Spring Cleaning and Re-evaluation

image: artwork stamp that says Operation Organize-SimplifyHaven’t blogged much since Posterous shut down. Used it to automate and populate a lot of my other blogs. (Yes, I know PostHaven is supposed to do similar stuff since the originators are the same two who headed up Posterous, but not sure about that platform yet. No styling.)

Revisiting, consolidating, sunsetting old blogs, re-strategizing some new blog tools (I’ll give an update on my recent research here soon) and doing some basic simplification. Life’s about to really get busy again. Need to keep it all really simple. The more zen, the better.

Apple’s 9/10 News?… Meh.

image: photo of new silver iphone 5sSo anyone who knows me would probably categorize me as an Apple “fan girl,” though I prefer to see myself as a much more refined and cultured version of that <grin>. But I watched Apple’s announcement yesterday on live blog and am sad to say that I left feeling underwhelmed. I was hoping for an iPhone finally with a bigger screen — and that didn’t materialize. Which is why I haven’t bought an iPhone yet (my big screen Android is doing just fine so far.)

The A7, the M7, the Touch ID, the improved camera — all were nice touches but not enough to make me buy new or extend a contract for. The upgraded iOS 7 sounds nice, too — I’ll probably upgrade my existing devices when/if I can, but still not enough to buy new. Of course, they would make iWork apps free only to those who buy new.

It all just left me feeling kinda sad… kinda nostalgic. I miss Steve 😦

Ah well. Maybe next time.

Third of 3 | Things Managers Do to Set Staff Up for Success

I read this and immediately began to ask myself, “Is anyone listening?”

3. Provide a path for the employee. Twenty years of the same job won’t get or keep a lot of people.  Reid Hoffman , founder of LinkedIn  and the author of The Start Up of You , states that companies want and need to hire people, but only those who want to be a part of what the organization is doing.

  • Have a plan for employees that shows them where they will be in 1 year, 18 months, 2 years. Waiting 5 years won’t work any longer.
  • Zappos  has a great practice of promoting associates in small chunks of time rather than waiting two years. They have mini-goals set up the employee can achieve.  This enables the employee to achieve goals at a quicker pace but the end result is the same.

Very few companies are actually training people. They are expected to come equipped ready to work.  The mindset is “what are you bringing to the table”? However, it’s important to set the employee up for success on the front end with:

  • A solid job description and clear expectations
  • Training and development opportunities
  • A path to grow and develop with the organization
There are a LOT of orgs that talk a good game of “growing” their people and “promoting from within.”
But are they actually doing it?

Greater Focus on One Thing at a Time

Wonderful thing to come across in my Monday Morning reading. An article on the HBR Blog reminding us of a few things we can do as staff and managers to be our most humanly productive — and it’s NOT multitasking! Read an excerpt below:

If you’re a manager, here are three policies worth promoting:

  1. Maintain meeting discipline. Schedule meetings for 45 minutes, rather than an hour or longer, so participants can stay focused, take time afterward to reflect on what’s been discussed, and recover before the next obligation. Start all meetings at a precise time, end at a precise time, and insist that all digital devices be turned off throughout the meeting.
  2. Stop demanding or expecting instant responsiveness at every moment of the day. It forces your people into reactive mode, fractures their attention, and makes it difficult for them to sustain attention on their priorities. Let them turn off their email at certain times. If it’s urgent, you can call them — but that won’t happen very often.
  3. Encourage renewal. Create at least one time during the day when you encourage your people to stop working and take a break. Offer a midafternoon class in yoga, or meditation, organize a group walk or workout, or consider creating a renewal room where people can relax, or take a nap. 

It’s also up to individuals to set their own boundaries. Consider these three behaviors for yourself:

  1. Do the most important thing first in the morning, preferably without interruption, for 60 to 90 minutes, with a clear start and stop time. If possible, work in a private space during this period, or with sound-reducing earphones. Finally, resist every impulse to distraction, knowing that you have a designated stopping point. The more absorbed you can get, the more productive you’ll be. When you’re done, take at least a few minutes to renew.
  2. Establish regular, scheduled times to think more long term, creatively, or strategically. If you don’t, you’ll constantly succumb to the tyranny of the urgent. Also, find a different environment in which to do this activity — preferably one that’s relaxed and conducive to open-ended thinking.
  3. Take real and regular vacations. Real means that when you’re off, you’re truly disconnecting from work. Regular means several times a year if possible, even if some are only two or three days added to a weekend. The research strongly suggests that you’ll be far healthier if you take all of your vacation time, and more productive overall.

I don’t know about you, but I soooo needed this reminder. Now I just have to remember to stop and DO it…

You can read more here:

http://blogs.hbr.org/schwartz/2012/03/the-magic-of-doing-one-thing-a.html

Wonderful thing to come across in my Monday Morning reading. An article on the HBR Blog reminding us of a few things we can do as staff and managers to be our most humanly productive — and it’s NOT multitasking! Read an excerpt below: If you’re a manager, here are three policies worth promoting: Ma …

The SocioEconomic Tech Divide: Beginning to Close the Gap

You’ve found this blog post, so you’re obviously enjoying whatever Internet access you’ve got, right?

Do something good for a family in need this holiday who may not be able to manage the mondo cost of high-speed, perpetually-on Internet access some of us enjoy — let them know this is available to them:

http://www.internetessentials.com/

And then let Comcast know that this is an appreciated action. THEN let other technology product and service providers know we expect to see them do more to help close the divide as well.

Yes, there are still millions of kids out there who cannot do the research they’re expected to for their homework assignments — because they don’t have Internet access – or even a computer – at home. Some of us just take this stuff for granted. No, I’m not pitching for Comcast. Just making folks aware who may not be. We all need to be aware of this issue and actively doing something to level the playing field for those who need our help. Nothing to me is more unfair than the socioeconomic gap between “The Haves” and “The Have Nots”. Nice to see big business beginning to care and starting to do something to help. Other government and big business need to follow this example. Knowledge and opportunity should be available fairly and equally to all.

Perhaps the more we are aware and demand it from our vendors, leaders and government, the more we’ll see it happen — and THEN we’ll really begin to see some economic recovery in our country.

LL

Managing Your Users’ Social Network Profiles : Commentary

Found this comment rather interesting…

“Require a social network login to access your website. You request permission to access visitors’ social profiles and, when approved, you’ll have an opportunity to build a wealth of knowledge on the individual user. Learn about their hobbies and interests, friends, likes, age, marital status, places visited and alma mater. And the best part is that your users have consciously opted to share this information with you.”

Found this comment rather interesting… “Require a social network login to access your website. You request permission to access visitors’ social profiles and, when approved, you’ll have an opportunity to build a wealth of knowledge on the individual user. Learn about their hobbies and interests, f …

Top Authoring Tools according to Learning Solutions Magazine

The top-seven tools that people reported using, in order of most use to least, are:

  1. Adobe Captivate

  2. Articulate Presenter
  3. Articulate Engage
  4. Adobe Connect

  5. TechSmith Camtasia
  6. Adobe Presenter

  7. Harbinger Raptivity

I find it quite interesting that Adobe holds THREE spots on this list and Articulate TWO spots as well. There is a very nicely done graphic comparison of features in this article as well; given the success I’ve had with the Adobe tools, it intrigues me further to get hold of the latest versions of the Articulate products and try them out again — obviously there’s been some real headway made.

Of course Camtasia is still hanging in there as an old standby, and making pretty nice enhancements along the way.

However, I’m really anxious to see all these tools take on the HTML 5 challenge the way Raptivity seems to be doing most visibly. Guess I’ll stay tuned.

The top-seven tools that people reported using, in order of most use to least, are: Adobe Captivate Articulate Presenter Articulate Engage Adobe Connect TechSmith Camtasia Adobe Presenter Harbinger Raptivity via learningsolutionsmag.com I find it quite interesting that Adobe holds THREE spots on thi …