It was the Best of Times; It was the Worst of Times

find out who you are

Prophetic words.  As I close my fourth month of a self-chosen (or afflicted) separation from my fave technology company, I’ve learned a few things.

  • Choosing to leave a job is much different than being asked to leave. So this may not apply to all.
  • Work is not so much about the physical environment.  Although I was never a great fan of cubicles, they serve a purpose
  • Companies can worm their way into your life and become a focal point of who you are. If you let them.  Having some space and time is healthy (and to all of those folks who never take their vacation time, you’re doing yourself and your company a great disservice)
  • Satisfying work and awesome projects can keep you on a wildly careening roller coaster.  It’s all fun and exciting, but can become addicting if you’re not careful.
  • “Loving” a company is really nothing more than loving the people you work with, feeling valued (and not only via salary), and being offered opportunities to make tremendous contributions.

My time now is spent in artistic pursuits, and although I miss the ‘buzz’ of corporate life, I think I can manage to fill it with my own brand of self discovery until this little separation is done.

Then – who knows?!?!?!

At Lengthy Project’s End

project end

My last 18 months or so at work were spent on a project that had an ever-growing scope, stakeholders who multiplied like rabbits, interested parties whose only concern appeared to be that there issues were addressed even if to the detriment of the entire process, and – thankfully – a team who wA supportive and dare I say it about a corporate environment – even loving.

Never expected the level of near immediate success and adoption that we achieved. That failure to plan for success was, in my mind, our biggest failure.  We had contingencies for every contingency; staffing plans in anticipation of user upheaval but once the ‘switch was turned on,’ all went beautifully.

And that’s when I began to feel a bit badly.

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The Problem with Engaging Employees is that Employees Get Engaged

community engagement

Learned that all too well in my seven years of participation and three years of managing a global enterprise community for employees.  Oh, at first, everyone was tentative, afraid to post anything, not sure what they could or could not say and for the first several years everyone wanted a ‘handbook’ of guidelines.

As time went on and we evolved to a new version of our community platform, our employees were ‘stunned’ into a social environment where they somehow felt more comfortable, more sure of themselves, more engaged…..which had its funny moments.

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Communities are More than Marketing Machines

In many of the global communitycorporate communities that I regularly visit, there is a great deal of activity around corporate events, technical and/or company driven messaging, and  assistance re: products and services. That’s all good.

Many community members simply want to be able to speak with someone from a company, or to ask peers questions about product installment, optimization or whatever services are provided. These are your ‘one stop shoppers.’  They visit for a reason, ask a question, get an answer, and they’re out.  But is this community?

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HR & The Enterprise

human resourcesParticipated in an interesting Human Resources tweetchat yesterday; topic was how to make HR more relevant.

There were the usual comments about getting “a seat at the table” and even I reverted to a comment about becoming business partners but I think there’s much more to do.

In my experience, HR is sometimes viewed as a roadblock when, in fact, it is a Managers’ lack of feedback and documentation that leaves ill-suited employees in their positions.

If I was in Human Resources, the first things I’d want to do:

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The Slap – What Would you Do?

slapSome of you may have seen the 6 or 8 episode series by the same name last year.  Essentially, a parent slaps a child, and relationships spiral out of control.  We had our own experience with a slap this week, and are wondering what YOU would do.

We were at a large function, with about 100 people present.  Many adults, and quite a few children under the age of eight years old enjoyed an evening outside.  As we were conversing, we heard the unmistakable sound of a SLAP.

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