Sunday, October 08, 2006

number of days on Capitol Hill: 4
number of nights in Chicago: 1

This past week I got to attend a course on Congressional operations, actually held on Capitol Hill
and, in two of the sessions, actually held in a House or Senate committee hearing room.
Cool! V. interesting to learn about the deliberately-inefficient, anti-tyranny machine
that is the legislative branch.

Flight left DC late on the last day, so missed flight in Chicago.
But got to spend the night with family, which was fun.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

number of weeks our financial system will be down: 4-6
number of weeks our computer network will be partially down: 4-6

Infrastructure! Gotta have it.
Of course, in a *real* industry, they would presumably spend money on keeping a second
backup financial system running while the main one is down, and on renting new
office space with intact computer networks while our building is being upgraded.
In the absence of resources for doing that, we will just do the best we can to work around it.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

number of Nintendo DS machines in the house: 4
number of Nintendo Game Boy Advance machines in the house: 1
number of PlayStation 2 machines in the house: 1

I can justify all this technology. Now that I and my husband and my two boys each have a Nintendo DS,
we can all do PictoChat and exchange games. I use my GBA during airline travel and will now have
my Nintendo DS as well to practice Brain Age. The PlayStation has the eyeToy kinetic workout program
which is good and helps keep me in shape. Although I must admit, I skipped the whole last week of working
out, but then again I was away for four days on business travel.

Friday, September 08, 2006

This week is a swirl of medical and work issues.
Thursday: dentist for root planing (ugh).
Friday: eye doctor for new prescription (yuk on exams but fun on new frames).

Every day at work is frantic replanning and rewickering of budget and workforce numbers.
Am now going on v. important trip next week.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Unconventional Leadership Books

"The Bad Popes" by E. R. Chamberlin.
As a lapsed Catholic, I do not feel guilty about learning about the history
of the Church even if it is less than flattering.
This is a fascinating and wittily-written history with many lessons
on what not to do as a leader.

"The March of Folly" by Barbara Tuchman.
There are so many good insights here that apply to our times now.

"Sorting Things Out" by Geoff Bowker and S. Leigh Star
This is about how organizations categorize things
(eg how WHO classifies diseases). It's a great reminder of the
political and social forces at work that define how we conceptualize
the world and how that shapes our processes and decisions.
I always think about these insights when dealing with categories
like "performance metrics" or "transition workforce".
data from yesterday:
number of diet cokes: 3
number of protein bars: 2
number of technical planning meetings: 2
number of technical/budget meetings: 1

Good day yesterday. Useful and interesting meetings.

From last night:
number of hours shopping with sons: 2
number of games of MASTERMIND played with sons: 4

Today is Saturday:
number of cups of coffee: 2
number of fruit washed: 10 apples, 3 peaches, 3 large tomatoes,
large quantities of cherry tomatoes and grapes

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

number of minutes spent dealing with budget spreadsheets: 480
number of minutes spent dealing with children: 30

Oof. Too much work to do today. Too many spreadsheets due in the next 48 hours.
Why do we persist in believing that precision equals accuracy?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

number of consultations: 2
number of diet Cokes drunk: 4

Today is a day of one-on-one meetings, individual work and reflection.

Am pondering appropriate synonyms for what dear Bridget would
call "fuckwittage". Hrm. Maybe WHIMS as an acronym for
What in the Hell Idiocy is Masquerading as Strategic thinking.
which also has a logical connection the actual meaning of the
word whims -- management fads and shallow reactive thinking.
Amusingly, this is reminiscent of the acronym for our
Workforce Information Management System.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

number of team-building exercises: 5 (lava lake, pictionary, maze word challenge, traffic jam, uplift/popsicle pushups)
number of alcoholic beverages drunk: 1

And so it begins.....I am in my official orientation for the executive training program.
It is so v. interesting to meet all the other people in the class -- they are such a mix of personality and communication styles. I find it heartening to have my belief reinforced: that it takes all kinds to make the world.