Just finished listening to ‘The Hunger Games’ by Suzanne Collins (downloaded via www.audio.co.uk). The book it reminded me of was WIlliam Golding’s ‘Lord of the Flies’.
I did not think it was nearly as good a book. But I thought it created some of the same uneasiness/ tension about behaviour of young people in extraordinary situations.
I thought the plot was weak, the characterisation very limited and all in all found the book very disappointing – given the hype. But perhaps that is the issue – the hype has taken over. I look forward to watching the movie – but am not very optimistic.
Have been thinking recently about how we structure a one hour football coaching session as against we run many of our business meetings.
The coaching session – potentially 3 or 4 coaches working with 40 players. In advance we agree session objectives and roles to be undertaken by each coach in the session. Perhaps open with 15 mins of warm up and stretching, move to three or four bases – rotate the players through the bases and close out with two mini games – probably with rules/ scoring systems altered to emphasise a particular skill.
We seek to ensure that players enjoy the sessions, that skills are developed and/or tested, that we simulate match situations. We promote fairness, safety, creativity.
For a meeting may have 4-8 participants, a pre circulated agenda and pre circulated minutes of previous meeting. Probably also allocate one hour for the meeting. We spend 15 mins working though previous minutes and action lists, leaving 45 minutes to address the items listed on the agenda. In theory the meeting should be a lot easier – smaller numbers, advance communication of what will be happening. But, in my experience the meetings are no where nearly as successful as the one hour coaching sessions. Why?
Unfortunately many meetings are not focused – what is the objective (or are the objectives) of the meeting? Why are we meeting? Do we accomplish our objectives?
The football session will start on time and finish on time. Players will be active and play many roles. Players will be tested. Players will learn. Many meeting start late, run late, are dominated by longwinded contributions from those who ignore (possibly do not understand) the purpose of the meeting. and there is no coach to ‘spot and fix’.
I think members of committees who meet on a regular basis have a lot to learn from well structured football (or other sport) coaching. Meetings need to be born again in many orgnisations.
Thanks to David for referencing this oped in the NYT.
What chance do we have of our kids reading books when they are online all the time?
Interesting idea to reduce work related email during employee free time.
Recently read ‘Moonwalking wih Einstein’ – good piece on training and testing memory. Attending Semtech UK in London this week. Excellent presentations by Madi Weland Solomon of Pearson and Jem Paul Reyfield of BBC. With proper use of these semantic solutions do we really need to remember anything?
Reading this piece in the NY Times would not encourage you. Is this more of the same? Have students so many distractions, such high expectations, that traditional study no longer gets traction as an idea? And have the Universities, in recognition of this, dumbed things down? Or is this simply some distorted thinking of people who are getting ‘long in the tooth’?
We read a great deal now about the importance of collaboration – and that education needs to incorporate plenty of this. The authors have some interesting comments in this respect – collaboration seems to afford students the opportunity to skip what they don’t like or what they find difficult. Perhaps in this we are missing a trick?
It has struck me that in most cases of corporates ‘moving to the cloud’ they are left with a certain amount of on-campus technology – and for many good reasons, including file&print, legacy apps not moving to the cloud, specific security concerns. But do the same corporates target the required savings – in terms of reducing the space allocated, the requirement for air-conditioning, decommissioning older servers? William Clifford address this very point in his article in Forbes. Savings do not just happen – they need to be targeted and managed.
Interesting piece this morning by Lucy Kellaway: Replying to customers on Twitter is listening gone mad.
Ms. Kellaway references Starbucks’ efforts to respond to twitter criticism. She includes reference to her own tweet going unanswered (for at least 20+ hours).
I presume those attempting to monitor and respond to social networking comment re their business will be inclined to apply some form of the 80/20 rule – e.g. deal with a criticism that appears particularly damaging, deal with a criticism from a perceived influencer. Not really any different to dealing with other forms of criticism. It seems to be perfectly logical that criticism from a person with a large following may have to be dealt with first.
To the broader question – are corporates wasting management and/or other time in monitoring and attempting to deal with social networking type criticism I think not. And I think they have little choice but to monitor, assess, rate, learn, address.
Seems incoming President Obama is considering appointment of a CTO for the US. Not that surprising when you remember how effectively the Obama campaign used technology in the case to the White House. But perhaps we could benefit from following this idea in Ireland – as we look to up our ranking in the R&D world. Undoubtedly we have made real progress in areas such as ROS. However there continune to be opportunities to streamline how the citizen and businesses interact with government.
Could not agree more with this comment why all this talk about cloud services . I think this was all well underway when we experienced the 'dotbomb' failure in 2000/2001. Current economic issues have nothing to do with IT. This time the tools are better, adoption is greater, the MS/google/ amazon race is driving the suppliers, bandwidth is cheaper. The latest releases from MS e.g. www.azure.com are pushing things forward.