Books You Should Read

  • The Information - James Gleick
  • ReamDe - Neal Stephenson
  • A Place of My Own - Michael Pollan
  • The Structure of Scientific Revolutions - Thomas Kuhn

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Time to Get Busy

It's obviously been awhile since I've used this vehicle, but for some unknown reason, it seems like it is time again. Not exactly sure what subjects to explore, but at work I'm currently focusing on the concept of Agreement Management, and the more I speak with my colleagues in UHG ESP, the more jazzed I get about it.  If you're interested in the subject, and have any materials about it that you'd like to share, I'd love to discuss them  with you.  A question (or two) - If you manage agreements in your current job, have you seen changes in how your company views them, and do you think your company has a strategy around how it uses them?
Obscure?  Probably.
More soon.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Musings in September - and maybe a new start.

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I realized today after almost 25 years  (more if I think about it) that I am tired of reworking other people's ideas, words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs, sections, documents, agreements, attachments, appendices and amendments.  I want to work and rework my own.

Not that anything I come up with will necessarily be all that original.  Unique to me in the way I communicate it, hopefully, but "original" is more than I aspire to.

I'm not exactly sure what triggered this epiphany (eppi-faney, as my daughter used to say), but since parts of it have been in the back of my brain for a little while, I guess it doesn't qualify as an epiphany any way.  

Random candidates for the stimulus or stimuli include:

o    A "lifting", after almost 10 years , of an almost constant fear of, and consequences from, the vertigo I had somehow contracted. In exchange for the terrible spinning of vertigo, I received about three months of an inability to focus on a computer screen for more than 5-10 minutes, or to read a book, or to drive at night.  Pretty fair trade up to this point, as far as I can tell, and it gets you thinking.
o    The "dumbification" of my job while we sort through what we want to be if we are ever forced to actually do something.  I now spend almost all my time with contracts - other people's contracts - and feel as if I'm living a version of a corporate Groundhog's Day, where like Bill Murray, I've lived it all before, wasn't particularly interested in it then, actually am pretty good at it, and now, no matter what I do, can't change it. 
o    The recognition that I constantly narrate the situations I am in - sometimes only for myself, sometimes for my perceived audience, whether they agree with that role or not.  I think I should put that narration to some productive use.  Or stop.
o    A random, very short, email from a guy named Dean who I worked with for a very short time, but whom I respect very much.
o    Watching a granddaughter grow up so fast, nearing 60, and wanting to create something for her, and for others, rather than merely regurgitating what others have done. Wanting to do a better job of communicating with those I love.

I understand that no one other than me will be very interested in the path that got me to this fork in the road, or even that I'm choosing tines at all.  But that's part of it - I feel like I have to write it down, explain it, understand it, and recognize that while I can't change others, I can change me, and I can change what I do, how I do it, and who I do it for.  I know, just as well, that talk is cheap.

While I can't quit my job, or tell folks to shove it, I can continue to live my "day life" while developing my "new life" - one which appreciates and nurtures the relationships I have, and focuses on creating, teaching and helping others in an area where I think I have some knowledge, and where I have an intense desire to change the way it's currently done.

I kind of had to create it and proclaim it to make it real.

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While I obviously never embarked on a full SCA, I have, as usual spent a boat load of time watching baseball.  It is not surprising that I have spent most of my time watching Dick and Bert and the Twins - the season has been amazing - but I have listened to every team's announcers at least twice (see caveats below*) - and would offer the following observations/opinions and down right snotty remarks. As always, comparisons are WV - Without Vin.  After all, no telling how many more games we'll get.
  • My number one, not even close, I'll listen to them over anyone duo is Duane Kuiper  and Mike Krukow doing SF Giants games. (Disclaimer, as a former Cub who played when they were really really really bad, Krukow gets additional consideration.)  They are fun, irreverent, knowledgeable, attentive, respectful, with the right amount of homerism and boosterism.  Because the Giants have been in the race most of the year, they show up a lot on MLB Extra Innings, and I always seek them out.  I think Krukow can be one of the funniest guys in the booth when he is on, in his dead pan kind of way.
  • I put Michael Kay/Paul O'Neill (Yanks) and Don Orsillo/Jerry Remy (Red Sox) and Len Kasper/Bob Brenly on the next tier, even though they are very different teams.  While I like most of the Yankee pairings with Kay, O'Neill to me is at times the best color guy in announcing (after Jim Kaat, who will always be the best).  He's almost too self-deprecating, but he always seems to have a germane, to the point comment about a situation or a player. Sure Kay can be a bit full of himself, but he really does have a way of painting pictures, and to me can be the most lyrical. Orsillo plays Remy's straight man, and it does get a bit old, but I watched them quite a bit early in the year, when Ortiz was struggling and they were in a lot of lop-sided games, and I found myself staying with them even though I had more competitive options.  One test of a good duo is whether you stay with them in a horrible game, or actually go do something productive. Remy can also be a real SOB. Brenly and Kasper broadcast the Cubs.  Enough said.
  • I listen to Bert Blyleven and Dick Bremer most every night the Twins play.  They are not flashy, and because I watch them a lot, they tend to wear on me more than the others.  It will be interesting to see how they evolve such tiring things as "Circle Me Bert" (not to be confused with "Circle Any Jerk"), whether Dick ever drops the "At least we're not inside BS" (Wait until November baseball in Minnesota, when Bud Selig orders the games to be moved to Milwaukee due to 49 below wind chills and 2 feet of snow and I have two words for you - retractable dome) and how they handle Bert's likely ascension into the HOF.  Bert is also aging a bit - he seems to make more player identification issues than others, but I do see him more, so maybe I'm not being fair. I'm typing this now as it appears the Twins may clinch tonight - beating CLE 6-4, with the White Sucks losing.  I think Bert may cry.
  • Bringing up the rear, as they always will, are Daron Sutton and Mark Grace, and Thom Brennaman and Chris Welsh.  It's a good thing the Dbacks are really bad; it's too bad for us the Reds are getting better.  I know I'm not being fair.  Too bad.  Neither duo ever watches the game.
* Caveat - I really tried to listen to the Marlins Announcers, and the multiple Seattle pairings, but to me none of them had any kind of identity for me to hang on to.  Other groups I'd give a favorable nod to?  Cohen - Hernandez - Darling (Mets) and Thorne/Palmer (O's), although Mr. Palmer seemed to be doing fewer and fewer games.

Your comments?

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I'm going to try to do this on a more consistent basis - here's where I plan to go next - 

If I were king of the forest, here is the vision that would drive my company:

To be an enterprise which is great for its clients, great for its workers, great for its community and great for its owners.

- and these are the 9 principles my company would embrace:
  1. Simple is better than complex
  2. Open is better than closed
  3. All is better than one.
  4. Always respect all others
  5. Debate ideas, not people
  6. Manage, don't administer
  7. Science and skill will eventually triumph over ignorance and superstition
  8. You can't deliver it if you don't do it yourself
  9. Always have fun

tkk 092110