Working Globally

Recently I traveled to India on business. I was out of the office and not in my own bed for two straight weeks. A hardship—hardly. I was very well taken care of all along the way. One of my distinct observations, however, was how many people regularly work in this way. We have a major operation in India and a large number of people who work seamlessly across 12 ½ time zones* to deliver work effectively and efficiently. I had a hard time keeping track of what time it was back home! How do you maintain productivity, sanity and sense of calm all at the same time? My takeaway was that whether we work in one time zone or across 12 ½, the strategies are the same.

Photo by Mark Baker

Photo by Mark Baker

  • Focus on what’s important: relationships, outcomes and understanding. Maintain your perspective and remember that details can be worked out independently.
  • Have a wide network of resources and use them intelligently.
  • Travel light—edit what you need to reduce the burden.
  • Be efficient—get to “done” and stop. Be realistic and focused.
  • Take care of yourself and maintain your energy, both physically and mentally.

Good lessons all around.

*My friend and co-worker Murali Iyer is one of the masters of working in this way.

Weekly Download 14.8

download-158006_640Here’s a recap of news and notes from around the Web that caught my attention over the past week or so.

Emergent architecture might be the key to closing the gap between business and IT. See Pragmatic new models for enterprise architecture take shape.

Ecosystem View of the Next Generation Enterprise | Circa 2014. Amazing that a single chart can say so much.

25 years of Microsoft Office roadkill. This article’s subhead says it all: “Love it or hate it, Microsoft Office has torn up the competition, leaving all manner of software carrion in its wake.”

Deloitte Consulting picks the brains of three diverse CIOs. CIOs Take Steps to Increase Business Value of IT.

Everyone is jumping on the theme of transformation:




Taking the Sand out of the Gears

Photo by Mark Baker

Photo by Mark Baker

As an avid cyclist, I know how important it is to maintain my equipment so it will function well and contribute to a smooth ride. Usually that means a few turns of a wrench, regular cleaning and regular lubrication. When you’ve ridden through sand, however, extra TLC is required. Sand is particularly gritty and sticky, which can slow you down and cause excessive wear and tear on the chain and drive train. The remedies include a quick wash, a deep cleaning or replacing the chain. What you can’t do, as a responsible cyclist, is ignore it.

To make an analogy, it’s a problem when sand gets into the gears of our business processes, too. Consider:

  • What slows people down?
  • What creates inefficiency?
  • What is the opportunity cost of not doing something that we know we should do?
  • How much time do we spend coordinating and communicating work unproductively?
  • Do we solve problems as they arise or let them grow?
  • Are we trying to set up others for success or do we only set up barriers?

We’re people. In our daily work (and personal) lives, all of the interactions will create sand and gunk in our minds. It’s a leader’s responsibility to help create an environment where cleaning out the gunk and striving for a smooth journey is the norm. That’s not to say there won’t be bumps along the road. But if you set the bar high and lead in a manner that fosters respect and support, you won’t have to do it alone.

Learn more about a leadership “way of being” in Leadership, Discipline, And Garnering Respect. This brief article reflects on a speech delivered by Major General John M. Schofield, the Superintendent of United States Military Academy, on August 11, 1879. His words have withstood the test of time.