In the process of taming chaos they create chaos, the chaos obfuscates other areas or creators of chaos which leads to more chaos, thus I believe businesses are “perpetual chaos engines”. Yup, thats what I will call them.
First its important to make a disclaimer that I am not specifically referring to anything that is or has occured at my current place of employment of course. I have spent 15 years in IT and in that time I have seen a lot go on in the corporate world particularly as it relates to those around me. I haven’t spent much time in or around the upper echelon types and for that I am actually very thankful. Those people kinda scare me as I know I simply can’t relate to the type of person they are and what drives them. Nope, I prefer to spend my time in the trenches and behind the scenes. I like working with the technology, particularly the machines. Things are either working or broke. No politics, favoritism, emotions and all the other crap that comes along from others self interest.
I have what is apparently a very naive and wonderland like view of what work is suppose to be. I believe that people should be the best they can be at the job they choose to do. I believe that if you are great at what you do others will recognize this talent and reward it (not just financially).
There are LOTS of flaws with this basic logic however.
- “job they choose” – not everyone is in the job they choose to do. No one stuck a gun to their head but people get forced into jobs they don’t particularly choose and want to do. Many reasons why this may be, such as being fired and having to take something to make ends meet or management moved someone and well the employee hoped it would only be temporary.
- “others will recognize” – others should recognize but either don’t for a number of reasons or does but because of politics, favoritism or simply chooses to ignore.
- “reward” – most will instinctively think money when you see reward, and some would argue that yearly raises are rewards. In actuality rewards mean many different things to different people. It’s important to know and recognize how to reward someone if you really feel they deserve it. Personally I think a good manager is one that can recognize what drives a person and what their idea of a reward is. They can usually get the most out of an employee by satisfying them through some of the non traditional rewards. For instance, some may value learning and training or might just like to be taken out to lunch after a job well done.
It’s nuts all the things I am thinking about just in what I have typed so far. I wish someone could tap into my head and sort all of this stuff out and put it in words for others. I think way more about even some of the most subtle things then most people do and I really believe others might find some of it interesting. Don’t get me wrong, nothing I say is new or ground breaking, simply just things I think of from conversations with others.
Some of the things racing around right now:
Managers/VP’s/CXX’s – What happend to earning respect? Its not bestowed just because of a title right?
IT People / Geeks – There are people in IT and there are those that ARE IT (Geeks). Understand the differences and reward / promote correctly.
Movers and Shakers – Ughh these people irk the heck out of me! These are the people who obviously only care about themselves. Wake up and see this corporate america! If someone is jumping to a new position every chance they get within a company something is wrong. This person doesn’t care about the company or the job they are doing or the people working with or beneath them. How can they if they can’t stay in one place long enough? They are only after power and money.
Things aren’t always as they appear on the surface. This is something that has always puzzled me when it comes to management and executives. Many create an environment where they (the manager) is very out of touch with those working for them and sometimes its the employees that exclude the manager. Regardless there are so many things that don’t come to the surface that an out of touch manager will not see or hear about for various reasons and thus some bad employees can “float” around for a while. Sadly many employees will unwillingly protect the bad employees without even knowing it. In one breath they will talk among themselves with nothing good to say about someone, however in an effort to prevent things from affecting them or the department the good employees will often over compensate and pick up the bad employees slack.
Ah well, just some random thoughts.
So Cisco announced their new “EnergyWise” solution this week that really seems to have a lot of promise. Â It makes a lot of sense if you ask me. Â With all the Cisco switches out there and with all the PoE (power of ethernet) devices like Cisco VoIP phones and access points all which get their power from the switches I think this is a perfect fit for Cisco. Â Cisco has been making a big push into the building security side of things as well these days all of which adds up to great potential for the EnergyWise product.
One of the demos Cisco has for EnergyWise is the idea that when an employee comes to work and scans their badge when entering the building (building security) the system is then able to power up the employees IP phone and maybe turn on the power to their computer and office lights. Â The IP phone and computer are easy to accomplish, not far fetched at all. Â The powering on and off the office lights I am not so sure about. Â Assuming they partnered with the right people for building controls, and assuming offices were doing office level zones then yeah its possible but not likely.Â
My own experience (very minor at that) with the building controls for lighting and what not has shown me over the years that most create zones that are much bigger than single offices. Â This is probably due to the cost of the equipment to manage a large number of zones. Â However there is still a lot of potential with EnergyWise as a whole.
There is an example on the EnergyWise blog which I find fascinating:
“Â if a single enterprise with 5000 employees were to just switch off its IP phones and wireless access points when not needed, it would save 185 tons of greenhouse gas a yearâ€”the equivalent of the emissions from 67 homes.”
This side of EnergyWise alone has a lot of potential and I think will be adopted by many. Â It would be great to power down all the IP phones every night. Â Even if you dont do it for ‘Green’ reasons but just to extend the life of the phones. Â I am curious about how it handles those one off situations where someone may come into the office late to work or something. Â Have to look into that.
With their partnership with Verdiem and others I think they are taking the right approach with all of this. Â Glad to see that this isn’t a Cisco only solution where it is either all them or nothing. Â I look forward to seeing how this will all play out and can’t wait to get my hands on some of this.
Ok so I think I have a million dollar idea that someone with the know how, connections or resources should consider.
Lets start with some basics. Â I think everyone can agree that in the future there will be a proliferation of high speed internet / bandwidth. Â We may all disagree on what technology will accomplish this but its inevitable that we will continue to see higher and higher speeds and bandwidth.
I think we can also agree that we are at the dawn of new age when it comes to media. Â For years we have fostered this need for instant gratification. Â From the first fast food joints, cell phones, internet, wireless and even todays DVR. Â All of these things foster the desire to have what you want, when you want it and where ever you are.
So, I propose the following device for the future.
We need a “box”, think Xbox or your cable box to start with? Â However thisÂ box is going to be based on some industry standard. Â Something like SIP if you will. Â And rather then this box being proprietary or only works with a specific vendor it will have a place for you to fill out your providers info, kind of like todays email client where you input in the SMTP/POP address, username and password and presto your connected to your email.Â Instead with this you will be putting in your content providers info.
Your content provider in this case is not just your regular IPTV provider or cable company. Â It really and truly is your CONTENT. Â All your digital media. Â Photos, videos, music and even your local TV channels. Â I say local TV channels based on the idea that eventually every TV channel will be available online in some way.
Ok, now for where this idea gets really fun and cool I think. Â Imagine you go to a hotel, get up to your room, and one of these universal generic media devices are there. Â You are to able to simply input your info into the device and prestoâ€¦ you have all your content and LOCAL channels and so on available to you. Â Â
Of course I have to take this one step further and you now have to imagine that these devices will be equipped with some sort of RFID or Bluetooth type of device, as well as your mobile phone device will have RFID or Bluetooth embedded as well.
So now all of your service provider info can be stored on your mobile device so that when you get to your hotel room you initiate a â€œsync or pairingâ€ with this media device so that all the user has to do is input a PIN and voila the media device is now configured and it can begin populating all your content. Â This takes out the step of having the user go through a complicated configuration each time.
Your welcome for this great idea. Â Please ensure to cut me in on the profits. Â I will be happy to accept any percentage or stake in the business.
**********More Thoughts About This************
We are seeing more and more talk of the “cloud”, and we already have a mix of content providers or hosts if you will. For instance, Â some are already acting as IPTV service providers where you sign up for a membership and you can stream your TV just about anywhere. Â And we have had hosting providers since the internet was born pretty much who host any content you want.
This idea is a marriage of all these things basically. Â Which in many ways resembles “the cloud” when it comes to the service provider aspect.
The key to this would have to be some sort of industry standard around these boxes and configuring them and how the content is delievered. Â To be practical you have to make it as easy to configure as possible, you have to ensure that a box is a box and will work with any of these service/content providers without discrimination.
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Security. Â You have to ensure a secure method for wiping content. Â As well as maybe a way for one to decide what content can be stored / cached locally and what can only be streamed. Â If the process for propagating the content was quick enough then maybe you can build in security based on the proximity of the device that configured it? Â For instance, in my example using someones phone and RFID to configure the device then maybe the same can hold true for wiping the device. Â If the phone in this case leaves the proximity of the box then it automatically wipes after a certain period of time or something? Â As well as a way to manually wipe of course.
Also imagine that this media device / box is the center piece of the AV equipment. Â So TV connects to the box, as well as maybe digital photo frames and a phone. Â You walk in, device is configured and is able to push your video content to TV, photos to digital frames and your phone is configured for you (again think VoIP and SIP).
Its obvious to me there is a reason I am still a simple worker bee when it comes to the business world. Â I simply can’t comprehend some of the decisions that are made by many businesses and their leaders.
For instance, how does a company in these economic times do layoffs one week and the next take all the employees to Disney Land for a holiday retreat? Â Mahalo is only one example, I see this sort of thing happen all over though. Â Some take it even further than that and some less. Â But regardless how do you operate a business and in one breath talk about how you need to implement cost cutting initiatives and in the next waste money on such trivial things?
Also baffled why it takes an ‘economic’ crisis before they decide Â to cut back on expenses and try to be more efficient. Â Shouldn’t you operate a business where you always try to be as efficient as possible?
For instance most businesses tend to reward managers not for cost cutting and efficiency but quite the opposite in fact. Â Many managers are rewarded based on how many employees they manage. Â So of course most managers want more employees since they are rewarded based on headcount so there is no need to be efficient or have efficient employees.Â
Then of course you have the way companies use ‘budgets’ to manage money. Â What a joke that is. Â Again managers are typically judged by the size of their budget. Â The bigger the budget the bigger the manager. Â So of course managers want budgets to be as big as possible so they have no reason to be efficient in how they spend money. Â In fact many want to go over budget because that must mean they need a bigger budget. Â If a manager is prudient and runs an efficient department and is able to save money and come in under budget then they run the risk of having their budget cut next year.Â
It seems to me you would want to reward the ones who run a tight ship if you will and not the opposite way around? Â But as I said I guess thats why I am but lowly little worker bee and not one to buy into this madness.