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Better team meetings

Reflecting on management practice that someone else carries out and your own management practice is key for any manager / leader to try and better. I was thinking about my team meetings and how they could be much better. A team meeting, to me, is a place where a team can come together and voice up any issues they are having that the team can help or the manager can escalate, ask for help from the team on a problem and the manager can explain any new projects coming up or ask for status updates on projects or work needing to be done.

In a moment of pure honesty, these sound great on paper but, there are not issues 100% of the time, there are not new projects coming 100% of the time and people know how to do their jobs. So the team meeting becomes a bit unstructured and can be very short if there is nothing really to talk about. Its nice to sometime have a team meeting where if there is nothing to talk about it turns into a bonding, fun session where you can just talk about some current affairs or a sports match…but not too many meetings otherwise people will start thinking if it worth take 30mins out of their day.

What could I do to make my team meetings more engaging and provide more value? I thought about getting my team to watch youtube self help / management videos and to discuss them in the team meeting. A sort of book club lite. 15-30 mins videos to be watched between the team meetings and then discuss them. The hope would be this might spark interest in other team member to add their videos they might have watched. This would build a better and more rounded team.

Some talks / books I would be targeting :

Talks

Books

  • Total competition : Lessons in Strategy from Formula One – Ross Brawn / Adam Parr
  • Legacy – What the All Blacks can teach us about the business of life – James Kerr
  • How to Win Rugby and Leadership – Clive Woodward
  • SAS : Who Dares Wins : Leadership Secret from the Special Forces – Ant Middleton, Jason Fox, Matthew Ollerton and Colin Maclachlan
  • Turn the ship Around!: A True Story of Building Leaders by Breaking the rules – L. David Marquet
  • The Infinite Game – Simon Sinek
  • Steve Jobs – Walter Isaacson
  • Hit Refresh – Satya Nadella

Podcasts

  • The High Performance Podcast
  • The Diary of a CEO with Steve Bartlett – Episode 96 How to take full control of your mind
  • Modern Wisdom

Learning Resources

Interested to know what other managers thoughts on this are? Is this something you have tried? Do you think this will work or not, and why do you think this?

Google Cloud Platform (GCP)

Hi,

Yesterday I went to the Google Cloud Summit in Singapore, I you have the chance to go to this free event in your area I would highly recommend going. Really amazing features and thinking around collaboration, ML and the cloud helping with your digital transformation.

I have put together a video showing how sheets can now be used to query data using natural language and ML and then using translate utalising AR to translate in real time. Really amazing features. I hope you like it.

Thankyou for visiting and I have a small favour to ask

Hi,

Firstly thankyou for visiting my blog. I set this up to try and show who I am and how I work rather than depending just upon a CV. However, I also wanted to share ideas so the community can grow by putting out my ideas then people can either use them or tweak them to possiblilty fit their situation better.

Now you are here, I have a small favour to ask. In August 2018 I am moving back to Singapore after living in the UK for 5 years with my wife. Therefore I will be looking for a job, ideal roles are something like:

Service Desk Manager

Service Improvement

Service Management

Or a role which tries to do with ITIL always sets out and that is to make IT work better with the business.

Using my videos you can get a flavour of how I try and manage teams and trending using my ServiceDesk Evolution webinar. Once I see trends I can then see how we could take them through problem management using Tribes. Finally, I also like to try and improve Servicenow and have put together some ‘Servicenow how to’ videos to show how things work so you might want to have a go or start firing ideas on how you could change your instance for the better.

Therefore if you are in Singapore or know anyone in Singapore looking out for someone to join their team then please feel free to pass on my details.

My personal situation is my wife is a Singapore citizen and I am awaiting a Singapore PR application but if this does not come through in time then I will be apply for a LTVP where I understand this would give me a 5 year visa for an empoyeer only needing to write a letter of consent for me to start working. My wife already has a job so we are commited to moving to back.

Thankyou

Andrew

Top rope management

At the upcoming itSMF conference, I will be presenting on how I work with Service Desks to try and change the perception of what a Service Desk is and can do. This is done with a combination of skilling up people and empowerment, but the underlying message is management and leadership for my talk.

We have all worked for them at some point in our careers, the managers who you always ask ‘What do they actually do?’ You see them go to countless meeting and all smiles but what is their output? What or how does their team benefit? When the team asks them a question or needs advice, it is quickly deflected with ‘You need to work this out, it isn’t my job’. In John Maxwell ‘5 levels of leadership’ talk, he would describe them as a Level 1 manager. The leader the team only follows because they have the title.

When I was younger, I used to watch wrestling, every Saturday afternoon watching wrestlers go at each other. One move that got everyone on their feet and the commentator’s voice would go up an octave, was when the opponent was on the floor and the wrestler climbed to the top rope and then jumped. If they landed right on the opponent, they would hook the leg, a 10 count and the match was over. If the opponent rolled away, the wrestler would land on the floor and probably lose the match. However, why was this so exciting? It showed total commitment and bravery, as there was no safety net for the wrestler.

I would describe my management style as ‘Top rope management’; though my opponent isn’t my staff members, but instead boredom and lack of motivation. I have to beat these two opponents or my staff will leave. I don’t want to be a level 1 manager but show bravery and commitment to do things out of the norm for my team and not accept ‘…but we have always done it this way’ if it doesn’t make sense or could be done better.

I want my team to follow me because they want to, they see me getting results and put them in the right positions to show off their talents. We have all seen various stats and articles all saying the same thing: People leave because of their manager and not always due to the money as proven in Dan Pink’s Ted Talk ‘The Puzzle of motivation’.

In the talk, the premise is that if you give autonomy, mastery and purpose to people then they will be more motivated than just giving them more money. My presentation is all about a strategy which was alternative to the convention of what a Service Desk should or could do and how I have tried to give autonomy, mastery and purpose to my teams. The presentation shows how I have :

  • Skilled up my teams so there are no favourites people always want to always speak to when they have a problem
  • Enhances the relationships between the Service Desk, other IT teams and the business.
  • Empowered them to come up with ideas improve themselves and their work situation
  • Highlighted and promoted talent within the team to other teams
  • Trend analysis designed to show workloads and trends to try and either:

 

A final quote sums how I try to adopt an attitude to challenge convention with unconventional ways of working :

“It is more fun to be a pirate than join the navy’

Steve Jobs

If you are attending the event then hopefully you can attend my session ‘Rethink the Service Desk role to change its image forever’ these are the three takeaways :

  • Understand how the service desk can value add to the business and IT
  • Rethink the service desk role and the career path it offers
  • Identify and show off talent in the Service Desk team in a structured way