Friday, October 31, 2008

An agent of change?

Had a fun day today in a future-thinking, strategic planning exercise held in a beautiful space with clerestory windows and internal glass half-walls that flooded a totally internal 2nd story conference room with glorious sunlight!

The day was an open, flexible, unstructured approach with points of thoughtful discussion, reinforcement and confirmation of previous planning, and threads & new strands worth following and exploring...

Some concepts that resonated with me and were a nice addition to my consciousness were:

1) When building for the future there are 2 different ( and sometimes opposing!) spaces you need to stay/play in...
  • the current operational space (the day-to-day bricks and mortar place of keeping the daily operations functional and running)
  • the visionary space of where you want to get to... (what should it look like in 5 years)

2) You will never achieve the changes to move the vision into the operational reality if you don't dream the vision FIRST..

3) You already HAVE the resources today to bring that vision to life... there is no magical pot of money, no staffing saviour.... it is a matter of having a vision with enough attractiveness the there is the broad buy-in to see it come to fruition... the emerging group-mindset to follow down the road toward achieving a vision everyone has personalized and bought into...

The current resources you have on-hand (with all the current limitations) can be;
  • changed
  • adapted
  • re-purposed
... into the strategies needed to move toward the vision of what should be within the next 3 -5 years.

4) The strategic plan is just the first step... the beginning point. Next come the practical steps to implement, the intuitive leaps of faith to keep the process moving forward, and the willingness to learn the lessons along the way that dictate flexible changes in the vision goals, given changes in reality and advances in technology.


Words and concepts gleamed from today's think-tank session to add to my mind space?
  • CROWD-SOURCING - as in... a real strength of web 2.0 is the ability to use "crowd-sourcing"... the power of tapping into the collective knowledge base of the crowd as a broad demographic source of expertise and information in a J-I-T delivery system!
  • LOCKSS - an nifty acronym for "lots of copies keep stuff safe" .. a nice archiving approach! (also the brilliant branding of an international community initiative based at based at Stanford University Libraries that plays in this space)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Magical Life...

What does it mean when you realize you've reached a stage in life where you simply expect connectivity to be there - just like the air you breath? ... and that one common OpenID will seamlessly hand you off from one wi-fi zone to the next, without a hiccup in the open SaaS apps you are working in and editing? Or that you just expect to close the laptop, get off the train and into the station, and open the laptop to find the wi-fi re-established and the online apps waiting and ready? And that because the apps are online and the data warehouse is online, it does not matter that you are working on a laptop that was just delivered 12 hours earlier and has not yet been loaded with all the usual productivity software? (...but you took it as your road warrior as it was to damn sexy to leave at home?!)

To me it means that life has finally caught up to expectations. Raised in a Star Trek vision of technology that just works, and an Arthur C Clarke belief that it is akin to magic (...and we ALL believe in magic!) I am highly appreciative of days when those pesky techno-gremlins go and infest some other poor sod's techno world, leaving mine happy and shiny and perfect. Today was such a day... everything just worked.

From the time I rolled out of bed at 4:45 AM, did email, packed up, caught the train, spent the day in great discussions with knowledgable folk, and caught the train home again for a final email check at 11:45 PM... it all just worked. From the home wi-fi (which better work as I'm the tech support!) to the station zone, the onboard-enroute wi-fi, at the meeting, a skype call to catch up on missed activities, and then the trek back home again... it all just worked.
And I simply expected it to...

Google Apps, Skype, DimDim, Twitter, Blogger... all the web 2.0 tools lined up, handed off materials, and kept me productive and engaged. ...and I like it!

So... am I addicted? Am I too plugged in? ... OR am I highly effective?
Differing opinions, depending on your viewpoint, I'm sure.

But today I smiled and my world was a happy, shiny connected place to be.