Friday, 4 July 2008

Newsletter Issue 151, July 2008



Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 151, July 2008
Hi guys,
We conclude Anita Attridge's article on organisational culture in That’s How We Do Things Around Here, Part 5 below.
If you don't know what an exobyte is, find out in Our Expanding Data Universe
Don't forget, if you want to be taken off my mailing list, click here to send me a reply e-mail and I will remove your name.

That’s How We Do Things Around Here, Part 5

In the fifth and concluding part of Anita Attridge's article on organisational culture, we look at at networking as a method for learning about culture from within, and some advice from veterans.
Learning from Within: Networking
Networking and building relationships will help you to understand the nuances of how work gets done in your new workplace. Be sure to network with:
  • Direct reports
  • Co-workers
  • Your boss
  • Peers in other departments
Begin networking on your first day with the company, starting with co-workers and direct reports. They can help you to understand how work gets done in your areas, as well as in the company as a whole.
For example, finance, sales and marketing, manufacturing and HR will have their own functional sub-cultures within the wider context of the company culture. This is why there is often a “we” vs. “they” feeling among functions within a company. The employees in each of the sub-cultures may dress differently, have different physical work spaces and different ways of accomplishing tasks.
If you don’t like to network, do it anyway! And become good at it if you want to understand organizational culture and build relationships that can help your career in the long run.
Your networking meetings can and should be interesting . After all, you’re learning about the culture when employees tell stories about people and events that have taken place in recent years or decades. And the company lore reveals a lot about what is distinct and unique about the organization. Listen to stories about:
  • The heroes and how they rose to the top of the organization.
  • Crises encountered and overcome.
  • Milestone events in the organization’s history.
  • Anecdotes about senior management.
  • Management’s reactions to blunders and mistakes.
  • The handling of firings and layoffs.
Each story gives you additional insight into some aspect of the organizational culture. For example, in one company the story is often told about its response to a bad economic downturn. The company was strongly committed to no layoffs, so employees and management worked together to reduce everyone’s hours. As a result, no jobs were cut during the recession. The story reinforced company values regarding the importance of employees and the efforts the company would make to support everyone. This story was often told, particularly to new employees.
As you network, ask questions and listen carefully. Tell people that you are genuinely interested in finding out the insider’s view of how the organization works. Some of the questions you can ask:
  • What should I know about how to act?
  • How is success defined here, and how does one succeed?
  • What is the biggest mistake one could make?
  • What are the sacred cows that I need to be aware of?
The answers to these questions will help you to master the subtleties of corporate culture and avoid pitfalls.
 
Advice from Veterans
I asked a few of my Five O’Clock Club clients about the most important lessons they had learned in adapting to new workplaces. Their advice can serve as a summary of the points made here:
  • Do an assessment of your own needs. Know yourself, so that you will understand the kind of corporate culture that best aligns with your preferred working style.
  • Do your homework and learn about the cultures of the organizations you will be targeting.
  • Ask candid questions about the organizational culture during the interview and after you’re hired.
  • During the first couple of weeks on the job, observe carefully, meet as many people as you can, and ask about the culture.
You will have many challenges when starting a new job: Understanding your job responsibilities, learning what your new boss is really like, figuring out how best to get along with new colleagues. Make sure that learning and mastering the corporate culture is a top priority—to achieve the fit you want.
Reprinted with permission of The Five O’Clock Club (www.fiveoclockclub.com), an national career coaching and outplacement organization where the average professional, manager or executive finds a new job within 10 weeks.

Our Expanding Data Universe

In 2006, the world produced approximately 161 billion gigabytes, or 161 "exobytes", of digital information (to get a feel for that amount of data, imagine 12 stacks of books reaching from the Earth to the Sun or three million times the amount of information in all the books ever written).
The figure was produced by a study "The Expanding Digital Universe: A Forecast of Worldwide Information Growth Through 2010" from analyst firm IDC, and commissioned by EMC, a major data storage vendor.
Apparently it's going to continue to grow exponentially. According to IDC, the amount of information created and copied in 2010 will surge more than six fold to 988 exabytes, amounting to a compound annual growth rate of 57%.
The largest component of the digital universe, IDC said, will be images captured worldwide by more than 1 billion devices, from digital cameras to camera phones, medical scanners, and security cameras. The number of images captured on consumer digital still cameras in 2006 exceeded 150 billion worldwide, while the number of images captured on cell phones hit nearly 100 billion, IDC said. Digital photography by 2010 will capture more than 500 billion images. E-mail also will continue to be a large producer of information that needs transmitting, handling, and storing.
The number of e-mail mailboxes has grown from 253 million in 1998 to nearly 1.6 billion in 2006, reported IDC. During the same period, the number of e-mails sent grew three times faster than the number of people e-mailing. Last year alone, the e-mail traffic from one person to another (not counting spam) accounted for 6 exabytes of information. And instant messaging isn't to be outdone. IDC predicts that there will be 250 million IM accounts by 2010.
While nearly 70% of what IDC is calling the digital universe will be generated by individuals over the next three years, most of this content will be touched by a business or government agency network along the way - it will be held in a data centre or at a hosting site, it will travel over a telephone wire or Internet switch, or it will be stored in a backup system. Those organisations, IDC said, will be responsible for the security, privacy, reliability, and compliance of at least 85% of the information.
"The incredible growth and sheer amount of the different types of information being generated from so many different places represents more than just a worldwide information explosion of unprecedented scale," said John Gantz, chief research officer at IDC, in a written statement. "It represents an entire shift in how information has moved from analog form, where it was finite, to digital form, where it's infinite. From a technology perspective, organizations will need to employ ever-more sophisticated techniques to transport, store, secure, and replicate the additional information that is being generated every day."


Store Sent Outlook Mail with Original Message 2

Last time we looked at saving all your 'reply to' mail which you had created rules to arrive in mailboxes other than the Inbox with the original message. If, however, you want to only save some reply to messages in the original message folder, then the answer is to use Rules.
For example, if you want to move every message you send to the "Widget" company to a particular folder, but ignore all the messages that have "Read Receipt" in subject line, follow these steps:
  1. Go to the File menu, and select Folder. Create your new folder either underneath your existing Inbox, or underneath "Personal Folders" (equal with the Inbox). Click OK.
  2. Go to your sent mail box.
  3. Select the Tools Menu and click on Organise (or click the organise button on the toolbar)
  4. A field will appear at the top of your inbox window, entitled "Ways to Organise Sent Items", Click on the "Rules and Alerts" link on the top far right.
  5. A Rules & Alerts dialogue box will open, on the Email Rules tab. Click the "New Rule..." button.
  6. The Rules Wizard will open. Click the "Start from a Blank Rule" selection at the top.
  7. The Rules Wizard box view will change. Under "Step 1" select "Check Messages after sending", and ignore Step 2. Click Next.
  8. Under Step 1 "Which conditions do you want to check?", scroll down the list until you come to "with specific words in the recipient's address". Tick that box. Under Step 2, click on the "specific words" hyperlink.
  9. The Search Text dialogue box will open. Under the "Specify a word or phrase..." field, enter "widget". Click Add. You will see your word has now appeared in the Search list. Click OK.
  10. You will now see "specific words" has been replaced by widget. Click Next.
  11. In the "What do you want to do with the message?" box, under Step 1, tick "Move it to a specific folder". In Step 2, click the "Specified" hyperlink, and select the "Widget" folder from the pop-up list. Click OK. Then click Next.
  12. Under the "Are there any exceptions?" box, under Step 1, tick "except if the subject contains any specific words". In Step 2, click the "Specific words" hyperlink.
  13. The Search Text dialogue box will open. Under the "Specify a word or phrase..." field, enter "Read Receipt:". Click Add. You will see your word has now appeared in the Search list. Click OK.
  14. Now you are nearly finished. Just (a) enter a good name for your rule, and (b) click "Run this rule on messages already in Inbox". Click Finish
And you are done!

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs for you:
  • iSCSI (Internet Small Computer System Interface). This is an Internet Protocol-based storage networking standard for linking data storage facilities, developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).

Please feel free to email me with any TLAs that you want to get the bottom (meaning!) of.

Tips, Short+Hot Keys
Over the next few newsletters, we are going to look at all you can do with Alt and letters. This time it's L & M:
  • Excel "Display the PivotTable Field dialog box in PivotTables" Alt & L
  • Windows "Minimize all windows when taskbar has been selected" Alt & M
  • Word "Move between viewing the first line of a body text, such as a paragraph, or each paragraph's first line in a longer document, and viewing the entire body of text, while working outline" Alt & Shift & L
  • Word "List Num Field" Alt & Ctrl & L
  • Word "Print a mail merge document" Alt & Shift & M
  • Word "Insert a comment; use when reviewing a document" Alt & Ctrl & M

Hot Linx
Those of you who want to revisit classic books as an adult might enjoy the audio book downloads available free from http://freeclassicaudiobooks.com/
If you need a celebrity speaker in New Zealand, then this is the website for you. Go to http://www.csnz.co.nz/default,73,home.sm and browse speakers at http://www.csnz.co.nz/default,4879,speakers.sm?type=spk&start=0
For those of us who need a hand organising our technology, then lifehacker is an invaluable aid to all that is tech. Check it out at http://lifehacker.com/

                                Catch you again soon!! E-mail your suggestions to me here

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