Monday, February 19, 2018

Remote Workers

I have taken a more active interest in the subject of Remote Work lately.  After being a remote worker for over 12 years now, I have seen many of the advantages of this arrangement, both for the worker and for the organization employing the worker.  I have also overcome some of the disadvantages that are being tossed about lately.  There is one in particular that I have and interest in addressing with organizations that use this excuse.

I have been told that it is more difficult to manage a remote worker than it is to manage someone in "the office".  I think this is a weak excuse given that most organizations are already managing remote workers, even though they do not realize it.

If you are a manager and have employees scattered about several different places in your building, or in other buildings, you are already managing remote workers! If you have ever emailed, texted, IM'd or, heaven forbid, called one of your staff, you are already managing remote workers!

I can go on about this one "objection" to remote work but it would take too long and not add anything to my point.  That said, it is time organizations got over the objections and started to use remote workers where it makes sense.  Go out and get the best talent you can find, regardless of where they are at the moment.  If they are comfortable with the arrangement, have them work remote and see how they like it.  I can guarantee that you will get more than your money's worth out of them and they will be more loyal to you and your organization.

Let me know if you need help with this one...........

Monday, January 16, 2017

Hitting on all cylinders

One a recent flight with a friend of mine we were having a great trip around the Lehigh Valley only to develop engine issues about an hour into the experience.  Nothing that we did had any impact on our rough running engine.  Fuel-Good, Mixture- Set correctly, Ignition-both sides produced the same result (rough!).  First thing, admit there is an issue, contact air traffic control and let them know what was up, gain altitude (in case we needed it later), follow ATC instructions on our way back to the home airport, and reduce our fuel consumption (not an issue given we had 5 hours on board).  So what does all this mean?

Running a global IT team requires hitting on all cylinders most of the time.  All personnel need to know what their objectives are, the proper amount of fuel being provided, and ignition working properly. If all these conditions are correctly applied then you can accomplish everything needed with great efficiency.   If one thing is not working correctly, then you get the rough running engine and attention is required.  Having just completed a major integration effort I can say that for the most part we have been hitting on all cylinders.  Now that the majority of the work is completed it certainly seems that some things could be running more smoothly.  More on the outcome of all of this later.

In the case of the flight, all turned out ok and we had a nice visit with the local fire/AMS and police forces.  I will say that the landing at the end of a few minutes of doubt turned out to be one of the best in a while.  Go figure!

All things in life are related to aviation in some way!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Missing in Action

Wow, it has been a while.  I noticed that nearly five years have gone by without a post to the blog.  Not to make excuses but there has been a lot going on in that time.  I have been engaged back in the aviation community as a consultant working in a couple of technical areas and have endured numerous personal challenges as well.

All that said, there has been some exciting challenges and new opportunities during this time that have served as great learning exercises as well as productive service times for customers.  The amount of times I have seen business reinventing the wheel by repeating mistakes made by others is amazing.  Why businesses and managers keep repeating the bad part of history is beyond comprehension.

It has been my pleasure working with some very bright people who "get it" when they hire people with experience they do not have in their portfolio and then use that experience to their advantage.  One such example is a proactive manager who hired me to broker the sale of his business. While I had not completed a sale before, I have studied business and the valuation and sale of them for over 30 years.  Now having completed a sale I can say that I have a great deal of respect for the work that business brokers do.  It was a learning experience and a lot of fun.  I hope to find another owner to serve in the near future but my eyes are now wide open to the level of detail and time required to achieve a win-win situation for the seller and buyer.

More experiences to follow as I am exploring work in cyber security research and general management engagements.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Application Psychoanalysis

I have recently become very interested in what a person's app selection says about them personally. In the spirit of full disclosure I will now outline what I think my app selection for my iPhone says about me:


Conclusion- Caffeine fueled, fast food junkie, or just merely a parent who travels and needs to know where to go to satisfy the "little one"


FaceTime (included on the phone and turns out to be a great tool)
My Cast Weather
Facebook (not by my choice but..... I had to)
UberSocial (twitter app)
DC Metro
iHandy Level (you figure that one out)
GIST- bandwidth tool
AOPA Airports (airport directory)

Conclusion- Flying Geek who travels a lot

Mixed bag

Bank account access
Verizon Account Access
University applications

Conclusion- Parent that travels a lot

Monday, October 3, 2011


I have celebrated many anniversaries in the past but clearly I will not be celebrating this one.

I have worked with a small business for just over 10 years, mostly for free, with the expectation that I would have access to its resources for which I am licensed to have. I have done this at no expense to the organization and in fact have taken a loss nearly every year for my efforts.

I was happy to do this with the understanding that I could bring in new business and help them solve issues when they arose. Very recently I was removed from the roles as a leader in the organization having pre-dated the current ownership and most of the current staff.

So why be upset by this? Quite simply, they removed me without telling me why. Realizing that I am not as accessible as I used to be given that I work full time outside of what any normal human being would consider a reasonable distance from home. That said, I am not out of touch or unreachable by any measure and would still try my best to be helpful. Instead, the situation turned contentious unnecessarily.

Maybe the best advice is to "get over it" but this one really hurts. Maybe it is "not personal, just business" but I do not subscribe to that theory at all. Never have.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Elections and Voting

Two years ago this week I was at our polling place by 5:30AM. Not this year. There seems to be no rush this time around. The outcome of this election has been forecast and talked about so much it seems to be a forgone conclusion. But I will still be going.

Two years ago I was the first car in the parking lot at the polling place. Not this year. Two years ago as I sat in my car to stay warm I wound up second in line outside the door to the polling place. The man in front of me seemed nice enough, holding a text book and reading while we waited. I started a conversation with him and found out that he was unemployed and going back to school to learn to be a carpenter. He was going to one of those for-profit schools that the current President seems to have some trouble with. The man was twice as likely to be unemployed as I was at the time and his number had come up at the worst possible time, and yet he was not yielding to the conditions. He was fighting back in the best way he knew how, by educating himself. He was twice as likely to be unemployed only because of his race, he is black.

Two years ago I was enjoying voting in a historic election, having yielded my coveted “first in line” position to a black man trying to make ends meet without a job. I believe he walked to the polling place as I did not see any car in the parking lot other than mine.

Two years later the tables have turned and I find myself voting in an election where everyone is blaming the incumbent party for our economic conditions, caused by eight years of abuse by the other guys. Are we all that ignorant? Misinformed? Lazy? I hope my new friend in line two years ago has found a job by now and that he is happy. Two years ago I was half as likely to be unemployed as he was then, but my number came up too, two years later.

In spite of my “spin of the wheel” I am convinced we did the right thing two years ago, and that we should be giving a bit more leeway to those we elected back then. Our economic life was hanging over the cliff then, but now that we have been pulled back from the edge we want to blame those with their hands on the rope for the scare that was induced. This is wrong and we should say so with our votes.

Friday, October 15, 2010


I ran across a question raised on the CIO forum last night that I found to be very interesting for a few reasons. First off it seemed to be a genuine question about how to explain the difference between a CTO and a CIO in an enterprise. Second, there seem to be respondents saying that the person asking the question should know the difference without asking the group at-large. Third, when I thought about my answer it took me a few minutes but I came up with a response that made sense to me. The big question is am I right?

I intended to respond like this "a CTO is a tool maker, a CIO is a tool user." Seems simple enough to me. An enterprise CTO can be working on creating tools in the abstract, such as an architecture decision to support their internal operation, or in the absolute such as creating software to support a product the enterprise would sell. Take the android operating system as a good example. Google created the android software as a project to create a tool that could be used by suppliers of mobile devices. Their own mobile device has not done well in the marketplace but Motorola and HTC have created a product around the andriod software. The CIO of the enterprise would not necessarily create andriod but could put the tool to good use for an enterprise application or business process that creates value. Software reporting tools, data mining tools, business intelligence tool all fall in the category of things the CIO would use to help their enterprise create value.

There are some organizations that look to the CIO as a tool maker as well as a user. That is all fine and good but it takes a really deep technical person to pull that one off. There are some around but not many. There are CTOs out there that are great tool makers but can not apply them for business purposes as well as a true CIO might.

Seems a simple enough question but there sure was some confusion out there among senior executive types as to how to answer it. Or am I over simplifying it?