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.

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.