The Question You Need to Answer as an IT Leader

I have a theory.  

OK, I have many theories but today’s theory has to do with a medical mystery. 

I believe there is a very small blood vessel that runs through the ring finger of every male’s left hand.  This is a critical vessel, since it supplies blood to the part of the brain that allows a male to discern whether or not the clothing he is wearing actually matches.

Once you constrain this blood vessel by installing a wedding band, the male’s ability to dress himself completely vanishes, creating the situation where he is confronted on the way out the door with THE question… “You’re not going out like that, ARE YOU???

This is what is known as a rhetorical question. There is only one right answer, which is determined by the asker of the question, not the recipient.  The wrong answer means you are doomed.

Right now, all the married men are nodding in familiar recollection.

But I’m not here to discuss how you dress.


Can You Trust the Reviews?

Please Note: This is an edit of a previous posting I did when RIM Playbooks and Google Chromebooks first came out.  With the advent of Windows 8, Windows Surface and now Windows Phone 8, I thought it was timely to revisit this topic.

I drink my coffee black.  I didn't always take it this way. When I started, I was like many who would enjoy a Timmee's DD (This is a Canadian colloquialism, it has nothing to do with cup size), but then I dropped the sugar.  Then the cream.

When I first decided to drop the cream, (to preserve my lean, lithe, pantherlike figure) I hated the stuff in the cup.  This was not coffee, it was more like a mixture of motor oil and camel spit.  (Not that I was speaking from experience, but I do have a vivid imagination.)

It took weeks for me to start appreciating the rich aromatic flavour of a good cup of coffee.  It got to the point where coffee with cream tasted bland, and there is no way I would ever go back to cream in my coffee.

So what does this have to do with hardware and software reviews?


Churn Happens

If you've ever managed people, you are familiar with the little tap on your office door, followed by "Got a minute?"

Even if you have an open door policy and this person is in your office regularly, you've come to recognize the slightly hesitant tone in their voice, the awkward, uncomfortable silence after they settle into the chair.

You know what's coming next.

"I've accepted a job offer at another company."

Your inside voice says "Sh*t!!" because this individual is one of your better performers and it's a busy time in the office.  Your outside voice says "That's interesting! Tell me about it!"

I remember once reading that 20% of your team is either in the first year of their employment with you, or the last year of their employment with you.  You know which ones are in their first year.  It's not so easy to predict those employees in their last year.

Employee turnover, or churn, is inevitable for a number of reasons.

I'm not talking about the people who leave because you un-hire them, or those that quit because the work environment is toxic, but those employees that outgrow their position, and you can't provide the next step of challenge.

In small teams, advancing would mean waiting till someone died before a position came open.

So they start to look elsewhere.

Not because they want to.

Because they have to if they don't want to stay in the same position, at the same top of classification pay rate for the next several years.


The Secret to Creating a Strong Password

Are you on LinkedIn?

Are you worried about the recent hack?

Should you be?


And when you are done worrying about your  account being hacked, then get ready for an even scarier thought.

Consider this quote from Tom's Hardware blog:
"Last year, a major security breach at RockYou.com resulted in the release of 32 million passwords. With such a large data set available, security firm Imperva Application Defense Center (ADC) analyzed and found that, when given the chance, most users will choose a simplistic password."