You are not a gadget – Book Review

A great friend of mine, knowing the type of book I enjoy the most gave me this book saying: “I know you will like this one! You will want to write a book review.”. He was absolutely right I loved this book!

I often use the expression “Let’s Think about IT” (pun intended) in this blog. Indeed I believe that we too seldom take the time to think about what we are doing, reading or even thinking. In these days where speed is the key to everything and computers compute at light speed to bring us an ocean of information, thinking is kind of tacky. You are supposed to write, read and decide faster than ever. I already wrote a bit about what I think of this trend. At the time I was feeling a bit lonely but that feeling has ended since I have read “You are not a gadget” by Jaron Lanier. Jaron Lanier is definitely not taking a pre-chewed thought for a proper thought, a tweet for eternal wisdom or even a blog for brilliance. Nope, ladies and gentlemen, Jaron is taking us on the tricky path of challenging the obvious. I love that.

The back cover says: “Something went wrong around the start of the twenty-first century. The crowd was wise. Social network replaced individual creativity. There were more places to express ourselves than ever before… yet no one really had anything to say.” That sounds like a good provocative start to me!

First Impression
When taken in hand, this book doesn’t look like much. The edition I’ve got is made with lower quality paper and the cover is dull. That is far from enough to put me away from a book recommended [...]

The Project Management Coaching Workbook – Book review

Project Management is a daunting task. Whoever has been in this position will tell you that. This job is made of so many different activities that one could easily loose track of them. Easy to run around like a headless chicken!

Susanne Madsen’s book is a great reading for several reasons. Let me explain in this book review.

A book for getting better
In the first part of the book, the author goes through a guide to introspection. Why on earth do you want to be a PM in the first place? The question, for simple and obvious, deserves to stop a little while. And Susanne Madsen provides a few elements of possible answers or shall I say example of answers? She is guiding the reader gently on a self conscious thinking state that is the start of any greatness. But she also takes care to never give you the answers. They must be yours.

This principle of getting better is present the entire book long and as such definitely deserves its title “Coaching”.

A very pragmatic guide
At the same time, the book is going thoroughly through almost all the activities one can think of when talking about Project Management. As such, this will be an excellent guide for the junior PM who will have a proper idea of where he or she stands on that job. From planning to delivery via the relationship with the team or the sponsors I hardly see any left aside topic. This is definitely a book written by an experienced PM.

So you will be asked to assess yourself on all those topics and later on you will be guided on how to improve those skills.

No specific process assumed

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-06-04

I am willing to network with people in charge of IT projects to create quality business relationships. IT projects can be better and cheape… #

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-05-28

I now have created a reading list in my LinkedIn account. Much more books to come! # Philip : Yes you are right, payment is a deterministic process. I should have taken another example. What I had in… # My point mentioning RUP earlier was to say that this framework was the first attempt I saw to not give all answers… # Hello, Fixed price Agile is a recurring topic for whoever is working in the IT industry. It’s a bit like when… #

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-05-21 Hello, Thanks everybody for answering to my initial entry. I probably need to “answer” to a couple of… #

Fear and Trembling – Book Review

For once, I will not review a technical book or a study but a fiction. Not that I intend to become a reference in literature, there are far better reviewers than I for that, but this book is well related to a topic that I often talk about: cross-cultural communication. This book was given to me by my wife who knows very well my work on communication, especially cross-cultural one. I thank her for that. It is always extremely pleasant to have people around you capable of offering you the perfect book. I would probably have missed that one, had I been on my own.

The context is the following: a young woman, living in Japan, speaking Japanese fluently and knowing the country extremely well is getting a job in a Japanese company. She is not expecting the most fascinating job on earth but she clearly intends to do her best and integrate perfectly inside the company.

I won’t tell you about the story much more than that but I will comment on how this story appealed to me. The author is describing the daily life of someone who believed she could blend into a culture because of her excellent knowledge of the language and the country. She believes that she understands customs, habits, and practices well enough to become invisible inside the group. Of course, nothing goes as planned and her journey inside the company is fascinating. She is not Japanese and it is made very clear to her that she will never be. When I say clear, I mean she understands what is not necessarily said. She does indeed know the culture well enough to get these messages, but not well enough to achieve [...]

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-05-07 Gene, Regarding books, the expression “out of control” is close to describing my situation. I had some hope with… # Thank you everybody for your comments and suggestions. Please keep them coming. And by the way Beth, while… #
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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-04-30

Just published a new entry in my blog: "Does one size fit all?" . About the trend of using ultra small msgs. #language #
I am glad to say that I now am officially a member of the International Brotherhood of #Magicians British ring. #Magic #

By |April 30th, 2012|Twitter|0 Comments|

Does one size fit all?

No later than a few hours ago (I am referring to the time of writing this text, not its publication), I have written a rather unusually short blog titled “Are you a positive rule breaker?” If I say unusually short, this is because if you compare to what I have published in this blog so far, this was a dwarf of a blog. Why was that?

The answer is that I have written it under the “influence” of my Marketing Director and excellent friend Scott. Although I take full responsibility for the content of that blog, I shall admit my weak attitude towards his strong pertinent and professional advice to make it shoooooort. I said to him that I used to expose my ideas and thought more expansively. At this he replied that I was almost obsolete and that the trend is Twitter-like communication with 140 characters max. I then replied that this is all rubbish and that I actually don’t give a sh*** of Twitter’s constraints and that I will even take time in the future to write a blog about my level of contempt for this famous trend. I do not believe that you can indeed always express proper ideas in 140 characters with satisfactory result. To this answer Scott made two comments:

1à Twitter would pretend that they did psychometric researches that have shown that an idea is writeable in less than 140 characters.

2 à This is great. Do not forget to write this blog (he loves controversy and provocation as much as I do).

Well, here I am. I’m going to keep my words!

First of all, I do not believe a single second that Twitter has chosen 140 characters on any psychological research. [...]

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-03-19

#Magic – Hans Klok's Houdini show just finished. Magic like a rock concert!! Stunning! #
#Magic – In the middle of Hans Klok's Houdini show. Only one word: wow!! How do you say "Wow" in holland? ;-) #

By |March 19th, 2012|Twitter|0 Comments|