and many other people LOVE mushrooms.  They aren't wrong and I'm not wrong.  Mushrooms are delicious and horrible at the same time.  
At a time, I hated tomatoes but I've learned to really like them. In fact, I've learned to like many foods even Kale!  So tastes can change if we are willing to try new things.

As we continue this year of crazy politics, remember that just because you like mushrooms and I don't, doesn't make either of us wrong.  We both have our own perspectives.  Be open to the others reasoning and see what you can learn.  If you still don't like mushrooms, don't eat it but don't tell anyone they are stupid for liking mushrooms.

On the other hand, olives are a totally different story.  Olives are horrible and anyone who likes olives is crazy... 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Being busy

People have started to tell me they don't want to say they are busy or "crazy busy" so they use a different word.  It makes sense to me because I'm hearing it all the time.  This week, I'm being pulled in a dozen different directions.

Important 2 day meetings off site followed by my 25th anniversary along with my son receiving a special honor for SAT scores.  This is after mothers day which I still haven't sent my mom a card (but did give my wife one!).  I have to pack for important travel and complete presentations that are due. Reports, yes they are due as well.  Of course, I need to see my kids and wife too.

Being busy is the new normal so it makes sense we all want to stop saying it.  Maybe I'll start saying "I'm being pulled in 30 directions" because when we are pulled in different directions is when we feel the most overwhelmed.

This blog was written despite being pulled in different directions. One of projects capturing my attention is to try to keep blogging every day.  It's been a week. :(

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Why IT Says NO and Moves Slow

When IT makes a mistake, it is usually felt by a large number of people and is very visible. IT departments know this and don't like to make mistakes.  Thus, you have the reason so many IT departments say NO or move slow. 

Even when they say no or move slow, mistakes are bound to occur. Systems are incredibly complex today and no amount of testing by users (and IT) will catch every scenario as the systems get more complex.

Leaders need to support their IT departments and accept a reasonable amount of challenge in any project. I'm not saying allow for careless IT, just that a reasonable amount of challenge is to be expected.  The bigger and more complex the project, the more likely you will find challenges.

The type of challenges you should tolerate are the situations that aren't obvious or that are difficult to test.  The types of challenges you should be less tolerant of include things that are obvious or easy to have tested.  Before you get too upset, be sure that you as a leader asked the right questions and had the right people involved. If you rely on IT to figure every scenario out, you will have problems.  Business and IT have to work together.

When business and IT work together, you will reduce the amount of errors in a project.  Plus, the business is now invested in the outcome. While some business users will still complain about IT after being appropriately involved, the business recognizes they had a chance to ask questions.

Leaders who complain loudly about IT undermine the ability of IT to properly support the company. If your IT department is making lots of obvious mistakes, it is probably time for an IT leadership change.   Instead of undermining your IT department, give them the leader they need to succeed.

One final word, if your IT team is delivering value constantly they need to hear good things from you far more frequently than the complaints.

Monday, May 2, 2016


Today, I'm procrastinating my next blog post by writing about procrastination.

I simply did not want to skip another day since I'm trying to write about something every day.  

Yet, once again, I have several topics ready to write about, but I don't want to sit down and take the time to do those topics. They deserve more time, and I think they'll be great and insightful.

So today, this blog is about procrastination.  Not how to avoid it, it is simply procrastination defined.