Monthly Archives: June 2016

by Juan Gonzalez

Before talking about the trends that could help you, let’s talk about some of the issues you might face in your company. A clear identification of those issues is key for address them accordingly. Since technology is running too fast and you may find a lot of solutions out there that can help you, it is usual that those solutions just address certain problems in the short term but in the medium and long term, you will find that you pay for something that isn’t adding value at all.

Being in front of many customers selling solutions help me understand that not always I can provide the tool that matches and solves all the problems, but if I can understand their needs working together, I would help them understand the impact of the solutions within their companies, affecting people, processes, technology and overall business itself, a plan can be launch to later look for the best solutions that will cover almost all their needs. This consultative approach sometimes is missed by providers and at the end is not making any favor to your company.

For instance, a few years ago, I met a customer that was requesting a solution to dynamically allocate resources according to business needs and also provide management capabilities to monitoring certain pieces of their IT environment. While the customer already has certain software pieces that will allow him to address this, some other pieces were missing and was part of my approach; set up some phases to build up upon their current infrastructure taking care of the limited budget and addressing their needs. The issue was that having this limitation, he would like to address as much as possible in one single transaction. The customer decided to buy a solution from one competitor and start the project. Since there were other projects in this customer I could know the progress of the Dynamic Allocation project. To make the story short, a couple of years later, the customer was looking for alternatives again to solve almost the same problems, I had the opportunity to talk about this project again. You can find a lot of stories like this one.

The point here is that even he could find a provider he didn’t find a partner. That is the reason for a good planning phase. Could take longer against some variables within the company but could certainly avoid future problems.

Now, in the range of the problems that currently companies are facing in the IT arena, we can identify that security, mobility, and business continuance are the top priorities around this explosion of devices to access information. This also moves you on the social media and online services you may want to explore. So, in your company, how are you addressing these topics? Some companies could answer that there are no enough resources (people, money, time) to think of this strategic approach to IT but the discussion at the end is to take some time to see how these elements affect your business that clearly is what you focus on.

 

unnamedJuan C. Gonzalez is a experienced IT consultant. He works with and for customers to get as much from IT trends and technologies and apply them within their companies. Passionate for IT but also for supporting people. 

You can reach him via Twitter @juancgonzalez74.

 

 

 

GCWB Front Cover Epubli copyWe are celebrating a book launch party of The Global Career Workbook.

The book launch event will take place on 7 July 2016 from 6 pm to 8 pm at GAINSBOURG in Seefeld, Zurich.

IMG_3155 IMG_3167 IMG_3168


[tweetthis]Walking is not only exercise. It also helps you to download and sort the information bytes that your brain sparks out like fireworks.[/tweetthis]

 

Do you sometimes feel that your brain is overloaded with information and that you need to outsource parts of it in order to function? Some of us hire an assistant or get married to have another person to support us with all the little details modern life entails. Despite smartphones, apps, calendars, productivity seminars and personal optimization, we still have moments where a little error disturbs our manicured perfectionism.

 

Often in other countries and in transition we feel those little errors more. We are pushed out of our programming. Some errors are dangerous, others are just purely stupid, still others cost us a lot of money. Have you ever noticed that decisions taken under stress (or the influence of alcohol) are not the best decisions in your life?

 

I travelled on a funicular the other day and while I paid I was chatting to my mum and also making jokes. I took back my credit card and a receipt. When we arrived on top I thought the receipt would be ticket but it did not fit into the ticket slot of the machine. I saw other people had real tickets. I went to the conductor and told him that I must have forgotten to take our tickets. My mum wasn’t even paying attention. He called the person at the bottom. Somehow, this person could not remember what happened to our tickets.

 

Meanwhile, I was getting angry at myself and tears kept creeping up. I felt like a child of 10 who had made a stupid mistake. The conductor was very friendly and said it wasn’t an issue but I felt so stupid. You might have similar experiences especially when you are new in a country. Your natural ability to function and get things done is interrupted continuously. Being self-reliant and independent is a strength I feel very proud of. I hate it when I am dependent on others (one of the worst experiences for me was being hospitalized even just for four days around 10 years ago.). Interestingly, when I was younger this experience would probably have ruined my mood for the whole day. Here it was a reminder to stay humble and be alert. We were in a different country after all. Even though in South Tyrol almost everyone I met was a German speaker.

 

After hiking away for about 2 km I had forgotten the incident and focused on the surrounding. It was amazing. Beauty all over. I enjoyed light conversation, a cup of coffee and we walked on in a zig zag. Rain did not stop us. We also had a bit of trouble with orientation. I blame it on my inner state of mind. I was seeking direction but took a few turns, detours and sometimes I felt like we were going in a circle. At the end of the hike, we heard a thunderstorm coming up and while I am a big fan of facing your fears, I frankly did not need to sit in an outside chair lift with the prospect of lightning.

 

The afternoon was full of ruins, castles and churches. My mind was opened up like a beer can. I could enjoy the beauty of old buildings and wooden altars from the 14th century. The more I walked over the next two days, the more I felt that baggage dropped, puzzle pieces moved into empty spaces like Jenga stones and my strength developed from inside out. With every new walk, I gained clarity.

 


When you are in the workforce and have a fully packed diary there is nothing you want more than a day without meetings and conference calls. You want a day in which you can decide what you want to do and how to prioritize from hour to hour.

People who watch netflix in the afternoon

When you take time off, you realize how hard it is to follow your own wishes because for the longest time you have done and followed the targets and needs of others. Maybe you are also a mother and used to take care of several persons in your household. Maybe you are a father and feel the pressure of earning an income. Did you ever have that fantasy of staying at home like an “unemployed” bum and watching netflix during the day (when all your friends are at work)? For me this would feel like missing school. Not ok. I am the pupil who had a bad conscience when she missed a day of school. I hated to miss lectures at uni. Showing up is part of my deal. Even when I am unwell.

For me to get to a point where I could not get out of bed and had to stay at home during my professional career was probably the lowest it ever got.

The vicious cycle of hustle

Taking time out to re-think yourself can be a healing experience but once you return from your yoga retreat, you feel the immediate need to get back into the vicious cycle of hustle, which includes maintaining a diary, checking your mailbox and dating for lunch. It also includes doing favors and running small errands for others, forwarding resumes and establishing connections, mentoring juniors and serving on committees or in the local fire brigade. Your days never seem to end. Once you get home there is a mess waiting to be cleaned up or you stumble upon clothes that should be washed / dry-cleaned or ironed. Unless you are really affluent, you will do these tasks yourself.

In egalitarian Switzerland your hairdresser has a higher productivity rate than your executive coach and your cleaner earns more by the hour than most undergraduates in other developed markets, so outsourcing is only a limited option.

Structure is the key to simplicity

After a long journey in the corporate world which sometimes feels a bit unreal I fell out of the structure of “having work” to go to. Four years into running my own business I can assure you that routine is back and having four days off feels like being away for weeks. A day spent walking in nature and studying medieval architecture seems as long as a normal working week. When we run on our programs, in our little rat cage the beautiful world outside seems unreachable. It’s strange that we live in one of the most beautiful places on earth and still we have so many stressed and unhappy people. Most of us in my view have built up such a high standard of living that we lost the ability to appreciate simplicity. We strive for more and more becomes the equivalent of better. I would call this idea delusional.

Become a bum once in a while

Sometimes you need to become a bum to appreciate your other life. I know it is hard to be out of the “workforce”. I know how it feels not to belong to the “inner circle” anymore, not being able to afford opera tickets, bar nights and luncheons. I understand the embarrassment you might feel when you have to decline a friend’s visit because you cannot even offer a glass of wine. Still, I would advise all of you to be a bum once in a while. Give your soul a rest from hustle by being out of a job. If you really think you can’t afford this experience try one of those four suggestions:

  • Have you sat in a café at the street by yourself and watched people?
  • Did you meet a friend for lunch and asked him about his parents?
  • Have you picked flowers in a garden lately instead of checking your twitter followers?
  • Did you spend time playing a game with children in the neighborhood?

I would be very interested in your experience and what you are taking away from it. Schedule your first meeting with me here.