Why IT companies are so concerned by latest (and future) USA administration moves.

Why IT companies are so concerned by latest (and future) USA administration moves.

Latest USA administration moves are rising a lot of concerns towards the IT community, and a lot of concerns worldwide.

There are, of course, different sentiments related to political beliefs, ethics and moral considerations that should be considered. I will not enter here in the political, ethical and moral arena to present my personal point of view on the specific subject but I would like make some considerations on the IT sector reactions to what is happening.

It is an easy prediction that the future economic outlook will be impacted by USA administration approach and actions, and this can cause understandable reactions on the various stakeholders.

It is interesting to note the different approach from companies that need a global market to survive, as the technological ones, and the ones that rely on local and few other markets.

This difference is, nowadays, more evident on the IT (SW, HW, Services) sector, a highly technological and advanced area that has 2 important needs:

1) highly qualified and skilled personnel

2) a global market to act on

Setting aside the ethical and moral considerations (which are, don’t get me wrong, imperative to anyone), from a business point of view there is no doubt that some markets (as the technological one) need globalization more than other to prosper and survive.

The IT market, although, cover a critical position here, since it is the engine of the 4th industrial revolution and it is facing, as of now, a growing resistance from the older economical model players; comments and reactions I have seen on various platforms are mostly expression of this growing sentiment.

The IT market needs, market historically leaded by USA companies, has been able to growth thanks mainly to innovation, openness and intercultural exchange.

People working in this sector belongs to different ethnic groups, countries and religions bringing, due to this diversity, high value thanks to their experience and approach. In order to create something new (which is what all the Information technology industry is about) a different approach to things is needed. It is not a case that the IT industry in USA has historically found in the open approach (in terms of market and human resources) a tremendous advantage which brought USA to lead the IT market.

IT CEOs are understandably concerned that the environment that made them prosper now can change dramatically. USA administration announced economic protectionism and other rumored or in place actions (last but not least the improperly so called “muslim” ban) could, as a matter of facts, harms those company’s ability to growth and prosper.

In this view it is totally understandable the concerns of important CEOs towards the present and future actions of USA government and the need to address those concerns openly in public.

If, as rumor says, one of the next moves will be to target H-1B visas (working visas) this will heavily affect those companies that will be forced to rethink their approach to the technological market may be forcing them, as an example, to move R&D facilities to more friendly shores.

The truth behind this is that the need for qualified people in the IT sector is still growing to a rate that there is no single nation, nor even USA, that can provide the resources needed to back up this development; therefore the need for qualified and skilled people coming from virtually anywhere is imperative for this sector.

Like it or not some political issues does affect the economic of some sectors, therefore is absolutely understandable that the technology market reacts toward an approach that can undermine its chance to grow, expand, and ultimately bring value to a country in terms of economic wealth and image.

It is worth to notice also that the IT sector is changing, the technologies are shifting from products to services that need a worldwide market to be remunerative. From Cloud to IoT, passing through security and Big data all the recent technology trends calls for the most open and widest possible market.

But there is another factor to take into account; the consolidated IT technologies that need a limited innovation approach are now offered also by emerging competitors in countries outside USA as china and others.

Even if not ready to provide, in most cases, a disruptive technologies advance those companies are able to produce, in the consolidated technology market, a stable product implementation and constant improvement in a price\competitive fashion. Quality issues in consolidated technology fields are a minor concerns since products tend to be aligned.

If we add the geopolitical issues that lead, as an example, some countries to start looking for alternatives to USA products (China, Russia, Pakistan, India are an example, but understandable the middle east area in the future) the picture is more clear.

This is not politic, but economy.

One further economical consideration, the inevitable shift to a so called “data economy” (the real meaning of the 4th industrial revolution) is something that should be driven. Closing the economy to the old models although make you feel in your “comfort zone” will just retard the inevitable, creating more later costs to adapt.

But there are also ethical and moral consideration to be taken into account, and most of those CEO for once demonstrate that business and ethics can match, probably due not only to their business but also their heritage.

Kudos to Satya Nadella , Brad Smith, Sundar Pichai, Tim Cook, Mark Zuckerberg and the others that put business and ethics as a matter and speak out.

Antonio

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Why IT companies are so concerned by latest (and future) USA administration moves. was originally published on The Puchi Herald Magazine

Watching the new presidents’ acts and talks (and the possible future outlook) And I am scared

Watching the new presidents’ acts and talks (and the possible future outlook) And I am scared

does the floor color make a difference here? really?

I usually do not write here about political stuff, if not in rare occasions but, hey, this is my blog at the end so I can express my feeling and thoughts.

I was watching today some videos related to USA president elected Donald Trump and his approach to the news (he would tweet: Fake news, sad!) and, honestly, I am scared to dead.

I do not like Mr Trump, USA citizens elected him so I have to cope with that, but this does not means I have to like him. I found most of his tweet questionable, his cult of personality disturbing, his approach with media alarming.

This does not means of course that media are always right, but is unthinkable to me that in a open democracy a president can consider communication a one-way affair and anyone who criticize him is “fake news“, “bad person”, “untrusty” or whatever mr Trump consider worth to put in a tweet.

let say the first days of his activity made me more worried than ever.

It was like the silly polemic on the amount of people watching his ceremony live. more than Obama one? Less than Obama one? the point was he could have managed, for my taste, the whole affair differently… claiming false statement was not the best presentation to the world… but the whole Trump administration seems to be  suffering from a severe news detachment, funny form a man that owe so much to the media.

Will mr Trump makes America great again? I am not so sure and, honestly, I haven’t understood what means america being great again, and what will be the price the world will have to pay for his vision. for sure at the moment I saw a clear detachment from actual data (take economic and crime data in USA compared to mr Trump assumptions) and a willingness to not respond to any doubt. He is autoreferential, he is the unquestionable metric for truth, ethics and results.

I saw this in the near past, from president Duterte from philippine, or Zuma in South africa, or turkey president Erdoğan or in a less recent past from Benito Mussolini or Hitler.

What they have in common? Extreme nationalism, cult of personality, hate for free press, being autoreferential.

I am not saying here that Mr. Trump will be like Mussolini, I am saying that there is a common pattern, and when I listen to absurd justifications like the ones presented to justify the false statements related to the crowd presence during mr Trump ceremony I am frankly scared to death.

But Trump, Erdogan, Duterte are a symptom of a bigger problem

We are on the verge of a 4th industrial revolution, but people of the countries all around the world seems to be oriented to close themselves into their borders in an attempt to protect themselves from the inevitable change. Alas changes will eventually come anyway and this is scary. Protectionism and nationalism are the first answer to change. But in the new world that we are shaping what will the consequences be?

If USA citizen will try to close their country (build the wall, remember) is in their right although not sure in their interest. Sure they are a big market, but it is not self sufficient. Without selling their stuffs outside how much USA economy will be affected?  Why a mexican should then buy a USA car instead of an European or Japanese or Chinese or Indian one? or why we should take a USA air flight unless we are forced to? (I actually travel emirates when I can).

But also why we should buy apple or use googleandroid? And the whole new list of technologies that will shape the new economy?  because this is the point, the new industrial revolution will put its root on data sharing… we will move from products to services, and to justify the investment needed we will have to scale at an international level.

Hate calls hate, racism calls racism, violence calls violence, disrespect calls disrespect. I know you don’t see it in your leader at the end you have to support him because it is what you created with your hands (vote) to cover your fears, but you should try to see it in other reactions where this is going …

Like it or not, this new economy will force to change our approach to job, new jobs will comes while other will die. Alas the trend is moving away from manual jobs to more skilled ones, more focused on the new technologies. Not only engineering, a whole bunch of new knowledge workers that will reshape the current middle class.

But we are in the middle of this change, we can’t see the light yet we just see the scary shadows of the tunnel. The good news is that all the industrial revolutions increased the number of workers, but at the same times have been shaped by crisis and, worst scenario, wars. We are experiencing the economic crisis right now (it is not over i am afraid) but we are (as people did in the past) addressing the new with old recipes.

In a Hyperconnected world as we are attempt to leverage censorship are questionable. China, north korea, Saudi Arabia, Iran will be the new references for the once flag of freedom of speech?

This is not just a USA issue, the rise of populism in Europe and in the rest of the world is a sign that this feeling is running through all the population of the biggest democracies (where you do not have democracy, well, you do not have the right to question the government and its rule).

The whole Brexit rhetoric has been based on this kind of assumptions (regain the control of our destiny, of our nation, of our economy so we will be again bigger, better, stronger …)that is not so different from the Front Nationale or Lega nord statements, or the Grillo’s claim of the need of a “strong man”.

What a twisted world it has become? Ironically the champion of capitalism, at the moment, is china with its free trade and free commerce slogans, while we ought to russia the safety for someone who disclosed USA attempt to hack million of USA and worldwide citizens.

Willingly or not the change will come, no matter what. The point is how much we will have to suffer because of this resistance.and remember each time you do not drive the change the change drives you.

hope for the best but prepare for the worst… at the moment I am scared because I see the down of an old era trying to strake the last shots, and they will hurt…

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Watching the new presidents’ acts and talks (and the possible future outlook) And I am scared was originally published on The Puchi Herald Magazine

weak manager style

weak manager style

In a previous post (http://www.thepuchiherald.com/2016/03/04/management-style-common-error-to-avoid/)  I tried to put some rationale on my thoughts about management, designing some of the characteristics a manager usually have (bad ones of course).

One of the biggest “Ahas!” new and experienced managers (and the people who work for them) have experienced  is the realization that being a strong manager doesn’t mean being forceful or domineering.

It’s just the opposite — strong managers are strong enough to lead through trust, whereas weak managers have to use the force of their job titles to make people listen to them.

Most of the management style depicted (not all) were management style that needs leading thorough fear, since they does not use, require or being able to use trust as a management tool.

When we talk about fear-based management, it’s the weak managers we are referring to! You can spot a weak manager at a hundred paces or more, because weak managers are the ones who raise their voices, make threats and generally keep their teammates off-balance and worried about pleasing the manager when our customers need them to be happily focused on their work.

Strong managers lead through trust. They trust their teammates and their employees trust them. They don’t have to be right. They don’t care whether they are right or not, as long as the right answer emerges from the conversation. They don’t have to be bossy. They trust their employees to know what to do and to ask for help if they need it. But we know trust is a bi-directional thing.

Weak managers don’t trust themselves enough to lead that way! And moreover do no trust the others because they project their mindstate on other behaviours.

Here are five sure signs that your manager is a weak manager pretending to be strong.

We can feel sorry for him (really?!?) or her but you don’t have time to waste in a workplace that dims your flame. If your manager is not a mentor and an advocate for you, you deserve to work for someone who is!

Can’t Ask for Help

When a weak manager isn’t sure what to do next, he or she won’t ask the team for help. Instead, the weak manager will make up a solution on the spot and say “Just do it — I’m the manager, and I told you what I want!” A weak manager cannot ask for input from people s/he supervises. If you try to reason with your weak manager, s/he’ll get angry.

Needs a Handy Scapegoat

When a weak manager notices that something has gone wrong, he or she has one goal in mind: to find somebody to blame! A strong manager will take responsibility for anything that doesn’t work out as planned, and say “Well, what can we learn from this?” A weak manager can’t take on that responsibility. He or she must pin the blame on somebody else — maybe you!

Can’t Say “I Don’t Know”

A strong manager can say “I don’t know what the answer is” many times a day if necessary, but a weak manager is afraid to say “I don’t know.” He or she will lie or start throwing figurative spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks.

Strong managers learn fast because they learn from successes and misfires, both. Weak managers are not as open to that kind of learning, because so much of their mental and emotional energy goes to deflecting blame when something goes awry.

Measures Everything

Strong managers focus on big goals. They follow the adage “The main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing.” Weak managers get sidetracked with small, insignificant things. That’s why a weak manager will know that you worked until nine p.m. last night averting disaster, but still call you out for walking into work five minutes late the next morning.

Weak managers rely on measurement instead of judgment when they manage people. They have a yardstick for everything. They will say “I manage by the numbers” when in fact, they aren’t managing at all.

Can’t Say “I’m Sorry”

The last sign of a weak manager is that this kind of manager cannot bring him- or herself to say “I’m sorry” when a stronger leader would. They can’t be criticized and they can’t accept feedback, however compassionate. They can’t take it in, because their ego is too fragile to acknowledge any room for growth.

Life is long, but it’s still too short to waste time working for someone who can’t be human and down-to-earth at work. Work can be a fun and creative place, or a sweat shop where you count the minutes until quitting time.

One of the biggest determining factors in your satisfaction at work is the personality of the manager you work for. Don’t you deserve to be led by a person with the courage to lead with a human voice?

People say many things about management, but one thing they seldom say is that the job is easy. If it were, we wouldn’t have chronically dismal employee engagement rates hovering nationally around the 30 percent mark. Accordingly, here are five basic skills to focus on – attributes, actually – five areas where it’s easy to stumble, but where improvements can make the difference between failure and success and are a portrait of strong managers.

Patience

Who doesn’t need more patience in a managerial role? I know I did. There are about 600,000 things – from your own boss, to deadlines, to the grinding pressure “to do more with less,” to those nettlesome customers and employees! – that can stress you out. Besides, patience has a long tail. Employees appreciate being treated with patience when things go a little off track. They’ll often remember it and reward you with better effort.

Patience means you think and evaluate things, weight them and make your dcision based on solid fact and not upon the heat of the moment.

Courage

Have the fortitude to hold your people accountable for the big stuff they need to get right. It’s easy to default to pesky micromanagement on trivial details, but what most matters as a manager is keeping the important work on track: the complex projects, the big-ticket budget items, the key strategic initiatives.

Numerous studies show managers have chronic problems with accountability. So focus your energy in the areas where it’s most needed – with the courage to hold people responsible for the results your organization requires.

There is another site of the accccountability, courage means also to protect your people when they need to, we know corporate environment is all but fair, so a manager must have the courage to erect a shield when its people is under attack.

Thoughtfulness

Have the thoughtfulness to take the modest amount of time required to praise your people when it’s deserved. Avoid the all-too-common trap of being parsimonious with praise. To what end? Well-placed praise is one of the simplest and best management investments you can make. It costs nothing and motivates effectively. Why don’t managers use it more? I never fully understood the reticence.

Praising people can goes to a “good Job” at coffe machine, to a fair setting of goals and evaluation. Not recognizing efforts will make your people just stop trying.

Fairness

Avoid the natural tendency to play favorites. Indeed, this is a perfectly natural human tendency. Some employees are just more likable, others more difficult. Good managers keep their personal emotions in check. Resist the understandable tendency toward favoritism. Fight it. Subdue it. Defeat it. You’ll be respected for it.

And try to push the same attitude in your group, if such problem arises better to deal them or, sooner or later, they will strike back harder.

Execution

Simply put, execution is everything. Business is no academic realm of abstract ideas. To the contrary. An excellent idea counts for nothing if not properly executed. As Ross Perot used to say, “The devil’s in the details.” Operations matter. Trains have to run on time. As a manager, you’ll be judged on execution. On results (hopefully). How effectively does your team get done what they need to? Were desired targets reached? Keep your eye always on the executional ball – it can make the difference between managerial success and failure.

Do not micromanage, but be ready to move away obstacle that can avoid your group to reach theyr (and your) goals. Work with your group to solve issues, not be part of the problem.

One thing I always liked about management was that it was a fundamentally practical exercise. Tangible and results-oriented. It’s by no means a simple job, but small improvements can yield big results.

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weak manager style was originally published on The Puchi Herald Magazine

The rightful way to make an employee unhappy

The rightful way to make an employee unhappy

ManagersManagement is a difficult art, management in a big corporations is more difficult. Management in a corporation where multicultural requirement is a need is even more hard.

We all know it and, at a certain extent, we have to deal with it. We can’t expect everything works good and right, and we have to show flexibility and we have to open to change and embrace the new but…

Let’s be real, no matter how much effort you put sometimes things are just not right.

There are plenty of ways a company can make your life miserable, and usually they try to ise them all, sometimes the environment is so strong that even the best manager have to comply to disgraceful attitudes.

let’s name some that can turn your working life in a nightmare, some are directly related to management styles, other to corporate rules (mainly thanks CFO and HR)

Diapositiva3

Micromanagement

This is a common nightmare. The manager that want to check every single details. but not in a helpful proactive way, but in a compulsory need to not give delegation or autonomy to the people.

Usually micromanagement comes with a exaggerated manager ego (I am not right because I’m right, I am right because I am the Boss) and a fundamental mistrust of the other people.

Quite a sociopathic attitude? not really is more common than we should expect. It happen that people moved to management position change their attitude and adhere to this model.

Usually the micromanager is also extremely rude and impolite, the kind of guy that calls you at 10pm shouting if you do not anser immediately. you do not have right to your personal life, you life should be built around your manager.

nd of course the micromanager value your time in a different way, so no matter if you reach your goal, the important thing for the micromanager are:

  • do it his-her way
  • time, the more you stay at office the better (so it can control more?)

The point is if you are looking for a life balance, with this kind of managers the only way is to rule out your brain from you work, and just act as a robot. But I can assure you he-she will shout anyway

Yes Man

You know those managers that follow blindly company rules? even the most stupid one? Have you ever worked in that environment?

This situation usually comes together with the denial. Evidence does not touch the manager that will always find a good reason to justify company strategy. When they talk it seems that everyone (except you) are working in a fairyland where all help together, communication is perfect, company treat employees like sons or daughters, and all are working for the greater good.

of course you that object that the reality is different are the point of failure of this model if problems comes they have to be hidden or the blame have to e given to someone in a lower hierarchical status.

No roads no direction

Another typical things that make people unhappy is not to see directions, again a trait of many managers. Every change is allowed and you can’t see a strategy or purpose. Hard to be committed when you can’t see a good reason to do it. But of course every change has a reason, and if you do not cope is you that resist to change.

KPI or how to make clear you will never reach them

KPI (Key Performance Index) are another instrument of torture if used well (and they know how to se it). Basically the idea is to put them at a level that are not reachable, but in a way the fault is your one.

KPI are not necessary sales target wich, by definition, are unreachable, but a complex set of manure used to drive you mad. The more your job is based on intellectual stuffs the better will be your KPI. used as a metric from someone that probably has not idea what your work actually is. but at the end we are all replaceable, and so your work is not so important.

KPI are a fine agreement between two evil entities, your management hierarchy and HR department. HR apparently usually put a lot of effort in designing non understandable systems that seemed to used to target the employee to lower his-her satisfaction, self esteem, professionalism and committment.

Those little financial rules

CFO and financial office are another piece of the puzzle. there are plenty of rules that cha drive you mad.

The complicated procedures to make an expenses refund request are usually a good indicator, the more complex the more easily you get frustrated.

but there are those little rules that really piss you off:

  • Some companies does not allow you to take Mileage gained with flight, since company pay those miles are of the company…

this would be even correct if the company would demonstrate the same attention to the employee need, but usually this is just one little drop in a “cut expenses beyond ridicolousness”

  • Some companies put rules on your laundry, the craziest? You can claim laundry for everything but underwear (it is real,it is real, I can prove it)…
  • Some companies have a certain discretionary ability to move expenses form what is personal expenses to what is business related.

it is quite a common understanding that you have to advance a certain amount of money, wich will be repaid accordingly to the company process. Pity this process usually takes a long time, and the more you have had to advance (bigger expenses claim) the more you have to wait.

Of course the fact you are not travelling for your happiness and pleasure but for job does not come to the mind of the CFO that is probably sat in the office, and when move take a first class flight and can claim every expense.

Cars and other allowance

Ok you give me something for work that is also a benefit. Benefit means it is part of my incomes. so why sometimes this benefit turns out a mer cost since you can not use it for non-working activities (or the constrain are so hight you simply don’t do it?)

From not allowing your husband-wife to drive, or not covering with insurance in non working trip there are a lot of ways to make a benefit non usable.

Of course the best way is not give it to you at all with some good reason, but better not complain, all have to do some sacrifice for the company ou should try to understand.

Phone is another wonderful thing that can slightly make you uncomfortable, mostly if you are an international traveller. policy on phones can var from company to company. some simply does not care (up to you), other provide sim but not phone (but then require you to install any kind of crap on your personal device, it is called BYOD). A classic is to pretend you do not use phone for personal reason (calling family) even if you are on business trip, at the end you live for work not for your beloved. and of course roaming is out of question in most of the case.

Sacrifice and culture

we should all do something for the company.

It hurts me but …

a little sacrifice is mandatory

all nice statements if the company would pay it back with the same coin, but usually those requirements are mono-directional, from management to you.

Is like when a CEO ask for a important layouts and then got a mega bonus, sacrifice hurts mostly if it seems that you   (and your peers) are the only one which is required.

In some culture the idea of sacrifice is embedded, but here the aim is to leverage the idea the lower hierarchy has do extra job (hours, activities) because is the right thing to do; something like if the contract that ties the relationship between employer and employee does not already states what an employee is paid for. If sacrifice can be understandable in exceptional situations, can’t be the rule.

Same with culture. Embracing new culture is a bidirectional activity, you can’t ask to understand new culture if you close yourself. There are company that beside the claiming to be “international” are in reality completely closed to the other work culture. typical example is the HR manager that does not even talk the local language.

Flexibility

For some strange reason flexibility is a thing that tend to decrease with the hierarchy. the more you go up the less flexibility is required. So the lower level have to adapt and cope, and be flexible.

But curiously when is the employee that ask in exchange a little flexibility this is denied. so is goof to ask you to work on saturday without pay, but don’t dare to ask a day or some hours to go to a funeral (I’ve seen this as well, alas).

Trust

Trust is a bidirectional thing, you can’t trust someone who does not trust you. at some extent it can be understandable that the company take precautions but it can’t, at the same time, think you have to trust back. If you feel you’re not trusted you will not trust them, as simply as at. Tustin company components is hard, but bad managers and HR usually are in the Top Chart.

So Do not ask me if I’m sending CV away, I do not trust you will understand.

… and so on

 

Every one of those aspect, per se, can be managed, but usually they comes all together (or at least most of them), because they are all sign of a bad management attitude in the company. Good managers can mitigate this, this is usually exacerbated by bad managers that add their incompetence to the company environment.

 

 

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The rightful way to make an employee unhappy was originally published on The Puchi Herald Magazine