Mr Trump has been called many things by his opponents. One of them is "homophobic." Is he? I looked into an article that seemed to summarize all majority of the points his opposition use to make the claim and I analyze them in my own lens.
Organizations, especially the big ones, have a habit of dictating how to do one's job. When it comes down to computing choices they often try to be very dictatorial, often in the name of cybersecurity. Here's THE laptop you can use. Here's THE web browser to you. Use THIS software, and none-other. Use BOX, but don't use DROPBOX, Google-Drive, iCloud, or anything else.
A very long time ago (in a job far, far away) I remember giving up on the "browser war" debate. Some of us are old enough to remember "Firefox vs Internet Explorer" and the arguments that would en-sue. It's almost like "emacs vs vi" (for the more venerable generation of UNIX geeks out there). In the end I came to the pragmatic position: It's just a tool people. Do you remember Mr Scott's line from Star Trek? "...The right tool for the right job!" When I started work at PlayStation, corporate didn't stop us from using other browsers, but would only take app support calls if you used IE. Eventually they officially supported multiple browsers (grudgingly it felt).
Smart IT leaders realized a long time ago that "BYOD" (Bring Your Own Device) was going to happen, like it or not. That's the case where people would bring their personal ipads, smartphones, etc, and want to get online via wifi, and (heavens forbid!) use them for work purposes too. Why? Because they were more productive with these newer technologies, more connected, more accessible. Think about it today: Would you rather use your iPhone, or still be stuck using an old Blackberry? A hefty old laptop you lug around, or your tablet? Employees were much quicker at adopting new technologies - and exploiting them for the purposes of being more productive - than companies were able to do.
Being the head of an IT organization at the time, I know all the arguments. Security is a threat, people are using something we don't monitor, maintain, or CONTROL (keyword! Because IT groups like control). It will cost so much more if we have to allow multiple laptop offerings. We cannot asset-manage ipads or iphones.
Are you more concerned about controlling dimes and pennies? Or are you more concerned about keeping your staff productive? Do the math and you'll find that extra money you may be spending on additionally hardware is only a blip (and goes down over time) versus the value of productivity you get out of your employees - and what's also very important: you get that productivity at the behest of the employee! You aren't having to shove something down their throats, make seemingly harsh demands of them in order to obtain it. They want it!
What's my point? You've got some of it already. Here's the other piece: When was the last time you found that there was only one way to solve a problem? You hired smart employees, right? (I hope so!) Let them be smart! They are very often quite willing to help find the next new way of doing things, of solving problems, or re-investing the office-space, etc - and you don't have to hire a Big Five firm for millions of dollars to figure that out. Give them the freedom to improve how your business operates! Utilize them beyond the box of the job description that you hired them into. Let the humans win! No one likes being told "this is how you will hammer that nail into the wood" when you know there's a better way to do it.
I'm not advocating a wild west scenario - sure there should be limits and boundaries - but be smart about them. Not only will you inspire a smarter workforce and smarter office-space, you'll win hearts and minds. That's culture right there. And that's REAL leadership.
Security, you say? That's easier than you think. Push education and street-smarts. People want to be secure, really they do. Help them with the do's and don'ts. Be the group of "let's figure out how to make that work" instead of the group of "no!" I found in my experience that if you give them the green light (even if it's unofficial) to experiment with SaaS solutions, create the trust relationship with them ahead of time and they'll actually come to you first to ask if it's ok to use Service XYZ. That sounds like some fantasy realm doesn't it? Yet it's 100% true, and that's what happened with my org - end-users would approach us asking if we'd check out a service before they went to use it. We wanted to allow them to find new tools to use, they then wanted us to help them with that. What better place to be?! The alternative is that IT has to approve all apps/services ahead of time, then someone finds a way around that and use GoogleDocs anyway. Which position would you rather be in?
There are so many benefits to be realized if you let go the idea that you can tell your people the one and only way to hammer a nail into a piece of wood. Let employees be good at what they're good at: solving problems. Imagine how much more productive you'll be, how you could possibly improve cycle times, even potentially TTM. That's real money! You'll instill a sense of trust into your staff, create stronger relationships, loyalty to the company - that improves employee retention rates, lowers turn-over, keeps HR costs down.
With the rise of social media, I have to kick myself to remember to update my blog. Couple that with the fact that the older I get, the more that anything posted in public-view can be used against you (especially out of context) the less I tend to post. Ironic since nearly 20 years ago, when web-logs on websites first started, before we called them "blogs", everything was very personal! My archives even show it.
2016 has been a year for a change. BIG change. In March I got laid off from Sony. I put in 9 years, some really hard work, built an amazing team filled with amazing people. I've had to leave that in other hands and walk away. One of the most difficult things I've had to do. Sure people have said "lay-offs are just the 'new normal' way of business now" - which feels awfully heartless in some ways (even if it's true). Nonetheless, for a while I knew I needed something to change, I needed to grow, to do more, to do something different - and that option was provided to me by the universe.
The job search has been difficult. Lots of networking (especially for me!). Virtually no response from anything. Is it a tough market? Is it me? Is it a broken system, where ATS systems auto-scan for keywords and auto-reject if you do not meet the 82.37% hit rate? Impossible to say.
However, during that time another plan has been brewing. I'm working on pursuing it. I almost didn't, I almost set it aside due to my own self-doubts. But someone filled me with confidence one day. He got me talking about the idea. Talking about the plan. Made me realize, even though I don't think he believes he had a hand in it, that I had more of the plan in-hand, in-order, than I realized. Something switched "on" for me that afternoon. I've been filled with energy & passion every since. In fact I think the last couple days I had to pull back, slightly overloaded, and let things reset. Just management of energy mind you. I feel ready for tomorrow, for Monday, for the next steps, and the other various things I have on my diary for the day. I really hope in a few months I can come back and report on the stress and success I've been through. Cross your fingers for me!
This year has been a new chapter in my life. There's no other way to put it. As I reflect on how I've handled it, and this is also based on feedback I've received from someone in my professional circles, I'm pretty happy with how I've handled it all. I remember after getting laid off someone reached out and urged me not to fall down the well, not to get depressed about it. I have learned that I my psyche defers my grief when tragedy happens. It wasn't until June that the emotional burden hit me. But I managed through it and got to the other side. Now, things look so much different on this other side of life. In IT we used a term called a "green field" deployment - when you started from scratch, no burdened by old systems, old configurations, etc. That's where it feels I am at today, a "green field." There are options moving forward, one of which certainly requires I move forward with purpose, with strength, and promptly (not "fast" per-se, but steadily with purpose!).
I was drinking tea this morning (somewhat ritualistically!) I felt the "burden" of life - not in a negative way - but in the sense that everything I've been through, all the good times all the bad times, they have all lead me to this point. This new chapter. It's given me the lessons to pursue this business idea I have. All the skills I've learned, the experience I have gather, making me ready to take on this challenge. I truly feel prepared, READY, for what is ahead. I cannot help but want to succeed!
The next few months will be busy (I trust, I hope!). It's not that things will be changing, it's realizing that things have already changed. Into what? That's up to me to craft, to manage, and to converse with the universe and determine. It's up to me to make happen. I cannot help but to smile, to feel excited, and to feel so many emotions!
Today did not go as I anticipated. I won't use the word "expected" because I'm on holiday and each day simply "flows" to the next. However, last night I did think about how perhaps I'd spend today. Didn't work out that way - but I think the outcome was even better!
Last year I read the book "Smart Change" by Dr. Art Markman (University of Texas). It spoke primarily about habits. Why we form habits. How we change them. It provided a new level of self-awareness to strive to achieve. Even minimally, it's intriguing practicing self-reflection (post-event or real-time) to start to recognize all the habits I have (or others even).
I'm on Day 7 of my first-ever cruise, a nice run through the eastern Caribbean. I'm walking back from breakfast through Deck 8 on my way to my room. I reflect on the idea of "change." Change functionally means breaking habits. Habits are the brain's way of being lazy, as Markman said. It seeks patterns that it can repeat over and over - thus, habits. Enacting change "in-place" (eg. a single unit of change) may be the more difficult type of change perhaps. For example, stopping smoking. Or for me personally, trying to ween myself off (or nearly off) soda.
I've had minimal success back home trying to limit soda in-take because it's "just so easy" to grab one from the break room between meetings. It's something I often don't think about, it just "happens." (In fairness, it has been quite a bit down lately though! Psychological pressure starts making it unappealing after having two).
However, I've noticed this week (and last, since I was at a conference) that my soda in-take is significantly down. Last week I might have had one or two a day. This week has been 0 or 1 a day. Why? It hasn't been hard. I've been in a completely different environment, different schedule. Distracted by different things around me. My brain has been so focused on other things, things it needs to pay attention to (because I'm no where familiar, per-se), that the habit of craving a soda has been suppressed.
Change is hard, people say. The normal argument being that change is scary. True. Maybe sometimes it's big change we need to change our habits, and/or to form new ones. I am starting down the road of selling my house and buying a new one. Where will I live? I'll have to develop a new commute habit / pattern / path. Will my commute be shorter? Longer? Will it afford me more time to myself so that maybe I start going to a gym now? Or have more time to work on other hobbies? That's a form of big change. Throwing out all your old familiar patterns and developing new ones.
Someone recently told me, after talking about deciding to sell my place, that this is probably the change that I've been looking for over the last year or so. I felt the need for some sort of change, but didn't know what. In August, the "gut feeling" developed suggesting that it was the right time to sell my house.
What else will I change? Or is this enough for now?
What will you change? What do you know you need to change? What else do you not admit to which needs to change? How will you consider making change happen? Don't be afraid of the "thought experiment" (as they say). Play with the idea. Maybe something interesting will occur to you. Or better yet, it'll get your braining thinking about things sub-consciously, and a week, a month, a year from now you'll realize what you need to do. Good luck!