The Procrastination Beast…

January 10th, 2018 No comments
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Procrastinate

verb (used with object), procrastinated, procrastinating.
1. to put off till another day or time; defer; delay.

(source: dictionary.com)

I’m currently on holiday with my family and thought that whilst the kids are playing Minecraft on separate devices, dinner is in the oven, and I’ve got some time to myself I thought it would be a great opportunity to start getting into some of those things I’ve put off for months.

 

No such luck. The procrastination beast has come and settled in.

 

We all procrastinate from time to time, putting off those things we need to do; or those things we tell ourselves are important and should get to.

 

There are a number of reasons why we procrastinate:

  1. Insufficient structure
  2. The task isn’t fun
  3. Timing and the link to risk or reward
  4. Anxiety fuelled avoidance
  5. Lack of confidence in one’s ability to succeed

Ordinarily I’d call one of my many smart colleagues or friends and after a few minutes I’d find the inspiration I need to get back into it. There are many different techniques to get past the beast, however, today I’ve decided to kick-back, relax and embrace the lack of motivation.

 

After all, I’m on holiday.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Strategy to Execution – Hoshin Kanri

November 11th, 2017 No comments
Reading Time: 3 minutes

I can’t believe it’s been 7 weeks since moving to ServiceNow and the Inspire team. In this time I feel like I’ve gone from knowing everything and being absolutely confident in what I’m doing to clear signs of the Imposter Syndrome showing. As one of my old colleagues reminds me, this is normal.

In these last few weeks I’ve been learning, and re learning, a lot of the things I used to do and scratching in the deep dark recesses of my brain for those nuggets of knowledge. So rather than do this aimlessly I thought I’d start putting some of these ideas down here.

My new role has me helping clients with taking their Strategy and mapping it through to clear objectives and measurable outcomes. One of the challenges is finding different ways to help clients see this and then be able to continue to develop this on their own.

Today I was looking at Hoshin Kanri and the 7 step planning cycle.

Hoshin Kanri is a policy management process that attempts to link the corporate strategic direction with the measures, goals and actions of those doing the work.  Or more simply, get everyone pointed in the same direction.

The 7 steps are:

  1. Establish Organisational Vision
  2. Develop strategic plan (3-5 year)
  3. Develop annual objectives
  4. Deploy objectives
  5. Implement
  6. Regular reviews of progress
  7. Annual Review

These steps are good, and there are some very detailed templates and matrices out there if you need them, but I found it easier to look at it from the simplified approach of the idea of the flow from vision through to measurable actions. Mapping the Vision to Objectives (these essentially being Business Drivers) which set the Goals (being the Outcomes you wish to achieve) that drive Actions (that need to be measurable).

 

My crude attempt to illustrate this is to show that there is clear ownership of Vision by Senior executives and together they work with middle management to create the Objectives (and define the Business Drivers) and finally middle management take those Objectives and work with their teams to develop specific measurable Actions; based on the agreed Goals and Outcomes that the teams execute on.

A lot of the time, this doesn’t happen. I’ve worked in many businesses where no one knew what the corporate vision was, let alone there being clearly communicated objectives, goals and measures.

The final piece of the puzzle is measuring these Actions regularly and adjusting the objectives, goals and actions as necessarily.

So to summarise:

  1. Develop Strategic Objectives and Goals based on Vision
  2. Get consensus of the objectives, goals and actions
  3. Implement what’s been agreed
  4. Measure it constantly (and review those measurements)
  5. Adjust accordingly.

This may seem basic and straight forward, but implementing it in a meaningful way, with good thought, and actually measuring it is hard, especially if the processes are manual and are not being reported back effectively in a timely manner… But that’s a post for another time.

 

Of moving on and getting things done.

September 30th, 2017 Comments off
Reading Time: 1

It’s been some time since I’ve posted here. And I had all the intent in the world of getting back into things, but life doesn’t always let you do these things. But to bring all those spam-bots up to speed, things have changed.

To help facilitate a new start and a new perspective I’ve made the leap out of Big Blue and the world of leading “mega deals”, contract negotiations and generally herding cats, and joined ServiceNow’s Inspire team. I’ve been a fan of ServiceNow for some time now and this is a fantastic opportunity to work in a group of  ex-CxOs, senior consultants and industry experts; with the sole purpose to help ServiceNow’s lighthouse customers succeed.

Looking forwarding to getting that need to post idea’s back…. Here’s hoping.

Categories: Career Tags:

Oh No!

April 21st, 2017 Comments off
Reading Time: 1
image by Tom Woodward

image by Tom Woodward

I only recently realised that it’s been over a year since I posted anything here.

Sad I know.

The last 18 months have been a little hectic with moving from one company to another, and refocusing on being a husband and a father rather than on a career and living out of a suitcase.

That said there are some exciting things in the works, one of which is a book. Whilst there isn’t a lot to say about it yet, it will be based on a couple of things, Wardley Mapping and Outsourcing. I’ll also add that my co-writers and I will bring rather unique “insiders” perspective to the process; we might even start to release some drafts here.

Molly Crabapple’s 15 rules for creative success in…

November 5th, 2015 Comments off
Reading Time: 4 minutes
selfportrait_highres1

image of Molly Crabapples self portrait

I found these great rules for creative success from Molly Crabapple via Richard Kadrey’s tumbler. I think a lot of these apply to most industries… I’ve a few favourites #6 and #8 are most relevant

 

 

1. The number one thing that would let more independent artists exists in America is a universal basic income. The number one thing that has a possibility of happening is single payer healthcare. This is because artists are humans who need to eat and live and get medical care, and our country punishes anyone who wants to go freelance and pursue their dream by telling them they might get cancer while uninsured, and then not be able to afford to treat it.

2. Companies are not loyal to you. Please never believe a company has your back. They are amoral by design and will discard you at a moment’s notice. Negotiate aggressively, ask other freelancers what they’re getting paid, and don’t buy into the financial negging of some suit.

3. I’ve cobbled together many different streams of income, so that if the bottom falls out of one industry, I’m not ruined. My mom worked in packaging design. When computers fundamentally changed the field, she lost all her work. I learned from this.

4. Very often people who blow up and become famous fast already have some other sort of income, either parental money, spousal money, money saved from another job, or corporate backing behind the scenes. Other times they’ve actually been working for 10 years and no one noticed until suddenly they passed some threshold. Either way, its good to take a hard look- you’ll learn from studying both types of people, and it will keep you from delusional myth-making.

5. I’ve never had a big break. I’ve just had tiny cracks in this wall of indifference until finally the wall wasn’t there any more

6. Don’t be a dick. Be nice to everyone who is also not a dick, help people who don’t have the advantages you do, and never succumb to crabs in the barrel infighting.

7. Remember that most people who try to be artists are kind of lazy. Just by busting your ass, you’re probably good enough to put yourself forward, so why not try?

8. Rejection is inevitable. Let it hit you hard for a moment, feel the hurt, and then move on.

9. Never trust some Silicon Valley douchebag who’s flush with investors’ money, but telling creators to post on their platform for free or for potential crumbs of cash. They’re just using you to build their own thing, and they’ll discard you when they sell the company a few years later.

10. Be a mercenary towards people with money. Be generous and giving to good people without it.

11. Working for free is only worth it if its with fellow artists or grassroots organizations you believe in, and only if they treat your respectfully and you get creative control.

12. Don’t ever submit to contests where you have to do new work. They’ll just waste your time, and again, only build the profile of the judges and the sponsoring company. Do not believe their lies about “exposure”. There is so much content online that just having your work posted in some massive image gallery is not exposure at all.

13. Don’t work for free for rich people. Seriously. Don’t don’t don’t. Even if you can afford to, you’re fucking over the labor market for other creators. Haggling hard for money is actually a beneficial act for other freelancers, because it is a fight against the race to the bottom that’s happening online.

14. If people love your work, treat them nice as long as they’re nice to you.

15. Be massively idealistic about your art, dream big, open your heart and let the blood pour forth. Be utterly cynical about the business around your art.

Finally…

The Internet will not save creators.

Social media will not save us. Companies will not save us. Crowd-funding will not save us. Grants will not save us. Patrons will not save us.

Nothing will save us but ourselves and each other.

Now make some beautiful things.

-Molly Crabapple