By paddloPayday loans

Monthly ArchiveAugust 2007

Quizzing Ourselves 31 Aug 2007 10:49 am

Today’s Quiz

At I.B.M., a Vacation Anytime, or Maybe None

“It’s every worker’s dream: take as much vacation time as you want, on short notice, and don’t worry about your boss calling you on it. Cut out early, make it a long weekend, string two weeks together — as you like. No need to call in sick on a Friday so you can disappear for a fishing trip. Just go; nobody’s keeping track.” New York Times, August 31, 2007

Click on the link above for the whole story.

What do you think? Would this work at FNC?

  • Early in its life, FNC did not track vacations. Why do you think it changed that policy?
  • In California, vacation is considered compensation, so that if you have 5 days vacation available to you and you leave to take a sabbatical in Kenya, you are entitled to be paid those days. It sorta works like a savings account you did not know you had.
    • This aspect would disappear
    • Would that matter?
  • Would you be concerned that people would take “too much vacation”? At inconvenient times?
  • Is the trade off that you never feel that you are on vacation, just “staying in touch”?

But the flip side of flexibility, at least at I.B.M., is peer pressure. Mr. Hanny and other I.B.M. employees, including his assistant, Shari Chiara, say that they frequently check their e-mail and voice mail messages while on vacation. Bosses sometimes ask subordinates to cancel days off to meet deadlines.

Some workplace experts say such continued blurring of the boundaries between work and play can overtax employees and lead to health problems, particularly at companies where there is an expectation that everyone is always on call.

“If leadership never takes time off, people will be skeptical whether they can,” said Kim Stattner of Hewitt Associates, a human resources consultant. “There is the potential for a domino effect.”

  • But don’t we need to be sure that we have enough people in place to do certain tasks every day? How do we handle that? Do you agree with the quote below?

“For most companies, keeping track of time worked and time off remains a critical and transparent benchmark for workers and bosses. It is also a necessity in factories, call centers, restaurants and other workplaces where business would grind to a halt if managers were unable to predictably have enough employees on hand.”

  • Keeping track of things is never free. It cost to track vacations, sick days, or for that matter the cost of pencils. What do you think, can it actually save you money to stop worrying about some things?

Go ahead. Quiz yourself, and feel free to provide your comments.

Either way, this is a good start for the Labor Day. So have a happy and safe Labor Day Weekend.

Collaboration 09 Aug 2007 12:07 pm

Po-TAY-toh, Po-TAW-toh, To-MAY-toh, To-MAW-toh

Po-TAY-toh, Po-TAW-toh, To-MAY-toh, To-MAW-toh, let’s call the whole thing off. (With thanks to George and Ira Gershwin).

Well, not really. We are taking our second summer hiatus from our monthly meetings of the FNC Roundtable, to resume in September. For those who have been glued to this blog and the calendar, yes that means the August 15 meeting is cancelled.

We’ll start back in September, and may try some new ways of meeting (you might say that the FNC Roundtable has been an ongoing experiment in “collaboration and communication”)

Back to you soon.

And if you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms, let me suggest some of our summer reading Just follow the link to the 2007 Book Club Titles

That is, assuming that you have finished reading the 7th and final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, where …..oh no, not…it can’t be…

Holding Meetings 09 Aug 2007 11:36 am

Topic 6: Holding a Meeting (This Meeting is Adjourned)

Hey FNC Roundtablers:

We learned lots of things in our meeting on meetings, but I think the easiest way to really take advantage of what we talked about is to follow our “get out of jail free” steps. Start using them today. Remember that a meeting is what happens when any two people or more get together, whether in the hall, on the phone or around a big table with lots of hand outs.  So, we are meeting every day, and can take advantage of these Get Out of Jail Free steps every day.

  • Publish an agenda in advance
    • does this have to be a pretty mega-page document? Of course not, don’t avoid the agenda just because you don’t have time to make it pretty
    • The agenda is your organizing document (yes, you, it organizes you first, then the meeting attendees next)
  • Start on Time
    • I bet you are still not doing this.
    • Are you waiting for people? Do you have to wait for the “really important people”?–what about the rest of us, are we chopped liver, as they say?
    • What happens when you wait?
  • Set some Ground rules
    • these are our “Miss Manners” rules that allow us to work together
    • Remember the “There are no stupid ideas” rule. That is an absolute must– as we learned in our negotiations class.
  • Stick to Your Agenda
    • Now there is a concept.
    • What happens when you get off the agenda?
  • Use a Parking Lot
    • Remember what the parking lot is.
    • That is where we park great ideas, or issues or problems so that they do not knock us off course, but we also do not forget them.
  • Fix Responsibilities
    • This makes sure that everyone understands what their assignments are and when they are due
    • If you do not do this, what happens?
  • Finish on Time
    • Holy smoke, you want us to start AND end on time?
    • Will people be grateful if you finish on time?
  • Publish Minutes
    • Why do we do this?
    • Well, my memory is perfect but I am not so sure about yours
    • Do this quickly so people can use it as a guide before the next meeting
  • Continuously Improve
    • There’s a concept.
    • If we can reduce the “I hate meetings” down to “I sorta hate meetings” or “I hate other meetings but not this one”, that is really good.
    • The point of this is that WE CAN CHANGE IF WE DECIDE TO.
  • Use a Facilitator
    • This keeps order and keeps things moving.
    • That’s good, isn’t it.