Day 2

This has been a week.  This has been a year and it is only March!  Yikes!

Today’s challenges – attempting to convince a corporate IT guy that it is okay to technically break the rules, because my boss said so.  Yea, that went about as far you might think it would or should.  Why do we have all of these processes and procedures if all it takes is a handshake agreement to get a ‘pass’?

I don’t care and none of this would be bothering me if it wasn’t interfering with the rest of my workload!  I am not one of those people sitting on a lackadaisical job here.  The woman who reminds me a minimum of 3 times per week to do a task that I have been doing religiously for almost 5 years – she has a lackadaisical job, but I digress.

These are the things that delay my progress in onboarding a new team member.  I reiterate, my process works as long as you dot all the “i’s” and cross all the “t’s”.  Folks there are no shortcuts.  Every step is there for a reason.  Each task has a prerequisite.  If you skip one or the other, or take a left instead of a right, that will cause a delay in your processing toward productivity.

I digressed again.  I think this is bothering me so much because this delay in processing is really putting a crimp in my week.  If we had followed the process, we would be done.  I would be able to focus on my personal life during my off hours.  But no.  Not this week!  This week, I have to keep noodling on creative ideas to solve this randomly introduced hiccup into the whole process.  What pisses me off!  (Here comes the truest statement I have written in weeks!)  This whole damn thing could have been avoided!  I stated very clearly in August that if we did this option, my process would not only break, but I would not be able to use my secret sauce to get ‘er done.

If I wasn’t already annoyed about the whole chaos step introduced into my world at work, my life gets a nasty wrinkle too.  Guess this is a reminder to care about what is important. We have an appointment to do our taxes tomorrow – that means homework for me tonight.  Then had my nightly family call.  The news is the oncologist will be doing additional research, putting together the history and present it to essentially a board of experts.  We should have treatment recommendations next week at this time.

Yeppers this has been a challenging week.

 

 

Culture shift and it is time to move on down the road…

For a number of years I have had a job where the primary goals were to ensure that my leadership was successful and that our team would deliver on our promises.  Technically, this team should have been eliminated with one of the many reorganizations that we have endured, but we weren’t.  As a matter of fact, our breadth of influence has continued to expand over the years.

I take great pride in the fact we have not only survived, but thrived.  What makes me sad is the lack of understanding about what it has taken to ride these waves of change and continued forward.  It takes a lot of hard work to remain relevant in an ever-changing environment.  Essentially, what we did yesterday is not necessarily what we will be doing tomorrow.  The only way that we have been successful is through honest, open communication and a trusting relationship.

The most recent direct leadership change broke the rules.  The recently promoted Gen X’er is clueless.  There is a lot of power-tripping going on and a complete lack of communication.  The team has never been this disjointed and the morale can’t get much lower.  To be honest, these are the results of poor leadership and devaluation of the individual.  Ironically, this Gen-X leader reads lots of materials on how to manage and tries to implement them.  We have more checklists than anyone has ever seen, but they are just that – checklists.  Checklists without culture are worthless.  I equate them to lousy phone trees you encounter on thoughtless interactive voice response systems.  You do them just to get through to the next prompt, but the experience is anything but delightful.  There are no trusted relationships left of the team.  There are people going through the motions and there is absolutely no room for feedback or negotiation.

Since the latter years of MCI/Worldcomm, my favorite message has been ‘Perception is reality.’  That was their tagline and it really is a good reminder for anyone who ever engages in communication.  The message you are sending may mean one thing, but if the receiver perceives it to mean something different, the reality is the receiver’s perception is the meaning that will be consumed.  Advice to all leaders out there, when someone tells you this is their perception of your message, listen to them.  It is important to hear what is being said.  This is your opportunity to clarify an misperceptions and shouldn’t be used by you to defend what you meant.  If there is a strong disagreement between what you meant and the actual perception, work needs to be done together to bridge that gap.

I realize that this under-qualified leader has been promoted beyond her capabilities and we have spent the last few months trying to improve the situation, but without active listening and participation on this leader’s part, nothing will change.  This leader has broken the trust and is on an all out war against successfully achieving team goals.  My perception, which is my reality, is that we no longer have a solid vision and without vision, we are dead.

In years gone by, I would have dug in and tried to improve the situation, but not anymore.  My reality is my perception and currently I am perceiving a lack of appreciation for what it truly takes to get things done and I don’t feel like explaining it anymore.  What does that mean?  It is time for a new job.  So I am starting a quest to locate an organization that shares my values of professionalism, hard work, open, honest communications, accountability, reliability, fairness, honest days work for an honest day’s pay.   I used to work in that environment, but the recent culture shift has eliminated those shared values.

 

 

 

Partner to realize the vision

This is what I want!  I want the opportunity to partner to realize the vision.

Interviews are a joke.  Everyone shows up with their checklist.  The interviewer knows what they need to do, the interviewee has a set of pat answers designed to help them get the position.

Everyone has a checklist.  Everyone is trying to answer those questions in such a way as they can exemplify they know how to do all of that stuff on the checklist.

The reality is that anyone who gets the interview has already proven they have the basic skills necessary to do the job as defined by the job requisition filed to be able to publish the position.  From there, it is all a matter of mood.  The offer goes to the person who fits the emotional state of the interviewers at that point in time.

I am actively looking.  The culture of my current environment has become untenable and it is time for me to take action.  I deserve better!

 

What does ‘pokey’ mean?

Essentially, I interviewed for the job I have been doing for the last five years to join the company as a full time employee.  What can I say?  I live in the land of reorganization, so there are always job openings and title changes.  It was communicated to me that they won’t be making me an offer.   At some level, I take that as a compliment, but I am still digesting the feedback.

I know the hiring manager and she was courteous enough to schedule a one-on-one debrief to provide me post-interview feedback.  To her credit, she had a checklist.  I was actually thrilled, hoping to get some constructive criticism that will help me rise to that next level.  We had a brief discussion.  For the record, it has absolutely nothing to do with my skills.  My skills and abilities were seen as stellar.

We had a good conversation and she did provide two specific examples of communications that were negatively interpreted during the entire interview process.  I get where she is coming from and it is probably best that I don’t get an offer, because I don’t think I truly could thrive tied to such a sensitive environment.

The whole application/interview process was disrespectful.  Looking back on this now, all of the scheduling/re-scheduling shenanigans that happened to get this thing on the books was a clear indication they truly were not interested in making me a full-time-employee.  If they were truly interested, they would have gone above and beyond to get it right, but they didn’t.  In the end, it feels like we only went through the exercise in futility so someone could keep their word.

Ultimately, I thanked her for the opportunity to interview and I walked away with a couple of things to think about.  The one item that continues to go over and over in my head was a slice of the direct feedback where I was informed that my relaying of the story about how mis-managed this whole process had been ‘felt a little pokey.’   My head almost exploded!  First, I was shocked at this response to my honest feedback about how the ‘we-want-to-hire-you-candidate’ was awful was not appreciated and second, the only pokey I could think of was from my childhood.

ImagesCAMORTKY

 

 

 

Assumptions

Dear team member –

If you are hired as a professional in the high-tech industry working in an office environment, it is fair to assume you know how to do a few basic things:

1. Submit time-sheets/time-cards. – You know how you get paid.

  • This one is so basic. Every time you do a job, you have to tell someone what they are paying you to do. If you are hourly, you have to submit a time-sheet/time-card.
  • When you show up to do your shift, you clock in.  When you leave at the end of your shift, you clock out.
  • At the end of the time period, someone collects the time data and submits for payment.
  • This is pretty basic for anyone who has ever worked anywhere.
  • As someone who wants to be paid, you know how to do this task.

2. Check your email. – You understand communications.

  • Enterprise email systems can be a little bit different than your internet service provider’s email account.
  • Know your persona.
  • Know who you are, where you are, when you are, and what you are trying to do.
  • The answer to everyone of the above questions should become rote memory at the end of the first week.

3. Execute your resume. – Do your job.

  • Everyone boasts about their abilities on their resume.
  • I know I glance at the listings and make general assumptions about basic capabilities.
  • I am allowed to make assumptions about your abilities and capabilities by the fact you have made it this far through the reviewal process.
  • I am allowed to assume you know basics and if you are provided with the information locations, you can apply some of the knowledge you espoused on the resume submitted.

 

Onboarding

I live in a world where terms always have multiple meaning.  I think I am going to start titling my entries with these terms, as they arise.

 

Onboarding, today, means bringing on a new hire and conditioning them to be able to deliver value for their cost.  Cost is not to be defined as the funds given to them.  Cost includes the assistance it takes to complete the cycle.

I have noticed that folks who have historically consulted for a living are quicker at ‘picking up’ what is going on.

They are skilled at not asking a bunch of questions, but figuring out the basics, the enablers quickly and on their own with minimal support.

They push me to define the next layer of detail that will help them get to the next level, quickly.

Thus why I need to define the Design Review Board’s current incarnation:

  • All FTEs shall be members of the Design Review Board.
  • Lead anything is automatically a member.  [duh]
  • Every discipline shall be represented for a recognized review.
  • Current Membership:
  1. (3) FTEs
  2. Lead Visual Designer – acting
  3. Lead Interaction Designer – acting
  4. Lead Researcher – acting
  5. Scribe

 

Gutsy Move!

Gutsy Move!

Disclaimer – currently I work at T-Mobile as a consultant.

But this post is an observation based on the market conditions.

Legere – I will be honest, I was concerned when he was announced as the leader.  I have been here before!    Consolidation in the telecommunications industry has been the one constant in my career.  Heck, even prior to my career!

However, the market seems to approve.