Flexibility is not strategy (part 4)

27 05 2009

Flexibility – it can manifest in many forms and can quietly work against the soundest strategy.  In this, the nearly final installment, I’m going to talk briefly about dissemination and communication based on my experiences.

Many jokes are made at the expense of having consistent representation of a topic.  Being “on message” is corporate obfuscation and doublespeak, but its power can be used for the purposes of good.  Believe it or not, it is possible to be “on message” and also be transparent at the same time.

Bottom line: if you don’t have a communication plan around your new strategy, you’ve got a problem.

Water cooler messaging

Everyone’s reticent to learn the details of a new strategy.  So sometimes a 1 minute water cooler conversation is worth a 60 minute company address or a 10 page document.  Documents in particular have two major problems:

  • They probably don’t speak specifically to the reader
  • They require reading

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Flexibility is not strategy (part 3)

22 05 2009

A clear sense of purpose and a common understanding of that purpose seem like an obvious requirement to engender prosperity.  These elements are elusive because humans are not machines.  Creativity abounds, opportunities knock, tangents manifest, and allegiances are pledged. The confluence of these can help or hinder the evolution of companies and individuals.

Flexibility is the substitution of laissez faire for purposeful direction.  Unchoreographed dance or theatre may be expressive or interesting, but it’s not repeatable.  Good directors accept input, but in the end specify precisely what’s to be done for the entire piece’s overall impact – yet they don’t do the acting themselves. 

Actors and employees alike may not always be able to see how their specific role helps achieve the objectives, but leadership, transparency and ultimately trust resolves this.

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Windows Home Server and the Hamachi Surprise*

18 05 2009

Synchronizing your digital life is a necessity in today’s modern world.  When you work for a company with a good IT department, you can keep up with the mothership using a collection of software applications and Virtual Private Networks (VPN’s).

But, let’s say you’re at home.  Maybe you have a home office, or maybe you just need to access stuff from your computers at home once in a while.  There are many options that can help you get the job done (and everyone has their own preference).  I’m going to talk about the way(s) I do it.

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AWEA 2009 and the wild west

15 05 2009

The dust has settled after the American Wind Energy Association’s meeting and tradeshow in Chicago, IL last week.  Everyone’s dog’s are barkin’ from standing around in their booths all day, and perhaps their brains are full from the sessions too.

I’ve done a lot of tradeshows.  A whole lot.  Since these shows have been across many different industries, it lends an interesting perspective to “newer” industries like wind power and renewables in general.

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Economic necessity: the tyranny of “good enough”

12 05 2009

Bumper stickers say that life isn’t about having what you want, but wanting what you have.  Most companies just want what they have to work.

Yet, during an economic crunch, settling for less functional software can become compelling if the perceived costs are dramatically lower than a purpose-built application.  It seems “good enough” may be as good as it gets.

Outcomes of the “good enough” tactic can vary from letting deployed apps lie fallow to decommissioning an existing installation in favor of adapting something else to take its place.  It all depends on the severity of circumstances. Read the rest of this entry »





OneNote + Windows Home Server = Awesome

5 05 2009

In this installment of my ongoing consumer technology series, I wanted to write a little about how I use my Windows Home Server with OneNote.  This time, I’ll focus on OneNote’ shared, synchronized notebook capability.

A computer for all seasons

Whether you have a home office, or you’re just really geeky, you may discover that you have need for more than one computer in order achieve true enlightenment.  Maybe it’s a desktop at home and a notebook for travel, or a netbook for compact, light duty work and a bigger notebook for heavy lifting.

Whatever the situation, you will eventually run into a multifaceted issue: how do I keep my digital life synchronized?  Let’s take on one aspect. Read the rest of this entry »