Anybody in for collective team intelligence?

Slow DNS? Shift to Google!

If you have a shaky DNS at your provider, consider switching to Google DNS servers: 8.8.8.8 8.8.4.4 All these 8's are funny googles 🙂 Alternatively, OpenDNS is good. But google ones will not show you ads of annoying pages if the DNS resolution plain fails. It will just fail.

Basic Things to Help Improve Performance

Advanced stuff is overhyped

There is no use for advanced techniques if the basics aren't in place. Still, I do see a lot of people buying book after book about improving things in their lives, only to not apply even a single idea in them. And going to seminars that do not change anything in their future trajectory. It seems to me that they do search for a magic bullet that will solve all their woes. Truth be told, such a thing doesn't exists. Even remotely.

Happiness is a way of life, not a goal

So, focusing on basic things that work is really the key to, dare I to say it, happiness. Adding "things" is not going make one happy. It just adds, and adds, and like addiction, you need more to feel the same satisfaction. That's a death spiral. It exhausts the person, make it a shadow. So, this led me to consider that happiness is not something to be "had," it is a way of behaving. A way of life.

Being in the moment is key

Once you let go of that "goal" and "thing to be had" spirit, only then can you truly enjoy being there and appreciate the moment. Being "in the moment" is really a great gift to oneself. Stay in the past, and you'll stay stuck. Project yourself all the time in the future, and you'll be as stuck. Because not taking care of the present is what leads to trouble. Only being in the present leads to change that is not "by default" as decided by other people. It is so because it allows you to be really connected to who you are.

Top performance requires to be really you

Going back to performance, one needs to be aligned with what really matters on a deep personal basis. If you do perform for external recognition, money, or whatever stick someone waves at you, forget about sustained top performance. You'll cut it once or twice but one day, you'll see the abyss of nonsense under your feet. Why take the chance? Truly be who you are deep inside. That's all that will matter in the end.

Featured in SPaMCAST 198: Culture and Organizational Change

I've been interviewed by Thomas Cagley (@tcagley on Twitter) about culture and organizational change. Have a go at listening to the interview over here

Execution is everything. Ideas are nothing.

ID 10070171 Well, okay, an idea may be worth EUR 0.01, or $0.01. Given the EURUSD swings, it is hard to say with precision but it is sure not that much. Everyone has ideas. I’ve got a ton of ideas. My wife has truckloads of ideas. Great ideas, workable ideas, ideas that could be planned, ideas that could generate a lot of money, ideas that could change the world. Yeah. Great. Awesome.

But not worth much if not executed.

I’d already be a billionaire if I got paid based on how many ideas I can generate. But that’s not what counts. Just consider that an idea is worth zilch, zero, nada. You’ll be better off. You’ll be able to focus on the ideas that do matter to you. And then maybe execute them. But then, they shouldn’t be ideas.

They should be opportunities.

ID 10048934 An opportunity is something that has the potential to accrue value at a point in time. Once the opportunity is identified, now you have better chance on shaping something called “a business.” Until then, that’s just a bunch of ideas in la-la-land.

Now, here comes the hard part.

ID 10057422 You know the 99% chunk full of perspiration, the endless nights of rework, the moments when you just hate yourself for having embarked on that damn execution of your idea. The risk containment you’ll face, the cash-flow nightmares, the hard decisions. Because that’s a completely different territory over here. At the small scale, just something as this newsletter issue has to move from the idea down to the opportunity and then to the execution where it gets materialized. Things are going through your brain when you do this. In fact when you do anything. Things like asking yourself about what to write, about how to shape it. And getting it out of the door in due time (I’ve not always been stellar on this but if you stop after having missed the boat once, I can tell you that you’ll get stranded very fast!). Execution makes one face the harsh realities of a limited world that works in its own way. Ideas don’t face that. That’s why they aren’t that worth much if not executed. You know this guy, Steve Jobs? People call him “a genius.” Sure.

A genius in transforming ideas into finished, brilliant products.

Watch a bit of all of this in this video of Jobs and team at NeXT. I am typing this on a MacBook Pro, and switched my interest on OSX/iOS and Open Source away from Windows technology when it comes to software development. It is just better. Better in style, better in experience, developer of otherwise. Look in the video when he says that psychological and market realities are more important than what *he* wants. Windows has its space in the corporate environment, sure. But for innovative work, that’s not going to happen there. There are just too many internal turf wars inside Microsoft. It shows outside. And I don’t like what I see.

I vote with my attention.

Windows now is running inside a VM on the OSX box. As a subsystem. Ever remember Silverlight? It’s dead. .NET? Given the push on Windows 8 and tablets and WinRT, well, you just got the rug taken from under your feet. Again. Like with VS6, MFC, and ATL. No problem per se with .NET. Just that I am not going to commit my attention on that. I do have perfect partners for taking care of that should you need it (let’s get in touch if you need some BTW). Interestingly, earlier this week, I’ve been involved as an expert at the Microsoft Innovation Center in Mons for the Boostcamp initiative. I spent a while with two aspiring entrepreneurs with interesting ideas. We chitchatted about their project and I helped them with new angles and views, and some technological options that they could leverage. I wish them the best.

They are about to decide if they are going to cross the Rubicon.

In fact, they have their idea, materialized it somewhat. And now, they’ll have to decide if they commit to the execution. It is no wonder to me that they key word here is “execution.” There is a risk of getting a solid chunk of your assets killed in the process. Are you ready to take the plunge on the execution? If you are, I hope you are able to ask for help when you’ll need it. Because nobody has all the answers when it comes to execution. Before this rant runs for too long, let’s just remember what Aristotle said:
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
As a consequence, extraordinary execution (and products/services/results coming out of such an execution) are merely the side effects of good habits. Habits of taking the high road and getting things done. What are you repeatedly doing? --Philippe       Images courtesy of http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Insights into what #bigdata is and how to deal with it (by Sogeti’s VINT)

I attended Sogeti's event yesterday and it was a great. Lots of insights. Watch this vid that covers some of the discussed ground. I'd rather name all this "Big Insights" since that's what we are interested in as outcomes. Data is meaningless per se. My body is full of information but I don't need that at all, it handles itself. Maybe that's what we should target. Recorded Future from Sogeti VINT on Vimeo.