Back in November 2010 a friend e-mailed me the message below. The note struck me as being funny; it seemed random and perhaps intended for another recipient. Here’s the original e-mail and the quick response I cranked out to him. I made a couple edits to protect the innocent and make the posting blog-friendly.
Sent: Monday, November 01, 2010 7:20 PM
Subject: Rose brand curtains?
Have you ever heard of rose brand curtains? I ended up sitting next to one of their salesmen today on the plane to Atlanta. Seemed like a good guy.
Do not believe him. He is not who he says he is. I’m surprised he had the audacity to reveal himself to you.
“Good evening, Mr. Stock. Please step over here so we may have a look in that backpack, please,” bellowed the school’s vice principal, Mr. Stuckley. “Planning to do homework at the homecoming dance, are we?”
I turned my head to see who Mr. Stuckley was speaking to. So did the two volunteer mothers manning the ticket table, and I found amusement as both their facial expressions drew noticeably uncomfortable once seeing the target of Mr. Stuckley’s attention. It was Adam Stock, another sophomore in my class who was dressed-to-impress this evening wearing black jeans, a tuxedo-printed t-shirt, polished cowboy boots, and a top hat that would make Slash envious.
Like it or not, our colleagues view their daily interactions with us similar to a corporate brand. Here are five intentional behaviors I use to actively manage my personal brand.
Several weeks ago I participated in multiple concurrent assignments where none ran smoothly according to my standards. I found myself frustrated with what was shaping up to be my new normal—my days consisting largely of redundant throwaway work and a greatly reduced operating efficiency.
The yearly goals and objectives (G&O) process in most organizations is often perceived by staff as a mundane HR activity required solely to support year-end performance appraisals. Here’s my thoughts as to how directors and managers can strengthen the process with cross-functional peer reviews.
In my experience, the goals and objectives process is typically structured and communicated as a vertically-siloed exercise held between a supervisor and employee. Staff are asked to create tactical objectives to help achieve broader goals that cascade down from executives within a single department like I.T. or Finance.
By no means am I a data pack-rat requiring vast needs of online backup. I’ve accumulated only 600 gigabytes of data over the past twenty years that consists mostly of photographs, edited home video projects, and miscellaneous Microsoft Office documents.
For years I shuffled these digital assets across multiple storage devices in my home. At some point I started to wonder, “What happens if my home catches fire or my external drive fails? This data is surely gone forever. Should I investigate an online backup subscription?”
Like most, I spent the recent year-end holidays reconnecting with family and friends over a tin of homemade Toll House chocolate chip cookies and non-fat cappuccinos. We laughed. We cried. We debated the merits of Agile SaaS deployments and Minimum Viable Product (MVP) delivery.
It began as an innocuous statement:
“Drive-thru windows at coffee shops. Call-ahead seating at chain restaurants. Online order pickup at big-box stores. Clearly we’re an impatient society. We know what we want. And even if we don’t, we want it now, anyway.”
Not every employee is the ideal candidate to attend formal change management training. This article presents a few considerations organized by role.
I’ll always remember my first experience being on the receiving end of an enterprise software replacement project that occurred without a formal change management strategy. I had just returned from a week’s vacation and discovered the introduction, rollout, and three (and only three) software training sessions for the new system all occurred the week I was away. The system adoption results were abysmal.
In the early to mid-2000s Microsoft Corp. painted the world a beautiful picture of the ease at which one could exchange information across disparate systems, whether across the LAN or across the Internet. The company simultaneously eased both Office users and professional developers into unfamiliar terminology like Web Services, Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), and XML.
Don’t worry about the new terminology, Microsoft told Office users (paraphrased). With a few drag-and-drops and mouse clicks, we made it simple for you to call a web service with little to no coding experience. You’re going to love how easy it is to push and pull data using Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) within your Office files—namely Excel (paraphrased).