One of Many Ways for Showing Employee Appreciation

Disclaimer: The views expressed here reflect only my personal views and are not the views of my employer

Now we have that out of the way…

This morning, the senior management team at work showed their appreciation for their employees by serving breakfasts at employees’ desks. The executives were all wearing aprons and pushing the breakfast carts all over the office suite, serving breakfasts from cube to cube. The warm greetings and laughers brightened up the usual quiet and sometimes mundane mid-week office atmosphere. Different executives and their carts traveled the same route several times, making sure everyone is covered and re-filling the coffee and juice.

There are many ways of showing appreciation for the employees’ work, and I thought this one was particular well done. Often appreciation is heartfelt not so much by how it was expressed but by the fact that it was carried out. Like many companies, the reality of work load and project pressure becomes front-and-center once again once the breakfast is over. In any case, I believe the executive team did this because they genuinely wanted to show how much they appreciate everyone’s work.

In my opinion, this was an informal but a solid demonstration of servant leadership. Always good to see when a senior management team really tries to lead by example. When it comes to the acts of generosity or do-right-ness, I believe it is often the intention and the effort that count the most. Kudos to the executives for walking the talk.

p.s. Extra shout-out and kudos to the support team who helped the executives in making it all possible. Dana and Charmaine, you are the best!!!

Fresh Links Sundae – August 26, 2012 Edition

Fresh Links Sundae encapsulates some pieces of information I have come across during the past week. They maybe ITSM related or not entirely. Often they are from the people whose work resonates with me, and I hope you will find something of value.

Given how critical strategies can be for an organization, Stephen Mann outlines the reasons for having an ITSM strategy plan and provides suggestions on how to formulate one. What’s Your IT Service Management Strategy (If You Actually Have One)? (Forrester Blogs)

Traveling around the world, Robert Stroud talks about how two IT organization deploys value-based metrics to deliver business values while maintain agility. Juggling Delivery to Ensure Room for Agility and Value (CA on Service Management)

Using marketing oriented practices, Melanie Karunaratne suggests some techniques that can help building constituent relationships and bringing value from the service desk operation. ITSM and the Art of Marketing (LANDesk Blog)

After analyzing the current big data trend, Dion Hinchcliffe discusses the key changes that drive big data and additional data points that illustrate the current state of big data. How is big data faring in the enterprise? (Enterprise Irregulars)

After working with COBIT 5 for eight months, Steve Taylor shares his experience and the challenges he encountered as his organization tries to adopt COBIT 5. Implementing COBIT 5—An IT practitioner’s view eight months later (ISACA Now)

Using the tips from Russ Miller, CTO of SunView Software, Martin Grobisen goes over how change management and agile methodology can integrate and support each other. 5 Steps to Integrate ITIL into Agile Process (ITSM Lens)

Potentially applicable to what we do as part of the problem management process, Seth Godin outlines a process for conducting problem-solving meetings. How to run a problem-solving meeting (Seth’s Blog)

In response to the ever changing environment, organizations need to find better ways to capture and retain the knowledge accumulated over time. Jim Taggart gives five suggestions on how an organization can help itself by managing the critical institutional knowledge. How to Unlock the Hidden Knowledge in Your Organization (ChangingWinds)

Leveraging ideas from Mike Staver’s recent book “Leadership Isn’t for Cowards,” Don Tennant talks about Staver’s seven tips for establishing a take-responsibility culture. Seven Tips for Building a Culture of Accountability in Your Organization (From Under the Rug)

After learning more from one of the people who display large signs on street corners, Jeff Haden shares his thoughts about what makes work honorable. Managing Employees: What Makes Work Honorable (Owners’ Manual)

Fresh Links Sundae – August 19, 2012 Edition

Fresh Links Sundae encapsulates some pieces of information I have come across during the past week. They maybe ITSM related or not entirely. Often they are from the people whose work resonates with me, and I hope you will find something of value.

With people being the most critical element for organization changes, Rob England explains how to leverage the people factor via motivation, communication, and development. The People in ITSM (The ITSM Review)

With the success of an organization being dependent on the people within it, Benjamin Whitehead give suggestions on getting the best out of your IT Support team. 10 tips for managing the Human Side of IT (ITSM Portal)

While IT is often known for rapid introduction of new technologies and widgets, retiring old technologies which have outlived their useful lives can be especially difficult. Matt Prigge talks about how to stay ahead of the curve and stay out of trouble caused by old, obsolete technologies. When to cut bait on old IT (InfoWorld)

Leveraging the concept from Matt Prigge’s article, Martin Perlin talks about why it is important to deal with the obsolescence issue for the IT operations tools as well. Cut Bait on Old IT: 4 Areas to Re-examine Current IT Operations Tools (Evolven Blog)

With an increasing emphasis of leveraging automation in IT, Stephen Mann talks about how automation in IT will affect the staffing practices. Prepare Your People For The Future Of IT Service Delivery (Forrester Blogs)

Leveraging the ideas from Stephen Mann’s automation comments, Aprill Allen discusses how knowledge management and IT can achieve a better level of collaboration. Is Forrester the Marriage Counsellor for KM and IT? (Knowledge Bird)

Using NASA’s robot rover Curiosity landing on Mars as an example of automation, Melanie Karunaratne talks about what pitfalls to avoid when designing process automation for ITSM work. Process Automation: Blazing the Trail (LANDesk Blog)

Recalling from her recent itSMF SIG attendance, Ros Satar discusses her classroom experience and the take-aways she took with her. Continual Service Improvement (CSI) (The ITSM Review)

In a two-part series, Jim Taggart gives his take on what separate the term management from the term leadership. Are We There Yet? More on the Leadership-Management Debate (ChangingWinds)

For many of us who utilizes LinkedIn as a professional networking tool, Kristin Lyon explains how the “Pay it Forward” concept can be a powerful tool for managing our LinkedIn connections. Commit to Pay it Forward to Your LinkedIn Connections (Modis)

Fresh Links Sundae – August 12, 2012 Edition

Fresh Links Sundae encapsulates some pieces of information I have come across during the past week. They maybe ITSM related or not entirely. Often they are from the people whose work resonates with me, and I hope you will find something of value.

With big data being a popular IT topic these days, Bob Lewis offers two approaches on how to get your big data initiative off the ground. You want big data? Here’s your big data (InfoWorld)

Rob England is excited about COBIT 5, and he tells us why. COBIT5 (The IT Skeptic)

Leveraging ideas from Ron Kaufman’s recent book “Uplifting Service,” Don Tennant talks about some approaches for dealing with difficult people. Building a Service Culture Requires Dealing with ‘Difficult’ Employees (From Under the Rug)

Referring to the recent software incident from Knight Capital, Brian Barnier gives three suggestions on what enterprise leaders can do to avoid future surprises and similar risks. 440 million reasons to learn to three IT risk lessons (ISACA Now)

If you are working on putting together a problem management process for your organization, Alicia Choo posts a couple of sample documents that may help in your endeavor. My take on ITSM and IT Governance: Problem Management (Choofca’s Brain Dump)

With today’s fast changing work and career landscape, Peter Weddles suggests the notion of “career athlete” and why it is important to leverage such mentality for successful career self-management. Recast Yourself as a Career Athlete (WorkStrong)

While promotion can be an effective mean to reward a high performer in IT, Patrick Gray explains why some ill-conceived promotions are diminishing an employee’s contribution to the organization. Death by promotion (TechRepublic)

Although hiring is one of the most important things managers do, Alison Green explains why some faulty interview techniques are preventing the hiring managers from getting the best candidates. 10 Mistakes You’re Making When You Interview Job Candidates (The Fast Track)

A true test of leadership is the quality of the followers, Jim Taggart talks about what four innate attributes can affect our leadership effectiveness. What’s Your Leadership Truthiness Quotient? (ChangingWinds)

Instead of waiting for a solution that fits exactly to the problem that you are working on, Seth Godin advocates taking the steps to solve problems by leveraging solutions from similar (but not exact) problems. Analogies, metaphors and your problem (Seth’s Blog)

Fresh Links Sundae – August 5, 2012 Edition

Fresh Links Sundae encapsulates some pieces of information I have come across during the past week. They maybe ITSM related or not entirely. Often they are from the people whose work resonates with me, and I hope you will find something of value.

No matter what your job is in IT, Bob Lewis gives examples and suggests why everyone can and should play a part in moving the organization forward. Next-gen IT starts with you (InfoWorld)

In the ITSM context, are incidents and requests same or different? Using an inquiry from a blog reader, Rob England gives his take on that question. Shopping: request vs incident (The IT Skeptic)

Cloud, Integration, Mobile, and Big Data are popular topics of discussion in IT these days. From an application management perspective, Julie Craig explains why these technologies are introducing new challenges and exacerbating existing ones. What do Cloud, Integration, Mobile & Big Data have in common? (EMA Blog Community)

Although the concept of ITSM intuitively makes sense for many, Roman Jouravlev explains, in his views, what ITSM is and why some organizations may not be ready to go to a complete service-based relationship. Inevitably happy: does “IT management” always require “service”? (ITSM Portal)

Taking a new approach, Eveline Oehrlich describes Forrester’s new vision for ITSM and its new Playbook that helps an IT organization discover, plan, act, and optimize. The Future Of ITSM Drops The “IT” And Replaces It With Automation (Forrester Blogs)

As a follow-up to Eveline Oehrlich’s blog post, Robert Stroud shares a different viewpoint of his. Further Evidence that Infrastructure and Operations is Irrelevant? (CA on Service Management)

For some organizations, business analysts are in high demand. Michael Fitzgerald discusses what makes a good analyst and how to leverage the role for your business’ benefits. Tech hot shots: The rise of the IT business analyst (InfoWorld)

Relationship building exercises in a large organization can be daunting, Peter Saddington five roadblocks to positive human relationships and how to overcome them. 5 Tips for Building Relationships at a Client (Agile Scout)

Using recent personal examples, Robin Fisher Roffer articulates how we can become fearless in bad situations and find the chance to learn and to grow. How To Transform From Flustered To Fearless (Simply Hired Blog)

Contrary to common cliché, Peter Weddles advocates the notion of Career Activism and why such notion is important for building a lasting career. There is No Gain in Pain (WorkStrong)

Why I look forward to attending Fusion 12

I look forward to attending the upcoming Fusion 12 conference this October in Dallas. Can I say I really look forward to it? It is not because I am the track chair for “The Executive View” and will receive a free conference pass. I have paid for similar conferences and seminars out of my own pocket just because I liked the educational value from them. It is also not because I am married with two teenage children and the out-of-town conferences present perfect opportunities to get away. I often came back home from those conferences with a strong sense of guilt, knowing my wife would have loved to have the similar time-off. It certainly is not because the event will be held in the lovely city of Dallas. When I was in Dallas for the 2009 Fusion conference, we ran into major thunder storms for a couple of days. For someone who has lived in the sunny Southern California for the most part of his life, the thunder storms in Texas were big and scary. Even with the thunder storms, I still like the city of Dallas, just to make it clear.

So what gives? I look forward to attending Fusion 12 because…

First, I am very happy with the program line-up this year. The organizing committee received a record number of speaking proposals, and it took all track chairs significant effort to go through the selection process. They had to review all proposals and speak with many of the prospective speakers. The track chairs then needed to make the agonizing decisions of deciding whose proposal to accept into the program. We had to decline many excellent proposals due to the number of available speaking slots. Those were no easy decisions, but I feel the track chairs have put together a great line-up this year.

Second, I really like the sessions which are featured in “The Executive View” track. We will have accomplished professionals from a variety of companies and industries to come and share their knowledge. I was convinced from reviewing the proposals that they all have something unique to offer, and I believe the attendees of the track will find many actionable takeaways. Many speakers in the track are also non-recurring speakers from Fusion ‘11 or ’10, bringing with them new contents that have not been delivered elsewhere.

Finally, I look forward to the conference because I am proud of the work put forth by everyone on the organizing committee. I wanted to go the conference, so I can meet and thank everyone for their time and participation. Because of their effort, I can come to the conference knowing I am going to reap great value from this learning experience. I also want to let others know how rewarding it can be to take part in planning this awesome event. I hope to encourage some to consider taking part in the organizing committee for 2013. Diversity has been good to the planning and formation of the conference in the past. I think involvement from more people can only make the future conferences even better.