We got together with some neighbors and had a neighborhood barbecue. We kept it simple and had everyone bring their own meat and a dish/chips/drink to share. We made up a flyer and I had my kids pass them around. We probably had 10 families attend out of the 50+ flyers we passed around. It was fun to actually visit with people that we normally just wave to and say hi-but often don’t even know their name. Those that attended apparently enjoyed it—since it was scheduled from 6-8pm but most stayed until 10!
I spent a couple of days at scout camp with my 12 year old son. I ‘volunteered’ to help with the fishing merit badge and took the boys up river a bit and showed them how to pick the spots on where to fish. We were limited on time otherwise all of them would have been able to catch a fish. And yes, my son caught the biggest fish—all by himself! It was a blast watching him bring in the ‘cut-bow’ (mix of a cutthroat and rainbow). Sleeping in a tent was also fun but an excellent reminder on why our family normally vacation at hotels and timeshares!
Well, right now we are finishing up a vacation in So Cal where we attended a wedding for a nephew and went to Disneyland and enjoyed the magical kingdom! I think they call it magical because they do a great job helping you forget how expensive it is to take a family!! We are also spending time back in Newport Beach at a Marriot Time share. And just as expected, the warmth of the North Carolina beaches has made it tough to want to go into the ocean here. It’s a lot colder! So we find ourselves playing a lot of paddle ball on the beach, building sand castles and hanging out at the pool/Jacuzzi at the hotel! We do enjoy the beach for a vacation!
As I continue to evaluate options, I’m doing some consulting. I’ve found I enjoy consulting because it gives me an opportunity to meet people and help them improve their contributions to their company. I’m targeting short term assignments where I can provide specific consulting on how to improve their organization’s service delivery & management. The sessions I’ve designed brings out the realities of the work environment and helps show the participants the importance of focus, teamwork, process maturation and how to improve ‘their’ business.
Specifically, I just completed an assignment at a local bank. I received some great feedback and compliments as people seem to appreciate the ‘reality’ view I provide and making the training directly relevant to their particular situation. During the simulations they went from ‘chaos’ to a much more efficient group with improvements each round. They came up with some good ideas and also got hooked into some trouble that most do when they fail to use process and collaboration. The real success will be determined in the coming months as I see how well they improve their current situation based on the input given them. Stay tuned!
I reviewed my approach and presentation with a consultant that does similar work in So Cal as well as another professional services company in town. They were both complimentary and helped me realize that what I have is not a training tool—because handing it off the simulation tool I built to a professional trainer will not produce the same results. The key to the sessions is the observations that I make prior to the session and how I work them into the training/discussions. A trainer can’t do that-it comes with the 25+ years of experience of working in the trenches and working with people solving problems for companies. Hmmm…
In another discussion with someone that runs a PMO for a company, the idea came to me to add a project manager role to the simulation. This would integrate the functions of a PMO/PM and will also help other groups in IT realize the importance of that function. So I’m designing that in now. They will need to work with the business to flush out the benefits and then with the engineering team to get the upgrade in—and of course, the engineering team has their hands full with some service issues and trying to figure out the proper timing of the changes that are required prior to the application upgrade. Great idea!
As for the Corp IT positions, I’m still looking into a few positions—most of them still require a relocation—I’m guessing they will finalize in the next 30 days or so. But, I am still looking into one role in the Boise area that is a possibility.
Even though I like the consulting, I feel as though the Corp IT position is what I need to be doing at this time in my life—so that is the preference. But until I land that spot, I will continue to seek opportunities to consult regarding improving operations, process improvement, leadership and organizational development, offshoring/outsourcing and big projects that seem to be too big—focus on how to get trim the scope so it aligns to the key objectives. Any ideas? J
And finally, the book continues… The past few weeks I wrote up the science and art behind the event review process. It seems like such a simple thing at the surface but in actuality it provides the framework for continuous improvement in all your processes and really matures your problem management processes. I’m continuing to keep the focus ‘real’ and trying to avoid the discussions on theory.
Hope all is well with you!!
Have a great month… The Best is yet to come!!