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Thursday
Jun072012

70p a day - the price of enabling your team to do their job

70p is the daily equivalent cost of purchasing a brand new computer which lasts three years. Here's the maths...

£450 divided by 220 working days (44 weeks at 5 days per week) times 3 years.

£450 might seem a lot of money to your budget right now. Losing half an hour of staff productivity each day (a conservative estimate) because your computers are slow and pretty much useless is costing you a similar amount every four to six weeks.

Guess it's up to you how you spend your money...

 

Thursday
Nov242011

The Value of ICT (IT, technology)

ICT should be like electricity and running water.

I want to be able to turn the tap on and for the right information to come flowing out when I need it.

I want to flick a switch which enables me to open communications with who I choose when I choose.

I want my ICT to just be there, to not have to think about it.

All this comes at a, very reasonable in my opinion, price.

I pay for my electricity by the quarter and by water by the month. My suppliers know what to charge and I accept the price for the value it offers.

Every now and then I need expert help - a plumber or more rarely an electrician - to fix a problem urgently or improve something. 

Every now and then I buy a new piece of equipment which may (e.g. Washing machine) or may not (e.g. Lamp) need help to install.

I value these tools and the utility of running water and electricity for what they offer not what they are. For what they enable me to do, to share, to achieve for myself and others.

I am close to my goal for ICT being a utility - like running water and electricity. It serves my needs, is good value and with forethought requires only modest, and acceptable, maintenance.

My ICT costs me less than two pounds per working day to cover all my equipment, running costs, maintenance and support. It's as cheap as a cup of coffee and often as valuable as another colleague in enabling me to make things happen.

Please don't turn off my tap or switch off my light. Life is so much harder without it.

Monday
Oct242011

On value - what is it worth?

What is the value of a service? Is it the cost of the person delivering it? Is it the least amount the person needing the service is willing to pay? Or is it related to the benefits of that service? Effort is important but knowing where to make and apply that effort is what makes the difference. We rely on people with both expertise and experience to deliver services and provide us with benefits.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jul102011

First Principles

Some days I wake up in the morning and wonder what to do next. So I look at my my three definite aims and my principles and it focuses me.

The Principles are my guide and the Definite Aims my direction. The route may not always be the same, however well planned the path, but it's important for me to know both where I'm going and why. It makes the journey easier and more enjoyable.

Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?

The Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to

Alice: I don't much care where.

The Cat: Then it doesn't much matter which way you go.

My skills are in analysis, questioning and understanding. I like the predictability of technology and the unpredictability of people, especially children and young people. My core work is threefold:

  • Developing environments which enable young people to empower themselves, take their opportunities and create better futures for themselves and the people around them
  • Helping people and organisations get more benefit from the application and use of methods, systems and appropriate technology
  • Understanding how technology and technology environments and ecosystems can benefit young people and lead to better outcomes through social work, youth work and schools

So why do I do this? - My three definite aims

  1. To be a great leader in youth empowerment, enabling and empowering, developing sustainable programmes and working one to one with young people.
  2. To be a valued, respected and loving husband, uncle and friend, supporting children in an exceptional environment without financial pressure or obligation.
  3. To catalyse and enable people and organisations to meet their passion and potential.

What makes this work

I'm a little bit odd. I have, like many people, a deep rooted commitment to social justice. So far so what? I can see a big picture and translate it - the secret of analysis and possibly a lot of thinking alone as an only child. And I have an attention, nay commitment, to fine detail. My schoolteachers didn't call me pedantic for nothing.

Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.” - Einstein

You can call it avant garde, innovation, best practice, whatever you like. I like to call it doing the right things and doing things right. It’s ‘cooking up’ a masterful mix of leadership and execution, it doesn't always work but when it does, the synergies are beautiful. Sometimes it's more of a catalyst role, asking the right questions which lead to the right answers. Sometimes it's rolling your sleeves up and mucking in to get it done, knowing your strengths, weaknesses and your teams, when to lead, when to follow, when to stop. The solutions are as likely to be found on a sandy beach in 30 degree sunshine or a walk through the park or shops as in front of a screen, a pad of paper, a meeting of minds or a caffeine fuelled one to one in a coffee shop.

Wisdom is to know what can be made better and make it better, and to recognize what can only be made worse and walk away.” –Glen Duncan

Value and impact - what makes the difference?

It's about value and worth. People like to count by the hour, to feel they are getting their hard earned worth. But surely it's about benefits, impacts and outcomes not time served. Do numbers matter more than difference made? Do you want me to charge you more because I'm inefficient, slow and because every second counts or do you want to pay for a result, for resolving the challenge or problem and making something measurably better. Because if not then what is the point of getting up in the morning, just to do stuff, to idly pass the time, to count the hours, to make the money, counting down to when there are no more mornings.

Life matters. People matter. Change happens. Let's work together to continue to make the best we can be together and make sure we know why we are getting up each morning.

This is my manifesto.

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