Monday, July 31, 2006

Place Holder

sorry, been a bit busy, back soon ....
but in the mean time

Saturday, July 08, 2006

For the love of Fuzz …

It’s a dilemma for any employer.

You spot and recruit raw young talent, you nurture it , you give it opportunity, you hone its skills, you give it wings.
If you’re good it returns to you stronger more worldly wise and even more useful to you than before.

But finally you many have to face the fateful day when the formative ‘sea cadet’ decides to jump ship !

If you’ve got it right by this time of course, this ‘able seamen’, has grown up and developed into a trusted ‘boat captain’ who only has to frown and people listen too and respect.

Now this is especially so in the software industry, where true talent is oh so hard to come by.

And I’m not talking about, sales weasels, middle management, support staff or even senior management ...

True techie talent is hard to come by, and even harder to keep focused, and harder still to keep in the groove.

So how do you deal with this ?

Well obviously any progressive, forward thinking, software organisation, will have in place a dedicated specialist HR function that works ‘with’ the ‘talents’ command structure, and the ‘talent’ themselves to plot and a nurture/development strategy that will be of short, medium and long term benefit to the company, and to the ‘talent’ themselves.

Each one of these plots will have to be highly individual, and tightly focused.

Now you’re bound to loose some souls along this voyage.

But, some of your chosen talent makes the cut, you must make sure you’ve got a future path planned for their talents, coz even though were all older and wiser the same rules apply, just the stakes to you as the employer just got a hell of a lot larger.

At least, that’s how you would hope a progressive, forward thinking, software organisation, would function !!

So eventually the fateful day arrives, ‘jack’ rocks up and slings you the white envelope.

If you’ve been on your metal, you should have had a good idea it was on its way, and planned accordingly, if it’s a complete surprise them you probably need to review your HR function, and put in place some serious corrective action to get you back on the lay line ASAP, and make sure you’re not faced with this embarrassment again.

So what are your options:

Do Nothing

– the classic head in the sand manoeuvre, it wasn’t me guv. Let the talent walk and we’ll cope (I hope!) ….


– So why do you want to jump ship? What can we do to make you stay. Do we need to look at the structure of the organisation and review the way we operate. Do you want to take a sabbatical then come back and discuss it some more later? Are the issues you have on the boat insurmountable?

Basically, we love you, this is your home, you’re family, can we talk this thing through ?

Now all these things depend on how valuable the talent is to you as the organisation….

In our business, good talent is our life blood.

You loose too many crew its not a case of slipping a boat length behind in the current race.

It’s more a case of not having a enough crew to get the boat in the correct shape to even make the gun for the race next series.

And even if you do take the gun, have you got the right balance of talent who can read the play, call the plot, command the respect of the pit, adjust the tactics to suit the changing conditions, and liaise on the right level with entire organisational structure ??

So, news reaches me here, the other side of the world, that Fuzz is about to resign his commission …

And my initial thoughts were ...

I’m gutted …

Followed by, what the F*** …..

It’s rare, in this bubble we sail in to come across talent so good, intelligent, focussed, articulate and still have the ability to be customer facing, and constantly do a storming good job, in the face of the adversity we face out here almost every day.

This talent is nothing short of startlingly good

– and before you even think it, I’m not over egging my superlatives – I haven’t even started.

Even here, 12,000 nautical miles away, our customers ask for him, by name !

So hypothetically, if I was the commodore of this fleet, and this news reached me.

What would I do @ this moment ?

I’d discuss the options in depth with my trusted lieutenants,

I’d them bring in an external specialist to provide an independent thought avenue, deliberately distinct from theirs

I’d go and meet Fuzz, face to face at a time and place of his choosing.

I’d appeal to his better nature, its never just about money, but it can be the opening beat.

I’d ask him, where we need to be, what he wants to do and how can we facilitate that, and I’d ask candidly what, if anything, does he think is broken here ?

If I made any promises. I’d make damm sure I’d kept them

And I’d do all this very very quickly

I’d also bring along the biggest pair of golden handcuffs I could get specially made for this task.

Failing that as a near to final gambit, I’d cheat! And stitch Fuzz up.
Basically I’d blackmail him (in the nicest possible way) and then present him with the biggest pair of handcuffs I could get made etc,etc,etc ...
Always make sure the pill is sweet.

But, if all else fails, you gotta let him go, but make sure he’s welcome to come and sail on this fleet again, whenever and wherever he likes, and don’t forget to take some his ideas on board so that if he does look back as he leaves the quay.

The old ship has had a new coat of anti-foul and the brite work glimmers.

Bristol fashion.

In truth, no organisation, however strong, can afford brains trust this good to just to walk out the door….

A couple of final statements before I close:

Fuzz, if you read this.

I wish you well.

If you decide to stay on you own terms, fantastic.

If you decide that this gig still tastes bitter and there is another boat you want to have a crack at, then we will miss you.

But personally, if that’s what you decide then, I wish you good luck and god speed – may Neptune always be with you.

You’ll always be welcome to come and sail with me

If any of Fuzz’s management happen to read this entry,

I’ll be blunt …

when it all comes ringing down guys,

If you kiss it, your gonna miss it

The choice, as they say, is yours

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Monday, July 03, 2006

The Weather

Well we seem to be enjoying better than average sunshine here in the best city in the
world. So on Sunday we decided to get up early and take the sustrans cycle path from Bristol to Bath.

I thought I'd share some photties with you all.

So we started off @ 10.30 am, cycled the 20miles to Bath, got there just as the Hop Pole opened, enjoyed a few scoops of Gem and Ashton Press based muscle relaxant.

Started the return voyage .... and suffered all the way in the crippling heat (well I am a west european, blue skinned celt you know - were only used to warm sunlight on high days and holidays !), so instead of heading straight home we pitched up @ the mud dock on the quay and enjoyed a refreshing breeze, oh and jug of Pimms.

We then braced the climb up the hill to Bishopston and crashed out in the garden. Ready for another fine week in the wonderful world of work .....

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