在這裡是行不通的 (Chinese Translation from Manager Tools’ article “That Won’t Work Here”)

dreamstime_xs_19639677 (240x160)Note: The following passage is a Chinese translation of the article “That Won’t Work Here” from Manager Tools’ newsletter. You can find the entire newsletter at this link. The author of the article is Ms. Dani Martin, and Manager Tools has been very generous in granting me the permission to translate and to publish the article on my blog. My only intention is to share actionable managerial thinking and tips with a broader, like-minded audience. Please feel free to comment or to suggest ways to improve my translation for future articles. Thank you.

在這裡是行不通的

我經常在會議上會聽到 “這(Manager Tools)三位一體思想在我的組織內是行不通的,因為我們是一個非營利性或是社會服務機構。” 盡管我解釋說,當我作經理時已經運用三位一體在三種不同的非營利性機構,從一個大規模,全國家性組織(美國癌症協會),到一個小規模,地方性的食物銀行。有時候,這些說法還是有人堅持不渝。但是每一次當我運用的效果還是很卓越的。

所以這讓我感到很懷疑這到底是怎麼一回事。為什麼小公司的經理認為三位一體只會在大公司裡行的通?而大公司中的經理聲稱它會更容易在小點的公司裡行的通?為什麼做軟件公司的人肯定它更容易在製造業務裡行的通?為什麼這麼多的人認為,除了他們自己的機構,這將是更容易或是更好或是更快的在任何其他的組織中被接受?

最近我才意識到,這是因為變革是很難的。要實施三位一體,先需要一位管理者去改變他自己的行為。通常找一個原因去自圓其說這個新的行為是沒有必要的到是很容易,因為這是一個免費通行證加上一個合乎邏輯的理由。我現在終於明白了,因為我自己也會做出同樣的事情,像我告訴我自己可以不去運動跑步,因為我剛剛忙完了兩天的會議。但是我不能指望有更好的身材,如果我三個星期都因為忙而不去運動。就像我們身為管理者也不能期望有不同的結果,如果我們都不去改變我們自己的行為。

如果你來到我們的會議,並且告訴我你在哪裡行不通,我會明白,因為我要求你採取一些不同的做法。我也希望能告訴你,那一天我已經做了我的運動跑步。變革是不容易的,所以讓我先來做。

Fresh Links Sundae – October 27, 2013 Edition

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image9076544Fresh Links Sundae encapsulates information I have come across during the past week. Often they are from the people whose work I admire or resonate with me. I hope you will find these ideas thought-provoking at the minimum. Even better, I hope these ideas will, over time, help my fellow IT pros make better decisions, be awesome, and kick ass!

With the on-going difficulties experienced at the national healthcare website, some people have attributed the difficulties to technology missteps. Michael Schrage believes that successful IT systems demand serious IT governance, and effective governance is not in place at this time. Don’t Blame IT for Obamacare’s Tech Troubles (Harvard Business Review)

With the cloud, BYOD, and other recent trends, some believe internal IT is no longer a necessity.  Bob Lewis suggests that, instead of fighting the trends, IT should lead the effort in shaping how the new trends can be leveraged for the organization’s advantage. Time to decommission IT? Lead the charge. (IS Survivor Publishing)

Many software asset management (SAM) systems have been designed to serve the singular nature of software inventory control function. Peter Bjorkman believes that is an outdated design. A multi-stakeholder approach is needed, and it will be beneficial for SAM. Shaking off SAM’s ‘solitary’ stereotype (The ITAM Review)

In response to a call for tips on building a service catalogue, Rob England explains the difference between service catalogue and request catalogue and how they should be apply in your environment. #SMFlashbook My top tip for building a service catalogue (The IT Skeptic)

For years, IT executives have had to deal with stealth technology or shadow IT set-up that could put their company’s security — and maybe their authority — at risk. Today, Tom Kaneshige suggests that IT executives see the world differently and are quick to explain that they should be ambassadors between tech vendors and business users. CIOs Want to Be Allies, Not Adversaries, With Business Users (CIO.com)

Technical debt can be defined as having unfinished tasks in an IT project. Technical debt is also a significant problem for many organizations and can contribute to considerable development issues. Russ Miller talks about the best ways to deal with technical debt. Technical Debt – Q&A With Russ Miller, CTO, SunView Software (ITSM Lens)

As work moves through the organization, it can reach a point where the whole process slows down or halts. When that happens, Sasha Dichter believes those choke points provide excellent learning opportunities. Choke points (Sasha Dichter’s Blog)

Global competition has changed the employment game. A gap has been created within the employee-employer relationship and driven largely by fear. Ted Rubin suggests that employers should start thinking of employees as an investment, instead of treating them like a commodity. Empower Your Employees… and They Will Power Your Brand! (Ted Rubin)

Marshall Goldsmith suggests that we can all increase our own interpersonal effectiveness by better understanding the powerful concept of referent groups. He explains what the concept is and how it can be a useful tool for understanding differences in organizations. Referent Groups and Diversity (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Tom Asacker believes that complicated, time-consuming, and costly processes can kill value. Organizing simple, powerful creative undertakings can do the opposite. Kill the matrix. (Tom Asacker)

Bar Rescue and Running IT – A Book Review of “Raise the Bar: An Action-Based Method for Maximum Customer Reactions”

jon_taffer_book (300x186)First the disclaimer… I am a fan of Jon Taffer’s Bar Rescue show and have been for the last couple of years. While we all know the reality shows are made primarily for entertainment, I enjoyed the show because I believe it teaches some valuable business lessons. When Jon’s book “Raise the Bar” came out, I was eager to find out what wisdom Jon could share from all those businesses he tried to rescue. I also wanted to compare notes and see what other insights I might have missed and could pick up.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that many things Jon discussed in the book are pretty consistent with what I thought about the show. I think his advice can be helpful not only to the bar business but also to other types of business. My professional work is in the IT area, and I believe the advice will work for delivering technology services, too. Here are just a few examples good business practices that, I believe, resonate well with the work in IT:

“You cannot have a great business without creating one great, positive reaction after another.”

“My definition of a standard boils down to this: qualifiable, quantifiable, and verifiable.”

“There has to be an established process for you to do a walkthrough of your business and determine whether everything is being done right and, if not, how to fix it.”

“Successful businesses have winning teams that promote and encourage winning players and mitigate weakness through peer pressure. Teams work together on clear objectives that force individual members to perform or leave.”

As it turns out, running a, excellent IT shop is not that different from running an excellent bar. I believe a disciplined IT organization can not only deliver positive experience to its business constituents but also operate at a highly competent level. While customer reaction and standard management are crucial, the book also emphasizes the importance of hiring solid employees who will fit well with your business and help everyone succeed. Although some interactions in the shows sometimes can get a bit superficial in front of the cameras, overall, I am convinced that Jon’s recommendations in the book are solid and actionable.

One last quote I liked… “Good people need to be treated with dignity – it’s your fault for hiring the wrong person; it’s not the employee’s fault for being the wrong person. That’s humanity.”

This is my main take-away from the book. Although running a bar or a IT business can be a science, it still takes people who are capable and committed to following the processes and to get the best results. At the end of the day, IT is still all about the people.

科技與兒童 (Chinese Translation from Manager Tools’ article “Technology And Children”)

dreamstime_xs_17990343 (240x160)Note: The following passage is a Chinese translation of the article “Individuals” from Manager Tools’ newsletter. You can find the entire newsletter at this link. The author of the article is Ms. Wendii Lord, and Manager Tools has been very generous in granting me the permission to translate and to publish the article on my blog. My only intention is to share actionable managerial thinking and tips with a broader, like-minded audience. Please feel free to comment or to suggest ways to improve my translation for future articles. Thank you.

科技與兒童

我保存了一篇從雜誌上撕下來的文章。這並不是什麼不尋常的事。其實,馬克和我平時互相問候之時,有時會彼此交換撕下來的文章。這一次這篇文章停留在我的辦公桌上了幾個星期。很少會有什麼文件在我的辦公桌上停留超過幾天。我是一個高D (DISC),說到做到那種女孩。

那一篇文章是從9月份的“成功”雜誌上,它講到有軟件可以幫助教師與家長彼此對孩子的表現的溝通。有一些程式能結合測試和學習。他們還會發送有關考試和功課截止日期的提醒。

我的第一反應是這還了得,為什麼要教小孩子以科技為依賴?我以前有一本筆記裡面寫著對數公式和一個納皮爾的骨頭。我有一個日曆去記錄我要交的功課。我還要跟根據期末考試來修改。還要根據我的進度看是需不需要期中考,或是需要更多的幫助。但不知怎的,我老有個感觸一直牽扯到我自己的反應。我寫不出來,但…

這時我才意識到,這些孩子們一定會依靠科技。他們可能從來沒有使用過紙日曆,他們會有一個手機去提醒他們需要做的事情和截止日期。他們不是被教導以科技為依賴,他們被教導如何去操縱科技來幫助他們。

他們正在學習如何用四周圍的環境,去給他們不斷的回饋,並利用小步調去保持在正確的方向來達到他們的目標。當他們需要幫助時,他們被教導去如何開發謀略,這些資源在網上通常是免費的。

你知道嗎,我有點嫉妒那些孩子們不需要對科技與給他們生活更輕鬆上的結合去想太多。我也希望我以前能有如此方便,這樣我也可以從節省的時間中獲益。到過來講,如果那一天我們有個電磁脈衝的災難,我也許還能夠拿手來算對數。

Fresh Links Sundae – October 20, 2013 Edition

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image28379626

Fresh Links Sundae encapsulates information I have come across during the past week. Often they are from the people whose work I admire or resonate with me. More importantly, I picked these articles to help my fellow IT professionals be more successful. I hope you will find these ideas thought-provoking at the minimum. Even better, I hope these ideas will, over time, help my fellow IT pros make better decisions, be awesome, and kick ass!

Some experts have predicted that the CIO role has become less and less relevant over the years and maybe going away soon. Bob Lewis disagrees and explains why the CIO role is necessary to coordinate the integration between applications and systems. Is the CIO dead? Maybe. Should it be? Nah. (IS Survivor Publishing)

As the power of data and analytics profoundly affects the business landscape, companies once again need more top-management talent who can understand and leverage the technologies. Brad Brown, David Court, and Paul Willmott outline six areas that will require more senior leadership’s participation. Can Your C-Suite Handle Big Data? (Harvard Business Review)

Many of us are accustomed to having access to highly capable consumer technologies that offer convenience and commodity pricing. Over time, we have grown dependent on those technologies. Sharon Taylor reminds us the importance of balancing the level of support response, redundancy, cost, and reality when offering those same technologies and services to our organizations. Rocket fuel, cake and customers. (SHIFT)

Many IT organizations are looking for ways to improve their services by making themselves more assessable to the business. Robert Stroud suggests that perhaps a “walk-up service center” can help to improve your organization’s service management effort. Service Management From the Back Room to the “Drop-in Center” (CA Service Management)

Most IT departments are in a struggle to meet the demands from a customer base and from a massive volume of IT project and firefighting work at the same time. Offering a more personalized support from IT appears to be a low priority item considering the resource and staff constraints. Ian Aitchison thinks that offering a more personalized IT support to enterprise users can be doable. You don’t need to be a Genius or a Guru to offer a Personal Service Desk (The ITSM Review)

Many CIOs feel innovation can only come after establishing a culture for innovation within the organization. CEB believes that, instead instilling a culture, a “climate of innovation” will be more malleable and can be influenced by processes, practices, and signals from leaders. Laura Wilson explains what is a “climate of innovation” and recommends four actions to create such climate within your organization. Want to Make IT More Innovative? Don’t Set Up a Skunkworks Team, Examine Your Behaviors (CEB’s IT Blog)

Some leaders try hard to help their teams by handing out advice on every aspect of the team’s work. Susan Cramm explains what the negative consequences can be and what corrective actions a leader should take. Are You Disabling Your Organization with Advice? (Strategy+Business)

Today’s leaders face a set of very different environments and leadership challenges. Len Lagestee believes that, by changing the way we think, speak, and act, we will begin to design how we will be remembered as a leader. Shaping Your Leadership Legacy (Illustrated Agile)

A challenge around strategic core competencies today is that too many of them appear to be enterprise-centric rather than from the customer’s point of view.  Michael Schrage discusses how companies can re-think and re-architect how they can empower customers to add value to their core competencies. Do Customers Even Care about Your Core Competence? (Harvard Business Review)

Marshall Goldsmith suggests that leading an organization that provides integrated multi-product solutions is remarkably different from leading an organization that sells a single line of products. He recommends approaches leaders should take to navigate in today’s interconnected world. On a Consumer Watershed (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Something else you might be interested in…

Microsoft has made a free Windows 8.1 ebook by Ed Bott available for download. Introducing Windows 8.1 for IT Professionals (MSDN Blogs)