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Posts Tagged ‘managing

Mention CRM and most folks will think about customer relationship management.

I think about the processes of controlling, regulating, and managing. These apply to groups of people and change initiatives alike.

Controlling is about not letting go, not trusting, not leveraging. It is often about “muscle memory” (reflex actions that bypass the brain) and maintaining the status quo.

Regulating is about establishing and enforcing incentives and disincentives to shape behaviour. Often regulations walk hand in hand with control.

Managing is about nurturing individuals. It sometimes feels like herding cats, but it is amazing to see in action.

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Sometimes I am asked how I manage to read so many tweets, RSS feeds, and reflect daily while working. Sometimes that question is phrased more directly as: How do you deal with so many distractions?

I do not view what others might consider “not work” as a distraction. I make it part of my work. If I read, tweet, or blog, the activity is about some aspect of educational technology.

When people ask me about how I maintain my work-life balance, I tell them that I work and play all the time, at the same time. I manage “distraction” by having a different mindset.

But mindset shifts might not be easy or tangible. So here is some practical advice: Manage your own schedule and do it as well as you can.

As an appointment holder, I might be tempted to let a secretary or personal assistant manage my schedule. No matter how busy my day gets, I do not let that happen.

If anyone needs to make an appointment with me, they need only refer to my shared online calendar. I manage my own appointments on the move a lot so that I can give people immediate answers. By doing this, I am not only aware of what I have committed to, but I also remain committed to it.

I am also a stickler for punctuality and keeping to time. Nothing is a greater distraction than events that start late or run long. People get really distracted then and no real work gets done.

Running a meeting long is like a lecture. Only the lecturer thinks the audience is learning when the reality is they are not.

I write this on a Sunday when conventional wisdom says that I should be resting or spending time with my family. But my family members are still asleep as I write. This blog entry is on a release schedule and by the time you read this, I am at play.

So much for distraction.

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