Lessons Learned, management, News, Social

Saw the Obermann

So I went to the DNA digital workshop at Deutsche Telekom (DTAG) in Bonn following up the previous workshop in Berlin and yeah, I finally got to see the man – René Obermann – CEO of (DTAG).

DNAdigital @DTAG 2009

The workshop partnered young tech and Internet savvy people from the DNA digital initiative with DTAG decision makers to discuss how their corporation could potentially benefit from and deploy new strategies for e.g. corporate culture and product development.

Sure enough, Obermann is every bit the charismatic leader that you’d expect him to be, but with 30 minutes of his precious time allocated to listen to the summary of our workshop, the possibility of a proper dialogue and discussion was accordingly limited. It was nice to see him take the time, though. Kudos.

It was slightly fascinating to observe the depth that some of the participating employees of DTAG would sink to in the presence of their top dog. It was like a sudden lapse of personal integrity, as if the teeth of the previous biting discussions had all but fallen out. I guess it’s all natural – the presence of the Alpha male and all that jazz – but slightly embarrassing nonetheless. I can’t help but think it would have been more productive for the discussions to not have Obermann present.

My personal conclusion of the workshop was that – although highly interesting topics and people – the Enterprise 2.0 is not my battle. I’m unfortunately not passionate enough about the topic. I have other fish to fry, bones to pick. It was an interesting ride. So long and thanks to everyone for the experience.

As long as enterprises see, in the lack of a better word, Web 2.0 as a trendy afterthought that can be tacked onto existing and outdated models of thought – it’s thanks but no thanks for me.

It is my view that Enterprise 2.0 (whatever that may be to you) involves radical paradigm shifts, by and large incompatible with current enterprise paradigms. Furthermore, I’m convinced that I as an outsider cannot change an enterprise; The real revolution and innovation comes from highly innovative and passionate individuals within the enterprise.

Here’s some more images from the workshop.

Disclaimer: I work for a company that does business with DTAG. However, I'm not getting paid nor am I instructed to write this blog or to participate in the Enterprise2.0 discussion.

gtd, management

Are we getting things done yet?

Don’t you just hate to be told how to do things? I do. Yet, we keep looking for advice on how to be more efficient. I do too. In this post I’ll try to share what I do to get things done. I never actually put it into words before, but after becoming familiar with the likes of David Allen and his Getting Things Done and Merlin Mann‘s Inbox Zero and 43folders, I found some striking resemblances to what I’ve been doing for the last 10 years. Watch the inspiring Google Tech Talk presentation held just recently by Mr. Mann below if you haven’t already.

Now this is what I do: I identify if any call, meeting, comment or email requires me to take action(s) as soon as they come to my attention.If no action is needed, I forget about it. It’s either resolved by reading/receiving or the action(s) is required from someone else. I’ll label this as a ‘No action’ action. I share info if appropriate, but only after considering signal to noise. I archive, never delete. (Yes, I’m a veritable digital information hamster.)

Next up I have ‘Immediate action’ – Does it take only a couple of minutes to do? I do it straight away or delegate it to someone that will do it instantly. (Delegating in general usually falls into this category, I would think.) Does it take longer? I let it sit in the inbox to deal with at an opportune moment, later same day. Do the gravity of the action require my immediate and unscheduled attention that will take the focus away from my current schedule? I reshuffle and reschedule current actions and do it now or re delegate, redistribute and/or re prioritise if possible. Archive.

Then there are the ‘Time/place action’, in lack of a better label. (Yes, I’m aware that my labeling is lacking in the sexy department. ;) Is my action needed at or before a certain time? At a certain place? I schedule it as a todo and/or a calendar event by date with timely reminders. I try to group similar actions. Archive.

Finally, there’s the ‘Future action’, a fuzzy nondescript action with no deadline. I keep it in the inbox and let it mature or either upgrade to time/place action or forget about it if someone else will get back to you on the subject at some future point or if it becomes irrelevant and automagically expires. I delegate it if needed/wanted. Archive.

Repeat, rinse and lathe.

With regards to mails, my inbox is my list of todos. I reply at once (‘Immediate action’), reply timed ( ‘Time/place action’), let simmer and mature (‘Future action’) or archive/file at once without reply (‘No action’) or after reply or when irrelevant like outlined above. I keep a minimal of mails in the inbox and try to deal with them all within a workday. There should ideally be no mails in my inbox at the end of the day. I do not keep separate folders for anything other than archiving purposes (tech restraint at my place of work). I do not waste time labeling or tagging emails, if you were wondering. Mails get archived naked.

Keeping physical in and out boxes does not work for me. I’ve tried and failed miserably. I keep physical in/out material annoyingly close to the keyboard on my physical desktop until action taken. This is ridiculous suboptimal, but works for me ™.

Does this make sense to you? I would be thrilled to hear about what you do to get your things done!