Doug Talks Torah

Reflecting on all the ways Torah builds the world.

Category: Productivity/Time Management

Political Science instead of MBA

I wonder if a “political science” degree might be more helpful than some of the MBAs I’ve encountered. I know some MBA programs connect and support Drucker’s original vision of how business play an integrating role of social stability. But many MBAs seem to be nothing more than glorified Excel degrees.

Political science is the study of the art and science of the body politic. I think many businesses function much like a body politic. They deal with issues of governance, war (internal and external), human relations, social stability, and so on. Plus, their decisions often have ramifications that reach far beyond the business.

If you think about businesses, you might also see that some are run more like a democracy (some like a rambunctious Athenian democracy), some are totalitarian tyrannies, some some are republics and so on.

I wonder if have some sernior executive with a political science background might helpful bring a helpful accentuation into the managing and visioning process.

Microsoft Office is Now Open

Or at least the door is cracked! A couple years ago I wrote a post about online software and pointed to Boing Boing’s piece on Open Office running ads on the buses back and forth to the evil empire.

NY Times reports that the the intense ad war may just have worked! Microsoft is releasing an open document format in the updated Office 2007.

Spaces to Explore or Another Great Reason for Leopard

spaces.jpg

I am slow. No wonder my middle school principal suggested that “college was probably not right for me.” It takes me a while to get it. So when I started exploring Leopard last fall, I didn’t the benefits of the “spaces.” I move through applications like the old pc guy that I am (apple-tab). But when I have ten applications running, accidentally clicking off the edge of window throws me from document window (where I’m writing a reflection on hope, love, peace, and all that stuff) to my flock window (where some guy is playing the star wars theme with hand farts).

Spaces gives bounadaries to these disparate worlds that may or may not should overlap. After watching a sales presentation yesterday where the speaker was jumping through spaces like an Olympic web surfer, I came up and started associating apps with spaces.

Now I’ve got plenty of space to roam with the wily Leopard.

Let the Web Call in Sick for You

Sick of working? Take a mental health day, using Call-In-Sick.

Here’s their spiel:

Call-in-Sick is a revolutionary new FREE service that allows you to call in your sick message to your boss or employer from anywhere, any time.

callinsick.jpg

Picture the scenario: You stay out too late on a workday night and decide to call in sick the next day. The next day you drag

yourself out of bed at 5am because you know your boss won’t be there to answer the phone.

With Call-in-Sick you can record your sick message the night before then schedule it to be sent directly to your boss’s phone early in the morning without you even getting out of bed!

Nathaniel, one of my co-workers, sent this to me via Mike Yamamoto. Maybe nobody is buying my kidney transplant excuses and want me to come up with something fresh!

Managing the Madness

My wife sent me a great Fast Company article on how several top tech executives manage their the overwhelming schedules. You can visit the article to read their stories, but if you want the bullets, here’s the skinny:

1. One size does not fit all. Cingular Wireless CEO Stephen Carter handles almost every incoming email in real time; Sun Microsystems EVP Marissa Peterson checks email just twice a day. When it comes to multitasking, no single solution works for everyone. Pick the tactic that’s best for you.

Doug Comments – I’m an NF, and I don’t know if this is true for all NFs but I cannot even follow the same process for extended periods. It helps me to change the way I do things every so often, or I feel like I get into a creative rut.

2. Paper piles only grow. When you get a paper report or memo, deal with it, then file it or hand it off. Piles of paper make for more work.

Doug Comments – My wife is an organizer, so I’ve heard this for almost twenty years! But I love stacks and stacks of paper and stacks and stacks of books careless thrown about on my desk. It’s not about a method for processing that info: I try to deal with stuff ASAP or flag in email so I will remember. But if I am working on a project, I need the clutter to help me create. Otherwise, I feel as blank as the desk.

3. Heading to a meeting? Go unplugged. When you meet with someone, you’re using a nonrenewable resource: your time. Don’t let cell-phone or pager interruptions waste it.

Doug Comments – Totally on board with this. I do not answer my phone when I am in conversation or meetings. The person in front of me receives top priority. The Amish have a handle on this. One reason they seem to reject technology is the destructive impact it can have on community. So a phone cannot be in the house because it will interrupt the importance of the people who are present (think: answering the phone during supper). There is one exception for me: the wife! Once we were at Walmart and I was talking with an old friend. My phone buzzed and buzzed and buzzed and buzzed, but I completely ignored it and focused on my friend. Suddenly my wife appeared. After looking for me for about twenty minutes, she was a minor bit frustrated. I learned my lesson: she takes priority!

4. The next killer business app? Instant messaging. IM is faster than email and just as inclusive. Its beauty lies in its simplicity. Think of it as the online equivalent of an elevator conversation.

Doug Comments – During the day, I work online all day: this is my contact point of choice!
5. Delegate: It’s the ultimate time-saver. Investing in frequent communications with your staff — lunch meetings, daily emails — yields big dividends. Your staff members can’t lighten your load if they’re out of the loop.

Doug Comments – Good. In my ministry world, I am trying to learn this.

6. Working in hard-to-reach territories? Voice-mail it. Voice mail is more dependable than email and better for keeping globe-trotting executives emotionally connected with the home team.

Doug Comments – If you need to talk with them, make sure to leave times and phone number, when you are available to avoid the dang phone tag wars.

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