Archives for the month of: September, 2010

As someone who has maintained both a personal and a work blog, I’ve faced some interesting challenges. One company flat out didn’t think it was a good idea that I had a blog outside of work. After some discussion it was agreed that I would not post during working hours. Another challenge (at another company) was creating a separate voice for an internal blog appropriate for the company culture.

Andrew McAfee has created a interesting playbook of Do’s and Don’ts for those of you currently playing the social networking circuit at work or entertaining the possibility.   Here are some highlights with commentary based on my experience:

  • Do Comment and discuss. Post comments to others’ blogs, join the conversations taking place on forums, and keep the social media discussions lively.
    • I see this as the key to success for the corporate social network to thrive. The social community must be symbiotic. Blogging for many of us is like tossing rocks into a lake – we like to see the splash!
  • Don’t Be narcissistic. Don’t talk about what you had for lunch or how you’re peeved that one more of your flights got delayed.
    • It’s why so many people say “I don’t get it” when they look at Twitter feeds and Facebook updates – this type of “news” is meaningless.
  • Gray area: Humor: We all like a good laugh, but we also all have different and deeply-held notions about the boundaries among funny, unfunny, and offensive. Sharing humor with colleagues you don’t know well is a stroll through a minefield.
    • It’s a crapshoot. Keep it to a Dilbert cartoon repost.
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Extracted from HBR.org article Five Powers That Get Ideas Off The Ground
 by Rosabeth Moss Kanter

  1. Showing up: the power of presence.
  2. Speaking up: the power of voice.
  3. Teaming up: the power of partnering.
  4. Looking up: the power of values.
  5. Not giving up: the power of persistence.

I’m a BIG fan of efficiency…especially when I’m on the receiving end as a customer.  Few things are more beautiful than being witness to a well orchestrated process flow from one person to another with little (or no) waste of time or material and ending with a satisfied customer – and few are more frustrating when the opposite occurs.

This story begins at the neighborhood Q Lab (names have been changed to protect the innocent) where I went this Saturday for non-routine bloodwork. Disclaimer: I did not have an appointment, it was a Saturday, and it was sunny. I arrived when the doors opened at 8:00 a.m. and the place was already crowded. I put my name on the list and there were 5 people ahead of me with 8:00 a.m. appointments. I was prepared to wait.

To my surprise, I was called in around 8:20 a.m. It was while I was sitting in Cube 1 waiting to have my blood drawn that I got my paradigmhackles raised. My assigned phlebotomist (another word for dracula) left the cube 7 times in the 10 minutes I was in there. She would look through the drawers in her supply chest (there were only 2) then go murmuring out of the cube. Here are my thoughts on this:

  • If you have routine tasks to do all the materials you need should be within reach
  • Materials that you use less often but still require should be within a few feet, but still in your work area
  • You should check your supplies often enough to be sure you won’t run out during a busy period when it’s harder to resupply
  • Keep your supplies organized so that you can find what you need when you need it. Use labeled folders, storage trays, dividers
  • Throw it away when you are done with it. The work area I was in had a cork bulletin board with multiple layers of notices – all hidden except the top layer. I have no idea what value that brings.

Share any other efficiency tips you may have in the comments area. I’d love to hear them.