vrijdag, oktober 28, 2005

proms - een nieuwe wereldvisie

zo hoor je het ook eens van een hoofdsponsor..
Never ending story
steeds diezelfde show,
Land of hope and glory
en Robert Groslot

Mozart en zijn kornuiten
't kan hier ook erudiet,
(en) als we luid genoeg fluiten,
hoor je die violen niet.

De nieuwe wererld: platte commercie, komische humor en bittere ernst..

donderdag, oktober 27, 2005

reorgs - how to set your bonus target

are reorgs ever really about making things more efficient, or are they rather intended to destroy all basis for comparison? more often than not, they appear to justify setting new baselines, so top management can have a fresh go at that bonus target?
reorgs are a way of life at **insert company name here**.. one of my colleagues, after returning from a 6-month pregnancy leave, had to go through x reorgs in her email.. top management reorg, divisional management reorg, departmental management reorg, ... the only people not reorg-ing are the little shrimp at the bottom of the sea, doing the, well, ground work.. (god i love comma's!)

it's probably something universal, though: divorce is also kind of a reorg, no?

John Walker, the microsoft fortune teller?

another must read article on microsoft by John Walker, dating from back in 1997

small quote, to get the main idea of it:

The technological frontier will not close, but it will be somewhere other than the PC software business. In terms of my 1989 nanotechnology screed, I think PC software is moving from the "Oh Wow" to the "Oh Well" stage. Microsoft may succeed in continuing to grow by diversification into media ventures and plush toys: but will see revenues from PC software transition from exponential growth to cyclical performance tracking the overall economy which is typical of mature industries.

i sure as hell don't spend another eurocent on updating my microsoft software.. in fact, not even upgrading the free software: had another go at firefox today.. makes me happy.. really, what are the features you effectively use in excel-whatever-the-newest-release compared to the 97 issue? 'trust me', excel is by far the most important tool for my daily job, so i do use many of the features, and i should know what i'm talking about.. (in a way, that makes me sad, i know..)

where is your company going today??

the microsoft insider 'mini-msft' seems to be frustrated with largely the same as many of my european acquaintances are:
I want those who have screwed up to be shown the door. I want those who have done an excellent job this past week to be told, "Hey, that's a great job!" vs. their manager holding their tongue, aware that the curve might trend their report downward. I want folks to speak their mind and help start putting forth proactive change. I want VPs and GMs to go without the new big pay-raise incentive bonus until after everyone else have been given reasonable compensation. I want less VPs and GMs. I want a flattening of all organizations with a goal, within the next few months, to remove one layer of management cross-company. I want a corporate efficiency-cop that people can bring in to help streamline their org.

this post on where microsoft should be going reminds me of initiatives launched at a random broekseele employer.. effective spending, working together, client focus,... all sound nice.. however, it is my personal feeling that persons cannot be made to spend effectively, to work together, to be client focused if it's not in their mindset from day 1.. sure, you can steer it a little bit, improve and optimize, but if your not a believer at the bottom of your heart, you won't become one after having followed some expensive courses..
ranting again, sorry.. i'll continue anyway, selecting some preferred examples randomly..

effective spending..
is about shutting down your screens and killing the lights when going home, it is about respecting meeting starting and ending times, having a meeting agenda and sticking to it, it's about having the right tools and accesses for the right people at the right time.. it's not about sharing a server between three or four applications, ordering less pens and pencils, and certainly should not translate into cutting back on the social spending allowance or training budgets..

working together..
is about respecting everyone's input, understanding reciprocal constraints and procedures, about caring about personal problems and making sure colleagues feel at their best when being at work.. about freely sharing ideas and laughs, not wanting to score in other people's domains just because 'it was your idea in the first place'.. unfortunately for some, it is not just another project to get yourselves in the spotlight, be it through brochures and newsletters, games and expensive lunches, or simply a footer at the bottom of your emails..

client focus ..
is about picking up a ringing phone (indeed, not just YOUR ringing phone), leaving updated voice messages or out-of-office messages for foreseen absences, and arranging such messages for your colleagues for unforeseen absences, it's about knowing where the limits are, so that you do not create expectations you know cannot be met.. alas, it is not about telling your client that he is indeed the most important client in the world, but it is behaving like he is.. it is not just about external clients, but also about internal clients..

for normal people, this may all be obvious.. for many colleagues, however, this must be quite a shock.. read the microsoft-man post above, to find many more examples from microsoft world..


PS: how can you make sure your own staff cares about your clients, and about effective spending, and about working together? make sure it is treated like the most important customer in the world by your own HR division, make that the compensation is right (not simply 'market benchmarked', but also in line with management's compensation), and appreciate all feedback you get, rather than punishing employees for it, and you shouldn't do too bad..

woensdag, oktober 26, 2005

value of my blog

peter from forret, who you remember most likely as the organiser of the first brussels bloggers dinner, has put a USD value estimation on belgian blogs.. with a little help from his friends at technorati and this Blog Value Estimator prepared by Dane Carlson..

My blog is worth $2,258.16.
How much is your blog worth?

this illustrates my previous point that blogging is not a mature market in belgium yet: if i can appear in this top 60 of belgian blogs, without spending too much time on it, it should be a piece of cake to make it to the top 10 (no offense, dear top-tenners!) when putting a bit more effort into it..

well, i'm enjoying it for as long as it lasts, 'cause peter has launched a call for more help with his categorising effort.. soon we'll be having half of skynetblogs populating the top 3,000, and it'll be bye bye for denjames.. my dear rikea is probably there to stay, and likely to go up (now that he's showcasing the movable type 3.2!!)..

vrijdag, oktober 21, 2005


belgian newspaper de standaard lists some outdated (2003) numbers on the proms.. that should be updateable, no?..

UPDATE: for once, standaard has appreciated the concert! peter vantyghem's article is 'du jamais vue' for DS

zondag, oktober 16, 2005



a good crew needs a good dinner.. and breakfast, and lunch.. Rock The Pots takes care of that, with a smile, and a joke.. Posted by Picasa

zaterdag, oktober 15, 2005


several people doing prospectie at the proms - scouting if you will.. yesterday featured a lady from a leading belgian television network, producing a reality show... they might do a season on the proms next year, someone came to assess whether the event was chaotic enough to fill thirteen weeks of television with interesting conversation, cliff hangers, and proper action every once in a while..
today, we have a class of sign-language interpreters.. each year, proms does one show where sign language interpreters appear on screen, to allow the - partially - deaf audience present that special evening to enjoy the music as well..
later this week, we'll be hosting german press, having a peak preview at the event that will tour germany - under a slightly modified form.. roger daltry will be top of the bill, midge ure from ultravox will join in germany as well.. holland will have seal, and so on and so forth..

press, in the meantime, are quite univocal about this year's edition: orchestra and choir are greatly appreciated, and so are safri duo and mr proms.. ace of base seem to be less attractive to the professional press, but the many fans don't mind.. well, it's a combination of different tastes and likings, no one can do good for all..

vrijdag, oktober 14, 2005


blogging, live from the proms.. with Mr Music John Miles taking care of the musical backdrop, i'm updating you on this year's edition of the proms.. we've just had the sparkling danish Safri Duo, percussionists with both classical and rock repertoire, in good tradition of the proms.. special guest for tonight still has to appear on stage, but I can still tell you it is.... the gorki man Luc De Vos.. the first one to be blogging this, i'm sure...
media covering this include 'de rode loper', vtm, vrt, atv, nieuwsblad, standaard, gva, ...

tune in for more scoops as the proms move further into their heavy tourschedule

dress rehearsal

tonight we had the dress rehearsal for the Proms, which is officially starting tomorrow.. special guest was there, all the usual faces from the production crew, old friends, some newer ones too.. lot's of last minute items to take care of, will keep promotor and production occupied for the best part of tomorrow as well (in fact, today).. Carl (Huybrechts, the MC) told me he felt good about the show, when watching the blokes from safri duo do their thing.. John (Miles, mr Proms) was enthusiastic as well, as he mostly is.. me too, i'm going to enjoy tomorrow - well, tonight..
see you there?


maandag, oktober 10, 2005

to take that perfect picture...

proms is starting end of this week. looking forward to that.

zondag, oktober 09, 2005

blog dinner in broekseele

met some interesting people on the blog dinner last friday, saw lots of good ideas, technical tips and hints, and ate too little spaghetti.. thanks, guys, for an enjoyable get together with geeks, uebergeeks, hobbyists, my brothers, an old university companion, regular blogging mums and dads... without wanting to repeat myself: blogging is so big, yet still so small (in belgium?, flanders?).. as a modest explorer in the 'real' blogosphere, i could freely sit around the table and share my views with the few blog-professionals around, without being attacked, ignored or alienated..

as my colleagues did, i'll refer you to lvb for the pictures, even if they're not all as flattering (but indeed, luc, without the flash they preserve more of the real atmosphere).. pascal's presentation was the most brainstormy-interactive one, filled with concepts and sites yet unknown to me.. the microsoft man was maybe more commercial, but also quite technical for a novice like myself.. lvb's presentation can be found online, so see for yourself! coolz0r seems to be apologising for his thoughts, but what i saw was a lot of enthusiasm for his domain.. we'll probably see more of this guy's new hobbyproject soon

all in all, happy i could make it, and enjoy the positive vibes from my blogging concullegas.. denjames

donderdag, oktober 06, 2005

vocab update

several times a day, i feel surrounded by the most hilarious kind of emptiness, produced by a malignant set of neo-consultants, uttering little less than endless bullshit.. unfortunately, the kind of communication practised by these colleagues is very contaminating.. more often than i like to admit, i end up expressing myself in utter gibberish-sounding hermetic **insert company name** concepts..

or, as another blogger put it on the webiste above:
I am considering initiating action toward your organization on the basis of copyright infringement on my last twelve RFPs. I'll have my people call your people.
— Paul Z.

ever needed to greenlight a business case for an upcoming roadmap prioritisation committee, considering depreciation, manday effort capitalisation, non-staffed and staffed contingency? or to issue an educated guess based, partially mandays extrapolated (using year to date average manday rates?), actuals financial reporting for a business model implementation committee? already sat on a capitalisation compliance committee? lucky you.. some people really thrive on this vocab, and can hardly express themselves any longer towards 'external people' in a somewhat enjoyable fashion.. let's hope i'm not becoming one of these people ..

thanks for pointing me out whenever i seem to be practising to get there..