I love good sci-fi, and the trailer for the film “Arrival” looks great! In it, Amy Adams plays expert linguist Louise Banks who is enlisted to help communicate with aliens who have dropped in on Earth. One article likens the film to the adaptation of Carl Sagan’s “Contact” that starred Jodie Foster. I can only hope. Or it could just be another movie with stuff blowing up. “Arrival” opens on Friday, November 11th, right before…
Hey, speaking of speaking foreign languages, one of the cool, albeit challenging aspects of working for a global company like Kronos is the variety of languages we communicate with. Our kronos.com website is available in nine languages. The reason I bring this up is because of an email I received in Chinese about KronosWorks. I can’t read it, but I find it interesting and beautiful. KronosWorks opens on November 13th. Plan your arrival.
This week I was doing a little whining… Wait. It wasn’t really whining, it was more like fretting over a project I’m working on with many moving parts, including customers, employees, partners, agile software development, and many unknowns. You know, the “we don’t know what we don’t know” unknowns.
I intended to wrap that up on Monday with the “you get to do this” reminder from my boss. She’s right. It’s a cool project that I’ve wanted to do for years now. Unfortunately, I was not a word generating machine on Monday, because Sunday night I went to Fenway Park to see Pearl Jam, and well, my first foray into Monday didn’t end until about 1:30AM. Anyway, it was my first time seeing the band, but for my friend, Barb, it was 19 or 20. She’s not sure. PJ is family to her. It was an amazing experience, the kind you tuck your phone away (mostly) for. During the 3 ½ hour show, the cameras would pan the crowd where most of the Pearl Jam community were singing every word. I’m embarrassed to admit I knew only about 1/3 of their songs, but back when the band (and I) were younger, I was a member in a different musical community, with its home on an AOL message board called No Depression–Alt.Country. It brought together fans of a musical genre that has produced some great music over the years, and was an online community for sharing the music, the lyrics, the live show experiences, and even tips on how to get great tickets.
There’s a wonderful little history of the “ND board” and what it meant to the guy who started it. He ends the article with this:
“As I tucked my daughters into bed this evening, I wondered who their musical heroes will be. If they are lucky, like me, they won’t necessarily be musicians at all, but a few well-chosen friends whose musical soul mirrors their own and from whom they’ll find acceptance, inspiration and togetherness. Even if it arrives across the internet.”
Now 20 years later, the project my boss is leading, and I’m helping to launch will bring an online community to Kronos customers, partners, employees, and anyone else looking for information about workforce management. My hope is that there they’ll find “acceptance, inspiration and togetherness. Even if it arrives across the internet.”
How do you measure workforce productivity? On Saturday I can say I was productive. Specifically I weeded beds and spread about 2 yards of mulch. I know, it doesn’t sound like much, but it’s about 54 of those bags you get at Lowe’s or Home Depot or Ace, not that I’m dropping names… Anyway, I finished that, took a nice shower and then settled on the couch for the Sox. Then I saw the weather – 4 days of rain. Oooh, I really need to mow the lawn and then spread lime and fertilizer before that hits. Back on go the grubby work clothes and off to one of those 3 stores I go for the product. The lawn took an hour, then about another 45 minutes to spread lime and fertilizer. Yes, it was a productive day and I have the metrics to prove it. Nobody said 21,225 steps was going to be pretty. (Oh, and thanks to the Prisma app for the cool artistic rendering of my dirty arm.)
We have quite a few millennials running around the campus these days, and I can only speak for myself to say the experience has been excellent. In addition to our current summer intern program for over 100 college kids working in various departments across Kronos, we also support a smaller intern program with high-schoolers from nearby Notre Dame Cristo Rey High School. This past school year, I managed one of the Cristo Rey kids, and based on my observations of her intelligence, work ethic, and humanity, I’m optimistic this generation will make the world a better place. In managing this young lady, I focused on her interests and strengths, and tried to provide sound advice, but I also honed in on what I considered her biggest opportunity for improvement to succeed professionally. It was a little scary for her, but I do believe she found her voice.
Last month I received this letter. Another example that the kids are alright.
“Mmmmmmm… Beer.” That’s a quote from the patriarch of a long running TV show, and really captures what beer means to many people. I mean, what adult doesn’t like beer? Our latest 1 in One Hundred Million story features a woman who has a dream job – Briana Francisco loves beer. I mean, as you’ll hear, she was once on a first date and the poor dude poured his porter wrong. That was it. There would be no second date… Check out Brianna and her “fun science” of beer at the Deschutes Brewery in Bend, OR.
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson wrote, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” He also wrote the children’s classics “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking-Glass.” You know him as British author Lewis Carroll. I did a little research and found that a main theme of “Alice” is adapting to change. If you consider the books together, the themes morph toward planning and goal setting: “it helps to have an objective to journey toward, if only to make it easier to choose a path.”
Do you have strategic objectives for your workforce management system, and do you have a clear path to achieve them? If not, you may want to journey toward our new whitepaper, Strategic Roadmaps: Guiding Your Path to Success. It will help you understand how to build a path toward achieving your workforce management strategic objectives.
Late last century, I was a partner in an independent (we preferred “indie”) record label, and in this case “indie” means “not much money.” What money we did have was spent on manufacturing CD’s for promotion and sale, and marketing through indie music magazines, radio promotion, and record store placement. In March of every year we’d struggle with the financial decision to attend the South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival, but we made it work. At least two of us would go to scout bands and meet industry people. One highlight was partner Dave approaching Seymour Stein (he founded Sire Records and signed Madonna, the Ramones, Talking Heads, the Pretenders, and the Replacements, just to name a few) in an Austin consignment store (they had bands play) to hand him a cassette tape of one of our bands. Yep. The other highlight of that trip was the three of us (3rd partner, Jeff, not Mr. Stein) staying in one “No-Tell Motel” room. Good times.
Anyway, regardless of your business, justifying a trip to a related conference forces you to assess the value of the networking opportunities, the content, and yeah, the fun. Here’s an article on optimizing the value of conference attendance, but what about KronosWorks? Earlier this week I wrote about how KronosWorks will be magical this year, so there’s the fun, but what about the networking and content? Well, we expect over 2,000 customers this year, plus Kronos employees and partners to talk workforce management. And content? The agenda is right here. Oh, and if you need some help convincing the boss, this customizable justification letter will help.
Today is the last day to save $250 off your conference fee. Hey, that may help you avoid staying in a No-Tell Motel with your coworkers…