In support of Zero Email initiative

Thierry Breton.

Some thoughts infulenced by an interview with Thierry Breton (ATOS CEO) on his Zero Email initiative and idea to ban internal email communications within February 2014.

…the fact that most of the young people that we were hiring were not using email anymore after graduating from universities.

They were instead mainly using instant messaging tools and social networks like Facebook – and for most of them, when they joined Atos it was first time they had ever worked with internal email tools like [Microsoft] Outlook.

Awesome! Someone finally has decided to listen to a newly hired Gen Y. That’s partly my case, so I’m really involved into that case.

So this intrigued me – and in addition I had already been thinking for many years that most of my colleagues and my employees were spending increasing amounts of time on internal emails.

Please read the full intewiew, it is really helpful.

As for me as a Gen Y guy, most valuable of it is idea to listen Gen Y folks – we’re the future and it really helps to get an insight. It’s 10 years since I’ve finished school and last week I’ve been there at annual alumni meeting, where my teacher told me how nowadays’ scholars are doing: they use VoIP and public social networks to collaborate and define homework tasks, it’s within their DNA. Even now best of graduates come here and what do they see? A corporate ban on any modern browser, which is #1 web tool for every younger.
So as for me that Zero Email is 1st of all a nice example of listening to younger folks.


Getting to orbit

A few months ago I’ve changed my job from HR consulting ( to FMCG (Mars; food production) company.

Some changes I’ve mentioned before:

  • I make ~200 km per day; by car or by a corporate bus (which gives an unique opportunity to sleep while travelling with payoff in 2 additional hours of sleeping in the morning).
  • If using bus, getting to workplace at 8.30 means waking up at 6.00. It’s very early for Moscow) I didn’t ever thought I’ll be waking up so early.
  • The job is nice. The Mars is nice. The people are nice.  The only bad thing is this everyday bus trip though it’s much better when the car is okay: driving, listening to music, watching airplanes taking off in Domodedovo airport, and enjoying the sun.

Question of a day: where to put a message?

Just got this pic in my twitter from Valdis Krebs:

Where to put a message in a social network?

I’ve decided for Heather, and let me explain:

  • this person isn’t the most interconnected:
    • Diane – 6 connections,
    • Fernando, Garth – 5,
    • Andre, Beverly – 4,
    • Carol, Ed, Heather – 3,
    • Ike – 2,
    • Jane – 1.
  • Diane is the most obvious selection – she has the highest centrality (where n = 10, deg(v) see before as connections’ count):

Centrality formula

    • Andre – 0.4,
    • Beverly – 0.4,
    • Carol – 0.3,
    • Diane – 0.6
    • Ed – 0.3,
    • Fernando – 0.5,
    • Garth – 0.5,
    • Heather – 0.3
    • Ike – 0.2,
    • Jane – 0.1.
  • but she’s the only connection with the shortest path – the maximum route length (thus also message distributing speed) will be:
    • for Diane – 5 nods,
    • for Heather – 2 nods.
  • And the winner is… Heather! (as the fastest message spreader).

    Statistics generation: custom solution instead of Reporting Services

    Today we’ve finished one project which took a plenty of time to be realised – a custom statistis module based on SQL data and realised as MOSS\WSS (SharePoint) webparts kit.

    We have extremely tough queries and quite complicated data model, so we decided to get another solution:

    • The whole thing is divided into 5 parts each describing different business viewpoint of the data; all these viewpoints have been deployed as custom web-parts with initial constructor implemented with 1st webpart.
    • SQL code takes about 14 500 (!) lines in 6 different UDFs, which all were written by one person; another guy created webparts.

    Finally, we’ve done it. Hurray!

    How management would use information: PR in reactions

    Alexander Zurabov, ex-head of the “Aeroflot” board – How Management Would Really Use Information: How Management Would Use Information (article in Russian).

    I’ve translated a bit to make it readable for English-speaking users:

    It’s a pity, but in every airline’s business accidents may happen (induced by techical fails, people or crashes) – and often the whole company’s future is defined in 3-4 hours after the accident (as proven out by historical experience). Even more – it’s future is defined in PR nor airfield, where all the people know what to do in emergency situations.

    Actions of PR persons define how quick official commentary comes out, how precise it is, who takes responsibility, how rapidly passengers’ lists are publiashed, how quick and effective hotline works, etc. So the whole company’s future depends on how quick a lot of people will become a fine-tuned mechanism where each gear knows what, how and when would it do, and how to cooperate with colleagues…

    Then he describes his own experience:

    Most of the people (mostly managers) didn’t know what to do in an unknown information field while being high-qualified in their own fields of expertise.

    Best practices (mostly painful) show that people can team-up in times of crisis and become a single mechanism in one case: if they knew what they and their neighbours would do.

    Now the best comes – about informal & unstructured knowledge:

    The thing is that no one formal system will show full frame, talking about business object  or man’s body; right in that unformalised zone real experts’ experience and insight work at full throttle.

    As for me, that’s the most inmortant lesson I’ve taken of this article:

    It’s better to hire expertise instead of qualification.

    BTW, just another one idea I’ve got last morning:

    We buy opportunity, not goods.

    Getting hired in IT: How-To

    Just’ve found a nice article on how to get hired. No, not Just Another One Clever Article, but a really interesting one – it’s about the IT:

    If you’re like many other IT professionals, you may feel like you’re a little fish in a big ocean.

    You are.

    With so many people seeking jobs today, you cannot afford to be just another John or Jane Doe who’s looking for a job in IT. You’ve got to stand out. Here are some things you can apply immediately to help differentiate yourself in your next job interview or when it comes time for a promotion, or just to win over those who matter…

    As having some experience as being hired as IT-specialist I could advise points of strength for jobseekers:

    • Get listed in professional social networks.
      …as being seeking a job (I’ve been hired after my account and professional info was found at LinkedIn).
    • Get certified.
      Invest in your education instead of wasting your time while seeking for a job. Certified workers are more preferable compared to all the others.
    • Tell your friends.
      Being hired by recommendation of a friends is the olderst method 🙂