Monday 26 September 2011

The myth of standardisation

[Image by  Someregger]

After reading the ERP paradox by Kailash Awati, I had that "Oh yes" feeling of recognition: someone was hitting the nail right on the head here.
Standardisation is a myth, especially when you go global. There are two simple reasons for that: customer demand and business supply

Ask a CEO what makes his business so special, and he'll start with "We distinguish ourselves from our competitors by..." and there you have it; let me translate that for you: "We do the exact same business as half the globe, but support more exceptions to the rules"

Sunday 18 September 2011

Intrinsic motivation - I doubt the research 1/2

Deb Louison Lavoy shared a TED talk with me, Dan Pink on the surprising science of motivation

Briefly summarising that, Dan shows proof of extrinsic motivation (pure money in this case) actually having little to none and sometimes even a negative effect on people's performance. In short, when the reward for a task was at its highest, people did actually perform worse than when it was a medium reward: in the experiment conducted there were three kinds of rewards: low, medium and high

I want to write two posts on this. This one is about me hairsplitting the very research in question that underlies Dan's passionate and entertaining TED talk. The second one will be about my opinion on intrinsic (and of course, extrinsic as well) motivation

Update 19th September 15:05 CET: I exchanged some tweets yesterday with some people about this post, and the outcome baffled me: people attacked me about intrinsic motivation in general, pointing me to research even (how ironic), and I even got called jerk and idiot.
Please read the above carefully before you react. I also changed this post and added one line below in which I clearly state that good performance in this test would entitle a participant to the equivalent of one month's worth of salary - for half a day's work. Performing very well would "only" double that. Would any performance below good be rewarded? No, not at all. So only good or very good performance would be rewarded. Well, I think it suffices to say that merely performing good - according to the research team - would be considered to be outrageously well rewarded by any participant. I'd sure as hell make sure that I perform just good, so there's hardly any incentive to perform very well
Hence why I consider this very research to be fraudulent and urge it to be completely ignored from a scientific point of view; and that's the only focal point of this post

The research paper can be found here - I'm referring to Experiment I only

Sunday 11 September 2011

Should I stay or should I go? At 40

Reblogged from Rajesh Shetty's "Why many smart people hit a plateau (and stay there)"

The magic number is 40.

Yes, it is at the age of forty that many smart people realize that they are stuck. I am not saying that smart people don’t get stuck some other time but 40 is the age where I have heard about “getting stuck” a lot more than other ages.

I first wrote about this in my book “Beyond Code” (foreword by my hero Tom Peters, free download) but it’s worth revisiting again.

Here is what I think happens. The first 10-15 years of working life seems like progress for most people although what is typically happening is general upward adjustment of salary that marketplace offers to pretty much anyone that is doing reasonably well. Exceptional people are getting a premium even during that period but the delta between exceptional people and good performers are not big enough to catch anybody’s attention.

Friday 9 September 2011

The second coming of 9/11

Over the past weeks I've watched the growing attention for the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 in every media possible, including so-called conspiracy theories. What strikes me most is that a majority of the attention is on the events itself, and very little on what to learn from them.
Since 9/11, the US government (agencies) have gotten an increased grip on privacy - not only in the US, but all over the world. Taking a flight has become a silly drag, where I for one sometimes don't have to take off my shoes while going through Customs, and sometimes I do.
Just one example, yet I could go on and on...

It doesn't matter whether I think (or rather, believe) 9/11 was an inside job or not, or whether measures taken since are proportionate or outrageous or anything in between. What does matter is the fact that the "War on Terror" has an eery resemblance to the Crusades

Thursday 8 September 2011

How to queue - that is the question

The other day my attention got drawn by a very large national company that claimed to have a performance problem: sometimes it would take ages for messages to reach their destination, and entire applications would come to a screeching halt.
After a few questions and answers, it was clear that they didn't have a performance problem: they had an architectural problem or, in a nutshell, a very unfortunate design

Queueing has become a much-appreciated message-transport system in the last decades.

Wednesday 7 September 2011

Selling licenses to bureaucracies is embarrasingly easy

This is a fictitious post. It's all based on nothing, if any, maybe my dreams or nightmares or who knows what. This isn't real - it's just a dream. Somehow my memory got enriched with this information, and whether it actually did or did not happen, I really can't tell.
Anyway, it's such a bizarre story that I want to share it with you. Here goes

Innovation - today's Golden Calf

This week I had a conversation about Innovation and IBM. Vijay Vijayasankar wrote a follow-up post on that as he was forced to "leave early" - this is my reply to that. I think the three of us usually agree pretty much on pretty much everything. And this was an awkward one really

Friday 2 September 2011

Klout's True Reach? Simply your follower count

In yesterday's post I busied myself with new ways of looking at Twitter statistics. Today I was suggested to compare them to Klout scores. I did, and I found out that their True Reach - that vast, impressive number that you probably look up to - is nothing more than a simple mathematical equation