People+Company Connections

I’ve been playing around with the social web for a while now. One of the things I’m interested in is how people are connected through organisations. For examply take the Australian Stock Exchange, there are about 1800 companies listed on the ASX all of which have a board of directors. Many directors sit on more than one board. So how do I find out who sits on what board?

I’ve maintained a private database in the past but I’m thinking of making it publicly available, in which case I should then wiki-fy it so that people can update it.

One place to build it is Cogmap which lets you create and share organization charts in a wiki-like manner. Alternatively there is Jigsaw a collaborative people and business directory with social media elements (invites and points).

I’m not sure which way to jump, but I want to seed my data and then let the users improve it. Then open the data further with to allow interesting and unplanned uses to emerge – like draw a map of 500 most powerful/influential board members in a country ranked by the market capitalization of their companies. This is sort of like They Rule without the Marxist-Leninist slant. They Rule allows you to create maps of the interlocking directories of the top companies in the US in 2004.

I definitely will build this. If you have suggestions I’m all ears.

Fee split etiquette

I am an active networker and I see many requests from recruiters to find a suitable candidate for a role. Sometimes someone replies with a request to split the fee.

Can we talk about good etiquette for a fee split?

If you work as a recruiter then it is quite reasonable to accept a fee split of some sort. However if recruiting is not the finder’s profession should they charge a fee for helping out a friend/acquaintance?
Will the finder participate in the guarantees the recruiter provides? Will we consider sharing expenses? Overhead charge?

What about the friend of the finder who is suitable for the role? Would you not refer a friend to what might be a great role because the recruiter will not split a fee?

Take this beyond recruiting and consider your professional skills or requests for assistance. If you put out a request for an introduction for some new business, how would you feel if an intermediary hit you up for a commission?

We share of ourselves not because there is something in it for us in this transaction. It’s the goodwill generated across a range of favours.

Let me know what you think.

Just start!

Over the years I’ve attended various “… for beginners” Q&A’s for writing, film making, script writing, blogging, and other creative endeavors. I remember a fan asking Harlan Ellison what computer software he writes with and thinking “If you met Shakespeare would you want to know how he trimmed his quill?”.

Sure that’s a but sarcastic, but really you should have some content ready before you worry about the technology. Otherwise there is always a better camera/microphone/software/whatever just accept what you’ve got and get started.

That’s my philisophy and sometimes I forget it. Why wait for something to be perfect? Once the project is underway then spend time perfecting if that will increase results.

This came up mainly because I was coaching a blogger today and they wanted everything perfect before launching into podcasting. Just start!

MBA 2008 Term 3

I’ll be doing Corporate Finance for my next MBA (Executive) course. This is interesting as I’ll be doing a few mergers and acquisitions so hopefully I’ll learn some interesting ways to structure a deal. So far there hasn’t been a lot of M&A focused subjects at AGSM.

Lectures start the week beginning 15 September 2008.

I should be able to post more regularly now.

MSN Clones update

In response to a question on MSN Clones I’ve been using Pidgin for multiprotocal IM on Windows and Adium on Apple Mac’s.

My kids still like aMSN and I like how easy it works for people who just want to connect to MSN buddies. However I have way too many people on Google-Talk to use a single protocol client.

Interestingly I’m using Skype for a lot of IM at the moment. After two or three IM’s it’s quicker to initiate a call. I like that functionality.

Data Analysis and Statistical Modelling exam

I’m studying for my DASM exam tomorrow. The study is not going well for two reasons:

  1. I’m a terrible procrastinator when it comes to exams
  2. I’m sitting on 80% of 55% for the course so far i.e. I’ve got 44/55 and tomorrow’s exam is worth the remaining 45% of the marks. So if I just pass I’ll get the credit I need to keep the my course average up.

This is not good because it would be good to get a distinction.

Additionally I’ve changed jobs two weeks ago. I’m tired, grumpy and need a break. I’ve done the least amount of work for this subject that I’ve done for any of the subjects so far.

It’s hard to keep plugging away tonight when there are things I’d rather do. Surely work-life balance comes into this?

I’ve also really enjoyed this subject. Those of you following me on Twitter will know that it really appeals to my inner geek. What’s not to like? I learned how to develop models to forecast things based on historical data. It’s a shame the real world isn’t more like that. Mind you the real world is like that if you have enough data and the correct model. 😀

Moving on from Oldfields

I’ve moved on from my role as Divisional Manager – Treco Garden Sheds at Oldfields Holdings Limited. At the end of my two year contract and am very happy with the results we achieved. The Directors’ Operations Review in the Preliminary Final Report to the Australian Stock Exchange for the year ended 30 June 2008 says:

Treco Garden Sheds

The Garden Sheds division performed well. This business is a solid contributor to the Group. This was assisted by the division’s management focus on better manufacturing efficiency. The company congratulates the Management for their Group contribution.

I’d like to thank my team at Treco for all their hard work and support over the last two years. Without them it wouldn’t have been possible to make record divisional EBIT in each of those two years. Thanks to Ian C, George D, Les J, Mario A, as well as my fellow ex-Treco’s Susan R and Brett C.

In manufacturing, I’d like to thank the production team: Tan Dat Ho, Minh, Frank, Ted, Ho, Tan Dat Ha, Suri, Michael T, Noelene, Toni, Neil, Mark, Maurice, Micko, Mick C, and Gabriel.

What did we do?

  1. Focused on low hanging fruit, grab what orders we could without huge retooling.
  2. De-hassle the workflow. We spent time and effort removing obstacles from our processes.
  3. Use subject matter experts. I didn’t tell them what or how to do it, I set the goal and trusted them to find a way. Then I cheered from the sidelines. This worked for both sales and manufacturing experts
  4. Use common sense. Just because we’ve always done something doesn’t mean we should still do it. Everyone can ask “why are we doing this?”

I will do a personal WWW/TALA on this over the next month (What Went Well/Take A Look At). Manager Tools podcast by Mike Horstman and Mike Auzenne taught me that acronym.

Anyway on the the next challenge which is with a fast growth firm. More later.

E MBA bloggers don’t update often

I was wondering that when I was investigating doing an MBA. May bloggers started to post on their experiences but then dried up.

Is the workload so onerous that they can’t find 10-30 minutes in a week to provide the update?

In my case AGSM MBA (Executive) is quite busy – it takes 8-10 hours of study per subject per week. When work gets busy I have to give up my family time or my online time. Sorry guys but my family comes first. Have you heard MBA = Marriage Breakup Academy?

MBA 2008 Term 2

I got a Distinction for my first term course Managing People and Organisations. Yay me! as my youngest daughter would say. More importantly I learned a number of different ways to expand my viewpoint.

My tendancy is to use decision shortcuts to achieve things quickly. While this has served me quite well in my career so far, I can also take some time to ponder or consider the second right answer.

Anyhow on to Data Analysis and Statistical Modelling for Business. Yay stats! Actually the KPI lover in me is really looking forward to this. A more immediate benefit is that I don’t have to work things out from scratch. Over this course I’ll get really good at regression testing and other quantitative skills

MBA Update 2008 Term 1

So this term I’ve been doing my first Organizational Behavior OB subject: Managing People and Organisations. I’ve received two distinctions so far on the assignments, despite being ridiculously busy at work. Now I have to knuckle down and review in preparation for the coming exams.

The subject matter is exciting and fascinating on both practical and intellectual levels.

Two major aspects for me are “It’s always about leadership” and a model of Compliance < Understanding < Internalisation

I’ll write something on them later.