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Another 90 Day Sprint

… and now the work really begins …

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Read the book!

For the second time since starting this site, I’ve made a change and taken on a new position. This time was a bit more structured, using the learning process from The First 90 Days, by Michael Watkins. I had read the book before, so the ideas weren’t new – but as with any familiar technology or idea, it never hurts to go back for a review. Of note – in the past, it was only an idea and a little “shelf candy” (see below), but this time through, I really worked the learning process as laid out in the book.

Lots of terrific results came out of this …

  • a clearer vision of the “go forward” plan, with the full realization that the learning never stops
  • a reaffirmation of the power of relationships and emotional intelligence when working to get things done through and with other people
  • a unique chance to apply newer ideas like IT-as-a-service and consultative skills to a corporate role / department

Still, the most interesting and intrusive part of it all was the degree to which the process has crowded out other things – my posts on this blog, for example. However, I can see the light at the end at the tunnel, and will work to catch up to my previous level of posting.

But the really interesting part of it all was how much “stuff” has happened over the last 90 days …

  • The story of Instagram, and how the older desktop / browser-based internet is dead, to be replaced by the ubiquitous mobile experience (summarized nicely by Pombriant)
  • The speed at which Mobile has gone from buzzword to a real business trend (presented crisply by Meeker)
  • The end of the Rise and beginning of the Fall for crowdfunding (predicted by Cringely)
  • The beginning of the Fall for Facebook – stumbles on the Street (Forbes: Success! Failure!) + advertisers starting to back away
  • Layoffs and massive change at old-time stalwarts HP, RIM, and more
  • Ping.FM falls, replaced by Seesmic
  • Meebo falls, bought by Google (see below)
  • Oil below $85, down from >$100
  • Manchester City wins the EPL

All that and more, out in the great wide world – but what about my own little corner of the tech universe?

  • Job networking continues aggressively, and continues (I think) to be the best way to find the next opportunity. I am still getting inquiries regarding open positions, as well as connections from other IT professionals looking to leverage the intersection of our professional networks
  • IT-as-a-Service is making it’s way into position descriptions and resumes; the idea that Corporate IT should consider itself a service provider – not the traditional Internal Customer stuff, but more of the “run IT as a business” and communicate total costs and leverage points – is being called out in Requirements (for position descriptions) and Competencies (on resumes)
  • As noted above on crowdfunding – a peaking trend, but I now have hands-on experience – literally! I am now the proud owner of a ridiculously awesome wallet,  that I must say is pretty nice
  • I’ve discovered Pocket (formerly Read It Later) – ridiculously useful, helping me fill those waiting times (in line, etc.) with reading – nicely multi-platform, a terrific level of integration
Read these books!
  • Speaking of multi-platform – thanks to the [current] No BYOD policy at my new situation, I have had to juggle as many as six screens (Linux, Windows, Android, iPad, and Blackberry) – and I’m not counting the dual screens on my home and work PCs. Still – the Blackberry Playbook was a non-starter – felt really heavy, for some reason, and didn’t compare well to the iPad – so that didn’t last long.
  • I’ve finally purchased my first “real” eBook; not the free downloads of 19th-century contemporary history that redefine the term “dry”, I am talking about a brand new tech book that was delivered instantaneously. For a guy who [used to] like to collect books because of the cachet of the bookshelf – well, the process was interestingly different, to say the least

re: those last two points – there remains no substitute for direct experience, if you want any sort of credibility when talking with the various functional areas of a business looking for some ideas on “innovation”. My internal 90 day journey has been filled with interesting tidbits around Big Data, open source, blogs and wikis, collaboration networks, data centers, RSS, BYOD – all topics I can speak fairly glibly about just because I am an avid surfer and participatory hack.

Some of the Fallout

Alas, one of my earliest experiments in engaging technology is no more. I have been a happy Meebo user for over 5 years, but this must come to an end. With their purchase by Google, my favorite little site gadget, the Meebo chat client, will no longer be supported. To be fair, I have not received that many pings via this “channel” over the past year, as IM fades away, while texting (curse you, mobile) and Twitter rise up in it’s place. Still, made some very interesting connections in the past – more testament to the value of experimenting and continuing the hands-on approach.

More to come – let me know if there are any particular topics you’d like to hear about!

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