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Be less reliable - Coté's Commonplace Book - Issue #49
How I find time to make thumbnails for my enterprise videos.
Sorry, I flaked
The most operational self-help tactic I've learned in years is: get comfortably flaking out on things. Missing meetings, being late delivering things, being unreliable, skipping studying Dutch today (and tomorrow)…just failing at living up to your full potential.
This thinking works for me because it tells me an easy thing to do: just be OK not doing things. In contrast, the positive version of this is "focus on priories" and "don't over commit." Those take a lot of upfront work and analysis: figuring out what your priories are is a lot of work! You get them wrong, people mess with them, they were stupid. In truth, I have no idea what my priorities are, let alone how to measure them. Happiness? Aligning to corporate MBO's? Nurturing my kids? Being a good partner? Addressing the problems that make me uncomfortable living in the Netherlands?
Linking my daily actions to such big, important, abstract priorities is too absurd for me.
Even priorities cast in the mindset of The Cult of Habit forming, like "practice Dutch just ten minutes a day" are too difficult for me to do.
For me, what I need to do day to day is determined day to day. When this meeting was scheduled, it may have seemed like a good idea, but now I realize it's not. I need to go get a lightbulb for that new lamp or write a blog post about DevOpsLoop for tomorrow. Something more important has come up. Or just more interesting and fulfilling - “happiness” was life priority right….errr….?
This is far from advocating that you should not finish what you started. Rather, it's that you should shut down starting things in the first place.
That’s poorly phrased. Maybe: “Do less”? Maybe: “want less”? Maybe: “don’t try.”
The other tactic is to start fending off other people asking for help, your input, and getting involved. You’re on a big email thread (worse: Slack!) and there’s that dangling “so…someone should do this…” thing. Oh, sorry, I didn’t see this until too late…
You also ask people who want your help directly "what do you want me to do?" So many corporate interactions fit into the category: let’s meet to see if you can do something to help me with my problems. It’s kind of a “please work on figuring out something you can do for me.” To flake out and be responsible, I try to throw the new work-generation ball back to them: “what do you want me to do here?” And, usually, whatever the result is they just want a collaborator, or you to do something that advances their goals more than yours. Those are things to flake out on, to not even agree to doing in the first place.
Also, you have to be comfortable with watching other people fail and struggle. I too often feel responsible for helping other people succeed, consulting with them and taking on work to reach their goals. I feel guilty when they flail about. It’s something like cringing at seeing someone else do an embarrassing thing. Helping them is a lot of work, though, and requires commitment and collaboration. Those are two things I'm terrible at and that damage my own work.
I don't know. Do less and fail other people more. If you're a workaholic like me, you'll probably be happier.
In which I lay out Apple's SVP of Cables FY2024 strategy.
A free conference I helped make: DevOps Loop, Oct 4th
Next month is DevOps Loop. It’s a conference I’ve been helping out together and it has an outstanding talk list. I’ve worked closely with several speakers to curate talks on things I’m interested in and that they’re excited about. Register and attend for free, it’s October 4th.
Find a friendly face - being less nervous speaking
When you're presenting to a large group of people, seek out two or three people who are watching you, smiling, nodding their head. These are your friendly people. Go back to them again and again - maybe only look at them! Keep your eyes on the people who appreciate what you're doing and you'll be less nervous, and then able to focus on content, on having a good time.
(If you’re online only, you don’t need this. You’re just talking into the Internet. The lack of realtime feedback can be relaxing.)
Legacy, application modernization, all that
Pretty good animations at the end!
App Modernization Using the Swift Method "we can go in a matter of a week or two from not understanding the business at all, to having a really good notional architecture and a direction to take as you're modernizing your software" Theory: the role of the CIO is product management all of IT, to be the one (not delegated to staff) to map from business strategy to how IT is architected to help the business out.
Relevant to your interests
Delta variant vaccinated vs. unvaccinated: This new CDC chart shows how well COVID-19 vaccines work "The CDC’s data shows that not fully vaccinated people are over 10 times more likely to be hospitalized from COVID-19 and over 10 times more likely to die from it."
It’s Not Your Fault: Combatting Guilt for the Neurodivergent Individual Don't be ashamed of a broken brain. Question: are people who blame other people (or situations) more...more happy? Is that what we self-Shammers need to do? (And yes, we should all do the mindfulness/Stoic thing of accepting things out of our control, blah blah.)
"The Quiet Part Loud" — www.google.com The opposite of a sub-tweet. "The Quiet Part Loud is a slang expression used to describe a person who unintentionally announces the subtext of a public statement."
Why leaders need to understand digital – and what they really need to know A good take on the "what is digital transformation" piece: "This is because these companies have been designed for the internet age. The way they deliver their products and services is predicated on the existence of the internet, and the fact that the vast majority of people can access it pretty much anywhere, and anywhen. Technology enables this, but the genius lies in the way the companies adapt the way they work to fit the new world that the technology has helped to create."
10 Things I Learnt in Government Several zingers like: "Small things can be difficult. Big things are possible. Consequently, do not waste time on small things, focus on big goals." And: "Play into your own policy narrative. Establish the narrative and get others to own it. You can then orient your initiatives to your own narrative coming back at you."
Life-Life Balance Plight of the work-a-holic: "The challenge is then, not work-life balance, a tradeoff to be made between two entirely distinct things that can be readily weighed against each other, but rather a life-life balance. For those of us who are able to do creative work, who have a significant element of control over that work - where and when it is done, how we achieve a life-life balance requires a much more complex and subtle set of judgments and decisions."
7 Options to Modernize Legacy Systems Among other things, seven types of modernization.
The Secret Behind Successful Corporate Transformations More money and diversity leads to employee satisfaction and effectiveness. Shared attributes of successful organizations: Employee Pay, Employee Stock Options, Employee Satisfaction, Diversity and Inclusivity, Women Managers, Women Employees.
Volkswagen signs up to Arm-based software-defined car standard Software platform for cars: "For automotive, software-defined functionality will deliver safe, new in-vehicle experiences and features that meet consumer demands and expectations, and crucially will unlock new revenue streams and customer engagement opportunities for automakers, tier ones, software vendors and cloud service providers, said Arm."
The next Big Tech battle: Amazon’s bet on healthcare begins to take shape "The industry has spent the last 20 years telling us they were going to make healthcare less confusing, less complex, less costly . . . and that hasn’t happened,” he says. “Because [Amazon] doesn’t own hospitals, because they don’t have an existing structure, they can approach this de novo, which is they can say ‘We can do whatever is best for you’ . . . and there’s plenty of money in healthcare to make a profit.”
Executive Engagement Some more hands on things executives should do for that whole product-culture thing.
What happened to smart cities? "As the pandemic fades, sustainability and standardization may provide levers to bring smart cities back to the forefront for IT services vendors and management consultancies. The Brooklyn Bridge has a new bike lane. New York City has new regulations around carbon emissions and commercial real estate. Municipalities faced with renewed interests in greening their infrastructure will look for consultancies and technology companies for help. And as federal dollars flow toward all infrastructure — brown and green — cities will look to consultancies with deep expertise in risk and compliance for assistance with standardization around what is and is not permissible around emerging technologies. One substantial caution: Priorities around which initiatives to pursue, even and maybe especially ones rooted in sustainability and standardization, remain political decisions typically disconnected from technology. Smart cities require political will, not just budgets and IT architecture."
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