Author Archive

Delegation vs Abdication

As we added team members, many other business leaders and friends counseled me that I needed to make sure that I didn’t hamstring them. I was counseled to be sure that I actually delegated well and empowered my team members to run with things and, also, fail. Because I don’t tend to do things halfway, I set out to make sure I properly and fully delegated. While failing to delegate is damaging to a team, I found something that is similarly, if not more, damaging…abdication.

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Organizing Email and Taming the Volume

In the last post, I talked about how to better manage the flow of e-mails through your Inbox and how to control the time suck of handling e-mail. Out of that, several people asked for some tips on handling e-mail and reducing the total volume of e-mail in their inbox. This blog post is focused on strategies and approaches I’ve found effective.

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Email and Time Management

E-mail is a wonderfully wicked mistress of sorts. The efficiency with which you can communicate certain concepts, without the invasiveness of things like phone calls and instant messages, is amazing. However, e-mail has also become a bit of a behemoth to manage with the overall volume of legitimate e-mail along with spam, being cc’d on threads that have no relation to you and much more. The principles of time management apply to all areas of our life but, for many, e-mail is a great place to apply these as we usually handle a higher volume of information in our e-mail than anywhere else. If we can figure out how to be organized and effectively manage our time with e-mail, I have found that the principles apply in other areas as well.

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Engineering Vacuums

When I first started my career, I ran into a problem as the organizations I worked for were content to keep me in a specific position indefinitely. I sought out my managers to find out how I could build a career path but was met with blank stares. I wasn’t content with this setup so I began looking around for what I call vacuums, places where there was a need and an absence of appropriate skills to fill that need.

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Cost vs Reward Valuation

When we engage with new clients, one of the top issues is that their technology spending is not aligned with their business needs. While it is also common to see technology that isn’t working right, we find that this is usually an indicator that an organization’s technology spending is not tied to business needs. This misalignment results in money being wasted because it is spent in the wrong places or spending is held back until there’s an emergency, at which time, the solution is usually a patch and more expensive. When we work with clients, we seek to start with a solid understanding of business objectives and drivers. From those drivers, we factor cost vs reward to figure out if various solutions are justified or will be a waste of money. The beauty of this is that we avoid wasting money and, if we determine to move forward with a solution, we have a clear understanding of exactly why we are doing it and what we are getting out of the solution.

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Data and the Expectation of Privacy

As the capacity of technology is rapidly advancing, it is easy to get caught up in the allure of the possible. Technology, and especially the emergence of cloud computing, opens many new worlds of possibility and opportunity. With all of this capacity, it is imperative that we ask the question, “just because we can, does that mean we should?”

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Finding Our Why

As we grew as an organization, one thing that I realized was that, while I had a good idea, in my head, of why JNR Networks existed, I wasn’t doing a very good job of casting that vision to my team and our clients. As we set out on a journey to define the traditional business “Mission, Vision and Values”, we struggled. Some of this struggle was because we didn’t have the kind of clarity that we needed but some of the struggle was that we just couldn’t find a way to fit our ideas into that structure. At least not in a way that felt right, had the punch we wanted it to have and embodied what we wanted to say.

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Failure, Growth and Threshold Training

Five weeks ago, I sent out my first blog of the year with a statement that I was planning to hold a rhythm of adding a blog article every one to two weeks. This is the second blog of the year. I almost ran out of fingers on one hand by the time I figured out that I completely and utterly failed to meet this goal! So, why set goals at all? How do we handle failure? How do we avoid failure…or is that even the right question?

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Growth

Growth is a really interesting concept. On one hand, you could call this one of the most obvious values to have. On the other hand, it is a value that many organizations easily overlook but spend a lot of time figuring out how to achieve.

For us, growth is not a goal in and of itself as much as it is an outcome. We believe that when we are doing the right things for the right people and for the right reasons our actions will help them grow which will cause us to grow as well. To this end, growth is an outcome but a very necessary outcome.

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Impact

When we sat down to write out our core values, we had a long list. As we worked to whittle it down, we found that a number of values were distillates of other values. As an example, we see honesty as a distillate of integrity. Because of this, we wanted to narrow our values down to those things that were root values and were causative of the other values we have. That is where we came up with Impact.

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