Entries from September 2009 ↓

Why I almost love Mixero

I’ve been tinkering with twitter for almost two years now, on multiple accounts, trying to find the perfect way to integrate it into my daily life.  And while my activity level on twitter has never been consistent, one thing has — the growth in the number of people I’m following.  I realized early on that there comes a time when you have to decide whether to be lean in who you follow, or whether you have to start counting on tools to help you organize the data flow.

Never one to turn down a chance to play with tools, I’ve taken the latter approach (though in moderation; I still follow less than a thousand people).  My latest twitter client is the Mixero beta, and after talking about it with a friend I decided it was time to do a little writeup.  See, Mixero is almost great, but it’s the almost that is nagging at me week after week.  I’m hoping that when it goes GA, we’ll see the client I know it can be….

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From the “no kidding” department

Watson Wyatt surprised nobody this week when they released results of a new study that showed massive drops in employee engagement and morale of late.  Well, that’s not entirely true … some of what they said surprised me.  Here’s a quote:

Employee engagement levels for all workers at the companies surveyed have dropped 9 percent since last year, and close to 25 percent for top performers.

If one assumes that in general top performers are more engaged than their peers, this stat suggests maybe the engagement levels, well, leveled. There’s one more ugly stat in there:

Forty-one percent of employees indicate that changes have had an adverse impact on quality and customer service, while only 17 percent of employers believe this is the case.

So let’s get this straight.  We’ve got massive disconnect between corporate perception and employee perception, and our most critical people are disengaged and uninspired.

What’s a manager to do?

Well, you could do worse than to model your response after what successful companies do during times like these: invest in the things that matter most, take market share, and be ready to emerge from the rough times stronger than your competitors.

Now more than ever it’s important to get the little things right.  You may have zero budget, zero time, and nothing but grim news.  But you’ve got to find ways to invest in your relationships with your co-workers.

Say hello to Hiren

Last week, I was part of a conversation with some co-workers who spoke about another employee and his prolific blog and said, “isn’t that a sign that he doesn’t have much to do?”

If only the truth were that simple.

Another co-worker asked me when I usually did my blogging.  I told him the truth — I usually get Monday’s blog entry written on Sunday night, unless I’m lucky enough to have had a great idea during the previous week in which case Sunday night is for putting the finishing touches on a post which I started earlier. A productive week is one where another topic pops up during the week and I’m able to get some words down “on paper” on a weeknight.

I very rarely work on this blog during the business day; I just don’t have time.

I know the same holds true for another Ionix blogger I’d like to introduce you to this week: Hiren Doshi, who writes Practice Agile, a brand new blog about agile development seen through the lens of someone working at EMC Ionix.  I’ve worked with Hiren for a few years now in various capacities and he “gets it.”  I’m glad he’s dipping his toe in the blogging pool and I look forward to reading more from him.  He and I are working on projects that interact, so if you pay enough attention to what we both talk about you can get a pretty good idea of what working in this little neighborhood of EMC Ionix is probably like.

Know your (social media) norms

(Those of you old enough to remember Cheers, I’m not talking about that Norm.)

I was paging through my reader this evening and came across an article by the always-wise Jeremiah Owyang about handling your boss’s connecting with you on Facebook.  You probably know where I stand on this already, especially if you’ve read my post “Five reasons to ‘friend’ your co-workers (or boss!)“.  Basically, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage if you have the opportunity to do this, and don’t.

But one thing Owyang talks about that I failed to, is how to handle being the boss and entering this situation.  As a manager I’ve been in this situation a couple times, and chatted about it with co-workers over lunch.  The key to avoiding difficulty is knowing (and communicating) your social media norms.  For reference, here are mine, as relate to mixing work and online networking:

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