Showing posts from 2020

The Future As Seen By Me In 2010

Well looky here, things one has scanned in eh. (ignore the photo, that's some guy that made some accounting software, not sure what became of him ;) MIKE RIVERSDALE is fuming. The expensive headphones he bought in Sydney three weeks ago have just died. His first reaction is not to randomly spill expletives into his coffee, but to use his iPhone to vent his frustration to his Twitter con- tacts, under the moniker Miramar Mike. "I will also put, 'What should I do?' It's a conversation. I'm reaching out to the people following me." The council predicts hand-held digital devices such as smartphones will rule the world in 2040. They already rule the life of Mr Riversdale, whose company WaveAdept helps businesses adapt - their computing sys- tems to allow staff to work from anywhere - and with anyone. In order of fre- equency, he uses his iPhone to tweet (1136 followers; 8363 tweets since joining), e-mail, make phone calls and use online services, such as checki

It's NOT Been A Tough Year

2020 has been a lot of things here in Aotearoa New Zealand, challenging, uplifting, scary, hopeful, anxiety ridden, friend-full, lonely, laughter driven, tear soaked - you can add many more I'm sure. What I've found though is that it's not been that tough. Maybe life had prepared me for the COVID driven, Trump madness, Brexit riddled, election prone, wage challenged time I have had. Back in 2016 life took a turn for the ... well, life took a turn, and a lot changed. I've had to rebuild a lot of what I'm about, who I truly am, and face a lot of demons and soothe the anger through hard bloody work. With the past help of the GP, counselling, and ongoing exercise, and friends, + family love over the years I've gained a lot of insight for things that work for me, tips and techniques to cope with the travails of the universe, and experience in how to reach out , how to care for others . I know when it's good to hunker down to work and when it's best to let the

The Language Of Events

I have recently been teasing out why hybrid-events have, to many, been a lack lustre and frustrating experience . Through the insight of Duncan Nimmo I have crystallised it to, "we need to invent a new grammar/narrative of such events". Duncan comes to me from the movie making industry, here's my summary of what he told me - stick with it, it is totally hybrid-event related :) ... before the movie camera was invented we of course have had storytelling for a very very long time. Sitting around the campfire having a yarn, writing novels and publishing them, and even performances on the side of the street. Theatre itself evolved out of this storytelling tradition and became its own thing with its own technology and ways of being - act 1, act 2, act 3, principal actors, physical theatres, and everything else that goes to put on a theatrical performance. When the movie camera was invented it was at first a novelty to be witnessed, the sheet hung up and a train arriving at a s

Hypothesis: Hybrid Events Are Currently No Good

Hypothesis: Hybrid events, those run both in real life (IRL) AND online, have not met the needs of both audiences successfully. We've all attended fully online conferences especially in the year 2020 and very likely there's more in our future. With the COVID catalyst accelerating the use of online for many organisations and the subsequent remote working* the technical hurdles for attending an online event have been lowered considerably. For many countries online only events are still the only option. However here in Aotearoa New Zealand, alongside a handful of others, we are in the well earned position of being able to hold events in real life, like the olden days. Fully online events are now starting to find their feet, they are becoming more human centred and less "sage on(line) stage", recognising that events are about people connecting to other people as well as to information. My favourite online conference this year was the Virtual Impact Unconference . The team

Remote Working, Did Your City Also Miss The Oh Fuck moment

There are many ways for organisations to respond to the COVID-19 situation rampaging around the world and popping it's pesky head up now and again here in Aotearoa New Zealand. During the Level 3 and 4 times remote working here in AoNZ was forced upon us - get your gear, get out of the office you've come to know and love/despise and get thee hence gone! Some organisations didn't even say "get your gear" they just said go, use your own gear and we'll sort it out later. In emergency times, ones that most definitely have a clear and very defined Oh Fuck moment , change happens at pace and everyone hunkers down waiting for it to go "back to normal".  Oh Fuck moments can beget change that brings on more Oh Fuck moments - life eh! With the adrenaline of the initial moment, the very human to get through and get back to "normal" these other Oh Fuck moments can become hidden in the noise. Or we don't want to see them, not more bloody change! Or

Nothing Changes Without An "Oh Fuck!" Moment

I would never have sold so many Google Apps GSuite Google Workplace ** Google WorkSPACE licences without a massive, "Oh Fuck!" moment in 2007-2008. Having struck out on my own with this new "cloud"* approach to providing 'enterprise quality' office basic services to everyone at the same price via a web browser I met a wall of CIOs telling me I was dreaming. It's well known there are many many ways to say No, I heard them all. When these CIOs tasked their teams to create the budget for the upcoming years it was full of the same old stuff, $ for upgrades of the servers, $ demanded for licences, $ for the people looking after the tin ... standard budgetary process. This was 2007-2008, the global financial crisis was in full swing. "You want how much Mr CIO? Hah, have you eve read the newspapers?! No! Go away and do it with LESS money" Oh Fuck! The meetings started appearing in my calendar, "You know I told you you were mad with all that Goo

Tech Is Not Bad

Tech is neither good nor bad, it's what we do with it that mat----, hmmm, "Guns are neither good nor bad it's ...", Ok, my starting position has been undermined by my own brain within seconds of starting. My father, Derek, has Alzheimer's and has been in a care home all of 2020. Whilst this is of course a long way away for me here in Aotearoa New Zealand and the same for my brother in Sweden it has also been an barrier for my Mum who's not been allowed to visit him since COVID hit Wales. She calls him on the phone a few times a week, has some classic conversations ranging from being at Base Camp One ready for the push to the summit, through memories of the past but happening to him now, and sometimes to actual cogent conversations. It's not the same though for my Mum, to hug her husband and feel his heartbeat against hers is her ongoing dream. Tech is good for us. A few months ago we asked the care home if we could have a Skype call with him. Of course the

MoH COVID Tracing App Does NOT Tell Others Where You've Been

But how, if they the Ministry Of Health contact tracing app doesn't tell the government where you've been, can they alert you that you need to get tested because you've been somewhere that someone who has tested positive has been? This is how ... I visit Venue I QR / manually check in using my phone app My phone app stores 'Venue' and 'Date' visit on my phone ... life goes on ... DHB discovers COVID issue at Venue on Date, tells Ministry of Health Ministry of Health tells central app peeps, "There is a COVID Issue at Venue + Date" Central app peeps send alert to ALL phones with app installed, "COVID Issue at Venue + Date" My phone app (like all phones with the app installed) receives the alert My phone app checks my phone Venue and Date against the alert Venue + Date If my phone app finds a match it alerts me As you can see, for contact alerting, there is nothing being sent off my phone. When Android and iOS Bluetooth functionality is in

Let's Talk About Your Use Of Facebook Government

Facebook and its morals as set by Mark Zuckerberg are well know, long standing , publicly available , and discussed the world over . It is a company focused on the almighty dollar and attaining that by selling as much personal information it can get it hands upon via its users (and even those that aren't ) to ... anyone. Facebook reported bringing in US$18,687,000,000 (18.68 billion) for the second quarter (3 months) of 2020. Its not the money he makes (well, not for this article) that is my biggest issue, its the fact he just don't care who he gets the money from. Coca Cola sure, MTV absolutely, Stuff not anymore , Trump lying campaign but of course, New Zealand government agencies bring it on, QAnon groups why not, Wellington City Council hell yeah, 5G Conspiracy people be rude not to. They make their money by promising to pass on the messages peoples give them to the people they want to read it - everyone in a country, the teenagers with potential for depression and looking

Kia Ora, I Would Love To Work With YOU And Your Team

  Kia ora, I'm Mike and I work in Project Management, Change and Collaboration, and Business Analysis, or as I like to say I explain stuff, connect people and get things done.  I would love to work with you and your team, get in touch!  Thanks to @NZRaj for the idea, whipping out the phone, and then making it a little more special - a true buddy and so creative and talented! My CV [pdf] is ready for you to check out ...

Having A Choice Is Better Than Boxing Yourself In

For many a generation or two the office workers have been told to come together into one physical building to do their jobs. I/you/we/them are called "office workers" for a reason, they work in an office. Being in one physical place was both a necessity (that's where the office machines were, the information was stored, and the other people needed went), and a social dictate (bosses could see workers working, we are social beings and almost always work in teams, separating our work persona and home persona was deemed efficient). Over the years many have tinkered with the "travel to work" model with open offices, hot desking, co-working spaces, integrated playgrounds, and a multitude of other ways of chopping up the same physical office experience. Who gets to choose which type you work within, likely someone else, "I'm the boss and love open collaboration and so let's get rid of all the walls" ... sure, why not, works for me but others HATE IT

YES! We can "get back to normal"

With two unrelated tweets I realised why "going back to normal" is such a deep fundamental desire and why we are seeing that word so many times. Bill Bennett, journalist and tech writer here in New Zealand, popped up link to  Economics New Zealand: Where are we? (4-May-2020), and I instantly baulked at the phrase "... going back to normal" and challenged Bill on it. He responded beautifully and I had an epiphany. Things truck along at one level. Along comes a huge disruption. Eventually after some time, we don’t know how much time, things find a new level to truck along at. That disruption time can be very long but it won’t be forever. — Bill Bennett (@billbennettnz) May 4, 2020 Normal is NOT a set of circumstances. It's NOT an environment we can describe. it's NOT a series of routines we run through, and it's NOT about being in the office or working from home. It's not even about other people. As sociologist Allan Horowitz points out,

Working From Home #3: "It's still just work", Get Your Fix Of Rituals

Further to my guide to working from home and the 3 personal lessons therein,. Of course we've all zoomed (!) past the "1: Reduce the tech hurdles", and I've given some thoughts* on " #2, "Don't be scared " and now let's have a think about my final lesson gleaned from over 10 years of working from home in a multitude of guises. Rituals. We humans love rituals, in fact we are completely made up of rituals which bind ourselves to others allowing for the the "sum of the whole is greater than the parts". When I talk a ritual I mean more than a routine. A lot of people have quite rightly, discussed getting a new / amended set of daily routines as we work from home during this unprecedented times (see the "Further reading" at the bottom for a list of routine lists). A daily ritual is similar to a daily routine since they are also a series of tasks that are completed in the same order. But a daily ritual differs in its inte

Working From Home Number 2: Don't Be Scared

Further to my guide to working from home and the 3 lessons therein, let's take #2, "Don't be scared" in a bit more detail and provide 3 tips that have helped me through working at home. So, the personal one, the one that no-one gets to see as it's deep inside each and everyone of us. There's much that will try and scare us whilst working from home, the lack of feedback, the increase in the need for our own decision making, not being able to concentrate, distractions from every corner of the house meaning we don't think we're delivering, and of course the rise of impostor syndrome Oh and I'm sure the above list is completely different to yours, what makes some people scared doesn't even enter the worldview of others, and vice versa. Perhaps you may feel that you won't be able to do the job to the quality you believe is required, you might have a freak out at the tech needs, you may see this as a creeping of the workplace into you

[Updated] 3 Lessons From 10+ Years Of Working From Home (WFH)

[Updates: there are an increasing number of excellent "working from home" articles and I'm linking to them at the bottom of this post] It's true to say that those in the tech industry are generally more setup, comfortable, and prepared for "working from home", heck I've been running my work life "remotely" since 2006 . Aren't we all very lucky and slightly smug. With that in mind, what about EVERYONE ELSE, the vast majority of people that use a computer that has been given to them, see it as just a tool to use, and is certainly a bit "dark magic" that spits out error messages, saves treasured words somewhere, and is most definitely in the domain of the "IT Department". This article is aimed at those people. That might even be you dear reader. These are my distilled / found guide to working from home which I have split up into 3 distinct lessons: Reduce the tech hurdles Don't be scared It's still just

A Lesson In Online Workshops

[ cross posted from @OneTeamGovNZ news, "Connecting Should Always Be This Simple" ] The OneTeamGov movement (for want of a better word) is one connecting those working within governments across the world as well of those working closely alongside, like myself. We're a global community, working together to radically reform the public sector through practical action. We're driven by optimism and the desire to make things better, and united by a set of core principles. From it's 2017 start in the UK its simple message of "We believe the public sector can be brilliant, and we’re committed to making it so" has taken off in here in Aotearoa / New Zealand with a core group of public servants hosting regular open meetups run along a Lean Coffee framework allowing for discussions and connections - come along to the next one . Alongside these local meetups OneTeamGov teams across the world also hold full on unconferences . These are all great however you

Voice, It's The Way Computing Will Be

I have a prediction, voice is the next wave of 'consumer' computing and this will, much like cloud computing, have a subsequent pressure on the internal workings of companies and governments. Cloud computing rushed into consumer lives as music, video, and even the boring household spreadsheet all moved to the cloud leaving CDs, DVDS, collections of VHS tapes, and masses of post-it notes, notebooks, and calendars in  the past. Around 2011, Siri emerged on Apple iPhones as the first voice assistant accessible to consumers. This innovation led to a dramatic shift to building voice-first computing architectures. PS4 was released by Sony in North America in 2013 (70+ million devices), Amazon released the Amazon Echo in 2014 (30+ million devices), Microsoft released Cortana (2015 - 400 million Windows 10 users), Google released Google Assistant (2016 - 2 billion active monthly users on Android phones), and Apple released HomePod (2018 - 500,000 devices sold and 1 billion devi