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The sunrise as seen…

The sunrise as seen through the glass of my cubicle this morning.

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Jeffrey Zeldman: Work is work, and we m…

Jeffrey Zeldman:

Work is work, and we must do what we must do. But when quality matters most, the old saw about “good or fast—choose one,” holds true. Pushing through to the finish line when you have nothing left inside you is great for marathon runners, but not so hot for creative professionals. In particular, if you’re trying to write clearly and well, it’s better to let a deadline slide by a day than to “just finish up.”

There are points of diminishing returns when dealing with creative work. The point is well taken.

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Gary Hamel on managing what he terms the…

Gary Hamel on managing what he terms the “Facebook generation” (I’m abridging the list to remove his explanations, so you would do well to read the whole article):

I compiled a list of 12 work-relevant characteristics of online life. These are the post-bureaucratic realities that tomorrow’s employees will use as yardsticks in determining whether your company is “with it” or “past it.”

[…]

  1. All ideas compete on an equal footing.
  2. Contribution counts for more than credentials.
  3. Hierarchies are natural, not prescribed.
  4. Leaders serve rather than preside.
  5. Tasks are chosen, not assigned.
  6. Groups are self-defining and -organizing.
  7. Resources get attracted, not allocated.
  8. Power comes from sharing information, not hoarding it.
  9. Opinions compound and decisions are peer-reviewed.
  10. Users can veto most policy decisions.
  11. Intrinsic rewards matter most.
  12. Hackers are heroes.

[…]

These features of Web-based life are written into the social DNA of Generation F—and mostly missing from the managerial DNA of the average Fortune 500 company. Yeah, there are a lot of kids looking for jobs right now, but few of them will ever feel at home in cubicleland.

The generation gap between the Boomers and Generation Y/Me/F/whatever-you-want-to-call-them is going to be a big battleground in the business world over the next few years, if it hasn’t already begun. These are two groups with vastly different expectations of what it means to be part of something.

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The first of two articles I’m about to …

The first of two articles I’m about to link to from Gary Hamel’s Management 2.0 blog on WSJ—this one on management and workers’ potential:

Last year, a global survey of 90,000 employees by Towers Perrin revealed that only 21% of employees are highly engaged in their work. The other 79% may be physically on the job, but they’ve left their enthusiasm and ingenuity at home. This is a scandalous waste of human capability. It’s also a virtually bottomless reservoir of creative potential that has yet to be tapped.

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There’s a Rumor That I Might Know About 80% of What I’m Doing

I don’t normally hawk stuff on my site, but I’ve noticed that there’s a handful of people reading these days and I’d like to make sure I extend the offer for those of you who are paying attention.

I have a desire to pick up some extra work on the evenings and weekends, and this extra work comes in a few flavors. If you or your church—especially in the St. Louis area—have need of any of these services, please get in touch with me and let me know.

  • I can provide technical services for computers, either in churches or in homes, such as networking, software installation, or various other tasks like antivirus or antispyware tools. I’ll also gladly recommend software for you to use that’s inexpensive or even free. (And I specialize in Macs.)
  • I can also provide training for Microsoft Office programs or especially using tools that exist on the Internet, such as blogging or other applications you might have on a web site—or I can introduce you to some online tools that might be useful for your needs.
  • If you have need of a Web site, I can provide inexpensive and reliable hosting, including setting up domain names (a “.com” or a “.org”), and getting various services set up and configured. You can have access to your site if you need it, or you can ask me to assist you with that for a regular rate.
  • If you’re not even that far and you’d like to have a site designed, I would be happy to assist with that process and get you started with a site that you can update yourself with little trouble after the initial setup. I’ll even train you a bit in how to use the site software and how it works. (This is of course a touch more expensive than the other stuff.) If you’d rather a professional update the site instead of yourself, I would be happy to do so for you on a per-item basis.

If I think of any other services I can render, I will add them in the future or say something about them. If you or anyone you know would be interested in these services, please contact me via e-mail at ryan@themarkelfamily.com and we’ll talk.

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“My work is a game, a very serious game.”
–M.C. Escher

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Because I’m Flattered That a Coworker Dedicated a Setting to Me.

We hail Thee as our Savior, Lord,
Our refuge and our great reward;
Without Thy grace we waste away
Like flow’rs that wither and decay.

How oddly appropriate given that Hannah was recently baptized, and I think also that I needed to hear these words recently for some reason.

Thank you, Henry.

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We’re Thankful That the Answer to Our Question Appears to Be “Nothing.”

I have two other, much more mundane posts in the draft hopper that are going to be posted later today when I get the time to do so, but both video games and my stuff breaking seemed at least a bit trivial in the wake of this afternoon’s slight scare that I’m not too worried about getting to them until after the children are in bed and my wife has returned home for the evening.

Early last week, Amanda began to display very faint signs that she was headed for pre-term labor with Hannah. We didn’t think much of it the first day, but when it happened a couple of days in a row, we were mildly concerned, so I had her call her doctor. She was told that she should report to the women’s evaluation unit at the hospital if she should experience any further symptoms like those she had seen, to at least go through some tests and maybe an examination to make sure she wasn’t going to have the baby anytime soon.

Guess what happened today.