A year of work in progress – day 138

Day 138 – 18 August 2014

I’ve managed to avoid work while I was on holiday. Last week Peter posted a tweet about how some companies allow emails to be deleted while people are away on the basis that if it is important then they will be sent again but I’m not so sure. We don’t throw away any post that comes to us or return any parcels so why do we treat email any differently? What if it was an important order or enquiry? We wouldn’t be so happy then. Perhaps there is a difference between internal and external emails but I used my out of office message which said, if coming internally you should call the service desk or if externally then you should ring Pam. She always knows what to do.

When I got back I had 1041 emails. Quite quiet really but it will take me a little while to get back to normal.

I managed to finish ‘The End of Men’ by Hanna Roisin. I enjoyed the book and it made me think as all good books should. Her argument is that, if I have understood it correctly, the demand for traditional muscle-powered jobs has declined which has left men who had prepared for such work redundant. On the other hand more caring and cognitive jobs are on the rise and it turns out that women are more suited to such roles.

To me what we are seeing is not a collapse in the role that men have played but rather the transformation of work from a competitive arena to one where collaboration will be of much greater importance. Men have been encouraged to win for millennia while women have been encouraged to work together and this is what is making the difference in relative terms. To be successful in the new paradigm women do not have to out-men men but instead have to emphasise the strengths that they already have.

This, in my opinion, is a good thing. Just as we have talked about freedom from command and control we are now seeing freedom from win-lose. The new business model is win win and this holds enormous opportunities for both genders. Collaboration skills are not necessarily innate but are learnt and if men want to succeed in the future then we will need to rethink our approach and liberate ourselves from some of our more masculine traits.

I also finished ‘Wolkenkrabber vol Verschrikkingen’ and am pleased to tell you that Mark Mega and his dog Fantoom saved the day and will live to have many more adventures.

As for today, it was all fairly straight forward with a couple of one-to-ones and nothing too onerous jumping out. It is the holiday season where everything grinds along. The only meeting of real note was the Strategic ICT Group. It was the first opportunity to look at the re-drafted ICT Strategy. I’d included some bits about digital and split it into two (the second half as a guide to services) to make it easier to read. Initial responses were good and we agreed to make some amendments and release it as a new version from April 2015. This means a few more days locked in a darkened room but a good step forward.

Learning points for today: All of us are better than any of us; SIP trunks are nothing to do with swimwear; heart and lung systems is a good analogy and; a holiday is as good as a rest.

Today’s enjoyment rating 9/10 – a good first day back.

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