Category Archives: Work

Inappropriate questions at work?

Every year we have an employee survey which just about everyone is encouraged to complete. It measures the working environment, your line management, business management and the entire organisation. It give the management a feel for what the employees are feeling about the company. I’m just filling in this years and I was surprised by

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An example of backwards organisations

I continually battle at work with how backwards the organisation is, and how much of my role is about trying to get the company to look forward in learning and learning systems. This is made even harder by the fact that I am in a team that is focussed on support and delivery rather than on the strategy of learning, the reason for that is another and incredibly stupid story about how short sighted and politically filled organisations can be.

So you can already tell I am incredibly frustrated and under valued at my work, indeed my present work has me writing Kix scripts to merge two directories together, and after fifteen years of career development. Frustrating is hardly the word.

Yesterday I hit the perfect example of how the traditional organisation is failing to keep up with the world around it, and it’s something I see on a daily basis. Here’s how it all started…

Social Bookmarking versus Search Engines

It’s interesting that I’ve been thinking of this topic for some time and realised that it will never properly work in the wide open World of the Internet, for there is no social self-control for people, they can shout, abuse others, scream like a child, and do all the socially taboo things that just aren’t done in public. There is no control over these people in the Internet apart from enforced third part censorship. Therefore social bookmarking, as I’ve written about before, becomes a select group’s sanctioned favourites, allowing the rest of the Internet to vote on them.

However in an organisation where social self-control is present throughout every action, even with employees hidden behind the keyboard and screen of a computer. At all times the corporate responsibility is close to the forefront of the employees mind, and therefore no matter what the media or content, they remain socially acceptable and self-controlled.

This means that the Organisation is ideal for such collaborative concepts as wikis, blogs, discussion groups, instant messaging and social bookmarking.

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Your company could cure AIDS…

…but it probably won’t because of outdated and ageing IT Management. However, if they thought about what they could do for a moment and decided to do some good in the world, they could have every spare computer running a distributed application which, when your computer is idle, begins calculating algorithms to show if a prospective drug design could combat the AIDS virus. Once it’s completed some calculations it sends the answers back, downloads some new data, and starts off again.

It’s not just analysing drugs to combat AIDS either, they could be calculating how the proteins in the human genes operate allowing scientists to create cures for diseases much easier; calculating cures for Alzheimers, Cancer, Huntington’s, Osteogenesis Imperfecta, Parkinson’s, Anthrax, Smallpox, Ebola, SARS, Malaria; searching for extra terrestrial signals; mass, long term, climate prediction; model evolution to understand the genetic causes of extinction on endangered species; search for Einstein’s predicted gravitational waves as part of his General Theory of Relativity, or even just help out lower budget movies who need computer graphics rendered. To be honest, the list is amazingly vast.

So how could companies help?

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Opening night

I thought that the party on Wednesday night was impressive. Having Mark Webber race the BMW-Williams Formula 1 car around the building was amazing to say the least. Then there was the Queen and the Duke, music, entertainers, loads of food and plenty drink, it was a spectacular night. Just all over too quickly.

Well it wasn’t the only opening night, there was another on the Friday, to which a selected number of employees from around the world were invited. Luckily my girlfriend was one, and her invite allowed a partner. Wednesday’s night was a mere starter…

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Waiting for the Queen

Working where I do is indeed a privileged thing. It’s probably no surprise to people who read this site where I work, but I still shall not mention it. Suffice to say it’s one of the top five in the world when compared to its competitors, and having just built a hugely impressive new American campus style headquarters, its now really looking like it too.

So today we’re having the first of two opening nights where employees are invited. Tonight is the all inclusive evening, and Friday the more exclusive one. Luckily I’ve been invited to both. Now, as I sit at my desk looking out at the front entrance I’m waiting for the Queen to arrive.

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Working from home

Now I would say that the company I work for is really good to its employees, really it is. It’s also in the top five of its class in the World, so it’s big and these two points are usually in contention, yet the company really do try and focus on the employee despite their size.

For instance I’m allowed flexi-time to work around seeing movies (although there aren’t that many premieres or screenings in Edinburgh, plus I’m allowed to work from home from time to time. However, there’s a big problem with working from home.

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The week at work – ups and downs of e-learning projects

It’s been a fruitful week at work. Finally the e-learning Supplier Panel has been chosen and announced, and it took more red tape than you’d see in Santa’s buracracy department at Xmas time. I’ve never been involved in a process that has had so much political, red tape or ego hurdles to cross than this. It has taken us about four or five months to get to this point and has cost the company a fair amount time and money, when without all these obstacles we could have done the job in one month and had an active panel when we needed it.

Still, at least it gives us a chance to change the process and ensure that next time it’s quicker. No, afraid not. The same red tape, political reasoning and ego’s are involved and apparently there is no reason to change it. Wait and see next time is the response.

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That’s just the way it is

That’s just the way it is
Work colleague

That’s what one of my work colleagues said to me on my first day back since having two weeks off. Now people might hear that all the time, but in an organisation that prides itself on empowering its employees and in a team where we are used to defining Best Practice, Process and Standards, i.e. changing things when they aren’t working, it’s incredibly sad and demoralising to hear.

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